Stories from the Road: Month July


It’s a month of celebration namely Hari Raya Aidilfitri and my 35th birthday. Yes that’s the halfway mark to 40 right there and it’s not bothering me at the moment. In fact, I am grateful and thankful to have this life celebrated in such a good month. We took it easy in July (just like the previous months) and focused on work while completing the Ramadhan intention.

Pretty soon it will be December and we would have been here for 2 years, since we decided to experience working abroad for the very first time. There are no other travel plans for the year since the plan is to save up for longer trips within the next year or two. I feel more grown-up now thinking about budgeting for future travels, and after that, going slow instead of rushing for the sake of ticking places off our list.

Where we went.

  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Major Highlights.

# Birthday in the Kingdom. It was a low-key celebration at home with dinner and before that a surprise cake in the office with colleagues. As I get older, I prefer to spend it with close friends and loved ones who don’t mind showering me with unconditional love each day. This year I wish for good health, positive vibes along the way and happiness for everyone I care about.

Celebrating a quiet birthday with friends and colleagues in Phnom Penh.

Celebrating a quiet birthday with friends and colleagues in Phnom Penh.


# What scraping means in Cambodia. I stumbled upon one my colleagues who were busy scraping the back of another colleague, with a the lid of an ointment jar. From where I stood, I could see the red marks appearing on her neck while she continued this action on her shoulder. It looked painful but she told me she felt better as the wind was released from her blocked veins. This is a normal for the locals when they feel sick as it helps to relieve them. I tried this at home afterwards and it did leave me with the same marks. I felt slightly better, which I felt was because of the balm more than the scraping of the lid.

# Spending Hari Raya with the family. I look forward to this celebration every year and this time I spent it more with the family since we only have 7 days with them. My aunt had arrived from USA to stay with us for the celebration and together we received visitors since the first day. Eating all those delicious food from rendang, nasi himpit, kuah lode and kuih muih made me miss Malaysia a lot more.

#Catching up with friends even for a short period of time. I managed to catch up with friends whom I wasn’t able to meet the last few trips I came back to KL. Rae and Yasmin came over to the house and brought home their favorite pineapple tarts. Anis and I got to chit chat over the next travel plans for the year while Bart and Anis (yes another one) came with baby Aireen. There was also a quick brunch with Dian whom I haven’t met for a year (or was it two?) since she came back from UK and Ali who visited from Singapore. We had a quick meet-up after her durian session with Sue and Louise. Gosh I miss everyone and it’s always nice to know there are friends to see when you return home.

Catching up with friends even for 30 minutes is precious time to me.

Catching up with friends even for 30 minutes is precious time to me.


#Looking into interior decorations for the new house. Since I’ll be shuttling back and forth, I’ve decided not to rent the unit out for the time being since it’s new. Therefore, all the interior planning will have to be done from Cambodia, and bit by bit. I already have a rough concept with the ‘world’ in mind and hopefully it will all fall into place nicely.

What a bummer and lessons.

#People driving without a license. This has recently bugged my mind because there were a few times that we had to avoid motorcycle drivers who would just swerve into us (out of nowhere) and expect us to avoid them. The truth is most of the mentality appears this way, if you’re driving in Phnom Penh, your role is to drive on and try to avoid other people.

On working abroad.

#Being part of a photo-shoot job. I’m always excited to be part of new projects that involve different types of medium. When we got to do a photo-shoot for the Client, I was happy to assist in organizing and making it happen. It was also a good session where I had a chance to meet various people in the organization who came from different nationalities such as Hungary, El-Salavador, Malaysia and Philippines.

Finishing up the photo shoot session with our own group shot. They look so serious.

Finishing up the photo shoot session with our own group shot. They look so serious.


#Night-out with Clients. This comes with the job, which happens once in a blue moon, and depending on the occasion. We had dinner at one of the best pizza places in town ordering Hawaiian and four-cheese pizza. After that we headed to another place nearby for dessert. I’m just happy that we got to visit Basaac Lane which has plenty of restaurants that we can try. It feels like Bangsar back home.

What’s next.

Planning for Bangkok, Thailand is in the works for next month. Can’t wait to take a break!

About Yafieda Jamil

A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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