Hello, Internet! As I'm sitting in my gorgeous Airbnb in the beautiful city of Portland writing this, I'm flooded with excitement.
I've always had a knack for writing since I was a young lad. Writing is a creative outlet for me, on top of being a way for me to organize my thoughts. Naturally the thought of writing a travel blog seemed to fit the bill. While I'll attempt to make the content as intriguing and organized as I can, be warned that might not always be the case… anyway, welcome to my new travel blog.
During sixth grade (or primary six as they're called it in many commonwealth countries), my family and I moved abroad for the very first time to Beijing, China from Singapore. The excitement and adrenaline rush I got from being in a new country was intoxicating to say the least. I felt right then that my life was about to change drastically.
From there, we moved to Hong Kong a couple of years later. Getting to experience Hong Kong as an expat (and somewhat local… I tried) was amazing. The nightlife and neon lights that lit up the streets were something I had never seen before. Though the streets were dark and grungy, there was also a air of excitement to it. I remember one of my favorite memories was walking the markets with my friend (okay … she was a crush) and smelling the stinky-tofu and how she'd try so hard to convince me to try them. It was also during that time that I tried on my first pair of contact lenses (weird colored ones too)… but that's a story for another time.
And just like clockwork, it came time to move again. However this time I realized that with the frequent moving, relationships were going to be a challenge. I was never good at doing long distance relationships (friendships and romantic relationships) and this resulted in me starting from scratch every single time I moved. You can probably see how this would mess with a teenager's psyche. I felt alone.
When I returned to Singapore after leaving Hong Kong, I was drafted into the military. There I had the opportunity to travel more, landing myself in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand. Suddenly the fear of losing relationships turned into opportunities to gain new ones; I was determined to travel the world and make new friends everywhere I went and stay connected to them through social media and blogging once I left the military.
That plan got put on hold for a period of time due to personal commitments and relationships, but that's a story best told over beer.
Through the years, my passion for traveling never waned but instead felt stifled and held back because adult responsibilities came first. I was being a responsible adult by working hard and making the money I should be making… at the expense of me globetrotting.
Why a travel blog?
After reading through all that, you might be wondering: what does any of that have to do with starting a travel blog?
I'm glad you asked!
When I traveled in the past, I simply skipped around and checked out all the touristy spots, never taking the time to remember what I was doing (either through writing or photography). I have zero evidence of me ever being in that country.
As I thought about my desire to travel again, I realized that I wanted a way to stay connected with people who I'd meet along the way, and for them to stay connected with me as well. It is also a way for me to be accountable to myself, to remember my travels, and to be intentional about experiencing them. While I had blogged in the past, they were usually just random musings and rants with no purpose.
So my game plan for this travel blog (and my travels in general) would entail:
- Being intentional about immersing myself into the culture.
- Focusing on experiencing everyday life like a local.
- Sharing those experiences with photographs and writing.
Also, we live in a age where information is so readily available and there's such a strong inertia that's preventing people from traveling and leaving the country. Yes … I'm sure your home country is fantastic, but it's such a disservice to yourself to never experience first-hand what these other cultures have to offer.
My goal apart from keeping myself accountable through the blog and remembering my travels, is to hopefully spark a fire in you for world travel. There's so much in this world to experience, learn, and enjoy. Be inspired, get out there, and make your own adventures … or join me on one of mine!
As I write this, there are a couple of destinations in mind for the rest of 2018. I obviously can't start a travel blog and never travel… so there's certainly going to be plenty of travel happening.
I'm planning to leave for Iceland sometime this summer (mid August / early September) with absolutely no plan other than to hop from one hot spring to another, while backpacking and camping between each. I'll be sure to capture as much of the beauty of Iceland as I possibly can.
After I return from Iceland, I'll be busy preparing / planning for my Thailand trip happening between November 5th and 16th. During that downtime, my plan is to also travel within the states, visiting some national parks and keeping my feet wet in between big trips.
2018 will be a fun year. It will be exciting, and scary at the same time. It's been 12 years since I've left for another country, and there's so much out there waiting to be experienced but I certainly hope that you'll enjoy this journey with me as I embark on this adventure. While not every blog post will be this long, I promise that they'll be of substance (I refuse to write filler / junk entries). I do tend to talk a lot in person once you get me going, but I'll try to keep it in check on the blog. This initial post will hopefully give you a brief overview of what I'm trying to do with this blog and my future adventures. If you're remotely interested, please drop me a line (or leave your blog link here) so that I can follow your adventures and be inspired as well. I ask that you also follow All-out Walkabout on the various social media platforms and get to see a the adventures as they happen.
Thanks for joining me on this journey; I hope you'll enjoy the ride.