Traveling to many countries we would consider 3rd world, I am buoyed by the spirit and love for life that I see from people who live day-by-day. The people of Phnom Penh and Cambodia in general were some of the most optimistic and life-loving people I have ever met.
Walking around town, I was amazed at the relative ease in communicating with the locals, even though I only spoke at the very basic level of Cambodian (1-month crash course prior to my trip), and they had very limited – if any – English skills.
After graduating in the USA, I found work managing a bicycle & ski shop which allowed me to pursue two great loves: cycling and working on bicycles (skiing was a 3rd hobby, but clearly took a back seat to cycling). While walking the streets, I met two very energetic and busy guys who had a cycle repair shop on the streets and were very happy to try to explain their work/life/happiness in doing what they did in Phnom Penh. Generally they agreed that: “We are lucky, and we get to travel back home to see our families every year…”
Fulfillment does not come from the admiration of other, but with admiration of yourself. When you know when to stop & to love, the whole world belongs to you.
Look into your heart, and decide what is real and what is true. Know when to stop, reassess what is right and then follow your spirit.