2023 Round Up – New paths

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2023 has been a 12 months~ Lots of journey and new issues occurred, adjustments had been afoot! Here’s my annual spherical up to show that you may get a superb quantity of journey performed even with restricted days off with a full-time job, reflecting on the 12 months that handed and looking out ahead to the brand new 12 months forward.

Total variety of days travelled in 2023: 42

I had 18 days of go away and managed to stretch it to a whopping 42 days of journey, although to be honest about 7 of these days weren’t fairly on the clock (extra on that defined beneath), however on the whole from my previous spherical ups, I normally handle about 30+ days of journey together with weekends and public holidays.

Taiwan

My first journey of the 12 months was courtesy of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau to have fun the Lantern Festival in Taipei. It was a tad moist and gloomy at first of the 12 months, however I did get to pop by locations like Keelung and Yilan alongside the best way, and spent a number of days exploring Hualien alone – having fun with its small cities and coastal sights.

Taipei Lantern Festival 2023 Sign
First time in over 2 many years the Lantern Festival returned to Taipei
Hualien Yuli Yufu Bikeway Bridge Me
Chilling out after a day of biking round Yuli

Cha am, Thailand

A brief whirlwind lady’s journey to Thailand took me away from busy Bangkok and down the coast to Cha Am as a substitute on the invitation of SO Sofitel Hua Hin, such an attention-grabbing district for these seeking to escape the crowds.

SO Sofitel Hua Hin Beach Sunset Me
Sunset on the seaside at SO Sofitel Hua Hin
Phetchaburi Tham Khao Luang Rays Group
This pic of us at Tham Khao Luang Cave seems to be like the duvet of our subsequent album lol

Taiwan (Offshore Islands)

Mid 12 months I headed again to Taiwan, however this time to take my first Income collab journey and full my Taiwan offshore island adventures, spending time in Xiaoliuqiu, Penghu and the Matsu Islands. There had been some fairly epic moments, from trying out the well-known Fireworks Festival in Penghu (not one in all Penghu’s Hidden Gems) to witnessing some superb Blue Tears motion in Matsu.

Xiaoliuqiu Scuba Diving Turtle Me
Diving up shut and private with sea turtles in Xiaoliuqiu
Penghu Magong Guanyinting Fireworks Red
Watching the superb fireworks at Penghu not as soon as however twice
Matsu Beigan Qiaozai Blue Tears Beach Wave
I’ll by no means have the ability to cease gushing concerning the blue tears boat experience I took in Beigan, Matsu

Melaka, Malaysia

Melaka was a final minute jaunt for journey writing work and likewise simply to get away for a bit – apart from exploring the historic city centre, I ended up discovering some hidden gems just like the very IG-able Malaysia Heritage Studios and discovering my option to the little island of Pulau Besar, I made mates with an area couple and frolicked with them and their household earlier than heading again to Singapore the subsequent day, how cool was that!

Melaka Masjid Cina Entrance
There’s lots of structure in Melaka with combined influences, however are you able to consider this very Chinese fashion constructing is an Islamic mosque of all issues?
Melaka Straits Mosque Sunset
I made mates with a Chinese couple and our seize driver introduced us to a well-liked viewing spot that required a little bit of wading when the tide obtained excessive, and even joined us to see the mosque from right here herself

Nagano + Niigata, Japan

It’s been a very long time since I returned to Japan, and this journey on the shut of summer time simply because the climate cooled was fairly good. I travelled with a superb buddy Y and whereas it was a little bit of a busy highway journey by way of the countrysides of Matsumoto, Sado Island and Niigata to place collectively content material for Income like my Niigata Hidden Gems put up, it was helluva lot of enjoyable and we obtained to see lots of cool artwork and eat lots of cool meals.

Matsumoto City Museum Art Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin Me
One of the principle causes to go to Matsumoto was to see the birthplace of Yayoi Kusama and a few of her much less well-known works. We had been solely allowed to {photograph} this well-known pumpkin although (I noticed it first at Naoshima)
Sado Yajima-Kojima Tarai Bune Ride Wide Me
Riding the Tarai Bune tub boat on a good looking morning! The climate turned nice proper after this~
Tokamachi House of Light Night Hole Yellow Me
First time I’ve spent the night time in an art work – James Turrell’s House of Light was a very cool expertise not like some other manner I’ve skilled artwork

Desaru, Malaysia

Literally a number of hours after coming back from Japan, I used to be off once more on one other highway journey however this time with household on a fast journey to Malaysia’s Desaru on a a lot much less crowded weekday. I hardly take pix or do stuff on household holidays the place the principle factor is to ensure the nieces and nephews are comfortable~

Desaru Mini Zoo Goat
Baaaaa

New journey writing alternatives

2023 has been fairly thrilling general for me as a journey author. I undoubtedly spent much less time than I might have preferred writing my very own weblog posts, however that’s as a result of I used to be engaged on some superior items for different publications, like Singapore’s nationwide broadsheet The Straits Times Life! the place I wrote about Cha am, or a commissioned piece for Virtuoso about Taipei’s historic Wanhua district. More in my portfolio

Straits Times Cha-am: Weekend trip from Bangkok
Always thrilling to see my content material in print!

I even labored on my first journey guidebook task writing about Singapore for the inimitable Lonely Planet as they revamped their guidebooks! Such an thrilling second for me, I’m simply ready to see the ultimate copy in print proper now, although I’ve performed plenty of on-line articles for them as nicely.

What’s subsequent in 2024

2023 has additionally been a somewhat eventful 12 months on the work entrance – sadly within the second half of the 12 months I obtained hit by layoffs from the full-time job I’d been in for awhile. But on the flip facet I by some means discovered myself a brand new place and shall be beginning that in 2024. Besides a superb pay increase, I now have 21 days of go away as a substitute of the usual 18!

2024 can be going to be a milestone 12 months for me so I undoubtedly need to do one thing cool if doable. It is perhaps a bit laborious to time it for my precise birthday month since I’ll nonetheless be on work probation, however undoubtedly am hoping to do one thing epic afterward within the 12 months. No actual plans at this level, however diving with hammerhead sharks (one thing I skilled within the Galapagos) could be very excessive up on the listing.

Sado Rainbow Car Me
Always an opportunity for rainbows even when issues don’t fairly go your manner, identical to this second on Sado Island the place we tried to outrun the downpour

During the pandemic occasions, a few of you would possibly keep in mind that I picked up digital tour internet hosting the place I confirmed individuals round Singapore by way of livestream.

I’d been pondering whether or not to lastly go get my vacationer information license in Singapore so I can formally earn some cash exhibiting vacationers round, however getting laid off set the wheels in movement as I made a decision to chew the bullet and get it performed so I might have one other avenue for freelance work within the 12 months forward.

If all goes nicely, you simply would possibly have the ability to formally make use of me as a vacationer information in Singapore to indicate you a few of my favorite hidden corners of the nation and extra, keep tuned! Drop me a notice in case you’re to study extra otherwise you’re planning to go to Singapore, am comfortable to see how I might help.

The Phoenix by Boon (2022)
I kinda miss doing avenue artwork strolling excursions! It’s laborious to maintain up with the brand new works once you don’t stroll by as usually…

Hope you’ve had an amazing 2023 everybody, and right here’s hoping to an epic 2024! Catch up on a few of my outdated spherical ups right here:

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