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Serendipity Tess’ Bliss Report – Month 4

Month 4 was a very different Month to all the previous ones. I crammed two new countries in a month, Vietnam and Laos, and experienced two different travel styles: solo and buddy travel. After an initial bumpy start to my solo travels in Vietnam, I started loving it so much that I was actually a little bit sad that it came to an end. I was looking forward to meeting my friend in Laos – but at the same time, I kind of wished my solo time had continued a little bit longer. After Laos I was going to be in Chiang Mai for two weeks to catch up on work and only explore a little bit before meeting Ben at the end of March – more solo travel will have to wait for a while.
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Welcome to Vietnam! Musings on travelling solo.

This one evening, I was happily minding my own business – about to order my dinner at this street food stall, looking forward to half an hour of uninterrupted simply being with myself, when this dutch woman sits opposite of me. Eurgh. Really…what is it with people? I would never ever do that. If I saw someone sitting there on their own, I would not just waltz into their bubble and install myself smash bang in front of them. There is a reason, they are there alone. A few months on I realise it’s called ‘being social’ and that is what solo travellers do – it’s perfectly normal.
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Serendipity Tess Bliss Report – Month 3

Thailand is just one of those countries that you will inevitably fall in love with. I can see why there is such a hype around this place. It’s amazing. There is nothing not to love about Thailand. It’s easy to travel within. People are friendly. The weather is fantastic. There is everything you could wish for: culture, good food, variety in flora and fauna, stunning beaches, bustling cities.
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Serendipity Tess’ Bliss Report – Month 2

India was a shock to the system. I think it’s either a country many love or hate. However, I found myself to be right in between. There are some aspects about India that I did not enjoy at all: being harassed constantly, the ulterior motives of people, the constant sensory overload. But then, in hindsight, India was one of the most spectacular countries we travelled to for a whole load of reasons: If you are passionate about photography, India is the place to travel to. Almost every photo I have taken in India is beautiful – not because of my skills (i’m a beginner after all), but because the bustling colours paired with chaos all around provide for endless hours of eye-candy spotting. Everything around you is a beautiful mess.
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How travelling the World prepared me for my estranged Father’s Death

'I'm sorry. It is too late. Your father passed away'. As I hear those words on the other end of the line, I am more than 9000 km away from my home country and I'm trying hard not to faint. After a long pause, I tell the person on the phone that I will book a flight and travel back to Europe immediately. I didn't expect saying this. Nor did I think I would actually go through with my intention. But what surprised me the most was to be struck with symptoms of grief from the very first moment I heard those words. It did not make sense. My father and I were estranged.
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What to do in Phnom Penh?

My favourite cafe was ‘Sugar & Spice’ over at ‘Daughters of Cambodia’. A project that was founded to support women who have just escaped the sex trade – many of them victims of trafficking. There is a room inside of the shop where you watch a film about the women’s past and how the project helped them, not only escape their horrible past, but also help them gain valuable skills for employment.
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