Angkor …What?! Never heard of it? Don’t worry- if you see the pictures you know what I am talking about.
Angkor Wat is a temple complex in western Cambodia, close to Siem Reap. It is one of the largest religious monuments in the world and you need at least a day to visit it. If you were to travel through Thailand, you could easily reach it within a day, spend 2 to 3 days there and then head back to Thailand. This is what I did. As my Thai visa was running out after 30 days, I had to leave the country, so I could enter it again for another 30 days. Why not visit the temples where “Tombraider” was filmed!
But how do you reach the temples? It’s actually pretty easy: you ask the closest TukTuk driver how much he charges per day and then make sure not to pay more than 10 Dollars. He will drive you around every single temple- and trust me… they are huge, you don’t want to walk around all of them. Make sure to come early in the morning to be ahead of the tourists, so you can hang out at the temples all day.
Once you pass the front gate you enter Temple Wonderland. Elephants with red blankets are walking past you and fig trees that grow out of temples form the setting of Angkor Wat. The air smells of wet soil, leaves and slightly sour fruit. You walk past rotten stone walls and admire the trees that grow through the stones. This place is magical.
I walked towards one temple and sat down in front of it. I remembered sitting in front of my computer with my Dad many years ago. We were looking at travel pictures, when I spotted exactly this place I was now sitting at. I recall me saying, that I needed to go there one day whilst he smiled and told me to do so.
Now I was here sitting on the orange soil staring at a temple that was built in the 12th century. I got out my lunch and watched the people pass by and remembered a conversation I had with my Dad when I was a kid:
You can do and have anything in the world as long as you strongly believe in it.
“But why doesn’t everybody just do it?”, I asked.
I guess they just don’t believe strong enough.
And there I sat, fast forwarded from my computer screen- some years later. From cold winter to humid Cambodia. Right here on the ground. This mindset has always worked for me. At an early age I’ve learned to picture my future and then be happy about things I haven’t had yet, but which were to come. And always to be grateful for what I have.
I walked back and saw some people sitting on a blanket playing music. They were crippled by land mines. Some had lost their arms- others their legs or eyes. They had taken off their protheses to they could play their instruments better. They were smiling and I listened to them play.
I admired them for not giving up. For playing their music and letting it echo through the temples. Life is not fair- I guess it has never been. But it is important to make the best out of it and focus on the good.