Little Being, Big World is an on-going series by writer, Sidney Henne. Follow Sid as she travels SE Asia in search of culture, adventure, inspiration, and beauty. Throughout her journey, Sidney will also be taking the generous product samples from brands like Arbor, Kind, Reef, Columbia, Cyc Fitness, and Wishful Thinking Foundation and making donations to charities as part of the 141 Initiative.
Read Sidney’s story here and follow her on IG: @IamSidtheKid
Learn about the 141 Initiative here and follow them on IG: @141Initiative
T-3 hours until takeoff. I bought the Lonely Planet 4 months ago. Started reading it maybe 2 months ago. Have spent a lot of time reading and dreaming, but not so much time planning. All I have booked is 3 nights of a hotel in Bangkok and a flight to Siem Reap. There is a method to the madness of this trip – however little.
Now is the right time of year – because though it’s high season (and my R/T ticket far too expensive) – I maximize my vacation time. Ad agencies generally close between Christmas and New Year’s – so with just 7 PTO days I’m away for 3 weeks, end to end. Now is also the right time in my life – because your mid 20s can be hard. Few years out of college so you’re rethinking your career interests. Probably in or out of a some relationship, so you’re reconsidering what’s important to you in a partner. Maybe some friends are moving – what city is best for me? Maybe some family changes – what’s my role? Yeah, maybe I’m projecting. All this and more going through MY already hyperanalytical brain. Simply put, I needed physical space between me and my life. And I firmly believe that brain space is finite – spend too much time overthinking and you won’t have any brain space left to think about creative things, to stretch your thoughts, to think deeply and introspectively. That’s my super scientific argument for needing a mental vacation. BOOM.
Because I’ve never done it. I have this vague memory of flying UM (Unaccompanied Minor) at age 12 from the States to Germany to visit my grandparents. But they picked me up at the airport in Frankfurt and we went and got Schnitzel. So, that doesn’t count. I’ve traveled extensively throughout Europe, and been to countries in South America, Africa, and Asia before – but never alone. I want to be comfortable without a day-by-day itinerary (I’m an ENFJ in the Myers-Briggs Personality Test – if you know anything about it, you’ll know how hard it is for me not to plan this trip out minute-by-minute). I want to be out of my comfort zone, I want to not speak the language or some derivative of it. I want culture shock so I have to dig deep and be really self-reliant. #deep #butreally
Why Southeast Asia?
Because of FOMO?! Guilty. And also because my friend Tess went after college, with the intention of staying for 3 months, but didn’t come back to the States for 18. So – to my bosses at the agency – if I don’t come back – blame Tess. She lives in California. You can find her on Facebook or something.
Why the Goodwill Centre in Sihanoukville, Cambodia?
Ben (Founder, 141 Initiative) and I talked about 141 at a Knicks game (thanks to Ben’s friend Eric – the seats were dope!). Also the Knicks won. They haven’t won many home games (or games at all this season) so you can probably figure out which game it was. Anyway, I wanted to get involved right away. My family’s donated clothes twice a year, my whole life. We’ve traveled, my whole life. 141 was a way for me to marry these two passions – and give back to the global communities from which I take so much.
I picked PLF because – I’ve just always loved kids. A mom big sister to two boys, I’ve always been maternal. Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you I’m that insane friend who’s 26 and wants an army of children tomorrow. OK – maybe not tomorrow, but like, in the next year. Or 10. I’m definitely not ready for kids.
Joking aside, kids are the future. In childhood, their opinions, their behaviors, their self-esteem, and their dispositions are shaped. They learn the fastest and the best. If they don’t have proper access to education and basic needs – food, clothing, water, and shelter – how can we expect them to develop to their full potential? In order to create the next generation of smart, capable beings that will push the boundaries of human intellect, compassion, science… we need to arm them with basic needs, now. And that’s what The Goodwill Center is doing in Siem Reap. (To read more about the Goodwill Center, visit https://goodwillcentersihanoukville.wordpress.com.)
All that said – I really don’t have anything booked past Siem Reap. So – taking suggestions.