Making A Move

27 October 2015

Traveling is the new form of education and one that i am not sure if one can graduate from. I have made some moves and traveled solo for the last few years that would bring me far beyond my comfort zones.  Presently, i learnt not to judge whether its a good or bad decision,  however the biggest learning from this is to always trust the journey. There are definitely highs and lows and i hope by sharing this i can find people who have also similarly went some distance and to also perhaps motivate myself to go further.

1) Once you start you can’t stop. Education abroad is really worth it if you have made that decision to fully live and utilize your time and student status. Be proactive and look for opportunities once you touch down. I mean enjoying your student life is an apparent choice but i really do prefer to enjoy the career life that i ultimately want more. I eventually made connections to get a business going which actually ended up financing my living and school fees. Truth be told, i did end up skipping a few house parties because i had to work in different timezones but my freedom to travel is priceless.

2) The get go. In 2011, i was going through multiple set backs in my life and i guess my of feeling stuck made me drop my last dime on a plane ticket to NYC and i ended up couch surfing for 2 weeks at a friends apartment. My initial plan was to just travel , take dance lessons and explore the city. I had traveled to dance for a few years prior and i know that the studio in NYC was one of the remaining in my checklist and so it gave me a simple purpose and comfort knowing that i am making the effort to do something that i love.

In that 2 weeks i also took the liberty to email to whoever i thought will be interesting to meet. I am really a shy person in nature but i guess putting yourself out there would require you to remind yourself that you do not have anything to lose. In 2 weeks, i ended up meeting some really cool people in NYC which includes Jeff Staple who gave me my first break of representing a brand and got me going with my own company logo, onesixeight,  designed by staple design studio. At the same time, i had also begun working on a business idea to connect Asia resources and capabilities to the US which we did successfully launch as Able Archer co 2 years later.

3) New perspectives in the world made me less attached to things and self imagery. I learnt to travel light and own less things. I found more purpose in the work i do as oppose to just experiencing the things i love.  I am now building a platform to connect the things i do and to elevate the people who create. Taking chances and making mistakes is the best way to seek clarity. “You might not get what you want, but you get experience”  Therefore it is essential to always move forward, positively , no matter what.

4) Be a global citizen. I begun to understand its true meaning when i visited cities and started building these partnerships. I had to let go of my identity in order for me to truly step into another world and integrate. Nowadays i do not feel i need to tell people where i come from, my identity and true connection to Singapore comes from the world view and interconnectivity we were brought up with. Being a global citizen does not mean that you are entitled to just experiencing things/ being worldly but it means that you are part of the fabric of the world society where you can truly make a difference. Your people are my people too.