A Travellerspoint blog

Singapore

Stomach flips

It's two full days to go til my flight, and I've barely packed anything. I was supposed to pack today, but I got side tracked by the various meetups with different groups of friends. It's like I'm never coming back.

So interesting how we all take leaving so seriously, here in Singapore where going on exchange (for a mere 5 months - think about it) or actual overseas study usually draws a small knot of friends and family to the airport. Compared to the US where it's normal and expected, sort of, to go away to college at what, 17?

I mean, yeah, it's only 5 months, but I'm still freaking out about how I won't see my family and friends for pretty much 5 whole months. And how I'm gonna have to survive on my own and -gasp- make new friends. And also whether I've brought enough food, clothes, toiletries, entertainment, sporting equipment, medicine, emergency number lists, money etc.

Okay that's part of life, part of growing up.

Goodnight, need to collect my visa tomorrow. Pray that I'll pack whatever needs to be packed.

Posted by seaskimmer 10:22 Archived in Singapore Comments (1)

Sea Fever

Explaining 'seaskimmer'

In most of my travels I probably will not be doing any sea-skimming. Unfortunately so, but then again I'd rather be on a 16th century privateer than a modern cruise ship!

Here's one of my most favourite poems ever: Sea Fever by John Masefield (who also wrote The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights, should check them out). Not just for the rhythm and the imagery, but for the fever for adventure that comes over me :)

Sea Fever
by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

P.S. yay I finally bought my ticket from Frankfurt to Paris! Unfortunately I saw the price rise from 79 SGD to 69 EUR yesterday and finally to 99 EUR today. In total I paid 107 EUR :( the tickets became sold out as I sat in front of the computer. Note to self: go get a debit card ASAP

Posted by seaskimmer 08:26 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

First Test

Okay, this is my first time starting a blog. Ever. So be kind! Haha.

Thought it might be a good time to share my experiences with others, in addition to the few photos I might be posting on FB.

I haven't actually left yet, it's still a good 33 days before my flight! But I've spent the past few months researching and getting ready for this big adventure. Just 2 hours ago I was at Raffles Place finally getting my visa done, after being told the previous time that my insurance wasn't good enough. Today before work I still need to do some module mapping research, and I want to go to the library to browse some travel and history books as well! Uh, I may not go to the library today though, much too lazy, and probably no time either. Still need to cut hair.

I've been thinking a lot about the purpose of travel. I don't like to go into something and just let it pass me by without learning something from it or 'fully experiencing' it. Especially at special moments, I like to savour it and honour it with a bit of silence and reflection. I guess most people don't know that about me. Exchange is going to be a whole chain of special moments. I'd like to know why I'm going, so that I can seek to fulfil it. Maybe it sounds a little too practical, but don't worry, I leave plenty of room for exploration. And even if I think I know what travel's about now, my ideas may change during my 5 months.

So. What's travel for? Off the top of my head, discovery, adventure, challenge! Which is the subtitle of this blog. Foremost I think is the discovery of self, people, and God. I guess this is accomplished through challenges and setbacks and plain ol' experience. But I think the one I hold most dear is adventure :) Not the adventure of all the million books I've grown up with (which have taught me to love it) but the adventure of reality which always has a tinge of danger and fear. In the end, even for a risk adverse Singaporean like myself, risk must be attempted for any great adventure to be set upon. It's scary and forbidding, but that's life. Maybe travel is just a way to view 'normal' life in a slightly different way.

I'll leave now (finally, huh.) with a poem by Molly Holden, which I first read long ago, and which I like because it reminds me that it's not always planned events that are memorable. It's often the small unplanned moments that stay forever.

STOPPING PLACES

The long car journeys to the sea
must have their breaks, not always
in towns where there's no room
to park but at the pavement's edge,
in villages, or by the woods, or in lay-bys
vibrating to the passage of fast cars.
The seat's pushed forward, the boot's lifted,
the greaseproof paper
rustles encouragingly. The children
climb to the ground and posture about,
talk, clamber on gates, eat noisily.
They're herded back, the journey
continues.
What do you think
they'll remember most of that holiday?
the beach? the stately home?
the hot kerb of the promenade?
No. It will often be those nameless places
where they stopped, perhaps for no more
than minutes. The rank grass
and the dingy robin by the overflowing
bin for waste, the gravel ridged by
numerous wheels and the briared wood
that no one else had bothered to explore, the long inviting field
down which there wasn't time
to go - these will stick in their memories
when beauty spots evaporate.
Was it worth the expense?
but
these are the rewards of travelling.
There must be an end in sight
for the transient stopping places
to be necessary, to be memorable.

Posted by seaskimmer 18:27 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 3 of 3) Page [1]