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Future Volunteer Interview: Leah McGregor - Cambodia Island Snorkeling, Beaches and Conservation

Today we speak to future volunteer Leah McGregor who later this year will be heading off to Frontier’s Cambodia Island Snorkeling, Beaches and Conservation project. We asked Leah a few questions about her upcoming trip, finding out what she’s excited about, what she’s going to pack and a few other bits and pieces.

Into the Wild: Why did you choose the Cambodia Island Snorkeling, Beaches and Conservation project?

Leah: I wanted a project that had lots of different experiences. The Cambodia project offered everything from snorkeling surveys to a bit of teaching and land surveys also. There is a good variety of things to get involved in and lots of new skills to learn and develop.

Into the Wild: What do you hope to gain or achieve during your time abroad on the project?

Leah: I really want to work in the environment sector so I am hoping to come away with some skills which I will be able to put to use in a career. Aside from that I am just hoping for an amazing experience doing conservation, learning, and meeting new friends.

Into the Wild: What are you looking forward to most about your trip?

Leah: After all the reading I have done on Cambodia and people I have spoken to about it, they all seem to say that the Cambodian people are some of the friendliest, hospitable people you will meet. So I am really looking forward to meeting the locals.

Into the Wild: You’ve never dived before. Are you excited to start scuba diving and diving in Cambodia?

Leah: I am very excited about the diving, I’m eager to get out there and look at the marine life…I should imagine it’s a lot more exciting than when I’ve been snorkeling in Wales.

Into the Wild: What first sparked your interest in conservation and why do you think conservation is so important in today’s world?

Leah: I’ve always been aware about the environment and what we do to it and it’s something I take a great interest in having studied physical geography at university and taken environmental science. Conservation is so important today because if we don’t do something today it will be gone tomorrow.

Into the Wild: You’ve done charity work with animals before how do you think the conservation work you will be doing in Cambodia will differ from your previous experiences?

Leah: My charity work was helping at an abandoned animal shelter cleaning out the animals so the work in Cambodia will be very different but both are to help a good cause so I’m happy to do any type of volunteering.

Into the Wild: What appeals to you most about volunteering and do you think that it is something that everyone should try no matter how big or small?

Leah: I think volunteering is so appealing because it’s a chance to give back to the environment and society and I think it gives you a sense of reward once you have done it. I definitely think everyone should try it, even if it’s the smallest thing as it will probably make a big difference to someone else.

Into the Wild: You mentioned you really want to work in the environment sector in the future. Would you say doing a project like this one is a good way to broaden your work experience and help your future career path?

Leah: Yes! I aspire to work in the environment sector, it is most definitely where I want my career to be. I think this project will provide fantastic work experience and I hope that it will help me to where I want to go career-wise.

Into the Wild: Have you travelled much before?

Leah: I have been abroad on holidays but I have never been anywhere like Cambodia or done something like this, so it will be an exciting new experience for me.

Into the Wild: What’s your favourite holiday memory?  

Leah: I can’t really pick a particular favorite as there are so many but I think some of my fondest memories come from the many weeks over the summer I spent in Wales. I have many fun memories of buying a lot of rubbish from the weekly market, playing on the beach and spending hours in the sea come rain or shine, and in Wales it was mainly come rain.

Into the Wild: Besides Cambodia where else in the world would you like to travel in the future?

Leah: I would like to see other places in Asia and I would like to visit South America. I think the place I’m most itching to go to is Australia.

Into the Wild: What do you think will be the most important item in your backpack?

Leah: The most important item will probably be my sun cream. Although I love being in the sun and turning a nice healthy bronze colour, I hate burning. I burnt myself badly once on holiday and I never want it to happen again, so I like to slap on the cream. I managed to get through a fair few bottles on a 2 week holiday so goodness knows how many I will end up using in Cambodia.

Into the Wild: Will you be taking any music or good books along with you to while away the journey time?

Leah: I will definitely be taking some books with me. I’ll be taking Michel Macintyre’s book for some laughs and I am in to my crime thriller books so I will probably take some from my favorite author Tess Gerritsen.

Into the Wild: Will you be doing any fundraising activities to fund your trip and if so what have you got planned?  

Leah: I have just done a table top sale and raised £132 so I’m hoping to do another to raise a bit more.

Find out more about the Cambodia Island Snorkeling, Beaches and Conservation project and all the other amazing projects on offer with Frontier.

By Hannah Jones

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