It’s been nearly a full year since we last set foot inside our home country. And while I can’t remember experiencing a single bout of homesickness during the past 342 days that we’ve been overseas, there are definitely things I miss about traveling in the U.S.
Some things in life are just too awesome to fully comprehend. And at Choeung Ek, an otherwise nondescript orchard a dusty 17 kilometer tuk-tuk drive outside of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, that statement holds true in the worst possible way imaginable.
Between 1975 and 1979 the Khmer Rouge regime under Pol Pot killed roughly two million people. The truth is, nobody really knows how many men, women, and children fill the roughly 20,000 mass graves that dot Cambodia’s landscape. Estimates range from a low of about 700,000 to over three million.
Words like atrocity and genocide are powerless to adequately describe the madness that is Cambodia’s Killing Fields.
Even touring a place like Choeung Ek, one of Cambodia’s most notorious execution camps, only offers the slightest glimpse of what transpired during those four unimaginable years of Khmer Rouge rule. And yet the magnitude of the horror at that single site is still impossible to behold.
And on travel blogs nobody knows your life isn’t an endless string of vacation days. Sometimes everyday life does intrude, even if we don’t share those aspects of our travels every single day.
Eventually someone will ask us, “What did you do in Cambodia?” I’m posting this by way of reply.