Confession. We are at the point in our trip where we could use a travel agent, instead we have a group of 6th graders in New Mexico. Really…our budding young teen friends there selected this destination for us…without them, who knows if we would have made it?! During our road trip around the US, we visited Joshua’s Aunt and Uncle in Cloudcroft, New Mexico (population 749). Joshua’s cousin, Lydia, sent us an email once we were out of the country asking for postcards as her 5th/6th grade world history class was studying for the geography bee. We started sending regular postcards from our exotic destinations and maintained contact with the class through email. The students asked us a ton of questions about each place we had traveled. Ultimately, we decided to harness this enthusiasm and energy and put it to good use. We provided the class with a list of the next four countries we planned to travel to in SE Asia. We asked each student to determine the best things to see and do in each country and then vote as a class on the top 3 for each place. The recommendations were amazing. For example, in Cambodia the class wanted us to ride an elephant, but visiting Angkor Wat didn’t make the cut!
The best outcome from all this won’t be the sights we get to see, but what Mrs. Adams’ class learns about travel. From what she has told us, Mrs. Adams says the project has been inspiring. Many of the kids haven’t ventured out of New Mexico, let alone the US and now they are reading about and researching activities across the globe. They read our blog (I’m sorry I say shit so much!) and are saving clippings and articles about places they might want to go in the future. The project is giving these kids a great reason to see the world–because they can! In the end, I may not be more cultured from going to Fantasea (a theme park in Phuket)…although it will make Joshua so happy, but I feel extremely lucky to be encouraging these students to go someday.
So, we went to Sihanoukville to “go on a boat, snorkel and just chill” per our pen pals. We did it! We spent all day visiting three islands, snorkeling, trading travel stories with new American friends living in Korea and watching Koreans “dive” (looks a lot like falling) from the boat.
And, we only got a little sunburned! For me, that meant I looked like a zebra: only burns where I missed applying. Kids—wear sunscreen!
The beach in Sihanoukville was packed with party animals, ready to enjoy cheap beers and “happy pizza.” (which I am officially too OLD for)
Too much of that and travelers start to give us a bad name and do stuff like this!
We ate dinner at the same amazing Khmer restaurant all three nights because Joshua is so infatuated with fish amok that he can’t go without eating it twice a day. We will pick our next destination based on where we can take a cooking class so he can learn to make it for himself.