January 2020 – ARNAonline

January 2020

Natasha Ritz Travel in January 2020 - 7 countries Women leaders, women in business, handmade bags

I’ve travelled to 7 countries in January 2020 and 10 different towns or cities. (New Zealand, Australia, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and India.) I’ve made a load of new friends, partied, eaten, walked, learned a lot and worked as well.

It’s been an interesting first month into my new lifestyle. Living out of a suitcase is not so fun, I also brought way too much stuff, I should have cut it down by at least half! I brought a hair straightener along, why?! Anyway, good to know for continued travels.

It’s been a really nice balance finding time to smash through work while also travelling for leisure. I’ve pushed myself to get my laptop out while on a bus, at the airport or at a time where I’ve got a good hour spare. It can definitely be hard at times when all you want to do is nap, or eat but it’s a good lesson in will power and sustaining this travelling and working lifestyle.

I always enjoy travelling to countries, where for a change, I’m the minority. I’m the person that looks different or has a weird accent. It can definitely put life into perspective for how tough things can be when you can’t speak the local language.

I found myself feeling frustrated at times when people couldn’t understand me. I had to check myself and realise I’m a guest in this country and this isn’t my language. I need to learn to try to communicate in the local language where possible or just basically get the fuck over myself.

I feel like experiencing other cultures and learning history by being in a place is some of the biggest and best life lessons we can learn. Seeing the hardship people have gone through in places like Cambodia really put my privileged life into perspective. The Cambodian civil war between 1975 and 1979, to me, is one of the worlds most saddest events. It truly reminded me of the horrors of the holocaust. Absolutely devastating.

We got to meet a survivor of one of the prisons, S-21, in Phnom Penn. That was an incredibly tough day, going to the killing field and then to the prison. It’s absolutely mind blowing the things that humans can do to each other. Not only for their own survival but sometimes just because they’re told that’s what they need to do.

It really makes you question your own resolve. What would I do in that situation? What lengths would I go to to survive? Could I do some of those acts? If this happened again, what side of history would I be on?

I’d like to think I’d stand up for any humans rights to live and that I’d help people.

I’m so damn grateful to have the opportunity to travel the world and work. To get to meet new people and see old friends. To connect with people and to the earth.

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