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to walk with my laces untied, and live, unedited.
SPONTANEITY & SERENDIPITY.
I really love meeting new people, striking up conversations about anything and everything (yes from intellectual theological debates to the most random mundane topics).
I think it's amazing how you can meet a complete stranger from a foreign land and make mind-blowing, eye-opening, heart-warming connections that that transcend cultures, language and backgrounds.
And I do, also think, that every conversation you have with someone (stranger or friend) is a gift. It's a gift that they choose to disclose. A gift of their time, emotions, vulnerability, philosophy, and experiences. A gift they don't have to give you at all, but when they do - i think it's precious :)
Travel, indeed, makes us realise that we're, deep down, all the same.
Just went for an exchange at Semester At Sea from Aug-Dec 2012 and I would say my life has never been the same again. It was really like living the dream... Traveling around the Atlantic Ocean on a ship, porting in 14 countries across 4 continents is really a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Having painting lessons in a Belgium cathedral, making documentaries on graffiti in Buenos Aires, discussing Law of the Sea with professors onboard, and reciting poetry in a sailing barge..
It was like being high on adrenaline for 107 days straight, bombarded by new experiences, one after another, questioning everything I knew about myself, about what I thought I knew, about the world, about life, about existence, about who I was and who I was becoming and why people are the way they are.
It was my first time couch-surfing ever, in Europe and South America too, and what can I say... I'm sold!!! (: I can't think of a better way to travel - personalised, unique, and incredibly eye-opening!
It's because we all want,
for once in our lives,
a legitimate excuse to to cut off all ties,
ties that weigh us down.
We want to be entrained like a pebble by the forces of a running stream.
to be as free and unattached and as singular as a grain of sand on a windy shore.
Travel allows us the freedom of,
for once, having no expectations, no plans.
It's about not having to be a performer, a conformist to the expectations of society
or expectations of our old selves
Instead, in travel, we are each
an adventurer, an explorer,
Someone who isn't afraid to take a step in what might be in the wrong direction,
because there's no right and wrong in travel
if you take your supposedly wrong steps in the right light -
Realise that all distance is relative
and your answer to the questions of the world isn't a multiple choice, but an open ended essay that finds its purpose along the way.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
When I'm overseas, I'll definitely want to couchsurf (even if I have to do it alone)!!!
Unfortunately when I'm in Singapore I can't host cause I live with my (sometimes over-protective/overly-conservative parents!) But I'll be more than willing to bring you around Singapore (:
I've just completed my Honours Thesis titled "From Stranger to Friend: The Intimate Geographies of Couchsurfing in Singapore" and I am beyond thankful to the wonderful people that I've met through CS who have opened their hearts and shared their homes with me and helped me through this journey! Do let me know if you would like to read it :)
My very first time couch-surfing was in Lisbon, Portugal. I had no expectations but kinda was just winging it by myself - and it really was great! Met really cool hipster hosts - one was in a reggae band and writing a PhD, the other introduced me to the world of bodyboarding. Cooked amazing meals (I tried my hand at being domestic but failed quite badly) and drove me around. Truly all I could ask and hope for. Yet another kind person I met on couchsurfing brought two of us to go to Sintra and spent the day there with us. THAT WAS IT - all I wanted to do was couchsurf!
Also couchsurfed in Argentina with Guille! Didn't stay with him but he brought my friend and I around the lovely city of Buenos Aires. We had a great day sampling traditional coffee, seeing the Recoleta Cemetery, theatre, museum, had dinner and wine, and then went for tango lessons that very night :) loved every bit of it!
In Uruguay, met Mariano, a wonderful host who brought my friend and I to the most quaint-looking little beach house in Punta Del Este. One of the most memorable moments ever - frolicking in the untouched beaches, making smoothies together, and eating some of the best steak in the world. Loved it!!!
Went to a CS gathering in Kowloon, Hong Kong to usher in the new year!!! Had a wonderful time with these 20 people from all over the world, watching the fireworks together and hitting LKF after :)
Random ambiguous poetry, photography (grass/streets/window sills/and sunsets) , touching mimosas (this is actually really fun), eating hashbrowns with syrup, listening to indie folk and write, trying to overcome my irrational phobia of clowns, failing yet again to maintain my blog, doodling, sketching horses, cryptic lines and tweets, pretending unicorns exist, scrap-booking, pondering on provocative quotes, thinking about existence, trying to reconcile my dichotomous life, sending postcards from abroad home to myself, and of course, wanderlusting.
Music, Movies, and Books
Memento. Lord of the Rings.
Iron and Wine, Switchfoot, The XX, Belle and Sebastian, Munford and Sons, Noah and the Whale, Haim, The Paper Kites, Brandon Flowers, The Killers, and Ben Howard.
Wish I had more time for non-fiction again. LIfe gets in the way :/ Sophie's World. Norwegian Wood.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Having an astronomy lesson at 3 in the morning on the top-deck of a ship, somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, seeing shooting stars for the first time in my life.
HIking up the third highest active volcano in the world (Tenerife, Canary Isands), and having academic orgasms #geoggeek
Cuddling a little kid in Ghana and her telling me she wants me to take her home with me.
Meeting a bunch of locals in South Africa outside a bar at 5am, following them on their motorcycles and watching the sun rise as we sped across Capetown.
Jumping 6 meters free-fall into a icy cold gorge in Dominica (where Pirates was filmed!)
Holding a baby sloth, catching piranhas, grabbing caiman with my barehands, and sleeping in a hammock overnight - all on the same day in the Amazon rainforest!
Dancing in a Samba club and then hitching a ride by sitting on the handlebars on the bicycle of a stranger at 3 in the morning at Rio (in the rain)
Chilling with random hobos in Montevideo, Uruguay - sitting on the sidewalk drinking beer, singing songs and just having a great time.
Hiking up a mountain at 40 degrees to see the nomadic tribes near Shiraz, Iran, taking a shower from the well water, watching herds of goats, and chatting to the 81-year old tribesman about life
Teach, Learn, Share
philosophers, thinkers, people of diverse backgrounds, music makers, music appreciators, photographers, journalists, artists, poets, foodies, animal lovers, anyone essentially!
Countries I’ve Visited
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Dominica, Estonia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Viet Nam
Countries I’ve Lived In