Cambodia: First You'll Love It and Eventually It'll Break Your Heart

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Be careful because Cambodia is the most dangerous place you will ever visit. You will fall in love with it, and eventually it will break your heart...
— -Joseph Mussomeli, former US Ambassador to Cambodia
 

There is no truer sentiment. For me, travel isn't about beaches and margaritas, or doing it for the 'gram. There's always a reason behind my visits to the destinations I choose. Regarding Cambodia, I found a special affinity for its people through readings and research of its dark history. In recent memory and within the span of 3.5 years (1975 - 1979), an estimated 3 million Cambodians were tortured and killed--killed if they wore glasses, killed if they "looked" smart, kilked if they spoke another language, killed based on occupation, killed for being a baby....killed to be killed.

I felt emotionally taxed by Cambodia before I ever arrived--a notable first for me.  Joseph Mussomeli was right.  I fell in love with Cambodia but so quickly wanted to run away from all that it was.