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The write up in this page is extremely casual and gets longer as the day goes by. Not everyone will like the style of ‘randomness’ (aka unorganized) in this entry.
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Just a (not so) short introduction:
I’ve been blogging since I was 13 and travel blogging only started at 15, after my first (without family) trip to Chiangmai for OCIP (Overseas Community Involvement Project).
It was then followed by my self-funded trip with 2 friends to Taiwan when I was 18. (Worked for 6 months during pre-uni vacation to save up that amount of money.)
After entering university, I went on a Youth Expedition Project (YEP) trip to Manila. For my first summer break, I signed up for “Work and Travel USA” program, organized by Speedwing. Spent (to date, the best time of my life) 3 months in the United States, mainly at Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey where I worked in a candy shop (South Beach Sweets, Jenkinson’s South).
The following summer (Yes I gave up my second summer internship opportunity), I did a summer program in Seoul National University. (If I had a second chance, I would opt for a full semester exchange instead.) I spent 49 days in South Korea and experienced the adventurous “Anyhow Whack Itinerary” which involves spontaneity due to lack of planning.
My last summer, aka the shortest and most expensive one, I went for a month long graduation trip to Europe. It was also my first airplane ride alone (for 13 hours w/transit at Dubai). It was an exciting adventure of non-stop action for 30 days, visiting 10 cities in 6 countries, reaching home to a pocket-ful of debts.
After graduation, I entered the work force and had to break the unwritten rule of “leave-less” first year in less than 3 months because I won myself a trip to Seoul from a blogging competition – Asian on Air 2012.
After the supposedly “doomsday” which didn’t come true, I rewarded myself (YOLO mentality) with an impulsive decision to Hong Kong in early Jan 2013. It was fueled excessively by budget airline ticket prices. Then in March, there was a $0 ticket sale to Kuala Lumpur where I visited Genting and played my first-ever casino table game.
In May 2013, my graduating friends and I went for a 2D1N deal.com trip to Batam (Harmoni One Hotel).
In March 2013, Scoot decided to fly to Seoul and I was unable to resist persuading friend’s offer to visit the super random/unique/ridiculous places in South Korea. I ended up on a 10 day trip in Korea – Summer 2013, during the National Day/Hari Raya Long weekend in August =D
And for my 5th vacation this year, I went on board the legendary Caribbean Cruise!
In Feb 2014, I went to the most popular island in Indonesia – Bali for a 4D3N adventure to visit my dream wedding chapel =p
Second trip of the year was extremely unplanned and last minute! I flew alone to Hong Kong in April and had a few alone days which was pretty interesting.
The next trip was the most anticipated trip of the year – KRABI vacation with one night stay in sofitel + lying on the hammock was finally fulfilled! Private longtail boat tours were the best thing ever.
Well, I planned to have only 3 vacations in 2014, all in the first half of the year but I think I smell the next one coming by really soon!
In September, I went on a $38 2D1N Groupon trip to Batam. Stayed at the Cruise Hotel, something which I have always been intrigued by.
And then i had no vacation for the next 6 months.. until I finally got my leave approved for my Japan trip in March 2015. It was a crazy trip as I chiong-ed to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Himeji & Kobe in 5 days.
3 months later, went on a 9 days trip to Tokyo/Hokkaido Self-Drive end June/early July. We were too early for the full-bloom flowers season but thankful as the attractions were less crowded.
2016 is a pretty exciting year for me. It’s only April right now but I’ve been on 3 trips (Shipsomnia Cruise, Perth Self Drive, a short getaway to an island off Mersing) and I have another 3 confirmed trips.
Adding on Okinawa (and its islands) as one of the potential trips in my list too!
I don’t know what comes next.. hoping to visit Telunus Private Island or Krabi/Bali again. Maybe Chiangmai or some Thai Islands like Koh Lipe or Langkawi or Penang. Then again, I haven’t visited Taiwan for 6 years already and Jeju has been on my to-go list since forever. Also, Aussie dollar has been dropping lately. Let’s wait.. and see.
(Updating the entry on 22 Feb 2017)
So like I mentioned in the post, I had 3 confirmed trips after April which was:
I later on went for..
Which means that.. I went overseas for 9 times (excluding day trips to JB) and spent 10% of 2016 out of Singapore. I suppose this is a personal best for me in terms of number of trips done in a year =/ which aka means I’m a lot poorer due to the dwindling savings.. but i guess, travel is the only thing that makes you rich. Suddenly recall a quote that I’ve seen somewhere.
Spend your money on things that you can buy. Spend your time on things money cannot buy.
Now, it’s 2017 and I’m on track to splurge almost all my annual leave by mid May =/ #whatsnew
Oh wells, I’m thankful to be going for my first FAM trip this year (which is happening really soon as I type) and it is of a country which wasn’t in my travel plan this years but ohmygosh how could i have been so lucky to be ‘chosen’ for the adventure. Sometimes, I don’t think that I’m that popular or famous as a travel blogger capable of representing my country but.. I don’t know how and why but it’s ME and I’m gonna make full use of every single opportunity to grow even better!
To be honest, behind all those fancy perks of travelling for ‘free’, most people don’t understand the ‘cost’ (both implicit and explicit) behind it. I still have to sacrifice my personal annual leave (which is pretty average in numbers) as most media trips happen on weekdays where the attractions/places of interest are not as crowded. Next, I need to have an understanding company/boss that allows me to apply for unplanned leave as most media trips only give you only about one month notice. The catch is that I still do work even though I’m overseas. Wifi and data connectivity is a must and my work email gets push to my phone all the time. Occasionally, I do bring my laptop overseas. Another thing (which is my biggest struggle) is that my writing for the promised write-ups is usually planned, drafted, thought through thoroughly even before I start typing. There’s always a hidden pressure to deliver the message well and hopefully meet their objectives (of the trip). I’m slowly getting used to it as the moment you start to see results, you will be more motivated to do an even better job (like how I forced myself to change my blog template to a more professional looking one even though it usually gives me a huge headache, still do).
Without my first invitation to Kota Kinabalu for a FAM trip, I wouldn’t have converted my wordpress.com site to my own domain. Without my own domain, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been what I am today. I’m glad that I worked hard and that my hard work was rewarded. This year, I’m getting closer to my breakeven goal for my blog and I’m starting to see what ‘money’ can ‘do’. I even bought my first set of paid fonts, rewarding myself for the extra income from my super viral article on Filming Locations for K-drama Goblin.
Also, I’ve been accumulating more and more solo travel experiences over the years (since my first plane ride for my grad trip in 2012) and it only gets better! Travelling alone gives you more time and space to understand yourself, think through on what you really want and of course, meeting new people.
Oops, I kind of wrote too much this time but I’m glad that I managed to clear out some thoughts of mine..
Shall continue after May, after I’m back from my next 3 trips =p
(This page will expand exponentially with my increasing propensity to consume)
Disclaimer: Do take note that the information on this page may not be 100% accurate and that I am not responsible for any losses or inconveniences made.
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Updated: 17 April 2016