The traveller series is something new that I thought about. Having exposed to travelling for almost 4/5 times a year, I’ve started to advocate moving out of our safety zone and see how the world is more than just our tiny island.
I wanted to pen this post, to share my deepest condolences to all the victims of the heinous attacks for the past few months. Especially when I have just started to visit Istanbul and Nice earlier this year. Travelling is a journey of self-exploration and it is saddening to know that the tourism numbers have dropped due to concerns of safety and terrorism. As what my director, Benoit, says – We must continue to travel and unite against any threat that aims to disrupt the travel business and deprive people from enjoying their holidays – wise words there.
Ian is a friend of mine whom I know has travelled to the most exotic places around. Sri Lanka, Turkey, Fiji – just to name a few, some which you might not have heard of either. It’s quite a random conversation, but I thank him a lot for sharing these with me 🙂
Notes: Jee and Ian
Jee: What made you embark on a journey less travelled?
Ian: I do not think that I take the “road less travelled” intentionally. But over the years, I’ve realised that the most fulfilling trips are those that comes with more risks. The road travelled will make all the difference. It may not always be good – and may in fact be bad at times – but it will be interesting, always.
Jee: Any place in particular that blew your mind away? I’m sure there is a particular one!
Ian: There is honestly too many to choose from, each city has its own unique charm. But if I really have to choose, it will be Turkey. This beautiful country plays host to a unique blend of cultures, landscapes, colours, tastes and scents.
Jee: What charm does Turkey have that mesmerised you so much?
Ian: I admired Istanbul’s rich history and peacefulness very much – the beautiful city is known for its culture of peaceful coexistence of religious and cultural diversity. Then there’s Cappadocia which makes you wonder whether have you passed through a portal and found yourself in a land filled with fairies.
Jee: Magical I see. I’ve transited at Istanbul Ataturk before and you could already feel how cool that place was. Anyway, I also want to know how you get your travel inspirations from?
Ian: For Turkey, it was just purely because it was one of the cheaper destinations while we were researching. And because we ended up following a tour, not much planning was involved. Free and easy trips on the other hand usually begin when I receive flight promotion emails. It pays off to sign up for newsletters as you’ll never know when you’ll get your next bargain!
Jee: Signing up for SIA, Scoot and Tigerair sure helps I agree. We all know travelling is not all safe haven, were there any dangerous encounters when you were abroad?
Ian: My tour bus was mugged in Paris and while we were on our way to the police station to file a report the next day, we were tailed. It was honestly quite a horrible experience considering that we lost 1/2 of the money we brought over before the first day even ended.
Jee: Any positive and happy ones instead?
Ian: Lots of them! One of my closest friend now was a random stranger I counted down with in London (2 years back). In fact, I’m heading back to London to attend her graduation in a week’s time before kick-starting my own exchange adventures.
Jee: To probably spur the interest of travelling for people reading this post, what is your greatest takeaway from all these travelling?
Ian: Personal growth and branding. The more I travel, the more I appreciate the things I have back home; the more tolerant and accepting I become. Travel is more than just photos and souvenirs, the experiences, the emotions and the memories can never be created via any other means.
Jee: Last question. Since you have travelled to the less known places, people might call you an ‘exotic traveller’. What do you feel about that?
Ian: I’m quite puzzled by the word exotic to be honest; because every country / city has its own unique charm and is thus “exotic” from the rest. And I don’t think I’m an “exotic traveller”.
Jee: I will definitely plan on my next trip asap!
You may find out more about Ian’s adventures – travel and food – through his Instagram account @revelationtheory