Travelling with your boyfriend/girlfriend/close friend or family member is great; you’re totally comfortable around one another, you know each other so well and you’ll more than likely have lots in common. I know for certain I would not be enjoying my travels half as much if I was traveling alone/without Mat, and not only because he’s incredible at planning/directions!
Whilst there are so many positives to traveling with another, to spend every waking minute with one person is intense and totally unnatural, it’s nothing that anyone’s used to. Even if you live with someone back home, you have your own jobs or hobbies and you both spend your time during the day/evenings in different ways. For myself and Mat especially, we both like our own time to do our own thing, whether that’s just an hour or so watching something on Netflix or Mat reading his book and me writing a blog post (or scrolling through Instagram, much to mats dismay). We’ve learnt whilst we’ve been away that time to yourself is absolutely crucial to keep things happy and amicable. Whilst me and Mat love spending time together, we both like our own company, I like taking myself to my bunk and being alone for a little while, and Mats the same. It’s good that we don’t feel like we need to hide that or pretend that we have to be together 24/7… especially for such a long trip. Don’t be afraid to say ‘ hey, I just need some quiet time to myself for a couple hours’, otherwise you’ll sacrifice your happiness and end up snapping at the other person out of frustration because of a lack of time to yourself, which no one wants!
We’ve both done different activities and gone our separate ways for the afternoon or morning and then when you come back together you’re refreshed, ready to be in company again and also looking forward to being reunited again!
The other day I did just that, I knew that I was feeling a bit run down and tired and in dire need of some unwinding! Mat likes to go from one thing to another, with an itinerary for the day ahead, which is great, but tiring! I’d researched some things to do in the town we were about to visit, Kampot, Cambodia; and I’d found a women’s spa, called Banteay Srey. It’s an all women’s spa that’s dedicated to helping Cambodian women who have come from difficult circumstances, to provide them with training, education and well paid jobs that they would have otherwise had no access too. They run a spa, yoga classes and a vegan cafe (my perfect day right there!) – the prices are great and the treatments are even better. You can read more about the spa and their treatments here; http://banteaysreyproject.org
After seeing the price list, I decided to go for 4 treatments. I’m never one to take myself to the spa, I’d never been to a spa until Mats mum Julie took me and Sophie for her birthday and we’ve been a couple times after that for special occasions. It’s always such an amazing experience and I leave feeling so relaxed and happy! I decided to go for a full body massage, an organic facial, and a manicure and pedicure…all of which came to $47 (£36). You get to enjoy an amazing afternoon of unwinding by the beautiful river, with complimentary tea, all whilst contributing to the education of young women.
Every treatment was amazing, especially the facial. They use all organic ingredients like fresh mint for a steam, cucumber for hydration, papaya as a face mask…I could go on. You could spend the whole day at the spa, and have lots of treatments, food and exercise! You can start your day with yoga at 9:30 am, enjoy treatments and relaxing by the river all day and then take part in the 4:30 yoga and then head home.
I felt so great after a few hours to myself to unwind and do nothing but relax, I’m super happy I was able to take that time out…I look forward to the next spa day!
So from this blog I wanted to send out two messages; the first being that if you ever find yourself in the Kampot area, and you are a woman, please visit the spa, you will not regret it! The second message was that if you find yourself spending an extended period of time with just one person, don’t be afraid to express your need for some time to yourself, it will really enhance your trip and keep everything honky dory!
Until next time,