For nearly 100 days now, 97 days to be exact. To be more exact it's 2338 hours, 139,680 minutes, and 8,380,800 seconds. Plus or minus an 12 hour time difference. On that 100th day, I will leave Cambodia. I will leave a place I never wanted to go. I will leave a place I tried to avoid. And I will leave something — someone — who dropped into my life in the way you might find a forgotten umbrella right when it starts to rain.
I wasn't even looking for you and now you're here. This happened in Thailand and Malaysia too. Three different countries. Three different people. Three different sorts of relationships. A new old friend. A crazy uncle. A favorite person. I want to stay and leave and go away and come back again endlessly until our days run out here and we look at each other and say It's time now. For good. I'm certain.
But the nature of what I've committed to, this itinerant year of travel, dictates my exit date. I can't stay here unless I give up whatever this is. I can't stay in this city I never wanted to come to in order to see if maybe, just maybe, it might work...for now. I keep asking myself why I'm doing this, when for three months in a row, the people who feel like home are not my travel companions, but the ones I find along the way. I didn't want to leave them. I don't want to leave you. I don't want to keep leaving you.
Let me stay.