Hello everyone, my name is Benson and I am currently embarking on a journey from Singapore to London by train. The journey will take me (tentatively) across 14 countries and 20 cities – a total of more than 20,000 kilometres. This article is the first of which I will be writing to record my personal thoughts & feelings on my travels (or anything that comes to my mind). Lest I forget…
WHO AM I?
I just hit 30 (years old) a few days ago. I used to work as a marketing executive for a non-profit organisation but I have left my job recently. I need coffee to start the day and occasionally, camomile tea to calm my nerves. I am left-handed and I like taking pictures!
WHY AM I DOING THIS?
First of all, I am physically fit. As we age with the passage of time, our bodies will inevitably reach a point where they start to deteriorate (regardless of our best efforts in bodily maintenance). Such a trip will definitely take a toll on me if I do it when I am older, say fifties or sixties. Now that I am still young, fit and able, why not?
Secondly, it is because I feel that bucket lists are overrated. A bucket list is defined as a catalog of items one wishes to accomplish before he or she is dead. Most people have one and it is common to hear people say things like “oh, how I wish I can do this thing before I die!” or “I shall visit that place before I die!”. But only a handful actually have the eagerness to attempt and strike those items off the list. Perhaps people generally feel that death is not going to knock on their doors anytime and they have the luxury of time to complete the list? Or maybe bucket lists are merely a feel-good/romantic idea to possess?
Because it is a sabbatical break. I have always wanted to do this since four years ago in 2011 (I didn’t do it back then because I didn’t have the guts or money). And since I just left my job, what better timing to go for this crazy journey before looking for a new job? In the context of Singapore, to resign without securing the next job can often be seen as an insane thing to do. Believe me when I say that it wasn’t an easy decision to make and job security/career progression/financial stability are all genuine concerns on my mind.
Last but not least, I think this is quite an awesome way to celebrate my own thirtieth birthday! Don’t you think?
HOW AM I DOING THIS?
My journey begins as I step into Malaysia and travel northwards to Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, visiting cities like Bangkok, Vientiane and Hanoi. Then I will head towards Beijing, China where I take a train ride across the famous Trans-Siberian railway to Moscow, Russia. From there, I will make my way across a few countries in Europe before taking a train across the English Channel from Paris to London. I will tour around England and Scotland for a couple of weeks before flying back home to Singapore.
The entire journey will take me approx. 86 days, which include stopovers at cities for sightseeing. As for the exact cities where I will be visiting, I can’t say for sure now. I just want to keep it a little open-ended. Reckon it would be more fun and exciting that way, don’t you agree?
Anyway below is a map that shows the route (in red and blue) I will be taking for this trip in general. Just a visual reference of what I am talking about.
I remembered one day I was chatting with an acquaintance (who’s in his mid-fifties). After hearing about my travel plans, he told me he once thought of doing the same thing too. But because of other commitments & priorities, he wasn’t able to do it. Somehow I could feel that he regretted not doing it when he had the opportunity. I didn’t want the same thing to happen to me. This is something I want to do before pursuing other priorities in life.
Anyway welcome to my blog and thanks for spending your precious time reading this article. I will be sharing more articles bout my trip (e.g. preparations, route information and budget required) soon so do check this space regularly for more updates. While the original intention of this blog is to serve as an archive for my thoughts, feelings and any other information about the trip so that I can reminisce from time to time, I hope that you will like my sharing and find it useful to you in any way possible.
This journey is not something new. I am not the first person to do this and I am definitely not the last one to attempt it.