Why we travel and a search for meaning
“I just feel like everyone tries to do something different, but you always wind up doing the same damn thing.” Richard, The Beach
I happen to dislike big cities. So, while it may be an exciting destination for people all over the world, the truth is, convenience was the main reason Singapore ended up on my travel itinerary. I didn’t know yet that this flight would be the first of many, the one that would jumpstart my around the world trip. The night everything started I had found one of Norwegian’s cheap fares and bought it on a whim. I just knew it was a direct flight from London Gatwick with no stopovers so it also was a bit less contaminating than other options.
Located halfway to Southeast Asia and being such an affordable flight, it just made sense to transit through this island city in southern Malaysia.However, it would now also seem that my decision to visit some place of which I knew so little, was almost a statement of intent; to venture into the unknown in search of new experiences.
In fact, I could have passed over Singapore and opted to hurry onward to my preferred destination in Southeast Asia, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to defeat the purpose of my journey. After all, what is the purpose of going anywhere at all and why do we travel, if we always know what to expect?
Singapore: Eco gardens, free market and so much more
Another truth, I knew absolutely nothing about Singapore other than the name. In fact, the thought of going there seemed so alien at first but then this presence of uncertainty had suddenly become the reason for my desire to see what it has to offer.
From my research, Cloud Forest Dome, By East Garden and Supertree Grove are just a few of the green spaces in this sprawling city which caught my eye, while the hustle and vibrancy of Free Market (yeah, you’ve read well, a Free Market in Singapore!)make the prospect of getting lost seem like an attractive thought. Modern yet mystical at the same time, the Observatory and Double Helix Bridge seem to offer an impressive view in between, but it is the melting pot of cultures which open another side to this city. Offering an insight into both the future and the past, there seems to be a hidden world beneath the modern skyline of Singapore, one where Christian churches and Muslim mosques co-exist in harmony next to Hindu and Buddhist temples while Malay, Indians, and Chinese inhabit the small enclaves of Little India, Street Arab and Chinatown.
Next stop Singapore: From uncertainty to a certain degree of excitement
As said in the initialquote, too often, we seem to travel across the world in search of new experiences but then wind up doing the very same thing. In my case, this was possibly true as I was reluctant to visit somewhere I knew nothing about. But while I had no intention or desire to visit Singapore, what was once a transit flight to Southeast Asia, now feelslike another journey of discovery, meaning, and hopefully, some more joyful experiences.
They say attitude is everything, right?