I’ve been quiet for almost three months, cause summer’s been lively. So today, I wanted to announce that I’m back writing. I’ll post twice a week this month, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Today is an exception, cause I wanted to introduce my experience in South-Eastern Asia, this last summer. I’ve been one month and a half traveling in Lao, Cambodia and Vietnam. Even if it’s not the first time I‘m away from home, this start has been full of paradoxical emotions and thoughts. It felt like a first experience I decided to live by my own, preparing almost nothing, but expecting a mountain from what I could see.
Before getting there, I wrote down the expectation I had about such a trip.
Since it was the first I would travel that far and this long, I dedicated my mind to:
- Understand the culture of the countries I would stay in, meet locals and learn the languages basics.
- Meet international travellers and share experience with them.
- Organize myself to enjoy in the best way my trip.
- As I was going to be one month in Cambodia with an NGO (Pour un Sourire d’Enfant), I definitely wanted to meet people there, love all the children as if they were my own, and get responsible.
And that is pretty much it.
Finally, when I got there, I discovered wonderful cultures. They are as diverse as there are regions in each of these countries. And even more! Often, two neighbour towns speak a different dialect and have different rituals. I got really curious and read a lot about these countries and communities, which brought me so much in only a short period of time.
Let’s start with Lao, my first stop in Asia. I travelled with six French girls I knew from the NGO team. We landed in Vientiane, the capital, but didn’t stay there. We went directly to Vang Vieng, on the North way. The drive was gorgeous. I was astounded by these green colours, these dented mountains, this quiet and peaceful place. Thinking about how life brought me there, at only 24 hour-trip but also more than 9,000 kilometres from home, I felt surprised how welcoming this new home was. I didn’t feel the culture shock at all even if Vang Vieng disappointed me a lot. It was a junkie landmark, or at least targeting party animal people, all strangers.
How hang-up it is to sum up feelings. This is even better with some perspective. People there is warm, they diffuse positive energies, but you also can feel how their life’s been hard, or experienced-rich, I don’t know. They handle perfectly the relations with strangers. People is respectful, people is inspired. They know how to create with their hands, how to believe, how to share and observe. I don’t say this would work for anyone, I mean it’s just inspiring and pleasurable to live in stability and on an untroubled world. The language is definitely not a problem. There’s much more than this, like taking a step back to our childhood. Learning about a country is learning about life and actually about everything. We may all live on the same planet, I can’t believe but love more our deep differences. So I thought about sharing anecdotes to give you some of my feelings and highlights of this adventure.
Second day, Vang Vieng, Lao. It was such a hot day, humid and without any cloud on the horizon. The climate is way different to the one we were used to live in. The heat gets people moving slowlier and so the atmosphere was heavy but sooth. On our way for a ride in bike on the paddy fields, we found this river, so lively and attractive in such a moment. Five minutes later, we were on our swimsuits, enjoying of this fresh sensation on our burning skin. When we finally decided to be back on our bikes, we drove a few hours, surrounded by a spectacular landscape. The colours were also welcoming, calming. I was talking with Pierre, a friend, about our projects for the future. Like children discovering the sea. After a while, at the hottest point of the day, we planned to have lunch at some point. A few minutes later, a restaurant was there, on the side of the road, with no clients, only the owners. Anyway, the setting was exactly what we were looking for: serenity and a view. We seated on the mats and had one of the best meal ever. Novelty always results more powerful, right? What more could I tell about this day? If you have ever thought about travelling there, go! It’s preserved, the nature makes you feel so small that you’d become a rush of adrenaline addict. #worldtraveller
XOXO, see you on Tuesday !