Meet Sopheap. He runs a successful bicycling tour company in Battambong and is honored with a #1 rating on Trip Advisor. He says this is only his first step. Some day he will be prime minister.
One evening, we're throwing around ideas for fun. He can't expand his business by simply adding more bicycles. What about a campfire for tourists? Roasted fish and mango sauce, cricket concerts, star watches, Khmer ghost stories!
By the next morning (early) he'd made a logo, figured out a balance sheet and made plans on how to get tourist traffic. He cleared the land, bought gravel, built and painted tables and didn't forget to buy fish. After a few days we had the greatest campfire party in Battambang. It was such a success that he posted online (instant likes) and designated his smartest female staff to head the new branch business.
Why is he doing business? It's the experience, he says. His plan is to become the leader of an opposition party in Cambodia in 15 years. As a student, he was told by a teacher that to be a political leader, you must make sure everyone likes you. That was not the last lesson he disagreed with. So there you have it! Cambodian Campfire.
With so many burdens in modern life, I don't know why I would want to shoulder anything more than one bag. This is it. I do it out of necessity. I like to be able to pack in 60 seconds because I'll be living in guesthouses and hotels for the next few months. Actually, I've been living in guesthouses and hotels for the last ten years. I lost count and haven't washed and changed sheets in years.
But it's not like I call myself something fancy like a minimalist or something. Another label, another lifestyle, another burden. Look it up. "Thirty steps on how to be a minimalist". I read about someone who always had clothes ready at the cleaners on the way to work to save closet space. Anyway, with a smart phone, why would you need anything else at all? I don't have a smart phone.
It's hard to part with a good pair of sandals after they've served so well for so long. I'd noticed pain on the bottom of my foot at times, but it wasn't until way later that I realized there was a hole. I bought these years ago because they were the cheapest and ugliest things I could find. I was having trouble with a generic pair that kept getting traded for other ones which were usually smelly downgrades. You see, you leave them at the entrance and try to find them when exiting. These lovely ugly things were very loyal and were never abducted.
Along with the innovations of the wheel, the rocket and astro body transferring was the shoe. A slab of animal skin or woven grass enabled people to cover more territory more quickly and less painfully. In my work, this is a concern. If I were a wage worker, there would be weekends, but working for development means things must move forward. Honestly, my sandals are great support.
Then one day in Battambang, Cambodia I found the reason to say goodbye to the plastic reptile sandals. Beautiful black sandals made from recycled tubes and tires. Comfortable, strong and the added plus is the traction on the bottom. Not looking back.