Big news: You’ll never guess where I’m going!

If you’ve guessed that I’m going to Terengganu, you are right. But I’m not talking about my Malaysia trip this time.

Ahem. I’ve been keeping this a secret for a long while and now I am finally able to announce this. DRUM ROLL.

I’m going around the world!

Yes, it’s too early for April’s Fools so this is the real deal. I will embark on a career break to do a round-the-world (RTW) trip.

It took me about two years before I got to this stage. I had the idea that I wanted to go on a RTW after reading Round the World with NT$100K and now, I am (sort of ready).

Why an RTW now?

Vintage round the world map
Vintage round the world map


You might be wondering why I choose to go now and not when I’m happily retired or more financially stable.

It’s for many reasons:

  • I’m young. OK, I’m not 18 like the gap-yearers from the UK. I mean I am still able to carry a backpack and walk for a long stretch without feeling weak in the knees.
  • I do not have serious commitments. I do not have a house mortgage, kids, husband/fiancé, ailing parents (choi!) or younger sibling still studying.
  • I want to do this. I know it will cause me more heart pain 50 years down the road if I do not do it now.
  • I know I can do it. I’ve read NT100,000 around the world and I now that it is possible to travel the world cheap.

I’ll share the my RTW route in a follow up post as well as detailed posts about why I choose the locations.

FAQ of my RTW

When I first announced RTW trip to my inner circle of friends, they had many questions. I’ve gathered them all into a Frequently Asked Questions segment.

  1. Are you going with your mom/friend/bodyguard?

No, this will be a solo trip. I can’t find someone with the time/budget/travel agenda as I do.

  1. Isn’t it dangerous for a woman to travel alone?

That’s a trick question, isn’t it? Yes, I understand that bad things can happen. But more good things will happen than bad especially when I know I can take care of myself.

  1. How much are you prepared to spend? Who’s sponsoring you?

To be honest, I am not sure how much I will spend but I am budgeting S$10,000 for this trip (not including prepaid expenses such as air tickets).

  1. Which countries are you going?

I’ll have a separate post for that soon. Short answer: one part of South Asia, very small bit of Middle East and Africa, some Europe and lots of South America.

  1. What, you’re not going to Australia or most of Africa? That doesn’t count as a RTW, does it?

Yes, it’s still a RTW if I circle the globe. Plus, I don’t have the money to go to literally every country.

  1. Aren’t you scared?

A friend once said, “YQ’s not brave, she’s just not afraid of dying.” (Well, it sounded better in Chinese.) Yes, there have been times during the trip planning which I doubted myself but I know I must do it.

  1. Wait, what about your job?

Well, I’ve left my 3.5 year job as a tech journalist. Hopefully, I can find a new position when I come back or discover a new career path.

In the next posts, I’ll be talking about the countries I will be visiting on my RTW.

What other questions do you have about RTW travel? Write them down in the comments!

My travel hero: Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly was the person who reinspired my round-the-world ambition.

I learnt of her during my visit to the Jules Verne museum in Nantes.

In the three-storeyed house, there was a little corner about Around the World in 80 Days book. At that corner, and there was a yellow A4 poster of a vintage-wearing lady.

The little description that accompanied the photo told me that she was a journalist (like me!) and had went on a round-the-world trip in only 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes. How impressive!

Continue reading “My travel hero: Nellie Bly”

399 days to my round-the-world trip

I use a Web app called “Countdown to Disney” to track how many days there are left to my round-the-world trip.

But I must admit. I have not done much in preparation of my round the world trip, except thinking up which locations I want to go and telling people who are willing to listen that I am going on a round the world trip.

Continue reading “399 days to my round-the-world trip”