Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The Idea

What makes you wan’nar travel the world in the first place ?

Frankly I still quite can’t answer that question and I get that a lot from family, friends and acquaintance that I met along the way or through work. Usually I will come up with any story I can make up at that point in time depending on mood which could go either way from

Me                             : “I dunnu, I just always wanted to do it since I was a kid “
Others Typical Reply    : “Live long dream eh”

Me                               : “I love travel and why not go for the grand adventure”
Others Typical Reply    : “There has got to be more than just that, it’s a BIG TRIP”
Me                               : “Does a long explanation on some people in history inspired me bla bla bla and how traveling would open up the mind bla bla bla and whatever the person I was talking to wanted to hear bla bla bla”
           ( Blugehhh I could vomit myself thinking of the crap I fed them sometimes )

Others Typical Reply    : ( They are normally satisfied with the rubbish I feed them hence the end of the question )

Sorry to those go got the fabricated answers … oh well I just dun have all the answer or there is just no one simple answer to that question.

If I would to reflect on what inspired me to do a Round The World (RTW) travel then it would derive to these few key things


I have always been a free bird with no liking of commitments or dead weight.
I love the idea of not a care in the world and doing whatever you wanted instead of what is expected … seams easy enough?? Well dun forget asian communities can have load of expectation for people to conform to the norm and culture.

Traveling could be associated to two types in my point of view…. A holiday …. Or an adventure, hence being the kind of person who loves having the freedom to do anything he wants,  it was an adventure I craved, an adventure to be free and disconnected from the ties of cultural norms and expectation

Inspiration from Friends and Family 

I came from a family where almost half of the extended relative are abroad either migrated or married to the locals … and it’s from both sides of the family (mom and dads)
Some of my relative I have never even seen nor contacted them till today but they are out there somewhere ….

The most influential would be my cousins which are half British half Malaysian which was my mom’s sister son and daughter Jon & Karen. They are elder then me a few years but during my younger years it was exciting to see family from far-far away come back to visit during Chinese New Year and hearing all the different stories and culture.

Then there was my uncle whom married his wife who is of Thai national and has been residing in Thailand and working there ever since.

My cousin from that branch of the family was younger than me and they could not speak a single word of English back in the days (age 10 ish) still it was the most challenging thing to try and communicate. I actually found it enjoyable

Jon & Karen was the first to start doing RTW in my family circle that i know of and they were always pit stopping in Malaysia visiting us and of coz that was the initial idea of Round The World Travel.

Still it was different for us in Malaysia back then. The earnings of wages and the exchange rate makes it almost impossible to imagine being able to travel the world.

I remember my cousin Jon told me this or somewhat close to this;

“There is minimum wage back in England. You can’t earn lower that GBP 4 an hour because it’s illegal. I can eat five McDonald meals here for an hours work in England”
 (To enlighten GBP 1 = RM 6 back then and McD was about RM5 a meal back then)

You never know till you try … :)

Small Travels Big Dream

From all the small travels I had done before going on the BIG trip it was like a training camp. It started with road trips to the whole of peninsular Malaysia by car navigating the small roads instead of the major highway. Traveling to see my Uncle and his family in Hatyai, Thailand which he brought my family further on another road trip to Phuket and and Koh Samui on different occasion.

Budget airline in asia made it possible for the beginning of the extended adventure. I was supposed to plan the trip to Vietnam for my friends but actually all I did was book the flight ticket. Training for traveling without a plan I was thinking but two days before the flight, I was busted by my friends and had to smack something together last minute.

The trips and short holidays made me itch for a BIG TRIP. Like someone trying to substitute a craving with another thing and it just made the craving worst. The dream was alive and it was planning planning planning from then on.


Sometime it’s all just plain dumb luck. You needed money to travel however skimpy you are and you need the timing to be right. I have read about people managing their money and have a saving plan to do a BIG TRIP but I was just too lazy for that.

I basically save whatever I can and since I dun spend much on materialistic stuff it wasn’t that hard. Thou when it comes to party and lush food I always throw the money away but it was worth it. That said I somehow saved enough after three years of working and the project I was working on was coming to an end.

I somehow manage to squeeze out a sabbatical agreement from my company and boss.
(Story for another time and I will tell the story of HOW TO GET SABBATICAL or at lease how I did it anyway)

The last part no one could have predicted I supposed … the euro debt crisis … and the American dollar slump …. If that was not a big discount on going on a BIG TRIP I have no idea what is.

It went down to three things:

I had money I saved up
The project I was working on was ending and I got a sabbatical leave
The euro crisis and American dollar slump made my BIG TRIP CHEAP

Sometimes it’s all just plain dumb luck :)

If you are reading this to find inspiration to travel I hope I have helped nudge you closer to your goal.

The best inspiration I feel is from oneself … whatever the reason …

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