Having been drawn to the art world’s ability to unite “people from all over the world who have different stories to tell,” Nick possesses a natural ability at making connections. A friend of a friend, for example, has become a meaningful partnership by which our discerning young adventurer has evolved into a regenerative traveler: one who strives to make a positive change for the local communities.
Astute to the lack of opportunities for locals living outside of Phnom Penh, Nick is in the works of creating a social enterprise project based in Battambang that combines art and culture.
“Battambang is traditionally the cultural heart of Cambodia. It’s where Sinn Sisamuth is from and there’s a good art school that has drawn lots of artists yet it is still much poorer than the capital city and other areas that receive more money from tourists,” explains Nick, who goes on to detail that he is currently holding a competition among Cambodian architects to design the infrastructure.
Planning to create an exhibition space within the educational center, he has already contracted Cambodian contemporary artist Sopheap Pich
to create an impressive sculpture. “It will be a creative hub where people can be inspired to be creative but also receive the training necessary to make money as well...I can easily see this as the future model for galleries and I can’t wait to bring some of my friends and people from the art world to see this amazing country and maybe move some of their funds over here to help make a difference in the long run.”
And what about when the world heals and travel picks up speed—how does Nick see the future of travel?
“Now that I have had this experience of staying in Cambodia I think I will be more selective about where I go and why I go somewhere,” muses Nick.
“Once things start opening up again I think people should make a great effort to choose carefully and begin by experiencing places that are normally packed—the Louvre in Paris, for example. All of my friends are looking into going to remote islands or tucked away places, but I would do exactly the opposite: I would go where there are normally tons of people so that you can enjoy these remarkable spots without the crowds.”