After moving abroad I started compiling monthly roundup posts about life as an expat in Southeast Asia and all the nitty gritty that goes on behind the scenes here at Travel Lush. Head here to read Month 10, Month 11, Month 12 & Month 13.
Let’s just get right down to it. The month of September was not the best month for me…for a lot of reasons. The majority of the last 30 days were defined by feelings of uncertainty. I had days when I loved living in Phnom Penh and days where I totally questioned my decision to move here. I had periods when I felt sheer excitement about my freelancing career and times when I felt utterly dejected.
Honestly, I was a mess last month. But now that it’s officially October I’m trying my best to stay positive and move forward. I’m excited for a new month and a fresh start. After experiencing so many highs and lows since moving to Phnom Penh, I’m ready to embrace the future…however uncertain it might be.
Living in Phnom Penh
- It is way too hot in Phnom Penh! I mentioned this in a previous post, but after two months I still haven’t adjusted to the heat in this city. I constantly feel like I’m overheating and I have no doubt that the heat has contributed to my lethargy and moodiness.
- I’ve completely fallen out of any sort of exercise routine since arriving here. The brutally hot days and monsoon-filled evenings have made jogging outside really unappealing. And a membership at the local gym costs a whopping $1500 a year! Not a price I’m able to pay at the moment. But I need to stop with the excuses. I realize though that the lack of exercise and feeling unhealthy is a large contributor to my mood. And it’s something I plan to work on this month.
- Construction noise drives me nuts but it seems like it’s inescapable in Phnom Penh. It’s going on everywhere, especially around my apartment. It starts as early as 4am and goes as late as 9pm. But the real kicker is you never know when it’s going to start or how long it’s going to last. It does however wake me up every day at obscenely early hours and the lack of regular sleep is kind of starting to take its toll.
- I’m happy to report that I do still love Phnom Penh despite the fact that I’ve experienced a flurry of lows during the past two months. I’ve still been having a great time exploring my new city and having all sorts of exciting experiences.
- Last month I went to a comedy show headlined by Stevo over at Two Can Travel (I have fellow travel bloggers living in Phnom Penh!), which provided a much-needed evening of laughter. I’ve also spent some time learning about a truly fascinating community located on Street 93. I am a huge fan of street art and there are some amazing pieces there! (I will be writing a full post about it because Street 93 is a must for anyone who is Phnom Penh bound.)
- Being able to cook using a full stove is like a dream come true. In Jakarta, Aaron and I basically only had two small burners to cook with. So having a full on oven in Phnom Penh is amazing. Being able to roast veggies and make homemade pizzas is awesome!
- I’ve also discovered that you can get pretty much have anything delivered for little to no extra money. I’ve had everything from falafel to pizza to Indian food brought to my door. Did I mention I need to start exercising again?
Aside from exploring my new hometown, I did have the opportunity to go to Bangkok a few weeks ago to visit an old college friend. I had such a blast meandering around the city’s sprawling markets, getting my drink on on Khao San Road and stuffing my face with Thai food. Yes, I might have gotten food poisoning in the process, but I had a great time regardless!
It was so great to be back in the city and I couldn’t be more excited to be heading back next week for TBEX!
I’ve been doing a bit of freelancing but this is still something I’m really struggling with. Similar to August, not having a steady income was the biggest source of stress for me last month. I did, however, get paid for a bunch of work I did during the summer. So getting a paycheck was a very welcome relief. I’m still going to keep plugging away at the freelancing thing and I’m really hoping that I have more positive news on this front next month!
I set goals for my blog in September and actually exceeded them! I really wanted to give my site a little boost before TBEX and while my blog is still tiny I feel a little bit better about pitching myself to brands and companies now.
I really have no idea what my blogging future looks like. I’m still under no illusions that this site will ever be a huge money maker. But I love blogging and I’m more excited than ever about attending TBEX! A lot of people say that this conference is just one big blogger party but I’m a total nerd, so I plan to take notes and ask lots of questions. And I’m really hoping to come away with some knowledge that I can apply to this blog and to my freelancing endeavors.
Most Popular Posts in September:
9 Fun & Weird Things to do in Jakarta – This is still by far my most popular post!
The 5 Best Beaches in Southeast Asia – Thanks to some social media shares, this post received a bunch of views last month!
What I Wrote in September:
Most Popular Instagram:
This is one of my favorite photos of the month too, so I’m glad you guys like it!
I have become slightly obsessed with this building since moving to Phnom Penh. It’s called the Tonle Bassac Commune. In old photographs it was once painted a pristine white. It’s now in disrepair, but it was built in the 1960s to house athletes for the Asian version of the Olympic Games. Because Phnom Penh is developing so rapidly there is currently all sorts of controversy surrounding the commune. Residents who have lived there for years are under a constant threat to relocate to new housing outside of the city center as there are plans to build a strip mall on the property. I’ve also heard that the Tonle Bassac Commune is home to some great artists so I’m determined to find out more about that!
Thanks to all of you who are following me on Instagram and if you’re not on the bandwagon already what are you waiting for?! You can find me at thetravellush!
How did your September shape up?