As the sun rises over the lush jungles of Mondulkiri Province, I find myself in a state of profound gratitude. Living here in Cambodia with my wife, far from the hustle and bustle of city life, has taught me the power of appreciating the simple things in life. Every morning, we wake up to the symphony of nature - the chirping of birds, the rustling of leaves, and the distant roar of a waterfall. The air is fresh, filled with the scent of damp earth and blooming flowers. As I sip my homemade grown coffee, I can't help but feel a deep sense of thankfulness for this opportunity to experience life in its purest form.
Living abroad has its challenges, no doubt. There are language barriers to overcome, cultural nuances to understand, and homesickness to deal with. But it's in overcoming these challenges that I've realized the importance of gratitude. It's easy to focus on what's missing or what's different. But when you start appreciating what you have and where you are, your perspective changes.
I've learned to be grateful for the smiles of our Cambodian neighbors, their kindness transcending any language barrier. I'm thankful for the opportunity to learn about their rich culture and history, which they share with us enthusiastically. And, I'm especially grateful for the serene beauty of Mondulkiri - its rolling hills, dense forests, and spectacular waterfalls.
My wife and I have made it a habit to end each day by sharing three things we're grateful for. It could be as simple as a delicious Cambodian meal we had, a beautiful bird we spotted during our hike, or a meaningful conversation with a local. This small act has made us more mindful and appreciative of our experiences here.
Gratitude has also helped us deal with difficult times. When things don't go as planned - like that time when we got lost during a trek or when we struggled to communicate our needs - we've learned to laugh it off and be thankful for the adventure and the stories we'll tell.
Living in Cambodia has taught me that gratitude isn't just about being thankful for what's good. It's about finding the good in everything. It's about changing our perspective from 'have to' to 'get to'. We don't 'have to' live here; we 'get to' live here.
So here I am, thousands of miles away from where I was born, living in a jungle in Cambodia with my wife. And I am grateful for this journey, for these experiences, and for this opportunity to grow because, no matter where you are in the world, whether in a bustling city or a quiet jungle, there is always something to be thankful for. Living in the heart of the Cambodian jungle, we've found a rhythm in the ebb and flow of nature. We've learned to respect the land and its inhabitants, understanding that we are guests in their home. This realization has instilled in us a deep sense of gratitude for the natural world and our place within it.
Our days are filled with exploration and discovery. Each trek through the dense foliage brings with it new sights, sounds, and experiences. We've spotted rare birds, encountered curious monkeys, and marveled at the intricate beauty of exotic plants. Each of these encounters serves as a reminder of the diversity and richness of life on this planet, further fueling our gratitude.
The local community has welcomed us with open arms, sharing their customs, traditions, and way of life with us. We've been invited to local festivals, participated in traditional ceremonies, and even learned to cook local delicacies. These experiences have enriched our lives in ways we could never have imagined, teaching us to appreciate the beauty in diversity and cultural exchange.
As we continue our journey in Cambodia, we carry with us a heart full of gratitude. We're grateful for each sunrise that paints the sky with hues of orange and pink, each rainfall that breathes life into the jungle, and each nightfall that blankets the land in tranquility. But most importantly, we're grateful for each other, for the love and companionship that makes this journey truly worthwhile. So here we are, living a life less ordinary in the jungles of Cambodia. And as each day passes, our understanding of gratitude deepens. It's more than just a feeling, it's a way of life. And it's this power of gratitude that makes our journey abroad not just an adventure, but a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.
Original story (created by me) published on Medium.com. Any changes and/or updates that have been added on Vocal.media are for content consumption purposes.
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About the Creator
A traveler in search of lost and hidden treasures. I have assembled a lifelong learning of being in the business world and decided to take a leap to see what is outside the confines of brick and mortar and left the 9 to 5 behind.