Finding life amid new friends.

8 Sept 2015
Siem Reap
I was thoroughly burnt out by the temples yesterday and wanted a break. At this point of life, I was appalled at the prospect of seeing another temple.

When I got to the common room, an odd ensemble of people sat on the mat on the floor. A middle aged Indian man formed a circle with a bunch of Asian girls. I didn’t know what to do, so I smiled and nodded politely and sat at the sofa near to them. They were talking about pretty interesting things and I was itching to join them. I’ve gotta keep my cool; I was so afraid of approaching people.

A myriad of feelings and thoughts swept over me as I struggled to focus on the open book I had in my hand. Fear? What if they rejected me? Anticipation? Would they be the legendary connections people made on the road that I’ve heard so much about? The want to approach them and the fear of rejection practically brew World War III inside my head.

“Hey, can I join you guys? You guys sound so interesting.”

It’s funny how circumstances could push you into doing something you won’t normally do. A year ago, if you were to ask me if I would approach a circle of strangers in a hostel somewhere in Asia, I would have said that you’re nuts. But that’s what travelling do to you. Being alone in an unfamiliar place forces you to fight for what you want. You want companionship? You’ve gotta talk to people.

“Yeah sure!”

If not for that moment, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to know these amazing people who contributed to so many valuable experiences in my trip. I wouldn’t have known Eri, who showed me that Japanese women are not all demure and passive. I wouldn’t have known Cho, who’s so freakin’ amazing on the ukulele. I wouldn’t have known Stacey, whose bravery and spunk got me admiring her so much. I wouldn’t have known Mervyn, who taught me that age isn’t mutually exclusive with an adventurous soul.

I was feeling a little bummed that most of the people I’ve met the days before left. It’s exhausting to establish a connection with someone, only to have the connection severed when they left. Eventually that did happen with this bunch of friends I made today, because that’s just what happens on the road and life. No one is could stay with you in your life. They have to live theirs and you yours. All it matters is that they played a part in your life at one point of time. All we have to take away from the road is lessons and memories. Nothing matters more than that. 

Ah, life.

January 29, 2016
February 24, 2016
  1. Nicholas Ng

    I think its great you just asked to join them. I find that a lot of people nowadays are to anxious about these things. If only we are able to explore more and talk to people this way. Thanks for sharing your personal stories. ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. FiSh. ohFISHiee

    i just came back from siem reap a couple of months ago ๐Ÿ™‚ it's definitely a great experience to travel alone. and to meet the locals and foreign friends there!


  3. Low Sze Shin

    It's great that traveling alone makes you try thing that you never thought you will be doing it. Meeting new friends is what makes a journey more meaningful I believe. ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. GengQian

    i love Siem Reap too, for the experience and sight seeing. But wasn't able to make friends during my travel last time.


  5. Emily

    Hostels and backpackers' lodges provide the kind of social circle that allows people to mix even if they have only met once, and know that maybe their paths will never cross again.


  6. Pamela Yeoh

    i love Siem Reap too, for the experience and sight seeing. It is simply a great place to go


  7. miera

    Hehehe… I so relate to how you felt.. I felt exactly the same way after finishing my sixth temple there….or was it my seven… I was practically dragging my feet behind me all the way at Banteay Kdei.. I think….


  8. Shubhada Bhide

    Travel can be exciting and exhausting at the same time. Thanks for sharing your experience.


  9. Cindyrina Rina

    Can feel you! But to me most of the time it was super fun even thought after visiting 10 temples for the day. super hyper kind of girl. hahaha


  10. Mike Yip

    Always love the rugged outback feel, used to walk everywhere when I was in Laos, but there's just so much to see that riding a bike or taking a car will make us overlook.


  11. Isaac Tan

    temples after temples after temples .. rince repeat. ๐Ÿ™‚ .. i understand the feeling.

    but the memories are the best right? ๐Ÿ˜€


  12. Wai Yee aka Rane

    Haven't been to Siem Reap yet. But nice experience you had there.


  13. Shini Lola

    Traveling alone is fun! Never been to Siem Reap before but soon. =)


  14. Sunshine Kelly

    It has been a while since my past trip to Siem Reap. I still can recall the place and nature. Love it.


  15. Betty Liew siaw fan

    I sometime also very shy to approach people but when you start to get comfortable with the circle of people, you will naturally start your first move. No harm to approach and know more friends during travel.


  16. Pooja Kawatra

    If you have a passion for travelling then travelling is just endless fun with something exciting to explore every day.


  17. Angelynn Tan

    Yeah, it gets easier every time though. So, there's something to look forward to. It makes the world a better place when people could share and listen to each other's experiences, don't you think?


  18. Angelynn Tan

    Yeah, I saw your posts! Pretty exciting place huh? Siem Reap seems like it had a little bit of something for everyone.


  19. Angelynn Tan

    Yeah it is. It's putting yourself in a foreign situation- imagine the adventures!


  20. Angelynn Tan

    Next time perhaps? ๐Ÿ˜‰


  21. Angelynn Tan

    Yeah, I like how you said paths will never cross again. In some way that's true, but that's where social media comes in handy. I had the contacts for most of the people I like to stay contact with, and it's pretty cool to just reminisce in the memories.


  22. Angelynn Tan

    I can't even remember what the temples are called by the end of it. It's so exhausting!


  23. Angelynn Tan

    No sweat, I enjoy sharing my experience. Have you been anywhere? I would like to hear about it if you want to share! ๐Ÿ™‚


  24. Angelynn Tan

    With super endurance too! I kinda admire people who could enjoy it for an extended period of time. I'm just a normal human with a limited tolerance for temples /.


  25. Angelynn Tan

    Laos sounds awesome! I'm planning to go sometime in the future, but haven't really started with the research yet. Where else have you been?


  26. Angelynn Tan

    The memories made are definitely the best! If I have to go through loops of temples to get those memories, so be it. Temples are great places to go to, but they just suck the soul out after a while. Gotta give it a rest before I attempt again haha


  27. Angelynn Tan

    It is. If you're keen, go too! It's pretty safe and exciting ๐Ÿ™‚


  28. Angelynn Tan

    Do go soon and tell us about it! Where else have you travelled?


  29. Angelynn Tan

    It's a pretty lovable place, that's for sure ๐Ÿ™‚


  30. Angelynn Tan

    Yeah, funny how we impose barriers to stop ourselves sometimes. It's always a struggle to get past first base, but it gets easier!


  31. Angelynn Tan

    Yeah, it's a great hobby to discover yourself and to just chill. I wouldn't call it endless fun though, there's some pretty stressful moments.


  32. Ivy Kam

    It's interesting how sometimes you get into something so… unexpectedly, yeah that's the beauty of life ๐Ÿ™‚


  33. Arisa Chow

    Sometimes all we need is a leap of faith and lets the rest fall into place. Don't be scared to take the first step into the unknown.


  34. Junedujour .com

    what a great way to make new friends around the world! I should try to get outta my shell too


  35. ไป™ๅฆฎ

    your blog post really brought me back to my travel memories in siem reap many years ago. I really enjoy my trip esp Angkor Wat ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for sharing. cheers, siennylovesdrawing


  36. Julisa Pratiwi

    Okay, this place will be on my list!


  37. Angelynn Tan

    It is! Be sure to stay at Kochi- Ke Boutique Dormitory when you get to Siem Reap. It doesn't disappoint at all ๐Ÿ˜€


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