A deep sense of exhilaration comes to me whenever I pack my backpack. But I remain pensive for I am no longer the “free man” I was 20 years ago. Though this is not the same backpack as the one I used 20 years ago, the thirst for exploring exotic, unpredictable places has not changed. Like an infatuation with a superstar, wandering almost aimlessly with complete freedom does not yield any tangible results. Yet, coming home with many traveller’s tales to share is a reward that money alone can’t buy.
After settling down to family life and joining the rat race, I soon realised that this sort of lifestyle is simply not sustainable, at least for me. I realised that while many of my peers and fellow countrymen are quite contented to buy a big house, a nice car and join luxury cruises as fair and adequate compensation for their souless existence, I need a lot more inspiration than that.
Regardless of whether you regard me as an irresponsible person, not giving the “best” to my family, choosing to spend time and money on self-gratifying pursuits that do nothing for the enhancement of material comfort which is paramount to most Singaporeans, I hold a diametrical view. We are constantly learning and every backpacking/adventure trip is a learning experience. It doesn’t matter to me if that learning contributes to marks and certificates. The important thing is that the experience adds spice to a life that filled with nothing but the daily grind.
Why go there? Because it is there? Because I’m living, thinking and cherishing my life, realising that life is like a dewdrop.
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