Farewell, Flip Flops

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Me and my flip flops in happier times at Halong Bay.

My travel partners can tell you that I do not lose things. They know this because whenever I misplace something as insignificant as my powder compact or a tube of moisturizer, I proclaim: “I don’t lose things!” Then I find the missing object five minutes later.

I am neat. I am tidy. I am careful. I can tell you about all the things I’ve lost in my life because it so rarely happens. I still wonder what happened to the navy windbreaker that went AWOL in 3rd grade.

I’m proud to say that after more than 50 days on the road, I haven’t lost anything. But something went missing today, and it wasn’t my fault–my black flip flops were stolen.

I’m staying at a friendly guesthouse in Siem Reap where you must leave your shoes outside the building. I left them on the rack last night after returning from the rooftop pub. I don’t know what the size 8 hooligan saw in my $2 black Old Navy flip flops which at this point were covered in mud, but apparently it was enough to thoughtlessly snatch them.

They really weren’t much to look at. But they were easy. They were foamy and comfy enough. They reminded me of college. It’s not worth embracing vanity while backpacking. I’ve embraced no make-up, baggy pants, and my flip flops instead. Now they’re gone. What the hell am I supposed to wear in the shower now?

Enjoy my crappy shoes, jerkface. Wherever you are. Every time you flip or flop, imagine me flipping you something else entirely.

The Angkor Workout

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What if I told you that you could get in top shape for only the cost of a $20 day pass (and the negotiable rate of a tuk tuk driver) at one of the world’s most stunning historical attractions?

Set your alarm for 4:30am, prepare yourself for a beautiful sunrise at the eighth wonder of the world, and get ready to feel the burn!

WARM UP YOUR BODY PRE-WORKOUT by raising your arms above your head over and over again in an attempt to get one photo without hundreds of other tourists in it. Stretching is an important component in beginning any exercise routine!

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The masses lined up to capture the sunrise.

IMPROVE AGILITY by constantly being in the way of other peoples’ picture taking no matter where you stand. Carelessly photobombing the girl who needs the perfect shot of herself jumping in front of a temple or forming a heart with her hands won’t help you lose those love handles–repeatedly ducking out of everyone else’s future Facebook profile pictures will.

TONE YOUR GLUTES AND THIGHS as you climb the hundreds of steep, slender steps to the tops of ancient structures wearing inadequate footwear.

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WORK IN SOME CARDIO when you are unable to locate your tuk tuk driver and walk around in circles looking for Mr. Tiger.

SWEAT THE POUNDS OFF because you wore long pants and a long sleeved shirt in 90 degree heat. You were under the impression that it common knowledge to cover up as a sign of respect at the sacred temple complex. Marvel at the tourists who wore short shorts and tank tops that featured poetic text like “Love? I Prefer Vodka.” You may be uncomfortable, but following the rules means you’ll be dropping weight in no time.

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If you can’t make it to Cambodia, no problem! The Angkor Workout can easily adapt to the conditions of numerous other locations. Try it for yourself at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India; Machu Picchu in the Cusco region of Peru; the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France; and more!

The Angkor Workout: because your body is a temple, too.

Fantasy Island?

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Anything That Can Koh Rong Will Koh Rong

While my travel buddy Ann dealt with an actual fever, I battled island fever. Koh Rong is my first proper island. I love beaches so I figured I’d love this place and indeed, I fell hard and fast. It’s difficult not to. See?

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This was the first time I’ve swam in such crystal clear waters surrounded by palm trees and funky bungalows. The locals are friendly and there are even friendlier cats and dogs everywhere. I was so smitten that I pretty much immediately inquired about an open waitressing job at one of the funky bungalow’s restaurants. I was offered the gig. Could I sign on for at least a month here? What could possibly Koh Rong?

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Cities and Villages

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Phnom Penh was a fine entry to Cambodia. I had my first tuk tuk ride. Visiting the Killing Fields and S21 helped me learn about the beautiful country’s tragic past. The Royal Palace was gorgeous. I was less so, as I had to cover up but was wearing the short romper I had made in Hoi An. Luckily, I had purchased another pair of “elephant pants” at the Central Market that morning and simply put them on over my outfit. Please enjoy the clashing patterns.

Royal Palace

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Cambodge

I’ve been in Cambodia for just over a week and I’ve seen a lot already! I’m currently on an island (the fantastic Koh Rong) with zero to limited WiFi, so no photos just yet. This is a mere note to say I’m enjoying the country quite a lot thus far. Also, I may or may not be under the influence of three glasses of house wine from the sole Italian restaurant on the island, whose gnocchi, I might add, are LEGIT. La Mami, thank you for existing here for whatever reason.

Good night, friends and family!