Italy. England. France.
These were the places that I shortlisted for my dream tour around the world. In time, I realized that it’s not really a world tour as much as a European tour. After interning at GoBeyond.SG for a couple of months, I have listened to the stories of people who have been to alternatives I have never considered, like South Africa, Turkey, and Qatar.
The more they wax lyrical about the road less travelled, the more eager I am to pack my bags and leave Singapore to travel to these countries. Needless to say, these places have been added to my bucket list of destinations I am very keen on visiting, starting from Central Asia, since there’s something poetic about beginning a journey along the old Silk Road.
I admit, when I first started my internship at GoBeyond.SG, I was quite intimidated because everyone seemed to know much more about the world than I did. There were so many places I didn’t even know existed on the map!
I’ve always been a cautious person, so the stereotypes that I have heard regarding the off-beat lands may have dissuaded me from considering them as travel options. That has changed now, since every week, I meet people who keep telling me how historically rich Armenia is, or how Turkey has superb food (both of which I am interested in, since I’m a total history geek and food junkie). There is only so much one can learn about a country through word of mouth, so I do think that you won’t truly know a country unless you’ve travelled and talked to the people there. The same applies for me— I do plan on travelling to these places when I eventually save up enough money.
I worked on a travel book retelling some of GoBeyond.SG’s best stories, which will be distributed to various people and establishments. It makes me really glad that I was able to partake in this project, since I’ve always wanted to write a book. Compiling many stories together to make the book is a very relevant experience that will help see this dream to reality. If the readers of this book feel inspired to travel to the off-beat lands, it definitely makes the effort putting it together worthwhile and meaningful.
If anything, GoBeyond.SG taught me that the world is bigger than we perceive it to be. There will always be a place for everyone, if you have the chance to discover it. Just because you live in a place where everyone thinks the same way, the whole world won’t necessarily think the same way as the people in the place you live in. There are many different cultures, societies, and establishments that you have yet to see. It’s all about changing the lens you perceive the world, and the most effective and exciting way to do that is to travel—to go beyond the boundaries and perceived stereotypes that have been shaped by your immediate surroundings.
If you’d like to intern with GoBeyond.SG, or love writing travel stories, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!