Island Life in Cambodia

Every morning the power goes off at 5am. The cool breeze from the fan pointed at my bed stops, and I usually wake up.

The 5pm to 5am power routine means I have a camera full of beautiful photos of the sunrise, taken from the beach in front of Marine Conservation Cambodia’s camp on the island of Koh Seh.

Sunrise on Koh Seh

Sunrise on Koh Seh

This small tropical island is our first stop on our year-long World School adventure. Miss M and I are learning about the secret life of seahorses. Unfortunately we are yet to see a seahorse because neither of us are scuba diving on this trip.

Still, we live in hope of seeing one while snorkeling on the home reef.

Miss M has exceeded my educational expectations. She’s learned the Khmer words for “crazy dog poo” and “underpants”. She’s helped light a pilfered lighter in the jungle, and learned to enjoy cold bucket showers and a no-flush toilet.

She’s also learned about the various forms of destructive fishing that are banned around the Kep Archipelago, such as trawling, pipe fishing and electric fishing. She’s learned about conservation, endangered species and ecosystems. She’s also learned to snorkel, tried breathing underwater through a scuba regulator, climbed trees, made shell-covered sandcastles, studied fish-identification guides and assisted with beach clean-ups.

Miss M has also become a vital member of the tribe of pint-sized sea gypsies who roam the island, the four kids aged three to eight who belong to the NGO’s founder, Paul.

Miss M and a selection of the Koh Seh kids

Miss M and a selection of the Koh Seh kids

It has been an amazing two weeks. We have one week left here on this island paradise, and already I’m planning a return trip, with the whole family next time.

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7 years ago

By: Barbara

A career girl who dropped out, traveled, found love, and never got around to going home again. Now wrangling a cross-cultural relationship and two third culture kids.


  1. Jane says:

    Such a beautiful story. I hope you see the Seahorses soon. I shall be following along on your world school adventures…

  2. Crystal says:

    I’m enjoying the concept of world school. We are currently in the early stages of planning a round the world trip. We have just started decluttering and paying off debts. I am a Western Mom with all the worry that goes with it. I know that we are not happy being tied down but I am so afraid to travel the world with my 3 children. We have done many short trips but the thought of living out of suitcases is different. I love sites like yours that cover what it is really like to live a travel life style. Thanks for the posts. Loved this and the old one about baby snatchers that led me to you!

    • Barbara says:

      Thanks for dropping by, Crystal. It’s scary before you take the leap, but once you’re on the road you’ll be fine. And you’ll wonder why you ever worried at all!
      Good luck with the planning. Try to enjoy this stage as much as you can.

  3. Cambodia is my favorite destination because we can live with nature.Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
    Jessica Hische recently posted..TOP THREE PLACES TO VISIT IN DURBAN

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