Kyoto-Bound

Some years back, I wrote this for someone I used to cherish. We both dreamt of moving to Japan one day, so we kept each other motivated, and this was how I went about it. Over time, people change, and perhaps my writing has, too. But, the same wistful desire remains.   She was nervous….

Playing Marco Polo: Reliving the Silk Road

The searching light shone upon the world by great explorers of the Middle Ages begins to flicker, and for millennials, few of their names bear any significance at all. Interestingly however, prominent figures like Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo appear vaguely stored in our memories, perhaps from the odd atlas book we had skimmed through…

Not Everyone Wants To Travel

There is probably not a soul with access to the internet who has not read an article touting the supposedly endless benefits of travel. Inspirational words are often used as calls to action, nudging the reader out of his ‘comfort zone’, which, incidentally, is a phrase that can also be found in many an article….

Tourist or Traveller?

It seems like every single person who has caught the “wanderlust” fever veers towards one of the two groups; one is either a tourist or a traveller. Perhaps you can relate to the following scenario — you are walking along the streets of Bern on a warm summer afternoon after acquainting yourself with the local…

Commentary: The South-East Asian “Hibakusha”

August 6th, 1945, 08:16am, Shima Surgical Clinic, Hiroshima. Little Boy marked its arrival on Japanese soil in a large way. The American atomic bomb, the world’s first ever, decimated everything in its path, a radius of 1.6 kilometres. About 80,000 people were killed on impact, and another 35,000 were injured. August 9th, 1945, 11:02am, a…

Dear Anne Frank

Where do I even begin — how do I even start? I passed by Pim’s warehouse back in April, but I was convinced that until I had read your diary, I would not step foot into the Secret Annexe. 340 pages later, I am glad I made that decision; I doubt I would have been…

Chilled Spring — Searching Switzerland

As I began to write this, I realised that most of our time in Switzerland was spent either lounging away in our rented apartment in Zermatt, or commuting between cities. Zermatt, the southernmost alpine town that lies right next to the mountainous shared border with Italy, is at least an hour’s journey by train to…

Chilled Spring — Amsterdam [2/2]

It seemed that no matter where we went, a drizzle was never too far away; a stop-start affair that graced the Nederlands with a strange, dull allure. We needed the sun, but in those few days, we felt like it did not belong. Nevertheless, spring marks the start of tulip season, the very reason we…

Chilled Spring — Amsterdam [1/2]

5 Days in Barcelona had come and gone. The sun was still shining down on El Prat Airport as our plane took off, north-bound, for Amsterdam, the Dutch capital with its fair share of stories that never fail to fascinate me. As someone who has lived in Singapore all his life, these tales are all…

Chilled Spring — Barcelona

Whenever I try to retrieve memories from a trip, I find myself transported on board a Swiss train. There, I stand by the carriage doors with their large windows, staring at whatever the train whizzes by — acres of flattened land filled with grids of colourful spring flowers in full bloom, only to be rudely…