First off, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Amy, I have been living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for just over a year now. I grew up in Johannesburg mostly but moved to a farm outside Nelspruit when I was 13. I left the city girl behind and became a full-on farm girl, with a flair for fashion!
I focused that flair in Stellenbosch at fashion college while my family moved to the KZN Midlands. After my studies, I spent some time in Australia and then I got my break – an internship at a buying house in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I had no idea what to expect but took the plunge anyway as, career-wise, it was an amazing opportunity.
I spent two years living and working in Dhaka – my internship became a job as a designer. I had a love/hate relationship with Dhaka – the social life was busy but monotonous and work was exciting.
From there I decided to head back West. I was in London for two months trying to get a job, however The Green Mamba passport (South African passport, for the un-initiated!) was not doing me any favours. I longed for the excitement of travel so I embarked on a six-week winter adventure around Europe – starting in the north of Sweden for the Northern Lights.
Although I loved my trip, it wasn’t Asia. Asia has the ease of travel from one country to the next but with vast differences in culture and experiences. So I planned my next move, back to Asia! The plan was to start in Cambodia and job-hunt then move on to the next place – however that plan was foiled in the first week as I got a job working as the senior designer in a factory in Phnom Penh. My Cambodian adventure had begun!
I now work in another factory, managing the Product Development and Design Department, and LOVE Cambodia. It is the best of both worlds! It is the laid back (cheap!) Asia but you can still get everything you want or desire. It is not as commercially contrived as Thailand is and the people are kind and welcoming.
Being based in Phnom Penh is fantastic – there are so many great places to explore close by. The beach in Sihanoukville with Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem Islands off the coast are only four and a half hours away by taxi or bus. The bus is only $10! But I will get into all that later…
I hope that I can show you a glimpse and guide you to Cambodia.