Why I moved to Australia….
Why I decided to move back to Australia after living the exotic life of an expat in Cambodia.
Have you ever lived overseas? Connected with another community? Fallen in love with a place? That was me. But around the 3-year mark (of living there and close to that of running my business as a side gig), things started to shift. I’d always known that Cambodia wasn’t forever and I realised then that PFSEA was my purpose and I needed to start treating it with the attention it deserved. I quit all my other work and poured my heart and soul into PFSEA. I traveled further afield working with clients around Southeast Asia – and even changed the business name to suit (it was originally Plastic Free Cambodia, now it’s Plastic Free Southeast Asia (and Australia!)).
It was 2 years until I was physically back on Aussie soil. Things were really taking off before I left, but I knew that if I didn’t bring my mission back ‘home’ then it wasn’t going to reach the people who really needed it. What? I hear you say. Yes. The people who really need it are here in Australia (and other western countries). It’s easy for us to travel to Southeast Asia, see trash all over the place and think that people there are the problem. It’s way more complex than that. You can read more on my blog post about pollution in SEA and Australia.
And it’s not just to reach people in Australia but everyone who needs this message and I needed to be in an environment that will nurture me more.
I have a very intricate mix of feelings for Cambodia and ultimately, I love it. However there are a lot of stress factors that I knew weren’t helping me to be the best I know I can be and I couldn’t keep living there.
At the time I write this, I’ve been back in Australia for 4 months. The transition is up and down but overall I know that I have made the right choice – definitely not the easy choice – but the right one. In my heart I know that PFSEA is needed here, just as much as in SEA. Cambodia is in safe hands with Sai and Chenda still delivering workshops on the ground there and the amount of growth in environmental awareness and (especially) action from when I first arrived in 2014 is so inspiring. I will continue to support and work with clients in Southeast Asia as long as I’m needed to.
In the meantime my focus is now on Australia and doing the best I can here. So if you would like to me to help your business reduce plastic and become more environmentally conscious, then send me an email and let’s talk. Sarah @ plasticfreesea.co