Local Life: Cambodia Documentary

In January 2019 I paddled 150KM down the Mekong River with The Explorer Club’s Next Generation of Explorers Network (NGEN) to understand how tourism is changing global culture and locals’ daily lives. 

Trailer Coming Soon


  • More than $8.2 trillion (USD) was spent in and around tourism globally (2016).

  • Tourism provides 1 out of 11 jobs worldwide (around 313 million).

  • A record 1 billion tourist trips happened worldwide (2016). The U.N. estimates that number will double by 2030.

  • Cambodia’s tourism has increased at an average rate of nearly 20% every year since 1993.

Through qualitative research, video, and written analysis, I conducted fieldwork analyzing the effects tourism has on local communities and its visitors. I interviewed local Cambodians, asking them about their personal experience with tourism in the region. I questioned visitors on their experience in tourism-saturated spots and in “local-only” areas.

A few questions I sought to answer were:

  • Have Cambodians’ interactions with tourists increased/decreased in the past decade?

  • How do locals interact with visitors throughout their day?

  • What changes in daily life (if any) have occurred?

  • Who are “good” tourists in Cambodia and what characteristics do they exhibit?

This is my initial documentary and the findings I’ve encountered already are astounding. To accomplish everything in post-production means money for music rights, editing, equipment, festival fees, etc., and finally releasing the documentary to YOU!

Every little bit helps and is appreciated. My excitement to bring other people’s lives and stories to you is only surpassed by my dedication to presenting professional, thorough research in exciting new ways.

Everyday Explorer is built for education through entertainment.

Help Fund This Documentary


Venmo (@Leigh-Wright)

Campaign Progress

Overall Goal: $21,000

Current Amount Raised: $2,240


The Explorers Club is an international multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore.

Founded in New York City in 1904, The Explorers Club promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space.

Famous members include Theodore Roosevelt, Buzz Aldrin, Sylvia Earle, and Lowell Thomas.


The Next Generation Explorers Network (NGEN) is a community of The Explorers Club members who are leading the next generation of exploration. Through the NGEN network, ten Explorers Club members embarked on a journey into Cambodia’s Mekong River, traveling into remote areas using pack rafts.

The interdisciplinary team brought together researchers, wilderness experts, and professionals who embarked on objectives that will advance the Club’s mission.

Contributing Exploration Enthusiasts and Funders

Special thanks to Grayson Ward, Matt Bell, and Songhoy Blues for the song in the pre-Cambodian trailer. Thank you to Noell Dominick for her help and patience with the trailer. The NGEN Cambodia expedition is led by Feral Human Expeditions. Numbers pulled from Cambodia Tourism.