One of the reasons I love to travel so much is because I believe it is the best form of education. At least it has been for myself.
I'm not knocking down education because I believe it's truly important but I can hardly remember any of the information I read about in a text book, especially in history class. It's places like the ones in this episode below that have affected me the most. It's instances like going to Cambodia and learning about the Genocide, walking on peoples bones and clothes that were left in the killing fields and seeing a sign that says "killing tree against which executioners beat children".
It's moments like going to Poland and walking through Auschwitz, a concentration camp where more than 1 million innocent people lost their lives. My eyes seeing rooms filled with suitcases, baby clothes, and shoes that once belonged to people... those lessons will never be forgetten.
Those moments leave chills on my skin and bring tears to my eyes. The places I can feel the history and I know I will never forget.
I always saw beautiful photo's of Cambodia and it was one of the top 3 places I wanted to visit last year purely based on images.
When I arrived in Cambodia it was so much more than beautiful landscapes. I was in awe of the way people smiled and laughed when I wasn't even sure if some of them had a home or food to eat. I remember looking out the window on the bumpy bus ride as we drove to Siem Reap and embracing the way the locals live and how much love they have for one another. I remember thinking how grateful I am for being able to experience this country. How lucky I am to have the opportunity to be free, travel, and not have to worry if I'll be able to eat that day.
I had no idea about what I was about to see and the amount of history Cambodia has. I was walking through S21 (Tual Slend Genocide Museum) which was a former high school, where I first heard of the mass executions and torture led by Pol Pot between 1975 and 1979 where an estimated 1.5 -3 million people had their lives taken. A place where we saw photo's of the faces of the innocent prisoners at the high school and where I had the opportunity to meet one of the survivors.
What blew me away the most was how ignorant I was to all of this happening. It was only 40 years ago and this was the first time I had ever heard about the Cambodia Genocide.
If you're unfamiliar with it as well, I highly recommend watching our Global Degree episode (below) and seeing a glimpse of the beautiful Cambodia we experienced.
Loads of love, Natalia xx
f o r e i g n . g r a m m a r