There was a time when I did not travel the world the way I do now – on a solo trip, planned independently and on a lean budget.
My adolescence did not involve hopping from one country to another, long stints as an exchange student or anything that set me apart from other kids in Singapore. Travel meant occasional family trips to Australia and one-off school visits to China and Thailand.
All of them were organised by the adults or guides who were paid to make the arrangements, and the people at our destinations spoke or wanted to practise languages that I understood. I never read up on the places beforehand or felt the need to do so.
That changed in 2006, and this is how the travel bug bit me. [Read on]