From Cambodia With Love

Heather Markel, Writer, Speaker, Photographer, Traveler, Business Strategist

5 December 2018

A land guided by love and respect for humans.

I have never before been to a country where, just for showing up, I feel appreciated, honored and cherished. Every room I enter, even the souvenir shops, I am greeted with hands in prayer position and a gentle bow. It’s as if all that matters is the exchange of kindness. And it’s not just in their country. One evening in Bangkok I wondered around in my Cambodia t-shirt. A man stopped me and offered me a beer because he is from Cambodia and is excited about the connection and that I love his country. This deep cherishing behavior is something I miss and will always remember.

Random cute kid in Cambodia.

Photograph by Heather Markel, Copyright 2018

For some reason I find the kids in Cambodia ridiculously cute. So cute, in fact, that I end up taking photos of them frequently. Then I feel kind of creepy, but their parents understand I just find their kids so adorable! One thing I find difficult, however, is seeing young children working. They try to sell to us at every tourist spot, and some look as young as 6. They want us to buy keychains and magnets for $3 but will take $1 for 3.  Apparently school is half a day and they sell the other half.

“It’s a warm country in temperature and in how they relate with one another.”

By mid-afternoon each winter day, I’ve sweat out almost all the water in my body. I can’t imagine being there in summer. I am deeply grateful to our tour guide for carrying cold water and wet washcloths which I use, unabashedly, to wipe the sweat off everywhere I can in public.

Siem Reap.

Photograph by Heather Markel, Copyright 2018

The temples are unbelievable. Even though I am “templed out” after three days of sightseeing, I so admire them. Our guide brings us to each one and tells us to “our trip to Heaven.” What this means is, we will have to walk up very steep steps to the top of the temple, and he’ll be waiting for us at the bottom when we have finished. The steps are always steep and high. Definitely challenging for petite legs! Buddha awaits us as do intricate carvings of gods and demons and a large snake being used in a tug-of-war for power.

The food is surprisingly delicious. I learned about the “fish amok” which is excellent, but even a simple chicken dish with cashews is excellent. Coconut smoothies leave me in heaven and the family I’m traveling with finds an excellent restaurant in Siem Reap, Genevieve‘s, which has a beautiful story and wonderful food. They employ all sorts of people with no experience in restaurants and help their community – if you go to Siem Reap you must eat here! Upon departing Cambodia I feel sad to be leaving behind such kind people and would love to explore more one day.

Whether traveling full time was your dream before the pandemic, or after, this session will help you understand how to prepare, what you need to know, and how to get your finances in order to make it happen. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the “How To Afford The Travel Life” eBook. You’ll also get an understanding of both what’s great about full-time travel and some of the challenges. You can also discuss planning help, and how to get the most out of your experience.

Thanks to the pandemic, we’ve all had a chance to ask the question, “what now?” If you’ve decided it’s time to quit your 9-to-5 to travel full time (or take it with you while you live nomadically), this program will help you address the core mindset, money, and planning gaps you have. This is the program that will help you acknowledge and overcome your fears about what’s next, figure out how to afford and sustain your travels, and feel confident about planning your adventure. Book your free session to see if you’re a fit!

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Most of what’s keeping you from what you want – full-time travel, a new business idea, a radical career shift – are your excuses. After one session with Heather, you’ll understand which excuses are holding you back the most, how to get them out of the way, and you’ll leave with an action plan that helps you set the foundation to pivot into the life you want.

You’ve dreamed about traveling full time for as long as you can remember, and now you’ve learned that it’s a little more challenging than you thought. Get help getting through the initial shock and changes when you realize you’re not on vacation. Learn how to manage those experiences where you meet parts of yourself long forgotten, and create a plan to help you have the best experience with your journey.

It’s always been essential to understand your money, but if you’ve lost your job due to the pandemic, now it’s even more important that you create financial empowerment. In this session, Heather will work with you to first understand your gaps in managing your money, then she’ll help you with the framework on how to ensure you can afford the life you dream of. You’ll get tips to save and budget, and also discuss ways to earn money that will shift you out of feeling like a victim of the times, to seeing the opportunities in front of you to begin making money in a different way.

If you want to see every post I’ve written, starting with the most recent, this is the place to start!

If you need some tips on getting started, traveling safe, and saving money while traveling full time, go here! 

I’ve been traveling the globe solo, and many of my posts share thoughts and resources specifically for other solo travelers. If you’re a fellow solo traveler, or you’re thinking about solo travel, this is a collection you will find of interest.

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Sometimes I write posts where I give insider information on certain cities I’ve visited, which may be more along the lines of places to go, how to save money, etc. If that’s your main interest, check out this compilation of posts.

In 2020, I was traveling in New Zealand as the coronavirus pandemic brewed, and, got stuck there. If you want to read about what this time was like and traveling during this time, check out this page.

At the heart of international travel is learning about the many different cultures and ways of being around the world. The posts compiled on this page speak, specifically, about the cultural observations I’ve had.

Many of my blog posts are about things I’ve discovered about myself or about being, while I’ve traveled. If you’d like to focus on posts that only have self-discovery themes, click the button below.