RIGHT HERE. RIGHT NOW
For Mae Tan, being a millennial means being bold enough to act on impulse – in a productive way, no less. “Taking full control of the here and the now, being in the present, and making sure you make a difference is what it’s all about. It means having the confidence and power to change what’s happening now,” she says.
The advent of technology means that access to unlimited information and a wealth of other resources is now more readily available than ever before, making it fair game for one and all. According to Tan, the only way for millennials to make their mark in times like these is to think fast and work smart.
The Surrender boutique, an undisputed pioneer in Singapore’s street fashion scene, is very much like Tan herself – edgy, chic and unpretentiously street. At just 22 years old, the marketing creative has etched herself firmly as one of the leading movers and shakers in the local fashion scene.
As someone who prefers to traverse the unknown, it comes as no surprise then that Tan’s idea of a perfect holiday involves strolling down the streets of Pyongyang, North Korea – not so much to jump on the sensationalist bandwagon, as to observe life in a wholly different light.
“Visiting places that tend to be off the beaten track gives you a different perspective in life. I want to travel to places where I can feel something – it’s not so much the destination, as the experiences I have there,” she adds.
With close to 70,000 followers on Instagram, Tan feels that social media has redefined what it means to be relevant in this day and age. Despite where life may take her, she hopes that her efforts today will leave a mark for generations to come.
“At the end of the day, I want to make an impact in this lifetime, be it through fashion or otherwise.”
I I I
More than a form of escapism, travel has become somewhat of a rite of passage these days. The value of the journey lies not with the destination, but in creating stories and collecting experiences. For the millennials, glitzy and world- famous destinations have made way for obscure and off- thebeaten- track journeys. According to a United Nations report published last year, 200,000 million millennial tourists generated more than US$180 billion in annual tourism revenue – an increase of almost 30 per cent since 2007. Unlike generations before them, a ritzy hotel and an allyou-can eat champagne breakfast just doesn’t cut it anymore. Millennials want to sit on plastic stools and tuck into piping hot bowls of pho with traffic bustling away on the side; they want to drink small-batch craft beer from an obscure back-alley brewery in Yangon and get their feet dirty trekking up mountains in Sri Lanka. It’s all about the experience.
TRAVELLING IN TRIBES
Millennials with means are constantly seeking out collective experiences in their “tribes”, usually comprising large groups of friends and/or family. Luxurious and spacious accommodation with both indoor and outdoor facilities that can house a large number of people is all the buzz. This group may not be as receptive to short-term lodging and vacation rental sites like Airbnb or Vaystays, choosing instead to bunk at luxury villas or well-appointed serviced apartments.
Fomo, an acronym for “fear of missing out”, means wealthy millennials are constantly seeking out novel experiences. This could be a trip to Cuba before gentrification sets in, or a visit to North Korea before ties get more strained than they already are. The idea here is to diverge from the norm, to travel to destinations where people wouldn’t normally go. The more exotic and obscure, the better.
AUTHENTICITY IS KEY
Not one to follow a fixed itinerary put together by a tour operator, millennials value the ability to pick and choose their own experiences according to individual interests. They’re big on online research and gathering information from forums, but they also want to hear voices on the ground, so having a local go-to person is key – a fixer or a local student guide of the same generation who might be able to show them a good time around town, without the touristy gimmicks.
01 01 OFF THE BEATEN TRACK Novel experiences such as a trip to Cuba trump glitzy destinations.
02 02 LUXE ABODE Luxury villas or well-appointed serviced apartments are the accommodation of choice for wealthy millennials.