THE GLO­BE­TROT­TER

Chong Wei-Hsiang, CEO of Milk PR

The Peak (Malaysia) - - Collector’s Issue -

There’s a wan­der­lust deep in Chong Wei-Hsiang, one that sees him pack­ing his pass­port and head­ing for the air­port of­ten. “There are many rea­sons why I travel – and it’s some­thing I do of­ten – from chal­leng­ing my­self to learn and ex­pand­ing my per­spec­tives, to get­ting in touch with my­self; from us­ing it to gain a bet­ter ap­pre­ci­a­tion of my own life, to build­ing and strength­en­ing re­la­tion­ships and friend­ships,” he says.

Travel, ul­ti­mately, is a ne­ces­sity for Chong. “Travel is knowl­edge – it does not have to be a lux­ury as, with good plan­ning, travel can of­ten be cheaper than we think,” he adds. “A per­fect trip is one that fea­tures a re­turn to sim­plic­ity and is not em­bel­lished. In this dig­i­tal age, be­cause there is so much com­pet­ing for our at­ten­tion, we have stopped be­ing mind­ful. Travel is about find­ing bal­ance from be­ing able to catch our breath. I re­cently spent 10 days in Kau­sani in In­dia to dis­con­nect, re­boot and deepen my prac­tice of be­ing mind­ful. It was a jour­ney that al­lowed me to be still, present and know­ing.”

It’s hard for him to pick out any one par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable trip, how­ever. “Every trip is – and should be – equally mem­o­rable for dif­fer­ent rea­sons! All it takes is a con­stant re­minder that we re­ally should ap­pre­ci­ate every mo­ment of every trip. I am so very for­tu­nate to be in a po­si­tion to travel and I con­tinue to re­mind my­self of this fact.”

Hav­ing done it so of­ten, plan­ning ahead has come se­cond na­ture to Chong. “This month, I’m off to the Ed­in­burgh Fringe Fes­ti­val and then the Ice Ho­tel in Kiruna in De­cem­ber. Ad­di­tion­ally, Nnemba Is­land in Zanz­ibar, Sal Sails in Ex­mouth and Pikaia Lodge in the Gala­pa­gos are top of my 2017/18 list.”

While new places are al­ways a joy to dis­cover, Chong does have his favourites: “The Is­land of Misool in Western New Guinea is where I re­turn to year af­ter year. This is where I go off the grid for up to two weeks. Not only is Misool truly eco-luxe in na­ture, it also serves as the launch­pad to some of the rich­est, most di­verse (and pro­tected) marine ecosys­tems in the world. But best of all, there is no phone sig­nal or WiFi – no com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the out­side world. No FOMO. And, there­fore, noth­ing to dis­tract me from be­ing present.”

Des­ti­na­tions might change but some things never change. “With travel, one must be will­ing to take the good with the bad – to keep cool when flights get de­layed or can­celled, or when bags go miss­ing! One thing I’ve learn is that, when you travel, pa­tience is an es­sen­tial item to bring along. That, and an open mind.”

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