travel

Cambodia- Angkor Wat

If you went to Cambodia and didn’t visit Angkor Wat did you really go to Cambodia? In prep for my trip to Cambodia I read a lot of blog posts about what to do and what not to do. And everyone agreed you had to see Angkor Wat. Located in Siem Reap it is about 6 hours from Phnom Penh.

Aside from Angkor Wat, there is plenty to do and see in Siem Reap and I encourage you to spend a few days in the city exploring both the temples and the city. You can buy a 3 day pass to Angkor Wat, we only did one day and hired a guide but that was because we were tight on time.

If you’ve never been and are interested in the history of the temples look into hiring guide. There are so many temples and places to explore a guide can be really helpful. But be sure to leave sometime to explore on your own, there were definitely a few moments when I felt a little rushed by the guide and wished we had more exploring time. If you do a three day pass you shouldn’t have that issue though!

Do your research ahead of time, ladies knees and shoulders must be covered to enter certain parts of the temples. This is a sacred place so please always remain respectful, I am probably the worst with ‘do it for the Insta’ but don’t climb up on areas where it says no climbing. Be respectful and remember that these temples are thousands of years old and we need to be responsible for preserving them for the next generation.

My favorite temple was the Bayon Temple, the temple of the happy Buddha faces! The artistry and craftsmanship preserved in this temple is breathtaking! There is also Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm. If you make the trip to Siem Reap make the most of it and see as many temples as possible!

In addition to touring the temples we visited the Siem Reap night market, where I paid to put my feet in a tank of fish and let them eat all the dead skin off my feet! Pros my feet have never been smoother and it only cost $2. Cons it felt super super weird! We had fun checking out the Siem Reap night life, I wished we had stayed a few more days because I definitely felt safer going out in Siem Reap than in Phnom Penh. Be smart, if you’re going to go out to bars and clubs go with a friend, never accept drinks from strangers, etc you know the deal. Traveling gives us the opportunity to get out of our comfort zone, take the opportunity to do things you would t do at home. Not only did I put my feet in a tank full of fish, I ate a cricket and a tarantula leg! So push yourself to try new things, I am a firm believer that you truly find out who you are in moments when you step out of your comfort zone.

Outfit details:

Pants- Lilly Pulitzer, Shoes- TOMS, t-shirt- Primark

travel

Cambodia – Volunteering Abroad

The past two weeks I have been in Cambodia. We did a lot of sightseeing and also a project with Habitat for Humanity. It has been an incredible experience. Right before my departure I was experiencing a lot of anxiety about the trip but I honestly can’t remember the last time I had so much fun and laughed so hard. This is my second time volunteering abroad and I wanted to answer some of the most asked questions and share some of the photos from the job site.

What program do you do this through?

The first time I volunteered abroad in Jamaica was with my church in high school. This most recent trip to Cambodia was a part of the ‘Alternative Break’ Program at my university. A lot of schools have these programs so if you are interested on doing service during your break I highly recommend looking into it. Check with your advisor to see if your school offers any type of short term (or long term if you want) volunteer opportunities. If your university doesn’t offer anytime of opportunity check out Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program.

Is it expensive?

This depends greatly on who you do the program with and where you go. Going to Asia was much more expensive than going to the Caribbean. My school did offer scholarships to help some students cover the cost of the program. And while the upfront cost was a bit high, at my school it included our flights and all our meals and accommodations. I think performing service abroad is a great opportunity and well worth the cost of traveling.

Are the projects hard?

Construction in developing nations is definitely more involved than what you might be familiar with in the US. Instead of having a truck to mix cement for us we hand mixed cement throughout the day. It is physically a lot of work, but they will not give you anything you can’t do. You are building a house that someone will live in after you leave so it needs to be done right so there are plenty of people to help you through, give direction, and make corrections as needed.

What if I don’t speak the language?

Habitat did provide translators and some of the local workers we were working with spoke english. It was great to interact with the local people and learn about their lives. I made some incredible friends who I will never forget! And thanks to social media you can continue to keep in touch!

Should I volunteer abroad?

Absolutely! I think this is a great way to push yourself outside your comfort zone and experience new things. I feel that I have grown so much as a person this past week.

Overall my trip to Cambodia has been amazing. I can’t wait to go back and explore even more of South East Asia!

lifestyle, style

Under the Tree

What are you hoping for under your tree this year? I spend a lot of time finding the perfect gift for everyone on my list. I love wrapping up gifts, when I was little my Dad used to take us to the store to pick something out for each of us to give to my Mom. When I was 7 he taught me how to wrap the presents. My Dad is a little OCD so they had to be wrapped perfectly! Today I still love wrapping presents, though it mostly happens on Christmas Eve the past couple of years.

This year I am super excited to have these Crab and Cleek totes (c/o) under my tree! There are so many different patterns you can find one for every person on your list! I love the Fair Isle Sweater tote!! What are you hoping for under your tree this year? Do you like wrapping presents as much as me?

lifestyle

Boston Winter

City Hall Plaza is in the Holiday spirit! Swing by and check out all the locally owned businesses, grab some hot chocolate or fried dough and go ice skating!

They did this event last year and I think it’s even better this year! There are so many great shops to check out and do all your Christmas shopping! Mostly boutique places so it can be a little pricey but if you are looking for a unique gift it is definitely a great place to look. I got my boyfriends gift at one of the shops and I can’t wait for him to open it.

lifestyle

Decking the Halls

Last week we put up our Christmas tree. This is the first year I really feel like it was my tree. In the past it’s been my family’s tree or my roommate’s tree. But this year I got all new ornaments, decided on tartan ribbon and clear lights. I am so happy with how that tree came out and all our holiday decor has the apartment looking very festive. My roommate got some holiday scented candles from Marshall’s that have just elevated everything to the next level!

We watched Four Christmases and drank prosecco while we decorated. These Tossware champagne flutes (c/o) are fantastic! They won’t break so even though we knocked our glasses over a few times through out the decorating process we did not need to clean up any broken glass! They are also stackable which in small Beacon Hill apartments anything that saves space is a win!

Have you all decorated your trees yet? Do you prefer to have a theme/ color scheme to your tree or is it just a free for all?