I’ve said that there’s a time and a place for different kinds of trips before. While others may fill theirs with shopping and sun-tanning, I prefer to fill mine with enriching and exciting things (like driving Mario karts on public roads). Sometimes it involves getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new, so here are five ideas for activities to consider trying when you travel.
Is it better to be a traveller than to be a tourist? I don’t buy that nonsense. There’s a place and there’s a personality for every kind of travel, whether it’s going solo, a trip with friends or a package tour. How do you figure out the right style of travel for your trip? I have a few pointers:
A post by another Singaporean travel blogger went viral for the wrong reasons last week. The premise? ‘Singaporeans are are racist, ignorant, Instagram-obsessed sheep who are not maximising their freedom to visit 180 countries without getting a visa in advance.’
Unsurprisingly, the said blogger removed the post due to the backlash, despite having writing about his countrymen like this for years. Thankfully, for those who missed out, the Internet never forgets.
If our dear blogger intended to spur other Singaporeans to leave their comfort zones, a sea of smugness and tired epithets drowned the message. Let’s quickly examine what was wrong with the post.
You know that annoying person who posts pictures of their business class experiences on social media (#blessed)? Sorry, I’m about to become one of them for this post. It’s about my first business class flight aboard a Finnair Airbus A350-900. Please forgive me for not being able to compare it with business class on other airlines, it took this peasant a while to earn this privilege.
This year (2017) saw the addition of low-cost routes from Singapore to Athens, London and Tehran (via Kuala Lumpur). That’s in addition to the existing flights to places beyond tropical Southeast Asia like Australia, Japan and China. A big part of what makes budget flights cheap is the ‘pay for what you need’ model. If you don’t pay for checked baggage, you’re restricted to just a 7kg cabin bag and a small item.
It’s easy to fit everything you need for a weekend getaway to Bali in a cabin bag. What about a two-week trip to a colder destination in winter, though? Surely there can’t be enough space for all the thick jackets, boots and thermals? [Read on]
Have you heard of the Travelers’ Century Club? Only people who have been to 100 or more countries and territories can become members. According to the club’s criteria, as of July 2016, I’ve been to 29 such places. (You can check my ‘Where I’ve Been’ page for the updated list) There’s a long way to go if I want to get a special pin and join their meetings.
It’s a big ‘IF’, though. Joining the club isn’t on my bucket list. Now, I’m aware that I’ve been privileged enough to be able to leave Singapore’s shores a few times a year, but I must share this: It’s nice to count countries and keep score, but my total, or anyone’s total for that matter, is no big deal. It actually ruins the things that make travel enjoyable, beneficial and meaningful.