My Travel Story: How it All Began
Unlike most Singaporean university students, I did not have a 6 months exchange in a foreign country.
Nor did I quit my job and travel the world like so many travel bloggers and people I met on my travels.
Instead, here's my story.
I had a moment of realization while gliding through the air on the flying fish (pictured above) in Kuta Beach, Bali.
"This is the best feeling ever! What have I been missing out for the past 3 years?"
That was the first time I flew out of Singapore in three years, and the first trip abroad with friends.
A trip that changed my life.
Before that last minute trip (we made the decision a day ago), I’ve never given much thought to travelling.
Throughout my childhood, I’ve travelled probably once a year with my mum and brother, staying in the nearby regions of Asia and Australia.
Until 2011, when I was called to serve the nation and my precious annual leave were saved for whatever activities a 20-year-old thought were cool.
Oh boy, what a bad choice. I never knew what I gave up.
No travels. No exploration. Nada.
Since that Bali trip in 2014, I’ve caught the travel bug and been in and out of Singapore seven times each year for the next two years.
The two craziest years of my life - striking off item after item on my bucket list, meeting people from all over the world and pushing myself out of my comfort zone, trip after trip.
I’ve jumped out of a plane in Brazil, dived in the beautiful oceans of Malaysia, ran off a cliff in Vietnam, scaled the highest volcano in Indonesia, took a helicopter ride above the majestic Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia and couchsurfed in Australia.
I’ve travelled solo in multiple cities, travelled as an uncle with my adorable nephews, travelled for the first time with my father in 25 years, travelled with lovers, travelled with friends old and new, and even travelled for free, with a 5-star hotel stay.
I’ve gotten lost, gotten robbed, gotten sick. Been drunk on the streets. Starved till I couldn’t speak. I’ve cried and smiled, loved and lost. And yet I yearn for it more: The feeling of plunging into the unknown. The freedom that comes with exploration and living each day to the fullest. The feeling of waking up every single day excited.
2016 was a year of laying low. As I watched my friends enjoying their University exchange life in various countries, I took a hiatus from travel. Instead, I made sacrifices – in my studies and social life.
While I stayed at home and in school, felt dead inside and unintentionally surrounded myself with negative-thinking and scarcity-minded people, I slowly bided my time.
I started an internet business that gives me the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. I learnt self-defence to protect myself on my travels. I even took Spanish and Salsa classes. All for my dream of returning to South America one day.
Even though friends have asked, I never gave much thought to writing about various short, scattered trips with no real focus.
The day I booked a one-way ticket to Brazil.
With no return date, I decided to travel slowly and fully immerse in the local culture of each of the South American countries. I decided to record this journey from the perspective of a Singaporean.
It is finally my turn to travel.
As I type this on the plane ride from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, I want people to know that travel is not limited to short, unfulfilled weekend trips. I want people to know that it is possible to live a life of your dreams. I want people to know that it is a matter of the choices you make daily.
I do not subscribe to the notion that we are born to study, get a job, pay off debts and die. I believe it is possible to live a life of freedom and enjoy the beauty of this world at the same time.
I hope my journey will inform, entertain and inspire you, my friends, to leave your comfort zone and have your own trip of your life too.
I hope that through this blog and its stories and resources, it will be YOUR turn to travel too.
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I've since returned from my one year backpacking trip through South America and I am proud to say I visited all countries on the continent, had an even crazier year and some of the best times of my life. I've definitely learned a lot and my perspectives have changed.
One thing hasn't though: my passion for travel.
I've decided to double-down on making my dream of travelling the world a reality. I've since joined the travel industry, worked in a travel start-up and will work doubly hard to make this blog a better resource for anyone who stumbled upon here.