The world is an unknown place until we remove ourselves from our comfort zones and explore it to its fullest. Though some experiences may be scary and uncomfortable, this is what promotes our growth and intelligence. Deciding to embark on a yearlong trip around the world was the best decision of my life and I encourage everyone to travel to a new and exciting place and invest in its people and culture to get a glimpse of the many lives around the globe.Read More
Michel Foucault, the famous French philosopher and social theorist, coined and defined the word heterotopia in his essay “Of Other Spaces” in 1967. As with all philosophical claims and metaphysical insights, heterotopia and its definition is malleable and perhaps solely dependent on our individual experiences and multifaceted personalities. When I traveled abroad to Cape Town, South Africa with 13 other University of Illinois students two months ago, I soon realized that each and every one of us packed our heterotopia(s) with us, but were now co-existing in a space where our previous spaces, mental or otherwise, could not function nor survive, thus unrestricted cultural immersion ensued. The spaces that we were familiar with and comfortable existing in, were now out of sight and pushed to the back of the mind. Travel, whether predetermined or spontaneous, has the potential to strip us of our contrived and socially constructed identities – our “heterotopias” or spaces – and demolishes, reconstructs, reorganizes, and then remodels them, and we must then learn how to find a place to foster and nurture our blooming perspectives and newborn reflections.Read More
Everytime people living overseas visit Nigeria, there's a tendency to take pictures of people on the streets of Lagos. Pictures of hawkers, wheel barrow pushers and buses are some of the common ones you'd see.This time around, I just felt doing that would be typical and pointless. One fateful afternoon, while stuck in traffic, I noticed a street hawker selling Calculators. I thought to myself, "on a hot day like today, why on earth would you be out selling calculators". Then It dawned on me. He'd rather walk around in the hot sun cause there's a possibility he might sell one calculator, than sit at home doing nothing. Though you could say he should choose some other, more profitable, product, at the end of the day, it's Just Something to do. Ah!Read More
When I travelled to Taiwan to live there for a year, I told myself that I only have one year here and everything that I do not do is a missed opportunity. So I did almost everything in that year. I was afraid and shy a lot of times but this mindset helped me do things and I had a great year. But it didn't stop there. I just went on and on with that mindset and it helps to take risks that pay of most of the time. And now I see everything that I didn't do because I was to afraid to as a missed opportunity. And I believe that everyone can live this way and that you should see risks that way. Do not think about what could go wrong, think about what you could achieve or experience.Read More
My only advice to someone afraid to travel is to keep an open mind ... situations are what you make of them. If you stress over things being perfect and on an exact schedule ... then most often or not you'll be disappointed. We leave a lot of freedom and adaptation to our trips. That way you don't get bogged down with items on an itinerary and appointments that you have to meet. This always caused so much stress when traveling ... something we truly try to avoid when on a holiday. We simply make a list and check things off once we see them. If you don't get to see everything ... no big deal ...Read More
One of the most remarkable places I've been to, is the Island of Grand Turk. I recently visited this Caribbean island on a vacation cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. I boldly remember my first steps onto Grand Turk. My skin was met with the blazing rays of the Caribbean sun, accompanied by the breezy air saturated with high heat. Despite the temperature, It wasn’t long before the sweat that crossed my face, no longer crossed my mind. As I looked upon the horizon and gazed along the timeless palm trees, I knew how paradise felt. Prior, I had no planned excursions on this island. Like most of the islands I visited, I merely went with the flow. My only dominant goal was to visit the town, a petite town, in the heart of Grand Turk, called Cockburn; Small, though dense with culture and way of life. Locals here are polite and very well accustomed to the heavy tourist traffic that swamp this picturesque island. It’s near impossible not to leave Grand Turk with a little something to bring back home. If the locals fail to persuade you to purchase a souvenir, the land itself will not. I came home with a jar of the soft white sands that blanket the island, to remind me of how beautifully the bright blue waves crashed against it so harmoniously, while at the same time creating a visual contrast between land and sea, that eyes fortunate enough to witness, would by no means forget.
Growing up in a developed country of Singapore, everything is very fast paced. When you compare to countries like France, England or Turkey, where the Heritage History is strong, we lack heavily in that area. That could also be triggered by the idea that we are a relatively young Nation. That being said, travelling has proved to be not only an escape from the Urban Jungle but also a chance to be educated of the History that surrounds us throughout the world. Getting to understand cultural diversities that we do not face locally, being able to be exposed and stand along side Architectural wonders that have stood throughout the early renaissance era, having the chance to touch the walls of one of the earliest monasteries; all these have provided invaluable knowledge that cannot be learned in schools; all of which have somehow molded the current day that we live in.Read More
Morroco is a place from which one can come back with tons of great memories, like walking in the souks of Fès and seeing the sun pierce through the ceiling in amazing rays of light, watching the sun set on a medina or on the sea from an old building's terrace, visiting incredible cities like Chefchaouen entirely painted in blue (highly recommended), feeling the animation and hearing the noises of cooks and musicians at dinner time on Marrakech's main square. All this will stick with you!Read More