Singapore-Travel-Blog

I rather own little & see the world than own the world, but see little of it

What began as a short getaway quickly turned to be an obsession of some sorts as the two of us slowly but surely started to cover the globe a country at a time. We decided to start a Travel Blog as we go along, to log our adventures and share our travel tips.

But NO, for the record, we are not professional nor are we full time travelers. Born and bred in one of the most expensive cities in the world, being a full time traveler comes almost impossible to any of us. We’re just two Singaporean souls who dared to follow our wanderlust dream and left everything on the line at that.

In the past 18 months from Oct 2013~March 2015 we’ve been to 9 countries, 20 cities, excluding some countries which we revisited such as Japan, just cause it’s probably one of the nicest country in the world.

When we started traveling, we would pen down the things we spent hours and hours to research on, such as places to go, things to eat, hotel/hostels to stay etc. It also help to assure our parents that we weren’t running away from home and that we would be coming back so they wouldn’t try to rent out our rooms or something.

But we soon found ourselves constantly having to text and update our parents as we go along that there has been a change of plans and that we weren’t going where we thought we would just cause shit always happens (i.e the place is close for renovation, the bus doesn’t run on these days, the places are too far from each other and the travel time would take too long etc) and things are somehow not as easy as they make it out to be on the Internet.

We would grumble about the bad things and talk about the beauty of everything else to each other and our families. Our friends who have heard about us heading to that country would come ask us about the things to do and we would share the things we’ve learnt.

Our passion drives us to travel, our love for the world makes us want to share the beauty that comes with it. And if that sounds like something you’re interested in, read our adventures at our Singapore Travel Blog and subscribe to our mailing list so we’ll be able to share with you all that we’ve learnt and seen in our adventures. Alternatively, have your go at travel writing and share with us your experience cause we would love to hear about your travels too. Lastly, don’t forget to check out our cheapest travel deals section where we have put together the best deals we’ve used and found throughout our travels.

We’re not asking for much, we just want to live a life worth living, laugh our hearts out and travel the world

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The Story of Livelaughtravel.net’s Singapore Travel Blog

Who are you?
Singapore-Travel-Blog-Sunrise-peak
A: I’m Alvin
N: And I’m Nicole

What do you love most about traveling?
A: People, culture, cities, buildings, nature
N: you never know what you would stumble upon when you get lost. Some of the most beautiful places I’ve been to were places I coincidentally chanced upon when i got lost trying to find my way to another

What is the worst mistake a traveler can make?
Singapore-Travel-Blog-Nara-Deer-Park
A: Following a tour guide/guided tour. For the first part of my life when I traveled with my parents, we were always following tour groups that brought us around. It was only much later when I grew older and start traveling on my own did I realize how much did I actually miss out just by following guided tours. As the old saying goes, “a traveler see what he sees, a tourist see what he has come to see”, and that can’t be more true for me. Instead of having tour guides that bring you to the common places of interest and earn commission off you, find your way there yourself, take the public transport, fall in love with the culture of the country.
N: Following a tour/guided tour. Like he said, you don’t really get to see a country and/or experience its true culture just by following a scheduled tour.

What is the hardest part about traveling?
Singapore-Travel-Blog-Glico
A: Too much food and too little time to workout, I’m always gaining a few pounds when I’m abroad. It’s hard to keep in shape sometimes with all that international food tasting.
N: Cliché as it might be, leaving the country is often the hardest part about traveling. We are currently not full time travelers and we have gaps of intervals between our travels, which only makes the whole thing suck even more.

How old were you when you first started to travel?
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N: At the age of 3 on board Superstar Virgo with my Family to Langkawi (not this picture)
Singapore-travel-blog-young-alvin
A: When I was 2 plus to Hap Chai but I honestly cant remember much from that trip

Top Travel Tip
A: Protect yourself by separating your cash instead of keeping them in a centralized location. Know the location of the Singapore Embassy and always get the hotel name card in case you can’t find your way back.
N: knowing how much does transportation cost and planning your route prior to getting there. Certain country’s subway system are a little more complicated than the others. A train station in Japan for example may have two trains coming to the same exact platform but heads to different area.

Favourite Country?
Singapore-Travel-Blog-MontrealA: Canada
N: Japan. Amazing food, rich culture and despite the language barrier, Japanese are one of the most approachable people around

Whats your worst traveling experience?
Singapore-Travel-Blog-China
N: Gold Coast Australia, Helensvale Station. I was at dreamworld and we were supposed to take the bus to the railway station but for some reason, the bus was late and that led to us missing the train. Things only got worse when the temperature fell ridiculously in the night and we were just left stranded, shivering on the platform of the cold outdoor railway station in shorts before the next train which arrive only an hour later.
A: I’ve had bad experience with service staff and air crew in China, but none was as bad as getting scammed in Bangkok. We were suppose to take the train and board the ferry which would cost me 10baht to Wat Arun temple. I had it all planned out but my morning tailoring session lasted longer than i expected and we ended up having to take a cab. “Wat Arun”, i told him. He said ok and everything seemed fine till he turned into some alley and asked us to alight. We followed him and soon found ourselves surrounded by Thais. Just as I thought we were gonna get mugged, he sat us down and offered to take us to Wat Arun for 2,200 baht. Exorbitant prices considering it was suppose to be just 10baht. We negotiated it down to 1,500baht but when we arrived at the temple, they required us to pay 100baht more for “docking” fee. That ruined my day as i thought back of how i paid 2290baht more for what i researched to be 10baht. My only saving grace was that at the very least, we didn’t get mugged that day.

What is the one thing you’ve learnt from traveling so much?
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A: My biggest lesson has always come from visiting 3rd world countries such as Cambodia or Vietnam. I learn to be appreciative of what I have however little that may be, for there are people around the world going through worst. I hear of locals complaining about packed trains when I’ve seen families of 7 stacking on one scooter in Vietnam & kids below the age of 6 having to go hungry on the street just because no one offered them any food that day.
N: Do not be afraid to ask when in doubt. Most Asians are generally quite reserved when it comes to seeking help from others. But what Ive realized through all my travels is that humans are really kinder than how we often perceive them to be. Most people are more than willing to give you a helping hand if you would just ask.

Any advice for aspiring travelers?
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A & N: Just do it. How many times have you seen someone post statuses such as “in need of a holiday” yet does nothing about it. Its like going to the gym sort of, be it just a weekend trip or a ferry trip to an island nearby, u just have to get yourself to do it and you’ll be thankful you did after. You are nt getting any younger, don’t wait till ure older, its really now or never.

What do you do when you’re not traveling?
Singapore-Travel-Blog-Disneyland
A: Work my ass off
N: Deciding on my next destination.

How do you fund for your travels?
A: I work my ass off. I currently run a few businesses which im glad have seen a little bit of success. But at the end of the day, it’s really about a lifestyle choice, some people choose to buy big expensive cars and have luxurious meals, I choose to travel.
N: It’s all about managing your finances and resisting the urge to splurge in local restaurants. I constantly find myself asking why would i want to have Japanese food in Singapore when dining in Singapore is so costly and i could use the same amount of money and have the ‘Authentic’ cuisine in Japan itself. Aside from that, I try to plan ahead and spot for cheap airfares. I never fancied staying in hotels as well as I rather stay in hostels and experience the culture first hand.

Why did you start this travel blog?
Singapore-Travel-Blog-North-Korea-Pyongyang
A & N: As much as each country will always hold a piece of us, memories fade over time and jotting it down is the only way to make it eternal. Besides, we spend so much time researching on the country and still get lost or run into unexpected stuff sometimes. We thought to jot them down into this Singapore Travel blog with what we know so travelers who are searching do not have to make the same mistakes we did and/or is able to paint a mental image of what it is like even before they reach the country.

Dream Destinations
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A: We don’t have a dream destination per say, but our dream has always been for our businesses to take off and have enough passive income/savings so we can take a year or two off and just travel full time cause its so much cheaper to fly from say Singapore to Japan to Korea then from Singapore to Japan to Singapore to Korea and back to Singapore.
N: What he said and we’ve always wanted to try the Rickshaw Run in India as well but he thinks its too dangerous.
A: It is for her!

Aside from the basics (passport, USD$, credit card), what are three other travel essentials that are a must-bring things for you on your trip?
A: First aid kit with basic medications(very important), an action camera(Gopro), a good book.
N: First aid kit with basic medications, a good Camera, iPad.

Is traveling together different from traveling individually?
Singapore-travel-blog-disneysea
A: Yes definitely. When I travel with her, naturally i have to be more alert and protective, but in exchange I get better solo travel pictures and travel videos taken. I feel choosing the person you travel with is also very important. You don’t want to be traveling with museum go-ers when you’re a theme park seeker and vice versa. You don’t want to be compromising your trip for your travel buddy. Do what you love/want to do, go where you want to go, after all you never know when you would be coming back to that country again.
N: Definitely. I can be quite absent minded and unaware of my surrounding at times, so when I am traveling alone I am forced to familiarize myself with the surroundings, in case when I do lose my way I’d be able to recognize significant landmarks to find my way back. And most of the time, I love to spend hours and hours at one place to admire and soak myself into the place and my surroundings. Very often, traveling with a companion needs a whole lot of compromising, and learning how to adapt to the other person because each have their own preference while traveling. I’m not one who fancies a whole lot of shopping, as I’ll trade sightseeing and trying new activities anytime. So I’m lucky my other half is by far the best travel companion I can ask for.

Place to retire?
A: New Zealand, I haven’t been there yet to be honest, but its definitely on my list.
N: Japan.

Favourite food?
Singapore-Travel-Blog-ichiran

A: Ichiran Ramen from Japan, Tom Yum seafood soup, anything Thai. Read more at our Singapore Food Blog!
N: To be honest I don’t have a specific favorite food because I do eat and snack quite alot and I love trying all kinds of food. But if I do have to pick one, Tempura is the way to go!

Most Beautiful place?
singapore-travel-blog-niagara-falls

A: From my travels thus far, Canada and Boracay tops the list
N: I guess I haven’t traveled to enough places to conclude on the most beautiful place I’ve been to, but if seeing is believing then I would go for the Bora Bora Island

Favourite activity?
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A & N: Snowboarding.

Travel pet peeve?
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A: Crying babies on a plane
N: Dirty/wet socks or socks that arent warm enough. I’ll need to have clean & fresh socks everyday!

What’s next?
Singapore-Travel-Blog-Sydney

A & N: To cover more of the bucket list

Whats on the bucket list?
A & N: Everywhere.