17 years ago I left Australia seeking opportunity and adventure. I was 28 years old, bright-eyed, and as optimistic as they come. Along the way, I lived in New Zealand and fell in love. I traveled to Cambodia where I stumbled upon and bought an island and started a most unexpected hotel business and became a conservationist.
I also built a family and adopted two beautiful boys.
The last 6 years have been in Hong Kong, where I lived an exciting life but perhaps was too focused on growing a business and all the stress that this entails.
The pandemic has forced a dramatic rethink of how I define success and what I want my life to become. It’s also made me realise just how much i miss Australia. I’ve spent the greater part of my adult life working hard to contribute to other cultures and societies, particularly Cambodia’s but its now time i do the same for my own.
This next decade is the decade to deliver on addressing long term challenges like climate change and ecosystems collapse and i believe my greatest contribution can be in a country where the frameworks, policies, and institutions have the capacity to amplify ideas and entrepreneurship.
The reasons for me deciding to sail back to Australia solo, non-stop are deeply personal but what draws me are the words of Thoreau and the healing power of nature and solitude.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
I need to mend my weary soul, reflect on the remarkable experiences I’ve had and contemplate the man I want to become.
This blog is the story of my journey home.
My posts along the way.
Entrepreneur. Chief Executive Officer, Song Saa Collective. Pioneers of sustainable development in South-East Asia. The collective includes Song Saa Resorts and Song Saa Private Island in Cambodia’s Koh Rong Archipelago. 2006, co-established the Koh Ouen Marine Reserve, Cambodia’s first-ever marine protected area. The reserve has since expanded to 400 square kilometres and has gained the support of Monaco’s Prince Albert II. 2013, founded the Song Saa Foundation, an independent NGO dedicated to preserving Koh Rong’s underwater sanctuaries, providing alternative means of livelihood for its residents and bringing much-needed healthcare and education to the region. Speaker at international conferences, including the G20 Summit in Brisbane in 2014. World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Member of the prestigious Young Presidents Organisation. Former advertising executive and worked for multinational firms including Saatchi and Saatchi. Graduate, Harvard Business School; studied sustainability and resilience, Stanford University: Global Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School; BEcon, Sydney University. Completed the Coast to Coast in 2015, one of the world’s toughest endurance races, set in New Zealand, in 17 hours; offshore sailor, downhill skier, long-distance runner and proud dad of two boys.