So I've just left one of the most awe inspiring places on this Earth. I've seen the Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, Mayan Ruins, Temples in Bali.... But nothing compares to Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom.
There are some places far away that you hear about, but never really consider booking a flight. For me, Cambodia was one of those place.
But one day, I just booked a ticket. This was one of the most random but most rewarding decisions of my life. I didn't do any research beforehand. I had no itinerary, no game plan and few expectations. But if I had any expectations... they were blown completely out of the water.
I could attempt to describe the type of feelings that you get when you walk into a place like Angkor Wat... but that would be pointless. There are some feelings that can't be expressed with words. There are some magical places in this world that can't be adequately captured on film.
When I traveled to Cambodia the first time, throngs of Monks had descending on the city. Everywhere you looked, you saw a monk... here a monk, there a monk... everywhere a MONK a MONK!!! They were visiting the temples to take large donations to sustain themselves. Monks don't work, everything that they receive is from the charity of others. It's beautiful to see the nuns lining up to place offerings in the Monks baskets.
I also learned that according to Cambodian tradition, before a man could take a wife... he had to spend time studying as a monk. As a Monk, he would learn how to be a good husband; how to raise a family and how to be an overall positive addition to his community. Being a monk in Cambodia does not have to be a permanent decision. Studying as a Monk is a way to better oneself and the people around you. What you put in, is exactly what you get out. If you do good, you'll receive goodness. If you behave badly, then bad things will befall you. If you do nothing.... welp, you get nada!