Today I finally bit the bullet and bought a ticket outta here.
I hadn’t got stuck in a place like this in a while, but I didn’t exactly fight it. Otres beach is just such a beautiful, charming little spot on the globe - it’s hard to leave because you know it doesn’t get much better than this.
Instead of days the travelers here measure their time spent on Otres in weeks and months, and no one I met had originally planned on spending more than a few days here but then (and their stories all ended the same way): “Well, look around you…”
They had a point. An excellent, indisputable point. I could feel myself happily assimilating to the lifestyle. Drinking ice cold beers at restaurants run by your mates during the day, frolicking in the waves just out front in between drinks, playing in the bars at night, finding ever-cheaper accommodation and jobs to fund this way of living.
“How much would it cost to extend my visa?” I finally asked, even though I still had two weeks left on mine, and it was then I knew I needed to leave before I fully succumbed to the beach.
I imagine that this is what a village in Hawaii might have looked like at the dawn of popular tourism - enough amenities to make travelers comfortable but still emphatically local. You can buy a hamburger (or poutine) in many of the restaurants, while dozens of cows and chickens wander freely on the single dirt road behind you and naked kids play all day in the surf. The knowledge that it is only going to get more developed as time passes makes tearing yourself away that much harder.
But I didn’t begin this trip to find an amazing beach to live on, or to work on my tan (although both happened and I’m not protesting), and I want to keep moving. So this morning I went to a travel agent and bought a bus ticket for tomorrow before my usual midday thought of “You know, one more day here would be pretty cool…” set in (it did anyways but this time it was too late).
I just looked it up and I’ll have been here for 11 days, which I definitely did not realize before this moment, having lost track of time measurements soon after I arrived. 11 days is kind of crazy. I didn’t really do anything in that time. Didn’t really write, didn’t really research, read a few books, applied for a job, but damn. That is a lot of time spent in purely hedonistic pursuits. I’m definitely not complaining. But I don’t want to do that forever, so it’s time to move on.
That said…. OTRES BEACH, SIHANOUKVILLE, CAMBODIA, I LOVE YOU!!!!