Meet Cheryl, a recent graduate who decided it wasn’t time to sign up for the rat race just yet, and instead, signed up for an adventure of a lifetime.
By Amanda Kwek
Starting with a dive trip in the Maldives, Cheryl embarked on her solo 6 month journey around various regions around the world in the first week of August. When I raised my concerns regarding female solo travel, she brushed them aside, rubbed her shaven head and reasoned, ‘Well, it’s a good thing I’m bald then!’ (She had shaved her head in support for this year’s Hair for Hope fundraiser). I had the privilege of meeting with her the day before this amazing, bold (and bald) person took off, and here’s her story.
Why are you doing this?
If not now, then when? I’ve managed to save up some money over the past years, since I’ve been planning for this trip for quite some time now. It’s the best time, where I have less responsibility than a working adult, plus I have the freedom to take such a trip since I’m not restricted by the number of off days. I want to focus on my career and family in the future, so it would be hard for me to stop working and jump into a trip like that when I join the workforce, that’s why I need to make good use of this opportunity just in case I never get the chance to do it again!
Also, I love to travel. I want to do this to visit as many countries as I can, to get to know the world I live in, to see what’s happening out there with my own eyes, and experience the lives of others as well.
What do you want to achieve at the end of your travels?
Well, most reasons I have are largely personal. Other than that,I hope to be able to relook at my priorities in life, and also make changes accordingly. So I first have to convince myself to effect those changes and I’m hoping that through the experiences I gain in this trip, I will be able to! I am planning to go for a vipassanā in India, which is a 2 week meditative course that helps cultivate insight, that allows one to introspect and examine oneself, so I’m looking forward to that!
At the same time, I want to impact communities I pass through or live in in whatever way I can, and I hope to be impacted by the same communities too, as I know I stand to gain so much more from them, in terms of knowledge and life experiences.
Any advice for other people who are planning to one day follow your footsteps?
Well, I haven’t started on my travels just yet, but for now, my advice would be JUST DO IT. (laughs)
But don’t follow in my footsteps, make your own way! Discover these places yourself. It’s far more exciting, you will learn so much more, and experience new and unique adventures. 🙂
Cheryl plans to travel to Sri Lanka and India after Maldives. Then, she will leave this continent and visit East Africa, From there, her itinerary is vastly empty – she plans to ‘go with the flow’ and see where her journey takes her. It could be Central Asia, it could be Latin America, it could even be Antartica! Stay tuned for Cheryl’s personal stories in the upcoming months!
Note: When this article was written, Cheryl had just set off for her travels. At the time of publication, Cheryl is currently spending her last week in India, before she flies off to Kenya to volunteer for a month!