"Travel is at its most rewarding when it ceases to be about your reaching a destination and becomes indistinguishable from living your life." —Paul Theroux

I'm a freelance writer, journalist and photographer based in Malaysia. I write mostly about travel and culture, but have also written features on migration, criminal justice and wildlife conservation.

I've had work published at CNN, Roads & Kingdoms, Slate, NBC's Today, The Guardian, The Huffington Post UK, Esquire Malaysia, The Malaysian Insider, The Star (Malaysia), and The Straits Times (Singapore), among others.

"I view all stories as journeys. Even when I don't actually go anywhere for a particular story, the way I report is to immerse myself in something I usually know very little about, and what I experience is the journey toward a grasp of what I've seen." —Susan Orlean

Personal Geography

Born and bred in the little town of Sitiawan and the little city of Ipoh in the Malaysian state of Perak, and, later, Kuala Lumpur, I was weaned on books and conditioned on interstate family road trips around Malaysia and across the causeway to Singapore. 

Later, I spent my university years in London, but the world really got under my skin when I went backpacking on my own through Central America—Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Mexico, Cuba—after graduating. 

It’s hard to overstate how those months opened up my worldview, and how it planted the idea of travel as a lifelong journey of writing and exploration, though it would take a couple more years of studying law before I gave it a go.

Writing and Travelling

I approach stories as a hybrid of travel writer, journalist, and amateur historian.

I tend to seek out immersive travel for the promise of sheer adventure; a closer communion with food, literature, culture, or my ancestry; and a better understanding of history and world affairs. Being able to explore and write about these things is basically my happy place.

Professionally, I write only in my native English, but I get by conversationally in Spanish, Malay, and Mandarin.

I write destination guides and features, news features, narrative nonfiction, profiles, and personal essays.

Occasional Research Work

I'm open to research work for feature films and documentaries. 

Currently, I'm working with Kuala Lumpur-based Rack Focus Films on a series of historical documentaries about Malaysia. The first, Journey to Independencewas broadcast on History Asia in 2016. The second, Formation of Malaysia, is currently in progress.

Previous Work

I've had more than five years of professional experience writing news and features, with internships at The Star (Malaysia's highest-circulating English daily) and The Guardian; and later, a stint at The Malaysian Insider (now-defunct leading online news source) covering the 2013 Malaysian general elections. 

More recently, I was the Associate Editor at Esquire Malaysia, for which I've also written news, cultural and personality features. 

As a freelance writer I've been published in a range of newspapers, magazines and websites in the US, UK, Singapore and Malaysia.

Contact Me 

If you have any story tips or work to commission, or just want to say hello:

Email — emydeewrites@gmail.com 
Facebook Messenger — m.me/emydeewrites

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"I like to follow Jan Morris’s line and think of myself not as a 'travel writer', but rather a writer who travels. It’s a compulsion, like a tic, like a bad habit. Stories of human nature are linked with pathologies of places." —Suzanne Joinson


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