I interviewed tropicalista Rosa about living in Cambodia and Darwin and what the Tropics means to her, in order to start to discover – what defines the Tropics?
When did you first move to the Tropics?
I first moved to the Tropics to Cambodia in 2012 for work, I think that was my first taste of it. I was working as a reporter. I always had a sense that I liked the heat, the humidity, felt alive in the Tropics. Cambodia awakened something in me and I knew it was where I had to be.
And what made you decide to move to Darwin?
Darwin seemed the perfect halfway point between Cambodia and Melbourne, where I’m from. It has this Southeast Asian climate, and aspects of Southeast Asian culture, and there’s the, unknown to me, Indigenous world which is fascinating for someone who hasn’t lived amongst it.
What does the Tropics mean to you?
The Topics for me is like any extreme environment – the Tropics moulds the way people live, like living in the desert or arctic. The Tropics is a way of life.
How has your life changed living in the Tropics?
I enjoy the weather a lot more – it’s so dramatic. I find it eternally interesting. You can sit out in the morning and watch the day unfold. Night time in the topics is different as well. It’s alive. It’s still hot and the animals come out. People too. Night time is continually active.
What sparked your interest in the Tropics?
Brazil was the first overseas country I went to and I definitely think that set the bar for me. My dad lived there and met his wife there. I loved the tropical elements of Brazil. All the genres of tropical music there. Colour – it’s so colourful. I’ve been chasing that ever since.
Do you think there’s things that Tropical countries have in common?
I do, I’m often quite obsessed by this. There’s things in common that Tropical countries have. They’re colourful, and there’s also this myth that they are happy. I think that’s intriguing. I guess it stems from the greenness – freshness of nature. What’s also interesting is the music. In the 60s and 70s there was this tropical style that came to Cambodia and South America. Jungle rhythms. That’s probably something worth doing more research on.