Hey guys! My name is Beth and I’m going to be the blogger keeping everyone up to date on our adventures in the Kingdom of Wonder this summer. I am just about to finish my second year of studying Classics at university and fancied getting out of England for the summer, away from a skint stint in what I was sure was going to be a summer of storms (although, if the weather so far is anything to go by, I might have made the wrong choice…) This will be my second Leap – I travelled to Ecuador in the summer after my A-Levels and had such an amazing time working with the NGOs in South America that I thought I would ‘take the Leap’, as it were, once more.
I’ve wanted to go to South East Asia for ages now. I have a few friends who live out there and for quite some time have become increasingly interested in the development of the Buddhist religious culture. Cambodia seemed the obvious choice and once I had harassed my best friend Niamh, who is on her gap year, to join me, we booked onto the trip (over a year ago, what a set of keen beans we were!) After leading a somewhat hand to mouth existence for the past year – some may contest that it is the only true student lifestyle – I managed to scrape together enough coppers to set me up for a 3 month trip around South East Asia; Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and a stop-over with a friend in Hong Kong to end.
The project doesn’t start until the 2nd July, but Niamh and I are off tomorrow to get in some of the more touristy relaxation before getting stuck into the hard graft of irrigation work and the likes, so the next time you see me I’ll be 100% more tanned and 100% less stressed about where I have left my head torch and anti-malarials. As I am, by nature, a collector (hoarder), fitting my life into 65 litres is currently proving something of a Herculean struggle, and that is before I have tried lifting it up. It is proving especially difficult as around half of my luggage space is being taken up by 50+SPF-its-like-shade-but-on-your-skin-all-the-time-strength sunscreen, but the price I pay for my English rosiness and doxycycline-sun-sensitivity-heightened skin after a painful encounter with some UV rays in Ecuador will be surely worth it.
I’m back off to hunt for my head torch now, but I look forward to keeping you posted on the tremendous fun we will be having in Cambodia! Speak soon, stay cool and remember your sunscreen!