When the pandemic broke out in 2020, I was in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The world started to collapse on its own, borders shut down, countries locked down… and I found myself stranded in Cambodia for five long months.
Was it hard? Was it scary? Being in an undeveloped foreign country while a pandemic is raging worldwide. What if I get sick too? Would they have the infrastructure to handle it? Should I try to go back home?
The truth is: it was amazing! The best place where to be stuck in the world at that moment in history. It felt like living on a different planet. While Italy had been in quarantine for two months, in Cambodia it was as if the virus had completely died out. I had the opportunity of experiencing Cambodia like no one before.
The famous thousand-year-old temples of Angkor, which attract millions of tourists from all over the world every year, were almost empty. I was able to visit them with absolutely no crowds of tourists around. I had them all to myself.
And then I met Sina. A brave Cambodian woman with an enormous heart, but a dark and rebellious side. She became my symbolic local guide on my journey to discover a mysterious, rural, controversial, and magical culture.
I wrote everything about my Cambodian adventure in a book I just published: My Cambodia.
It’s not a travel guide. It’s more like a novel, a story. The story of Sina, her scars, her visions, and her struggles in a culture that doesn’t accept her and that she rejects too. But the meeting between Sina and me would change things.
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