A Concieted Sort of…Independence

34th Trial: The only issue I have is carrying around a backpack already filled to the seam-breaking-point.

Weekly Hours Spent Writing or in the Pusuit of Plot: 1hr for plot brainstorming, 30min for travel journal

Weekly Choice of Tea:  Jasmine Tea, Cambodia

Success: Exploring Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Also, getting lost in a jungle in Koh Rong was an experience, and I consider a success that we found a beach after 2 hours of trekking!

Currently, as I write to you all, I am sitting on my hammock outside of a bungalow, perfectly perched and overlooking Koh Rong Island, Cambodia. It overlooks the beach and the islands in the distance, as its location is at the beginning of the jungle and a slight hike from the beach. It is 7am, and the local music has been playing since it woke me up earlier, a welcomed alarm clock for me to witness a very cloudy sunrise. We arrived here yesterday, and it was like an ice cold refreshment after the dust and dirt that becomes the air in Phnom Penh. Going from city to city, one must break the journey with the indulgence of beach life to sustain calm composer with the sometimes grueling forms of travel.

The beauty here comes in all forms. It is exactly what I anticipated it to show me—that there are areas of true paradise, but also there are areas where poverty creates hard labor and exhaustive effort. It is easy for one who has come from where I have, to see some frivolities of my life as truly pointless. However, a hot shower is not something I shall ever take for granted again!

When I look around, I see many people that look as I do with a heaping backpack and the look of travel in the frizz of their hair. I have been hearing over and over again in my head a line from the movie “Pride and Prejudice”, where Mr. Bingley’s sister describes Elizabeth Bennet as being “wild”. She states that her eyes displayed:

“A conceited sort of, independence.”

And her petticoat! Six inches deep with mud. Anyways, it humors me in the fact that we all look the same. We all rely on that independence to guide us through unknown cultures and lands, and each takes pride in where they are and what they are doing. Whether it be conceit or not, I am happily reminded of the book, and illustrate my demeanor now to be only conceited independence! Naturally!

I have been documenting more and more of this trip in my journal and our travel blog. On the flight over here I created another journal to brainstorm on a central theme that is to propel my novel forward, one that is inspired by my girlfriend, Jamie. She is an Industrial Designer, and when it comes to competitions or product development, one must solve a problem. To solve a problem—which is such a fun opportunity to create around, however it is as open as the universe. So while I sit on this hammock, I revitalize my purpose to seek a topic that can work in the background as the story line progresses, one that focuses on an issue, brainstorming, redesign, and a solution. This topic too has potential to illustrate the evolving characters and the social interaction that inevitably occurs.

This area is highly diverting. But I shall not allow it to persuade me too much to think little of my novel!

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