And so it goes.
At 8:40 in the morning I was touching down in Frankfurt, 18 hours after leaving Cambodia.
I walked out of the plane to a grey, rainy Frankfurt. All of a sudden there were 30 degrees less than what I was used to the past 2 months. Orderly traffic. Clean streets. No loud music. No motorbikes riding in all directions. The ATM is spitting out euros instead of dollars. Nobody is waving or smiling at me. I felt the world spinning for a second before I got a hold of myself.
Three days later, I'm still freezing everywhere, even at home. I'm drowned in my warmest hoodie. The flowers on my balcony were decimated by a winter I didn't see.
The hardest thing now is first encounters. Everyone is asking me: "How was it?? Tell me everything". And all I can do is smile and mumble something like: "...great". I feel numb and I truly don't know how to explain what I saw, what I experienced. The cold that hit me in the face when I returned is nothing compared to the shock of not being able to communicate. Maybe next week, next month, next year, I will be able to talk about it.
So many times, while I was away, I've found myself thinking what was I doing there, if my help was any worth, if I would change anything or if it would only change me. I think now I can, at least, answer the latter. The privilege of distance is clairvoyance.
Cambodia is a magical country, that grows roots under your feet the day you step on it. Eleven thousand miles away, I still have Cambodia under my skin.
And if there's one thing it taught me, is to be grateful. To smile more often, to laugh a lot, to keep hoping. Life will put on your way a million rocks. Collect them, build a castle. Forgive. Forgive yourself too, if you must. Learn to talk about yourself. Learn to talk to others. Remember words are the most powerful legacy - use them wisely. Be kind. Be mature enough to hear a no. Be strong enough to say no yourself. Let go. Invite a friend for wine. Jump in a pool at night.
Keep no sorrows.
Life is too short to be small.
(ps- the show will go on from Frankfurt; the pictures are from my last week in Cambodia. Stay tuned.)
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