Traveler-Nicole-Snowboard  “Don’t worry! Go, go travel and see the World!”, Dad would always say. As an avid traveler himself in his younger days, my Dad has always inspired and encouraged me to travel around the World. He’ll tell me of his crazy stories of his month long adventure in US and Europe, how he got lost, ran out of cash and survived.

We use to go for yearly family trips up until both my parents got caught up with work and then the travel plans halted. But that never stopped my curious and adventurous nature to travel and step out of my comfort zone.

I went on my first exchange program when I was 13 years old and since then I’ve never stopped traveling every year. I would work part-time over this holiday and book a ticket out for the next. Every holiday has seen me cashing out every paycheck saved to travel to different places.

On my 20th birthday, I embarked on my own solo adventure. Being a girl never stopped me from doing all the things that I had in mind. Though the mother was rather reluctant and had plenty of worries here and there, my Dad was ever supportive and preached on how I should “just do it while you’re young”. I’ve always lived by that and it has seen me constantly stalking for cheap deals and booking the next flight out whenever possible.

Everyone loves traveling but they’re afraid of getting lost. They are always caught up in calculating the costs and trying to painstakingly plan their itinerary. To these people I say, Money comes and go.

Besides, budget carriers fly almost anywhere around the globe these days at pocket friendly prices. One can only follow the plan so much, but there’s so much more to see and feel when you’re in a new place, experiencing a new culture and trying new things. So I’d say, ditch the itinerary and plan. There’s always a kid in me that yearns for a new adventure. The World is a never-ending playground. I guess you need to learn to love getting lost in places you’ve never been to, because you’ll never know what you’ll find at the next corner down the street.

– Nicole Chua Pei Shan