I recently met up with a good friend of mine. He was also from the same camp in which I served during my NS days. He was my upperstudy upperstudy (2 generations up, so I don’t know him prior to being in the camp as he already ORD), and was introduced to him by another friend of mine. He got me a souvenir which I think was pretty nifty. An unstable base of a cup meant to scare and trick people into believing that the cup would actually topple and spill the water, but would otherwise be perfect stable. We had lunch and we were talking (or rather I was listening) to his backpacking trips to Southeast Asian countries and his more recent Northern India trip. It was fascinating.
I listened for a long time and I soon became very fascinated about the whole idea. I knew a while back that he is sort of a globetrotter and the backpacking kinda guy. I can see in his eyes, the way it sparkles when he tells his tales. I can also see his passion. With this, it really brings me back to a small revelation that I had upon returning from my KL getaway.
Upon arrival back to Singapore, in the plane, I started contemplating about the month long holiday that just went by. It was a short holiday, but it felt very long for me. I had a lot of things to do and I managed to accomplished most of them when I checked off the list in my head. One of the biggest thing that I think I managed to accomplish is to be mentally prepared for Uni life, as it was very rough for me during my first semester. Recall the time when I disrupted my NS only 1 week before the school starts. So I had very little time to orientate myself mentally for that.
So I was contemplating: I have 4 years before I join the workforce. Am I gonna be bogged down to just studies for the next 4 years? Am I gonna waste my free time away doing mindless stuff and not doing something new or doing something that you are latently passionate about? I thought about that long and hard and I realised that if i had not done anything interesting or life changing for me, if I had not matured to the level where I would be ready for the world out there, I would be an utter failure later on in life. In short, I had to take things into my own hands and do stuff that i would want to do badly before time runs out. I am not talking about extracurricular activities. I am talking about something more deep and personal, personal checklist of things and places to see and do on your own, out of your own expenses and effort and commitment, not bogged down by people telling you what to do.
My first semester is over, and so is the semestral break. I have accomplished stuff that I wanted it to be done, but up to this point, I have this nagging feeling that I could have done more, gone further, and achieve something higher. I could have put my precious time to better use. I looked back and all I see is an unmotivated bastard, a lazy boy, living a sheltered life and this is my detriment. Summer break is up next, a full 3 months if not more. Am I gonna do nothing about it? If a break lasting a month feels like 2 months, how is 3 months gonna feel like? 6 months? And 6 months not doing anything is degrading.
So back to the moment where I had lunch with my friend. We then started talking about possibilities of backpacking together for the first time somewhere, anywhere during my semestral break. After he told his adventures, I was very serious about backpacking at that point of time, and he seemed to be interested. I have zero experience in backpacking, so to tag along with him seemed like a boon. I can learn a lot from him and we have a lot in common. I don’t really care where we would be going, so long as I get out of this place with my friends, rather than my family. I just want to try for the first time backpacking somewhere anywhere. I was that desperate.
So we started throwing ideas about where to go, like Australia, Southeast Asia, Egypt, and Europe. In the end Europe was the most likely candidate and the most costly (we decided to spent 3 weeks to a month there). With the cost of the trip being considered, we concluded that a year-end trip would be much more feasible, considering the time to plan and money to invest in such a huge undertaking. The trip is far from concrete. It is just an idea, and circumstances would change, but I don’t see any reason for it not to happen if we plan it seriously and start saving now. But an idea, like a seed could grow to a massive tree, and the reward is well worth the time and effort spent in making it a success.
Im willing to go very far in saving every penny I have for this trip. Even if it doesn’t work out I can always use the money later for other backpacking trips. Im willing to forgo luxuries for an entire year, just so that the trip would become a reality. It is expensive and current projections of my financial standings would have me save every cent till the day I set foot on foreign soil with him. That is how motivated I am. Im prepared to beg, borrow and steal if I have to (figuratively speaking).
I always believe that Success = Opportunity + Preparation.
I see the opportunity. Now I need to prepare and soon it could be a success. I already told myself that I’m going to make 2010 the best year of my life. It would be an adventure of a lifetime. I don’t care what my parent’s objections are. If I don’t do this at some point during my Uni life, I would regret it forever.