Local Living

Say hello to a little house i called home for a short while whilst travelling into the mystical depths of Cambodia. Animals lived underneath, people lived above, and i was generously given the comfiest bed in the place, a surprisingly comfy floor mat. They spoke roughly one word of English and i spoke about one word of Khmer; communication in conventional ways was fairly limited. However, that never mattered, as we communicated in the form of good old laughter and elaborate gesturing and guess-work. They showed me the true rural Cambodian lifestyle and i dazzled them with fairly useless technology. My camera disappeared for a good two days and came back with photos of various children’s faces and animal behinds, showing that cheesy photos are inevitably universal.

While hostels are great for meeting like-minded travellers and selecting people to go for your next drink with, there is nothing quite like a home-stay with local people who can show you the region like no guidebook or hostel ever could. Plus, they cook the best food, hands down. If you have the opportunity to sample the hospitality of local people while travelling wherever you are throughout the world, i recommend it entirely. Most of my best travel memories are from home-stays such as this, and i can never get over how kind and generous people can be with both their time and good will. A good way to do this is the ever popular couch surfing, which is brilliant as long as you are prepared to reciprocate on the couch offer, or in more remote areas there are plenty of companies who can find you a willing family, or you may stumble across them on your wanderings! The choice is entirely yours.

Have you ever had the opportunity to stay with people in a foreign country? Good experiences, bad experiences, little bit of both? Personally, my worst experience was getting lost on the way to the toilet in the middle of the night and ending up in a rice field in the middle of nowhere with only a head torch to guide me. Not quite sure how i made it out of that one, but i seem to remember it took awhile. Had the mosquito bites to prove it. Never did find the toilet again, the family laughed so much they dug a new one closer to the house just for me, which wasn’t embarrassing at all, nope.

See you tomorrow!

Emily Jemma

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