Nick Hurley in Cambodia
After months of researching and planning our move abroad, my girlfriend Raychel and I set off from Vancouver, BC to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We had sold everything we owned and left our lives in Canada taking with us just a backpack. I brought a couple of ATV Series completes and some extra cruising + street wheels.
Before crossing security, we got some Tim Hortons. I got a farmers wrap with no meat, a hash brown and large double-double but skipped the blue Gatorade because I wasn't that hungover (that's a first hahaha). We were then full, relaxed, and able to just hang out until our first flight came.
We had a 19 hour overnight layover in Hong Kong, so we rented an AirBnB near the Temple Street Market and tried to explore as much as we could. We got some sick food down the street and I was reminded that I suck at chopsticks.
Our flight to Phnom Penh was about two hours. We got a Visa on arrival that would allow us to look for jobs. We had an interview at a school half an hour after we landed so we got in a tuk tuk and went straight to the school. This was my first time riding in one of these scooter wagon-ass things and the traffic here is so crazy. I highly recommend it, haha.
We were jetlagged as fuck but Raychel somehow landed a job after our first interview. We went to our hostel and slept, as she had to get up at 6am the next day and go straight to work (fuckin' trooper).
My job wasn't secure yet so I went out to find some skate spots and cruised down the riverside.
The school ended up calling me back the next day and loosely offered me a job. I had to first prepare a teaching demo. We sat down for a beer and I went through all my notes and put something together. So glad I took my course to prepare for this as getting a job here is kind of a shit show. But with a half-assed plan sorted I was ready to go in and show em what I've got.
I GOT THE FUCKIN JOB!!! - Which I was hyped about. Now money wouldn't be as much of an issue.
We spent the weekend exploring the Central Market, Russian Market and house hunting. I scoped this sweet shirt (Angkor beer here is $0.75 a pint so we had been drinking a lot of it already, blue Gatorade is still pricey though haha)
I wanted to find some more spots to skate and immerse myself in the scene here, so we visited a local skate shop, called "The Skate Shop," outside the skate shop is a monument that had very apparently been skated frequently, so I tried to get some clips in the muggy Cambodian afternoon.
The Skate Shop is pretty bare bones but it was cool to meet the dudes that run it. There is one more skate shop in Phnom Penh called 10K Skate Shop so we figured we'd check that out too.
It's hot in Cambodia. We came right before rainy season so it's the hottest time of the year. That said, one of our new favourite pastimes is finding nice pools to hang out at while we wait for the sun to go down a bit so I can find more spots.
We arrived in Phnom Penh just in time for the new skate park opening for the park built by Skateistan and New Line skate parks. It's nothing too crazy, just nice and mellow and will be good to keep the rust off during the rainy season.
Since I'm now teaching every weekday, we try to come here during the evenings (public skate is Tuesdays) and on weekends. Skateistan is a non-profit organization that helps create skate communities in impoverished countries, by building skateparks and teaching kids inside a classroom and out in the park. This helps keeps them out of trouble and gives them a healthy outlet instead of resorting to the more negative influences in their communities.
We also attended a clothing brand launch party that was promoted by 10K Skate Shop. The clothing brand is called Joint Projects and we were stoked to party with some more skaters and locals here in Cambodia. I hope to start working closely with them soon because their products are pretty sick.
Other than skating, teaching, and vlogging, we've been using the rest of our energy just exploring the city we now live in. We've visited temples, eaten amazing food and have completely immersed ourselves in the culture here.
Now that we're in South East Asia, it's a shitload more affordable and easier for us to travel around Asia. It's been just over a month and we've already visited Koh Rong, Phnom Chisor and Bangkok (I'm sure I'm forgetting more). Can't wait to post more about our travels and keep everyone updated on life, culture and the skate communities I've been able to get involved with.
Thanks for reading, stay tuned for more!
Posted on May 9, 2018.