Expats Around The World – Interview With Nomadic Trippers

Lloyd & Molly the creators, dreamers, wanderers, lovers, dancers, hippies, explorers & wild child’s of the earth. We are here to inspire others, to let them know that 9-5 work, the duties of what society believes is ‘life’ is not what you have to do in order to ‘succeed’. To learn how to become yourself, truly, is all that counts.

Where are you living now and where did you live originally?
We are currently living in Cambodia, originally we are both from the U.K.

How long have you lived your current destination or last destination as an expat?
We have been living in Cambodia for 1 year now.

How may countries have you lived in as an expat?
3 Australia, The Netherlands, and Cambodia.

What made you decide to move to the current country as an expat?
We were originally looking for volunteer work in Asia as we knew we had to reside somewhere for a while, it was then we were given a job opportunity in Cambodia.

What were your biggest fears of moving if any?
No fears, just excitement.

How do you keep in contact with friends and family and do you get to see them often?
We keep in contact as much as possible through texts and video chats. Sometimes its not always easy and most the conversation consists of is ‘can you hear me?’. We update our families on where we are and what we are doing as soon as we can if we are in an area with no internet. We visit the U.K every year or so, whether it be a pit stop before our next destination or some time to save up some money, we usually spend this time with family & close friends. The other time we get to catch up with friends & family is when they come to visit or are on holidays themselves and we are nearby, it’s always so nice to see familiar faces when you are in the middle of nowhere.

Did you encounter any immigration or visa issues?
No issues, In Cambodia we update our visa every 3 months, there are different options but as we never plan ahead we thought 3 month visa was best suited.

How do you make you living as an expat in Cambodia?  
We were lucky enough to be offered an awesome job opportunity when it comes to Cambodia. We managed a treehouse resort on a remote island, with this job role it included accommodation, meals, drinks & boat fare & a salary of $500 pm. With the situation of the island being so remote there was nowhere on the island for us to spend money so we were able to save our salary.

As an expat in the current country your are living in or any previous countries (did you speak the languages or learn any of the languages) if so what languages do you speak or did you learn? Any tips for people wanting to learn languages (self taught sites etc) or any other tips?
Whilst living in the Netherlands we picked up the basics of dutch, we both found this language quite difficult to learn and to pronounce. Lloyd was working with multi-cultural people with the majority being Italian and Molly was working in a Mexican restaurant with Spanish being the main language spoken.

When we resided on the island in Cambodia, our staff members were all Khmer and didn’t speak any English. This made us learn the language and as for them, they got to learn some English from us too! We were thrown in at the deep end, using hand signals to figure out situations, problems & conversations. We both enjoyed learning Khmer as the more we learnt the more our relationship grew with our big Khmer family we were living and working with.

I think indulging yourself into the language is the best way to learn, being around it all the time will help with pronunciation and when no one speaks your language, you have no choice but to try.
We both use duo lingo app to help teach us, Molly uses it for Spanish and Lloyd uses it for Italian. It’s a great app for sentencing when you don’t have the influence around you.

What are the approx costs of living where you are now or any previous places you have lived as an expat?

1 person for 1 month we would say $200

Rent + Utilities We are currently living in a 4 bed house in the city of Sihanoukville with 3 other people, our rent & bills cost around $200pm

Transport (local or car): We have a motorbike to get around the city, it costs roughly $2 to fill up the tank.

Weekly food shopping: Depends on how many munchies we buy. We usually spend around $30 a week on food, although we buy western products sometimes, these are a lot more expensive than the local food.

Health Insurance: We have travel insurance which covers some health insurance, this annualy costs around $180.

Internet & Phone: We currently use a Cambodian sim card which we put $8 on each month and it gives us 40gb

Meals out: You can eat western food out or takeaway for around $6 for a meal. Local food would cost around $2

Alcoholic drinks (if applicable): We very rarely drink alcohol even if the beer is 75cents over here

Soft Drinks & Tea / Coffee: Usually around 75c – $1

Attractions: Attractions in Cambodia can vary, boat fairs range from $5-$20 and main attractions like Angkor watt are seasonally priced from $15-$35

How do rate the standard of living (Cambodia) that you are living in currently as an expat? 
We would say fair, you can make it as cheap or expensive as you like. Accommodation is very cheap, you can make food cheap by eating locally, buying from supermarkets will bump up the price a little. Health care is much cheaper over here, standards vary but you can find very well trained doctors, dentists & opticians, for example, a consultation & an ultra sound at the hospital will cost $20. A check up with an American trained dentist will cost $5, teeth cleaning $10 & white fillings at $20.

What have been some of the pros and cons about living in Cambodia?
I think when you have been living anywhere for a while you find the pros and cons, being an expat and travelling isn’t always glorious. We have certainly overcome both living in Cambodia after a year. There are certain things which are frustrating – the standard of living, the educational system & the environmental issues are just a few. As much as we love this country and the people in it, it needs a lot of help with a lot of hands, as do many places. The pros have been learning the history of their culture which is not heard of, gaining new friendships & families, learning the language, teaching the Khmer many things and seeing the differences and educating ourselves in a positive way on the cons above after living in the standards.

 

Do you have any tips for people that might want to visit or move to Cambodia? 
A lot of people just pass through Cambodia on their way to Vietnam or Thailand, not knowing much about it. I would advise anyone to read the book ‘first they killed my father’, its an easy read and you feel connected to the country and the people. Cambodia has a recent history which is unspoken of, most khmer children aren’t aware of what their grandparents and parents have gone through. This will give you more insight and awareness when visiting such attractions like Angkor watt. I would also say to make the time to visit the south of Cambodia, not only are the islands beautiful, the country side is too! When it comes to money, just take everything with a pinch of salt, the majority of people are going to try and get more money out of a western person, try haggle for a little less, aslong as both parties are happy with whats being paid then it’s a fair game.

Do you have any future plans here to move somewhere else? If so where are you thinking &  why this place?
Our next destination is the U.K. whilst on the island in Cambodia we adopted 2 dogs, we are currently in the process of getting them safe and happy back in the U.K. They have completed and passed all procedures so we are in the process of finding them flights to fly back with us in November. After this hurdle, who knows! We still have a pretty big world to get around.

Can you give any insights into the local culture / customs where you live as an expat. How important is it for people to be aware of these when living here to visiting here?
We think its very important to acknowledge, accept and understand their culture and their way of living. Although we have our frustrations as said before, with us being here, we try to have a positive impact for the local people so the community and country can grow. I think whether you are visiting or working and living in any country you should respect their culture and customs. This can only help the country as a whole and the people individually in their standard of living. Cambodia has a large history of culture which unfortunately is fading and is unspoken of now. It seems to us that the elders do not speak of the war and find it sensitive and are also not proud of how the country has re built itself since. They should be and I think the expats can be a support system for them, when and if they let them.

Do you travel around from this destination where you are living as an expat? What are some places you have visited from here / any countries close by that you recommend / what are the travel costs like to these places?
We visited Cambodia almost 3 years ago and got to visit the tourist attractions and fell in love with the countries beauty. In the last year we haven’t been able to travel around the country, due to work and the dogs. You have the ability to cross land to Vietnam, laos and Thailand from Cambodia via bus, prices vary from your departure and destination for example, Sihanoukville, Cambodia to Ho chi min, Vietnam by bus will cost around $25.

How are the locals where you live (were they easy to make friends with)? are there any expat clubs or similar that you have joined? How easy was it to make new friends or associates here?
Living in the city of sihanoukville in Cambodia, there are many locals which speak English or a little bit of English. In general the Khmer people are very friendly, generous and have a good sense of humor! There is a very big expat community in Cambodia, from young expats teaching English to older gentlemen that have settled for an easy going lifestyle. Its easy enough as it is anywhere, you can find groups on facebook nowadays or go to a local bar/food spot that you enjoy and start chatting away ☺ We would recommend Otres village for any young travelers or expats, it has a comforting community vibe and there is always something going on in the village.

How do you spend your time off here or at weekends (any day time recommendations)
We tend to just chill out with our time off, finding new coffee shops with the best coffee is usually our go to. We have the availability to head over to the islands for day trips and there is also an awesome cinema room called top cats which we are regular visitors at

What is the climate where you live?
Cambodia has 2 seasons, low and high (wet and warm), the low season usually starts around June and ends mid-October, this is when the rain comes, the floods come and the monsoon comes. As long as you prepare yourself for being wet for the day, you’re all good, chances are the sun will still shine for you later to dry you off anyway! The high season officially starts 13th October according to the locals.

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Please share one life quote or any quote you love.

‘No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living in the now’

Alan watts

Nomadic Trippers

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