TO TRAVEL IS TO LIVE
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