I have never truly appreciated the wise words of Hans Christian Andersen until the end of last year, when I am denied of my ‘freedom’ to travel because I have decided to take up a new job. I have been very fortunate in my previous company, being able to take many days off to explore the world while still doing relatively well in the office. But all good things must come to an end when circumstances changed and I decided to take the leap and get my hands on a different career path.
My lifestyle for the past nine months have been by choice, travelling less in the name of pursuing my career. I have travelled exactly twice thus far: once on a cruise trip to Langkawi and another on a semi-photography mission to Bali. This is pale in comparison to what I have been doing the past few years – I used to plan a travel on average once a month, both to neighbouring countries or somewhere further north like Nepal and Alaska.
This low travel period has made me realise something. I have been bitten by the travel bug (to put it in a cliche term), and there is no turning back. I have attempted to be more grounded, using steep learning curve and lots of reading as substitutes to packing my bags and seeing the world. Those substitutes or rather, distractions, have not worked and I find myself daydreaming, browsing through old travel pictures and reading others’ adventures.
I crave to feel alive again and not run away from my calling. The only thing that has helped so far is changing my mindset about Singapore – that I can travel by staying put and that there are new places for me to discover. I start to appreciate the little things around me more and marvel at everything as if it was my first time seeing all of them.
But even this also makes me realise that perhaps 9-to-5 jobs are not for me, at least for now. I feel that there are so many other things that I could be doing rather than being tied down on office chairs, staring at spreadsheets and emails, leaving office only to continue doing work at home. I haven’t found meaning in what I do, and while I still have the energy, hunger and means to see the world, I should.
So I suppose it is only natural for me to decide to leave my job to pursue something different. I will reveal the details much closer to the date, but it is exciting (!!!) and will involve me moving out of this little island that has been my comfort zone for the past nine years.
For now, all I can say is, thank you Hans Christian Andersen for the beautiful words that have been my mantra all this while and brought me to the most incredible places in this world.