Earlier this year I was featured on the Simon Said Blog, where I talked about one my favorite trips of 2017—exploring beautiful Cambodia and how to look cute while temple hopping in 100 degree weather. See below for the interview; for the original article visit Simon Said.
No doubt your upcoming summer getaways have you wistfully wiling the hours away scrolling through the endless feed of bloggers’ enviable travel photos on Instagram. Even if your summer vacations aren’t as far-flung and exotic as those sending your wanderlust into hyperdrive, there’s plenty of inspiration to be gleaned from your hours of double-tapping otherworldly landscapes and unbelievable selfies. We caught up with one of our favorite roaming aesthetes, Wendy Hu of Nomadic Fare, to share a few of her favorite snaps from her recent trip to Cambodia and answer our burning questions about her magical getaway. Unsurprisingly, Hu picked up some style inspiration from the trip and has hand-selected her top Simon products to integrate into her life.
What initially drew you to travel your way through Cambodia?
After being in Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines, where there was one gorgeous natural wonder after another, I wanted a change of scene. Cambodia was a great fit because of its rich history, culture, and architecture. I didn’t know much about the country, except that there are many impressive temples around Angkor and pretty beaches in the South.
Cambodia looks like a beautifully lush and colorful place! How has the vibrancy inspired your style?
Cambodia’s rich, earth tones seem to permeate throughout everything — from Angkor’s stone ruins to the red dirt in the villages to the green lotus flower leaves and the strong, ever-glowing sun. Using this natural palette as my main style inspiration, I also took into account the intricate patterns and naturally-distressed finishes.
What was the most pleasantly surprising part of your trip?
How friendly everyone was! This was wonderful because my favorite part of travel is connecting with locals and seeing how they live. One of my most memorable days was going to the countryside and hanging out with kids in a local village. All they wanted to do was joke around and hold hands! For a country that lost ⅕ of its population not even 50 years ago, these kids infuse hope back into broken families and lives.
What are your top tips for anyone traveling to Cambodia?
Spend a day or two in the temples, then venture to the countryside — there you can see how most of the country lives, and feel like you’ve gone back in time. Definitely visit salt farms (seen above) and pepper plantations near Kampot, eat crab BBQ in Kep, and relax on Koh Rong Island. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn about Cambodia’s rich history — this is most easily done by chatting with your tour guide or driver. Consider volunteering with a local NGO for a day and seeing life from a different perspective. There are so many stories waiting to be told, and they’re just looking for a global community willing to listen.
What are your top three packing essentials you recommend for traveling to Cambodia?
By 7am, the sun is scorching hot in Cambodia, so I definitely recommend bringing sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat, which also comes in handy for those cute Instagrams. There isn’t much shade in the temples so most people go back to their hotel pools midday to avoid getting sunburnt. Comfortable sandals are also a necessity since there’s a good amount of walking to be done in the temples and while traveling around.
What inspires your sense of wanderlust?
When I first started traveling, my wanderlust came from wanting to share the natural beauty of our world, while inspiring others to pursue their dreams. Yet the more I travel, the more I sense a need for giving a voice to those who don’t have one, especially with relation to global issues like slavery and child sex trafficking, which I learned is prevalent in Cambodia. My inspiration will always be a combination of all these ideas I’m passionate about, but rooted in helping others live better, more enriching, and fulfilled lives.