Christmas Day in Battambang

Its Christmas morning here in Cambodia. I’m spending the morning in the hotel room watching BBC News and planning out the next few days here which is all I have left. Christmas here has restaurants with buffet lunches and dinners and there are decorations out in the shopping centers with Christmas trees up. Many of the coffee shops are dressed up too with decorations.

I’ve been thinking a bit about the last year in retrospect and all the things which have come about and the things to come in 2019. In some ways it seems like a dream after waiting so many years to have it happen. Back in 2009, life did not seem so good and it took 9 years to get through the bad times to reach the good. Now with a simpler life, blessed with few possessions, no debt, no credit cards, no car and a life spent slowly on vagabonding; I’ve reached a goal of sorts. I think I’ve found the method that I looked for so many years and when I used to travel to Asia, I would want desperately. 

Of course its all different after the intervening years but the nicest thing I have to admit is not working this holiday. For the last two I had large projects which seemed to occur over the holidays and be due right after so it meant long work days. Last year or year before I sat outside a convenience store in Mountain View on a WebEx call right before Christmas and worked up until the day itself on some emergency stuff for the project that had to get done. Its something to put all that down and realize truly that a year has gone by without working and I am so thankful for that.

Another thing I am quite grateful for is figuring out how to do this and then making it happen. It is not such a complex endeavor to leave forever it seems in retrospect but leading up to it was something in January and February this year. I had felt that the time would come but it seemed almost a fantasy when it did. To actually leave with a backpack and knowing that I was leaving a clean slate behind has meant the difference to me.

Perhaps when I look back at year’s end this year it will come to me what a wonderful, unique, and sometimes challenging thing this is to wander the world as I want. There’s always a story to be told of a thing I think. A tale or two which have escaped and not been related and after blogging and doing retrospectives in the blog many times, this year is no different. I’ll not be in the United States to celebrate Christmas as I used to do with my daughter and son but as the time has gone on I’ve learned that we all change and the things we hold or that are dear to us change too. 

I also kinda think back to work colleagues of the past, friends still there and some gone and I am thankful even more for what I have and have been able to do the last year. Some have told me that they could not do this because of fear as they retire. I understand that because I felt the same fears but I also knew if I did not take this on, do the thing I wanted for so long, that life would simply slip by and I would find myself sitting in some McDonalds eating a breakfast sandwich wondering where it all had gone.

So as the year comes up and Christmas comes and goes, I do think of my kids a lot. They are always there but the reality changes and both of them take on life completely differently now. Both are unique and special and I hope they have the best of holidays but I want them to know we all have the dreams and dreams are not limited to youth. Everyone finds a dream they wish to take on. It may be risky or challenging and it may take awhile but without them we are less.

So Merry Christmas to you all wherever you may be. Have a wonderful holiday and look at the things in your life and see where they meet. Don’t forget your dreams and ideas. I never did.

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.