It was a week before the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s funeral when I arrived in Bangkok for a conference and I did not expect that my world would turn black for the next week.
This was a talk I first gave at PechaKucha Petaling Jaya. Video transcript below.
When I was 18, mum and dad packed my bags and sent me off to the US for a working holiday programme. I was hesitant to go, but my parents were so excited for me to see the world. It was an opportunity they never had.
Hello friends! A few months ago, Expedia Singapore roped me in for an exciting International Women’s Day campaign called ‘Women with Capes’. It’s a series of interviews with intrepid female travellers in Asia about their adventures around the world, how it began, and how travelling helped them unlocked strengths to become strong, independent women.
Through ‘Women with Capes’, we want to girls to know that the world is yours to explore too.
“You’re bullshitting me!” I shouted when a fellow-backpacker told me he had gone swimming with humpback whales in Tonga.
What kind of friends do I make when I travel solo?
Good ones. Real ones. Beautiful ones.
In a quiet, dusty alleyway in Coptic Cairo, a toddler, barely 3, cries mercilessly as he was forced to get a tattoo.
“Can I take a photo with you?”
Her bright, young eyes, full of enthusiasm and wonder, looked into my jaded ones. I remember having eyes filled with sunshine like hers. Now they’re just tired and disenchanted; tired of travelling and disenchanted at the phlegm-spitting, queue-cutting, rude, and conflicting country that I am finally leaving.
“The wind blows from North to South!”
“The wind blows from North to South.”
Can you believe that after seven months since my return to you, people are still asking me why I came back? Just last week at breakfast an auntie asked me “Why don’t you continue working there? Malaysia economy and politic is so bad now, stay in New Zealand better.”
This was never meant to be a journey of self-discovery.