a week of firsts

I’ve now been in Siem Reap for a week, before I go into that I will summarise my TEDxChiangMai and Elephant Nature Park experiences.

TEDx was incredibly inspiring! I met some great people and most of all the presentations were relative and full of hope. From bio plastics, affordable music, responsible tourism, being water and a practical application for technology and nature to coexist, nearly every speaker had a message I can relate to. I will provide some links once the videos become available.

Elephant Nature Park was wonderful. I knew about this place as a responsible tourism organisation through friends, though I had to try a few different booking agents before I could get this one. It was interesting, informative and I cannot quite describe how it feels to talk to an elephant! Keep an eye out because I will write a dedicated post for Asian elephants soon.

I enjoyed my time in Chiang Mai immensely and left with a wealth of new friends and renewed connection to an old friend. When I flew into Siem Reap I was surprised to see my favourite airport under construction. An even better surprise was being met by my friend when I walked outside!! Even thinking about it now makes me extremely happy and it is wonderful to have such a dear friend in my new home.

Today is my eighth day here and so much has happened this would be an extremely long update if I described it all in detail. Whether it’s because I’m not committed to a 40 hour work week or the magic of Southeast Asia, lots happens in a very short period. I’ve reconnected with nearly all of the friends I met last time I was here and I’ve met more new people in this week than I did the entire year in Sydney. I’ve eaten it feels like non-stop (so much for the health kick I promised myself), drunk a lot, about to go to my second pub quiz tonight, done some yoga, been to the markets, attended a child protection workshop, found a co-working office space, applied for a job, had discussions with relevant parties regarding volunteering, advanced my Khmer language skills, joined a soccer team and been out house hunting. I’ve probably missed a few things too! Plus I’ve had time to read and relax and sleep and enjoy not having to be anywhere in a hurry.

I’ve also set myself a 30 day challenge, I purposely set the bar low knowing that my first 30 days will be busy, but I hope that you will find my photo a day challenge an interesting insight to Siem Reap. Have a look and let me know what you think.

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