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Sunday, 14 January 2018

Why do we travel?

Indeed. Why do we travel at all?

Let's for a moment leave out travelling due to work or medical reasons. 

Just focus on travelling for leisure.

1.  Do we travel overseas just to share how much we've saved?

2.  Or snap pictures of famous landmarks as part of a pre-planned itinerary that we monkey see, monkey do from others?

Hey! You even snap the same food others have eaten before! 

And of course you never fail to remind others you never followed those organised tours where you were herded like sheep; yours is a DIY trip OK?

Wait. Something seems off...

3.  How about shopping and eating? But then you discover when you back those stuffs and food you have purchased overseas are also available in Singapore...

But hey! They were "cheaper" overseas!

Of course. Just as long you leave out the plane tickets and hotel costs... Wink.

4.  Actually you don't enjoy or feel like travelling. You travel because of you "have to". Your significant other has been bugging you for donkey years...

5.  Eh... Because everyone has done it? Its a ritual thing? Every school holidays we travel out as a family; if not do what? 

Noticed all the above were activities?

I've some interesting conversations with friends over coffee who shared the reasons why they travelled:

a)  Due to a heartbreak. A breakoff. A divorce. They just want to get away from people they know.

b)  Because of extreme loneliness. 

c)  Sadness over a loss...

d)  To have sex. If your girlfriend says yes to travelling overseas with you as a couple, its a "yes" right? 

(Its a bit like instead of asking her to marry you, you ask whether want to apply a BTO together?)

e)  Celebrate a joyful event outside the prying eyes of others. Just you and her. Others don't matter for now...

f)  No reason at all. Just too free nothing to do. 


  1. Or like Peter Lim who had so money and free time. He went to airport and take the next flight to anywhere. Lol!

    1. CW,

      I've shared before I knew a girl who was ex-SIA stewardess and sister to one listed furniture company in Singapore.

      She helps out at this furniture store opposite mine.

      One day, she disappeared for a few weeks. When she returned, she told me she not happy so went to Switzerland. I knew immediately she had a tiff with boyfriend.

      She must find me a refreshing change from her rich boyfriends. I listened. We went ou for a while...

      But chickened out due to my stupid teochew pride...

      I was around 26 then. This girl younger than me were sending me home in her huge BMW. Cannot take it.

      Now? If a sugar mommy wants a 50 years me as her toy uncle, I'll say yes!


    2. Hi Jared,

      Your experience with the rich chiobu who was willing to drive you home in the big BMW shows an important difference between being men and women. Imagine if you were a girl and the guy driving you home in the big BMW was a 富二代,高富帅. You will be brimming with pride and your peers will be bursting with jealousy. Your peers will be screaming "cannot take it! Why no rich boy want to take me instead!!" LOL. When women marries a rich spouse, they are respected. When men does the same, they are despised and even looked down on. 小白脸,小鲜肉.

      Pride is a double-edged sword. Although you missed out on the good catch due to pride, it is also your kind of pride that drives men to strive hard and progress. I doubt you can become a Man of Leisure by mid-40s without that pride and the hole in your heart that spurs you to beat others who had better qualifications. And you did!

      My sons hate studying and spend most of their time playing mobile games today. I wonder if your experience can help them. When you were a kid and was falling behind in your grades, why didn't your pride spur you to work hard and get better grades? Why wait until you become an adult, then start to work hard in life? Did some important life event happened along the way, like missing out on this rich chiobu who was willing to date you instead of other richer boyfriends?

    3. hyom hyom,

      When a person is nursing a breakup, he/she is most vulnerable. That's why scam artists target such people.

      I? I happened to be around who listened; and I suspect after experiencing "rich" boyfriends, she must have felt I am refreshingly "bland" like teochew porridge!

      I know my role. I'm a space filler before the right one comes along for her. Its a sweet memory; nothihng more.

      I'm afraid I can't help you out when it comes to your son. I love to learn; but I hate to study for exams.

      I love hisory; I got F9 for it... Those who got A1 memorised the 10 year series; to me that's not learning...

      I believe my knowledge of World Hisory is wider than most Singaporeans who have already forgotten what's inside the syllabus, never mind what's not examined ;)

      I enjoy literature; I got C5 for it. I just wrote from memory; and how the hell you grade literatute anyway?

      I knew I was "different" back then. So grades wasn't my top priority. That's why it was easy for me to turn down Pre-U and went to work at 16 - you don't need grades or papers to work at 16!


      Who said I didn't work hard? Its just that I'm a round peg in a square hole. Everyone else were paper based; I am competence based.

      It wasn't until I found IKEA who valued diversity and competence that I found my round hole!

      It's like the discussion whether investing and/or sales can be taught? Yes and no.

      The "yes" part is why you worried about your kids grades. You equate getting a First Class Honours in Investing/Sales will automatically mean you can invest and sell.

      The "no" part is what many Singaporeans have discovered -that's why many avoid sales, trading, and entrepreneurship!

      Whether you got degree or O'levels, we are paid the SAME commision rate or profit margin :)

    4. Hi Jared,

      Something is not right if a student gets F9 for a subject he loves and C5 for a subject he enjoys. Maybe you didn't have the good fortune to meet good teachers. You must have had supportive parents. Most parents will give their kids hell if they asked to quit school at 16. You did well eventually. Your mother and siblings are lucky to have you full-time looking after her now. Even considerate enough to find full-time weekend job when too much time together caused friction. I hope my sons can have your heart when they grow up. However, I probably will find it uncomfortable to have the son staying home with the parent full-time. As a parent, I will feel like I am being a burden to him and holding back a filial son from developing to his full potential. Of course, it is different if it is his choice.

      Enjoy your holidays in Thailand. No need to reply if tired.

    5. hyom hyom,

      1. It has nothing to do with my teachers. I have my own internal combustion engine :)

      I'm warm blooded; not cold blooded like reptiles who need to get their energies from the sun ;)

      2. That's why I let mom take care of me at home ;)

      I'm a mama's boy!

      3. Don't worry. I practice:

      Why stand when you can sit? And why sit when you can lie down?


  2. See what are not available in Singapore e.g. high mountains, waterfalls, four season natural beauties, cliffs, long beaches, ha ha many more. Singapore's longest beach we can just walk from one end to the other end in 20 mins. :-)

    1. CW,

      We do lack a proper beach... One where we can look out the horizon and not see container ships and oil tankers :(

      Lucky we Indonesia and Malaysia nearby for mountains, waterfalls, and pristine beaches - not so expensive!

      So not too bad :)

      As for 4 seasons, we have to travel FARTHER to experience it! Must spend!

  3. Hi SMOL,

    I'm weird. The last time I stepped out of Singapore was 10 years ago.

    Concerned folks always tell me that I need to travel more, experience more, etc.

    One day, I may visit Oxyrhynchus, Mount Athos, and Coral Castle. If have, have. If don't have, don't have.

    Dunno what's with all the encouragement of place-dropping. -.-

    1. Unintelligent Nerd,

      I can bet 99% of those who "encouraged" you to travel more have never heard of the 3 places you mentioned. LOL!

      Of the 3 places, I only heard about Mount Athos. Never visited it though... I visited Meteora instead ;)

      You indeed are different when it comes to travel destinations ;)

      Stay true to yourself.

      Don't have to join the other sheep if you are lone wolf ;)

  4. One way to increase our annual expenses is to travel

    1. CW,

      But, but, some say we can spend more to save more!?

      Got "free" cashbacks and "free" miles?

      You don't want meh?


  5. Initially, I used travel as a form of escape, even if it's just for a week or two.

    Something strange happened later. The world that I know of is a tiny little circle. Now, whenever I travel, I try to expand the circle a little bit more.

    New ways to travel. New countries. New cities. New type of accomodations. New routes. New means of transport. Fascinating!

    1. Kevin,

      Most of us started as a form of escape or monkey see monkey do thingy.

      For the fewer of us, we start to explore "experiences" like you've mentioned instead.

      No more the snapping of picutes in front of our Merlion equivalent overseas ;)

  6. Is settle down bug opposite of travel bug's itch?

    Of course i think the older U are the more U are settle down.

    We used to travel once or twice a year when we were younger.

    Now my idea of travel is i am dreaming of staying at a place for a week or 2, that's it.

    i read that Tai Chung is a place where many foreigners have settled there.

    May be like to stay there for a week or 2 to find out why?

    Anyone any idea of Tai Chung?

    Another interesting place is Auckland?

    i think it's SAD if have to travel to escape.

    U can escape to another place or country but how to escape yourself?

    Yourself will stick to U everywhere u go.

    1. temperament,

      Make a while guess why I'm travelling to Chiang Mai tomorrow?


      Go take a free and easy vacation to Tai Chung and/or Auckland for yourself lah!

      Why rely on other people's experiences?

      Why buy shoes using other people's feet sizes?

      Yes its sad. But like LP has said in his recent blog post and one of my older Buddist parable post -

      How would I know I didn't need anything?

      Sometines we need to escape overseas to discover we can't escape ourselves...

  7. Traveling allows us to have the opportunity to live in the Now, which is something rarely found in our stressful daily living. It allows us to explore hidden opportunities that await us in every corner and every moment, while not attempting to dwell in the past or trying to predict the future. It is a definitely great way to 'detox' and reconnect with ourselves with humanity :)

    1. thoughtinstrument,

      That's the ideal ;)

      For corporate shepherds always checking emails and whatsapp messages on their smartphones during vacations, there is no now...

      I should be talking... I'm now physically in Chiang Mai but I'm back in "Singapore" with this comment.


    2. To Hell with Technology, those days when we on leave we were totally uncontactable.

    3. CW,

      That's a true vacation!

      I have not reach your level yet...

      I still have a need to take a peek at the markets - in case I'm wrong that I "should have" nothing to do for this month trading wise ;)

  8. Hi Jared,

    Your friends are not very honest or they are different from who I know. Most want to show off, post pictures on facebook and let everyone knows how rich they are to be able to go to Switzerland, eat good food, live like the elites, take business class. Eh wait, that sounds like me on why I used to travel for work =P

    Now please don't ask me go airports and lounges for the next few years, I will just go Malaysia for family trips!

    1. Jes,

      Acquaintance friends where got share intimate details like taking vacation to nurse a breakup?

      There are vacations for superficial reasons like you've mentioned for instagrams and letting the rest of the world know in Facebook...

      And there are those for deeper emotional, relationship reasons for bonding or healing...

      Then there are those for spiritual callings as in visiting holy sites in Israel, India, or Saudi Arabia...

      I really missed someone picking me up at the airport like during my corporate days...

      Oh well... Being a nobody has its perks too. I'm "anonymous" every where I go.

      No need to wear a mask too!

  9. I am planning on a cycling trip, with a good friend of almost 10 years, in end March. We plan to cycle the Shimanami Kaido in Japan and with some luck, we will be showered with sakura petals while admiring the calm seas of Setouchi on a couple of velos.

    Hmm... reason is to celebrate bromance can?

    1. Patty,

      3 cheers for male bonding!!!

      Your cycling trip reminds me of my ex-colleague who went to Osaka last end November to run her first overseas marathon!

      Her husband and 3 young children went to support her.

      After the race, the whole famuily toured Osaka and Kyoto. Now that's not I would call a "normal" family vacation ;)

      You guys are so cool!

  10. Aiyo. On holiday still reply to comments :P

    Jason Fieber (US investment blogger) enjoying life at Chiang Mai too. Maybe you might meet him?

    1. Unintelligent Nerd,

      Can it be said when we are having fun doing things we like, there's no artificial work/vacation division?


      And I'm here not exactly for vacation... Vacation is a by-product :)

      I'm doing recce.

      Just went through Jason Fieber's "My Story".

      Retire on USD1,000 per month? No wonder he needs to come to Chiang Mai!

      Like that the majority of Singaporeans can also! But then again cannot :(

      How many can "let it go" and settle for USD1,000 per month?

      Our CPF Life under FRS is around this amount in SGD. Maybe big daddy can encourage Singaporeans who complain CPF Life not enough to sell their HDB flat and relocate to a lower cost country?

      I know some Singaporeans have already done so. They are just no bloggers ;)

      Those who are citizens of the world have more options!

    2. SMOL,

      Enjoy your recce & good weather :)

      Maybe you'll bump into Dr Doom who's been there about 20+ years. LOL!

      I've a couple of in-laws who are pretty at-home in the wilds of northern Thailand (beyond Mae Hong Son or Mae Chan) --- their idea of a perfect holiday is to stay with the hill tribes & do hunting & farming in the jungles. And they aren't exactly spring chickens themselves. Unfortunately their wives (& kids) can't stand it, so retirement or even a 6 month sabbatical there is out for them. They satisfy themselves with a 3-4 week escape every couple of years & help a bit with the refugee camps.

    3. Spur,

      I found quite a few old "farangs" who are here for retirement. Not the rich Marc Faber kind, but the sailors, blue-collar workers kind - skin like worn out leather, with tatooes to match!

      Wow! I am betting your in-laws grew up on a farm or kampong ;)

      Like most Singaporeans, I'm more of a city walker.

      Ask me do a 2 hour jungle hike? No thank you! But walk in a park or botanic garden? I'm game :)



  11. Hi smol,

    Not sure if I am.the odd one out. I dun like traveling. I like to just sit back and read a book. Even when I travel, the places I like to go are not family friendly, so I ended feeling very tired after traveling.

    I am not talking about night clubs ok.

    My idea of traveling is talking to locals, living like locals or see mountain see water. Not shopping

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      Be yourself.

      Travel because your neighbour or peers have done so is just plain silly...

      I've seen tourists spending most of their time reading in the hostel lobby or at the beach.

      Yeah! Travel overseas to read!?

      If someone travels to shop-till-they-drop, its a equally valid reason like yours ;)

    2. Hahahahha,

      Smol, actually the idea of reading a book at a hammock at a beach resort sound damn appealing to me. Hahaha

      Btw, I like your comment on yourself about your passing by of a rich girl. I also dun think it will work well. Sure fairy tale exists ... But they are few and seldom...

      How many Warren buffets are there ? Plenty by absolute numbers if we consider their equivalents. Can u become one? Suddenly the odds seem damning. Of course, u alsi dun love her deeply le. Otherwise at that age, you are unstoppable. What is pride

    3. Is it really better to Love & Lost then never try at all?

      This reminds me of the legend of "The Butterfly lovers".

      At least, he tried.

      Marriage is for 2 persons to decide, the rest is "outsiders"?

      Or Marriage is a happy occasion to be shared among KINs and Friends?

      And all of them have something to say, definitely.

      And then things can get complicated.

      Whose marriage didn't have a little obstacles here and there?

      Have U watched "Fiddler On the Roof"?

      Can your marriage be like one of them?

      The more powerful and richer your family is, the higher the probability that your marriage is not so simple.
      (Have U read Teng Li Chuen's failed romances & marriage story?)

      As friends only, most probably no problem.

    4. temperament,

      Your marriage is sort of "not normal" too at your time ;)

      You wife got courage and conviction! And I'm still betting you are handsome for why would she go through all that trouble?

      You 美男子 you!


      Yes. Some of the beautiful and famous women have confessed they are quite lonely...

      Good men are afraid to "approach" them. That leaves the rascals who just want to have them as part of their "notch" on the bed post...

      I've discovered I'm horrible with responsibility after my experiment with living-in-sin. But if sugar jie-jie wants to take care of me, that's another story!

      I know. I'm a parasite!

    5. sillyinvestor,

      I have no desire to be another 3rd rate Warren Buffett wannebe...

      temperament was rigth about me. I don't practice "idol worship".

      I only care that I live up to my full potential as Jared Seah.

      The moment of truth is when the doctor tells me I have 6 more months to live...

      If I had lived a good life, what's there to fear?

  12. Hmm...

    Pardon me, it seems like you have more than just 1 hole in your heart.

    Anyway,who dun have ... Ignore me

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      Its like what I've learnt in Supply Chain - the moment we remove a bottleneck, we'll discover another one that's hidden by the previous bottleneck!

      Yup. One hole-in-the-heart plugged, another one discovered!


  13. Hi SMOL,

    I have another reason. I travel to find motivation for the year ahead. I think I've mentioned before that leaving the usual routine behind gives me fresh insight to the same problem and issues, and I ended up getting ready for the year ahead.

    Like that counted or not? haha

    1. LP,

      Of course!

      I know what you meant for that May 2013, at a pavillion near Stanley Market in Hong Kong, I wrote down my Trading rules for the year I went "pro" ;)

      I remember you commented there that you went to Bataam for 5 days to do "nothing".

      I know I can also do my Trading rules in Singapore...

      There's a reason why corporate like to organise overseas retreats for management strategies and business planning for the coming years ;)

      And why married couples prefer to do "it" overseas too ;)

      A bed is stil a bed? No! Its a world of difference!!!

      You've hit the nail on its head! Wink.

    2. Hmm .. in Singapore we can go up Bukit Timah or Mount Faber hill top to think. :-)

    3. Never tried before though, maybe it will work? :) But my guess is that it wouldn't. Need 1-2 days to internalise the difference in environment and another 1-2 days more to really think differently, haha

    4. CW,

      Lucky you not in HR.

      All your team building trips will be in Sentosa if you in charge :(

      Its "overseas" what!?


    5. LP,

      I feel like telling CW why need to travel to Korea to enjoy the Cherry blossoms?

      See on TV can already!

  14. Hi all,

    My take is that there is no need to show off the vacation pictures to others. Vacations are meant for slow enjoyment and life enrichment. The world is huge and cannot be explored during the entire lifetime.

    Take time and enjoy the moment!


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