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Debbie Watkins, Carpe Diem Travel's Profile Picture

Debbie Watkins, Carpe Diem Travel

From: London, Great Britain

Last Signed In: Over a year ago.

Footstops member since: Apr 24th, 2007

Homepage: http://www.footstops.com/carpediemtravel/

About Me

In 2000 I was a London City Exective - and then I went on a holiday that changed my life. I visited some friends who were backpacking around SEA, and by coincidence the first place I stopped was Cambodia. The country capitivated me - in particular the warmth and sincerity of the local people, still recovering from the genocidal Khmer Rouge.

I decided to take a year out, and returned to Cambodia where I became involved in voluntary work. I met many wonderful people who, despite obvious intelligence, integrity and initiative were unable to find anything but the most menial work.  At the same time, it became obvious that hardly any tourists were visiting anywhere in Cambodia outside of Angkor Wat.

And so, gradually, an idea was formed with a guy who I had met on my travels - combining the two aims, providing work,training and a sense of purpose to local people by offering international travellers the kind of up-close, personal experiences rarely encountered in "package" tours.

Our company, Carpe Diem Travel (www.carpe-diem-travel.com) has been running since its formation in 2001 as a social enterprise - a not-for-profit business that provides direct and tangible benefits to people and humanitarian/conservation projects in the destinations we visit.

If you would like to go on a guided tour led by local people, but want to be sure you're really "giving something back", please contact me.

Oh, and by the way, I married the guy and we now have two lovely children! We are still personally based in SEA, where we continue to work on helping local people to realise their aims.