I’ve Officially Become a Hippie.
If you’ve traveled any backpacker trail, you know the uniform: harem pants, bracelets galore, dreadlocks, souvenir t-shirts featuring local beers.
I swore that I would never look like that, never dress like that.
Then Cambodia happened.
It started on my first day. After visiting the Killing Fields, I bought a bracelet made of Cambodian wood with a silver bead on it. Wearing it on my wrist served as a reminder of how incredible the Khmer people are to have survived unspeakable tragedy.
The next day, I bought a krama — a giant checked multi-use scarf that virtually all Khmers wear. Mine was black and white.
And then I needed a few t-shirts, so I went to the market…and I saw some hippie pants for sale. Purple, wide-legged, layered and loose, with a bell-studded belt on top.
Yes, I swore I would never wear hippie pants, that they would look terrible on me…but I couldn’t resist.
I tried them on.
Turns out that hippie pants are one of the most comfortable things you could possibly wear. Ever. Flush with new infatuation, I immediately bought a second pair.
Then the items started adding up. An “I Love Cambodia” tank top. An Angkor Beer t-shirt. And when I got to Sihanoukville, all hell broke loose — I was suddenly covered in bracelet after bracelet.
On my wrist: the bracelet with the wooden beads, plus an armful of embroidered bracelets from Sihanoukville. If ever you see a backpacker with an armful of these, you know he or she spent some time on the beach in Snooky, getting talked into wearing more and more of them by the most adorable kid vendors!
On my feet: dirt from visiting the temples of Angkor, a purple pedicure from the beach in Sihanoukville, sandals bought out of necessity in Siem Reap — and ANKLETS. When was the last time you saw someone wear an anklet?
Makeup? Ever since I lost my eyeliner, I haven’t bothered, really. Earrings? Haven’t worn a single pair since Ao Nang — the first time.
And the strangest thing is that I actually really like this look. A lot.
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?!
Cambodia, you’ve turned me into a total hippie. I promise I won’t start growing dreadlocks or give up my razor. Now, THAT would be serious.