Things I Miss and Appreciate when in South East Asia

I’m into my third week of volunteering Cambodia and it’s been a fantastic time so far – I’m in a great volunteer house with a fantastic bunch of other volunteers. I also feel like I’m making a useful (albeit small) difference to the NGO that I am working with.

But I’m definitely starting to miss the little things back home. Don’t get me wrong – this is a beautiful place in the world, and I will most definitely be back. But after a short while of volunteering in a country you have never been to before you really start to appreciate things back home… Here my top 10 things I am missing and appreciate back home…

The busy streets filled with tuk-tuks and motos

1. My Shower

I mean a real shower. Not a small shower head over the toilet seat. And I would love the pressure of my shower back home. Oh and also knowing you’re not going to get tinea from your shower is also a plus!

2. Being able to flush your toilet paper

I find it gross that you can’t flush your toilet paper (it blocks the toilet system) and instead you have to either take it with you or put it in a bin. Yuck!

3. My own currency

And not being charged $8 to convert it to USD, which then isn’t accepted because they can’t give me change from $20, or because the money looks dirty. Also, it’s so strange that in Cambodia they give you their own currency as change from US dollars… Eventually all those random notes add up to a very small amount…

4. Makeup staying on my face

The humidity in South East Asia means that it often slides off within minutes of putting it on. While it’s nice looking natural, I just want to look pretty sometimes!

5. Gluten free food

Asian food is great, but I would love to find some gluten free bread somewhere. Pretty sure “gluten-free” is a phrase that doesn’t exist in South East Asia!

6. My Hair Straightener

Yes, My vanity is clearly showing here… I didn’t bring my straightener because there’s no point when it’s humid all the time and my hair would just go frizzy if I straighten it. Plus it’s too bulky to pack.

South East Asia makeup and hair

Humidity = natural hair and makeup

7. My bed

Everyone would agree with this one after travelling – coming home to sleep in your own bed is the best feeling! (Right after having a shower in your own shower)

8. Air conditioning

It’s nice that our host family gave us 2 fans for our bedroom, but I am struggling to cool down, especially at night.

9. A good nights sleep

The heat and not sleeping in my own bed is making it hard to sleep. I feel like I need a nap every day just to keep up!

10. Not being approached in the street

In Cambodia it’s often a mixture between tuk tuk drivers asking if you want a tuk tuk ride as soon as you step onto the street, market stall owners trying to get you to buy a cliche souvenir by shoving it in your face, or street beggars running up to you for money. I know that Cambodia is a tourism driven country, but I don’t think I was prepared for how bad it would be with being approached on the street.

What are your thoughts? Are there certain things you miss when in South East Asia or when travelling? Leave your thoughts in the comments section!

Bye for now,

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All opinions in this post are my own. Unless otherwise stated, this post has not been sponsored and I have not been paid for this post

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