14 minutes ago
I went to Siem Reap, Cambodia, in 2010 to see Angkor Wat, but I was more fascinated by the people. I didn’t know Cambodia’s dark history before visiting it, only vague fictional references from Indiana Jones movies about great temples housing rare artefacts.
The country went through horrifyingly traumatic events in the 20th century, namely the Khmer Rouge genocide and a crippling economic crisis leaving the majority of the population in extreme poverty, yet the people are among the kindest and most generous I’ve met.
This was the first time I realized that travel isn’t about famous buildings, or stunning beaches, or unique foods. Travel is about encountering fellow humans who have experienced unique histories, traumas, victories, and challenges, and yet are fundamentally the same. If a Cambodian can experience such suffering yet treat you, a stranger, with decency and respect, so can you
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