Female (Malaysia) - - EDITOR’S NOTE -

I was do­ing a spring clean of my Face­book friends’ list re­cently and re­alised just how many friends I’ve ac­cu­mu­lated through my trav­els – of­ten­times by chance and each one comes with an in­ter­est­ing story that I can live to tell.

From this group, there are those who I’ve only met once (or twice if we’re lucky) but they come with vivid mem­o­ries of a spe­cific place and time; e.g. the sweet Ger­man girl who sat next to me on a flight to Vi­en­tiane that I ended up ex­plor­ing the city with the fol­low­ing day, the loud Pol­ish girl who got me to play tourist in KL along with her and led me to dis­cover some stun­ning sights and sounds that I didn’t re­alise ex­isted right un­der my nose this whole time… and then there’s a client’s BFF who tagged along on our work trip and even­tu­ally joined in on what I dub our ver­sion of The Amaz­ing Race: Macau. We even ticked off all the must-dos on our list in less than four hours (those fa­mous Por­tuguese egg tarts in­cluded)!

Over the years, my friends’ list started to in­clude more writ­ers and edi­tors from other ti­tles who make each me­dia trip a unique ex­pe­ri­ence. Most of the time, they turn out to be so much fun that we don’t mind hang­ing out with one an­other more of­ten, or go on more trips with. I’m lucky to have friends in all con­ti­nents, and this has led me to ven­ture into ter­ri­to­ries that I wouldn’t have other­wise heard of or given much thought about. But when it comes to trav­el­ling, the key to do­ing it well is to al­ways travel with some­one you trust and like (as­sum­ing it’s not a solo trip), as well as be pre­pared for the worst.

Last year, I booked a one-way ticket to Mau­ri­tius for this Oc­to­ber. As luck would have it, I got an email in March say­ing that the air­line was ceas­ing the flights at the end of that month it­self. Al­most in­stantly, I had to think of Plan B, C and D, re­or­gan­ise my work schedule and find a new travel buddy ALL in one week­end (#FWP I know)! Amaz­ingly, I man­aged all that with my friend Ja­nis telling me to “just book ev­ery­thing and I’ll come along – cos who doesn’t want to go to this par­adise?!” My plan to wing it all the way worked out rather well too, and this trip turned out to be the best. hol­i­day. ever!

So if you’re itch­ing to book that flight to a des­ti­na­tion you’ve read about on our pages, just do it al­ready (cos #YOLO) – and if you still need con­vinc­ing, flip to pg. 143 for our first-ever Top 50 Travel Choice picks cos we’ve got you cov­ered!

Ev­ery per­fect trav­eller al­ways cre­ates the coun­try where he trav­els.

– Nikos Kazantza­kis

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