Before we met, I wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't know what to make of you and to be honest, I had reservations. You scared me. A lot.
Thankfully my doubts weren't a match for the allure of your extraordinary temples and I found the courage to book the tickets and hop on the planes.
Despite your lack of warm showers.
Despite your bland and "meh" tasting food (in comparison to your neighbours, Vietnam and Thailand)
Despite your mouldy scent and dusty air.
I fell for you.
You stirred something in me and made me feel alive. Indescribably alive.
Sometimes you felt so surreal, I had to take a moment to make sure I wasn't dreaming.
Your stunning structures inspired me to push my drawings further. To look harder and try harder! But still I can do you no justice at my current level. Not even in the slightest.
While I was with you, I didn't want to blog, because I was savouring every second of our time together and selfishly wanted to keep parts of you all to myself.
You taught me how to barter, how to navigate cities that don't have addresses or maps, and how to take all kinds of transport.
You were the adventure I had been searching for.
When our time was over, it felt too short.
I left you not by choice, but because of a stupid airline policy that forced me to buy a departure ticket before I was allowed on the flight to your capital city.
I'm still bitter about it.
It has only been less than 3 weeks since I left but I miss you. So much.
I thought about you constantly in Thailand.
I miss the children in your villages, who I drew for and taught origami to.
I miss riding bikes on "roads" lined by farms and shielded from the sun by jungle foliage.
I miss hearing stories from motorbike drivers about how even they get taken "the long way" by tuktuks.
I miss being surrounded by foreigners and locals, in mob like formation, when I'm drawing your ancient ruins.
I miss how safe I felt walking down your streets, even in the outskirts of town.
I miss amusing and confusing people with my unconventional ways and being told, "no one like you before."
I miss watching volleyball with groups of men and cheering for the guy with the killer float serve who "is strong because he ate lots of eel the night before."
I even miss being caked in dirt and dust after speeding dangerously down your "highways" on the back of a motorbike.
I had plans for other cities, other countries, but I purposefully left everything open so I could follow my heart.
Which you have captured; every last part of.
That is why I'm coming back tomorrow!
It will only be for a week or so, while I wait for my Vietnamese Visa, but I can't wait to see you again!