(Re)Visit: Cambodia

At Cultural Vistas, immersive international experiences are everything; even after they’re over, we continue to learn from them. While new international experiences are not possible right now, we can still learn from our past experiences abroad.

Over the next two weeks, Cultural Vistas will be sharing photos from our alumni through our (Re)Visit series (click here to view all). Each day, we will focus on a different country or U.S. state that transformed them. These photos stay the same, but our perspectives continue to change.

Thank you to our alumni for allowing us to highlight their stunning photography. We hope these photos inspire you to reflect, remember, and #ReVisit your own experiences abroad.


In today’s edition of the (Re)Visit series, we travel to Southeast Asia to the nation of Cambodia. Cambodia has been a place of inspiration for many of our participants, particularly those that participated in the many Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative projects we’ve implemented, beginning in 2015 in Siem Reap.

Since that initial project, Cultural Vistas has continued to implement various different programs for young leaders all across the Asia Pacific.

Flying kites

Jungwoo Kim
Korea WEST (2017)

“I participated in my university’s International volunteer program as a teacher for Cambodia’s elementary school student. I thought I could contribute to change their lives through our education, however during that time, they had taught me how people can satisfy with what they have no matter how big or small it is. Their bright smile made me reflect on my past greed.”

Arey Ksat Island

Sereyrath Mech
Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (2016)


Cambodia, Krong Preah Sihanouk

Chouly Mech
Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (2016)

“As adults, working is a big part of life. To me, this experience makes me like living in the box by sitting in front of a computer for eight hours straight every day. I imagined myself live life by traveling. This body and soul are connected with nature. So life means nothing to me if I cannot touch and feel the ocean.”


Girl at Mekong River

Chouly Mech
Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (2016)

“Traveling is the best member to see all the children smile which is the universal language of happiness. I can get adifferent experiences like language, culture, and tradition. The young girl who is wearing this yellow dress is her tradition to represent love. So I strongly believe that traveling is the way to wake me up from the dream.”


Areng Valley, Kos Kong, Cambodia

Sereyrath Mech
Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (2016)

“Imagine when you wake up, and see this white cloud as the ground. Nothing else you would ask for even this buddy doggy can feel the heaven. Travel truly brings life into another level.”


Cambodian waters

Sereyrath Mech
Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (2016)

“One of my passions is to touch the ground, feel the ocean, and kiss the sky. And I can get all this thing when I am traveling with my real purpose to love nature.”


The Pine, Kirirom National Park

Srey Neang Krech
Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (2017)

“It was a real moment alone in the wilderness where I could find myself comfort by nature. At this point in my life, I can see how nature has offered everything to human but we all are not aware of this genuine gift from mother earth. Nature is what we all human beings are from, we must not forget our roots and we must not turn our back against nature. This is called nature appreciation.”


Siem Reap

Vuthy Theam
Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (2015)

“There are more than a thousand temples in Cambodia were built between the 6th century and 14th century. The great kings of Angkor expected that their great accomplishments would make Cambodia very powerful due to rich natural resources, cultures, and civilizations. Unfortunately, these accomplishments are taken used by foreign investments and some high ranking government officials. Millions of dollars have been generated every year from the tourism industry but these revenues are not well monitored transparently. Foreigners migrate into Cambodia for jobs and investment opportunities, but Cambodian people migrate for jobs in neighboring countries and face with all types of exploitation.”


Are you remembering, reflecting, and (re)visiting your own experiences abroad? Share your story with us.