Once and for all, it was time for me to concede to the case that my stay in Asia had officially reached its conclusion: I had a plane ticket with the word “Toronto” printed on it and a long journey across the Pacific Ocean ahead of me. Since sleep had decided to elude me for the vast majority of this wayfaring voyage and the Life of Pi (which was amazingly by the way) does not take over 13 hours to watch, I had a large allotment of time to reflect on the 4 months that had just flown by.
Looking back, I was able to see that during my peregrinations, I had inevitably lost a certain amount of effects: my student visa, my appreciation for Tim Horton’s coffee and about half my wardrobe to mould from the excessive humidity (even with using a Thirsty Hippo mould-eater), but for the most part, my voyage was a journey of gains. I not only got a replacement visa, love of kopi and new dresses courtesy of Bugis Street, but also acquired more considerable facets like new friends, a deeper understanding of myself and an even more severe travel bug infection.
It might have been because we were all new to the country, a little bit afraid (whether we were willing to admit to this term) and needing a support system. It might have been that we were classmates. It might have been the fact we all wanted to make the most of our short life in Singapore and didn’t have time to waste. It might have just been that we were all friendly people. (Or, most likely, it might have been a little bit of everything.) Whichever way, deep friendships seemed to form overnight and although we’re all returning to our respective abodes, none of us will ever forget the past few months. “The real world” is often what we referred to when speaking about resuming to our lives outside of Singapore, like the entirety of the experience was just a single elongated dream entirely distinct from everything else we’d ever done. While the term made it feel as if we were moving on together, instead of flying ourselves half a world away, the experience would affect us so much more than any dream ever could.
When you’re living life at such a rapid pace, seeing more each day than you usually do in a year, it’s inevitable that you’ll pick up a thing or two about yourself. Travelling around Thailand and Japan helped me learn a lot about just how much I can accomplish on my own and climbing to the top of a volcano in Indonesia taught me how important it is to seize the moment and actually live, not simply exist.
When feelings of excitement, accomplishment and adrenaline commingle, they create a type of ecstasy that, in essence, gets you high on life. When I travel, this is the feeling I chase. Seeing the world and experiencing things that are entirely new and unique is what I really want to do and although my Singaporean chapter has come to an end, my travelling campaign has still just begun.
In summary: I didn’t want to face the fact that my Singapore exchange was over, so I used convoluted reasoning to keep myself in denial.