Singaporeans are a pretty lucky lot when it comes to opportunities for vacation traveling. We’ve got a major aviation hub, and like a friend remarked when I was in Kumamoto – if an airplane landing at Changi airport overshoots the runway, it’d immediately have left Singapore and arrived in another country! There’s also the relatively strong Singapore dollar compared to currencies of other South-East Asian countries that makes travel a real possibility to this region for many of us.
Funnily and as hard as it might be to believe, I wasn’t really fond of traveling prior to getting married. Believe it or not: I spent 3 years in Western Australia and went on vacation just twice, and once of which not even out of the state (the other time was to Copenhagen to present two of my papers). I can think of lots of excuses: e.g. that I’d already been to Australia several times prior to 2003 and visited several of the major cities, and as a Ph.D student I was super prudent with money.
But I think the more important reasons were that I just didn’t find traveling alone terrifically fun, and that at that point in my life (up till 35 years old LOL), I already had a lot of interesting things going on in life and didn’t feel the impulse to get out of town to see and do something different.
Fast forward to current times; things certainly have turn round. These days, I can’t wait to travel and get out of the country, even if a couple of times now travel plans get shelved because of resources (paying off housing loan takes priority) or timing (Hannah). I’m pretty blessed at the institution I work at for its numerous opportunities to travel, even if they’re invariably for work reasons: like the GDC trip to San Francisco, and teaching trip to Japan last year.
And there’s still a host of other overseas opportunities that I haven’t availed myself of yet, and they come up very often: including extended work attachment stints, community development projects, and the upcoming 9 week long summer program in Boston in which there’s a good likelihood I’ll be going to either this or next year and if other arrangements pan out.
Continued in the next post.:)