Commentary: Travel Writing

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a travel writer. When I discovered my passion for writing some eight years ago, it was the very genre that prompted me to make a career out of it. Grandiose dreams of travelling the world and writing about it sprang to mind,…

Pursuing the Autumn Dusk: A Photo Essay

Highway after highway, the bus carrying several passengers, including myself, strode effortlessly along. I remember looking out of the window, watching neat rows of houses pass me by. “I wonder how life is like in those neighbourhoods,” I would muse over and over. Eventually, the houses disappeared, and we crossed over a deep gorge —…

Directionless in Tokyo

On 28 October, 2018, together with my parents, I embarked on what was my first ever trip to Japan. Although it was meant to be a family vacation, it was also an opportunity for me to ascertain for myself if Japan really is how I had made it out to be. You see, for the…

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….

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…

Lines of Jukai

Many tourists have their eyes set on Mount Fuji the moment they step off the plane, and why not? After all, at nearly 4000 metres, it is Japan’s highest mountain, inspiring great pieces of art like ukiyo-e artist Hosukai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”. Yet, behind every beauty lies a beast. In that same vein, beneath…