You never know what is going to happen until it happens. That’s one of the bigger life lessons that I’ve taken from this COVID-19 pandemic.
Hello my name is Makara Put, and I’m proud to be from Cambodia - the country known as the “kingdom of wonder” which contains the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat.
Always be open to life-long learning. That’s another lesson that this pandemic has brought into focus.
Working in the travel industry for so many years, I never expected a situation like what Cambodia and the world finds itself in today… the travel industry no longer provides any income at the moment, meaning we’ve all had to do what we can to survive.
Before the start of the pandemic, my wife and I invested much of our savings in building up our business here in Cambodia. During these times when no revenue was coming into the business, we’ve had to sell almost everything we own - our car, jewelry, even our wedding rings - to make payments on the loans we took out with our bank. When that wasn’t enough, we resorted to selling our land.
At the same time, I have tried a few different part-time jobs, working for life insurance and real estate companies while also keeping myself busy shooting short films and modeling for photo and film shoots for hotels, clothing shops and even some motivational videos. Everything helps if I can earn some income to support my family and especially my little boy.
At home we installed an incubator so that we could raise and sell chickens - just one more thing I’ve learned during this crazy time.
Do more, learn more, share more and love more! Because you never know what is going to happen, be good to each other all the time. These are more lessons that will stay with me forever.
Working in the tourism sector, I hope to see people traveling around the world again. I can’t wait to meet our clients who have delayed their travel plans due to the pandemic, and to see people traveling to Cambodia again. And I look forward to getting out and seeing new places myself again.
By Makara Put
Co-Owner of Our Southeast Asia Journeys
Our Southeast Asia Journeys is the destination management company that Kaanect Travel uses when building guest itineraries in Cambodia.