Southeast Asia Update #3 [Cambodia to Vietnam]

Previous: Southeast Asia Update #2

My previous post was written while Madison and I were already on another Giant Ibis bus to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. That previous post, however, only covered our journey up until the end of Siem Reap, Cambodia. This current post will cover the brief time we spent in both Phnom Penh and Saigon.

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Southeast Asia Update #2 [Siem Reap, Cambodia]

Previous: Southeast Asia Update #1

Wow. If there was one thing I was not expecting, it was how much I would enjoy Cambodia. After an eight-hour bus ride from Bangkok, we finally made it to Siem Reap, Cambodia on Sunday, October 21st.

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Southeast Asia Update #1 [Bangkok, Thailand]

Previous: Preparing For Southeast Asia

After months of planning, and 22 hours of travel, we finally arrived at our first Southeast Asian (SEA) destination: Bangkok, Thailand! The plan was to stay in Bangkok for four days, then take a bus to Cambodia. We plan on going back to Thailand towards the end of our backpacking loop.

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Preparing For Southeast Asia

Sometime back in early Spring, my girlfriend Madison and I decided it was time for the out-of-country trip we’ve always talked about. One night we spontaneously bought tickets to Southeast Asia (SEA) for two and a half months after seeing a big price drop in airline tickets. This happened about six months ago, so while it was exciting at the time, the reality of our decision hadn’t quite hit us yet. Fast-forward six months later and it suddenly feels very real. We are a little less than one month away from our departure date and it’s starting to feel like crunch time. Many aspects of our plan have already been accomplished, and at this point we’re just playing the waiting game and taking care of whatever last minute things we can think of. The lease on our apartment has ended and we are staying at Madison’s mom’s house for the next few weeks until our departure. We’ve both quit our jobs and are now using our abundant free time for preparation and stress-relieving leisure.

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A Return to Nature Through Technology

Determining what is considered “natural” is important in solving many ethical dilemmas we face today, namely those surrounding urbanization and technology. We constantly hear talk of how unnatural and cancerous human civilization is, or that we as humans need to “return to nature.” New techniques in medical and biological sciences, like with genetic engineering, commonly illicit negative responses from people claiming them to go against nature. Likewise, urbanization is slowly eradicating forest land via deforestation and city expansion; wild animals are seen roaming urban landscapes as they try adapting to new homes. Industry lays concrete over green fields and carves out mountains for the purpose of resource gathering. Some may wonder if one day the entire planet will be covered in concrete and metal, like the fictional world of Trantor in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. Humans also tend¬†to¬†engineer synthetic chemicals that will sometimes pollute our air and poison our drinking water.

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