• Menu
  • Menu

Tag - coronavirus

January 2020

It started off as a slow start to the year. Having lots to prepare ready for the next few months meant I was focused on other things and therefore I didn’t realise we were progressing quickly.

The Chinese New Year brought an end to the month and a new threat in the form of Coronavirus which crippled China in the blink of an eye made me focus more clearly. Things like this is more apparent when, as a Westerner in Asia, you are closer to what is happening and therefore you see how quickly things develop.

Every Volunteer brings something different

During this month I have found myself comparing life to what it was like the year before. I guess it is why you should never stay too long in the same place. Last year was an awesome experience made more so by the volunteers that arrived.

And whilst this year’s volunteers are just as important and dedicated to helping on the farm my mind brings up memories.


I guess that first shared experience with the likes of Paul and Natalia back in December and early January. As well as the unforgettable Olie and Caroline who we shared our first Cambodian Wedding together are always going to bring back good memories.

Then came the turn of our first French volunteer and arguably one of the best ever in Lucie( certainly in the top 5 volunteers ever)

She really epitomised the role of volunteering and workaway cultural immersion like no other.

Along with the comical Teddy from New Mexico.

Who left an action-packed two weeks etched in my memory of the fun we had. We shared many nights playing cards and discussing the world in general. Not to mention the many beers and rice wine parties we had with the family and workers.

A 20 something French girl, a 30 plus guy from New Mexico and Brit in his 40s  living on a farm in the middle of South East Asia is a definite recipe for a sketch show in my opinion.

A younger group followed then in the form of Chloe from France. David from Switzerland who I have kept in touch with since he left and although he is back in his country studying hard, I am sure we will meet again on our travels.

This year’s journey will be a different chapter in my life and that of the farm. A lot as changed this year and when I do leave the farm, it will be hard to let go but I am sure that I will always leave a part of me here.





New Year New Me

Or so I thought. This year actually took a turn for the worse, for everyone around the world.

I think we will remember 2020 for a long time and it will go down in history as one of those years the human race had to endure a world catastrophe.

Beginning of the end?

It had started well enough.

I attended my 4th wedding in Cambodia as Mr. Sok one of the chefs at the pepper farm got married in March.

It was a very happy occasion for all and it finished off a complete story of Cambodia, one which I will remember forever.

Pre-Covid Plans

But, having been travelling for over 15 months, and as I was entering my third actual dated year of travel. It felt like a good time to leave to discover new things.

I originally left the UK in Sept 2018 and spent most of 2019 living in Cambodia. Having expected to have been back home by this time I suddenly felt the need to visit and see friends and family.

This year it had meant to be the turn of Vietnam and Laos with maybe a finish in Myanmar, where I would hopefully see more of a beautiful country.

But, before all that, it started with a trip back to the UK in mid-march to surprise mum for her birthday. And what a surprise it turned out to be for both of us.

Because the 23rd of March 2020 will be a day to remember for a long time. I surprised her having been away for 18 months only to be surprised myself by Covid and our lockdown restrictions that left me stuck in the UK indefinitely.

Long Stay

It was to be almost 2 years to the day before I could actually get back onto a plane and fly back to  Cambodia where I had left for a two-week holiday.

The Sad part was the loss of several good friends who like many people succumb to Covid-related deaths.

Because we had lockdowns, we had mask-wearing, and a lot of helpful, caring, and compassionate people.

Suddenly away from the pressure and stress of everyday life and have time to help their fellow beings.

However, It came at a price that we now years later, have come to realise.

Inflation, cost of living, and food shortages are all effects of the shutdown of the economy during covid.

It means people’s lives will be affected for decades to come as we deal with the cost of a pandemic. Something that even today has given to speculation is not natural and may have its origins in man-made labs.


Thanks @jodilmorris for this perfect quote