Our Big, Fat Western Anniversary
I was feeling homesick.
It was our nearing our five-year anniversary and I was craving the old familiarity of our Northern California life. I wanted our tried and true tradition of celebrating our anniversary in Healdsburg among the vineyards and basking in the California sun. I wanted to walk into the courtyard at Bear Republic and in its empty space reminisce about how full it felt that wedding day when we were surrounded by our friends and family. We had celebrated like that for four years and it just felt plain weird to not be there.
It seemed crazy to feel that way. Here we are, living in Southeast Asia, embarking on a dream trip around the world and all I wanted was a drive up Highway 101 through the rolling Sonoma hills.
We tossed around ideas of traveling outside of Phnom Penh for the weekend, but the thought of spending 6-plus hours on a round-trip insane bus ride for just one night didn’t seem worth it. Then Dave got asked to visit a province with his NGO leaving early Sunday morning. It looked like any celebration was going to be postponed and I was getting even more homesick.
But we both needed some time away from our everyday life, so we hastily booked a night at The Plantation in Phnom Penh.
The weekend will now be referred to as our Big, Fat Western Anniversary.
We took naps and frequent dips in the pool.
We switched pools at happy hour and drank 2-for-1 glasses of wine.
We ate cheeseburgers and french fries for dinner at Freebird Bar & Grill.
We drank martinis at Bar.Sito, a speakeasy. (If you live here, go there. It’s down an alley off street 240 by the British Ambassador’s house. Follow the signs for the Artillery Cafe).
I wore my contacts and I put on make up. Yup, things were getting crazy.
After 24 hours of fancy hotel bliss I realized it wasn’t Healdsburg I was necessarily craving. It was the act of stopping, of indulging in spending quality time together and of finding something familiar. When we do something “western” in Phnom Penh, I often feel bad about it, like I’m turning my back on Cambodia. But the cheeseburger, poolside drinks and speakeasy martini was just what I needed to regroup for our final month in Phnom Penh.
I’m taking it as the universe telling us that this trip is our trip and that it’s okay (and a damn good idea) to look for comfort when we need it. In fact, isn’t that what the universe tells us about life anyway?