2) Asian Exchangin’

Making the Decision to go on Exchange

When I was applying to attend Ryerson University, I didn’t feel like I was putting an application in for their Hospitality and Tourism Management program, I was signing myself up for years of compulsive travelling, which I could justify doing by writing it off in my head as “studying”. Still in this frame of mind 3 years in, I decided to take part in the school’s exchange program. To make things easier on students like myself, Ryerson has a ton of partner schools all over the world that you can attend for a normal semester’s tuition. They also help you get all of your formal paperwork in order and connect you with students who have gone on exchange in the past. You can check out more information about all of this here.

Even with all of this, I still had to decide for myself where I wanted to go. I ended up picking Singapore because I wanted something completely different from Toronto, but nowhere I’d end up encountering a huge language barrier. Singapore was also a hub city, with tons of additional travel destinations a hop, skip and a jump away. Finally, to top it all off, Nanyang Technological University, the school I attended, offered stupidly cheap living accommodations (about 200CAD/month). In short, Singapore was calling my name at an un-ignorable volume and before I knew it, I was on a plane sipping Singapore Slings bound for the little city-state.

A city-state which I then proceeded to Godzilla-destroy

A city-state which I then proceeded to Godzilla-destroy

From there, my life as an exchange student had triple helpings of “exchange” and only a half serving of “student”. I spent most of my time travelling around the rest of the city and Southeast Asia. The little time I spent on campus, I pretty much used for blogging about all the travelling I did. Check out the full list of my adventures:

Welcome to Singapore

You can't even say you've been to Singapore until you've seen (and squealed about) Marina Bay

You can’t even say you’ve been to Singapore until you’ve seen (and squealed about) Marina Bay

My first couple weeks in the country, I was determined to do as much tourist-y stuff as I could. (The fact that it was my first time in the entire continent made it feel like I could justify the overdose of generic tourist activities.)

Flying Into the Country, NTU Campus, and Life in General

The World of Singapore

EEEEE!! Pretty Flowers!! (Singapore Botanical Gardens)

I did the Orchids, Now on to Orchard Road

Swedish House Mafia: Live in Singapore

Arab Street, Bugis Street, Chicken Feet

Professional Party Animal on Sentosa Island

EEEEE!! Pretty Buildings!! (Chinese Gardens)

Metroid Marina Bay

Merlions, White Tigers and Panda Bears, Oh My! (Singapore Zoo)

Dragonboating Marina Bay

Tioman Island, Malaysia

What it lacked in sun, it more than made up for in surf!

What it lacked in sun, it more than made up for in surf!

My first trip within my exchange trip took me to the beaches of Malaysia, during a storm. The weather was rocky, but it rocked my world!

Escape to Tioman Island

When Rain Falls, Head to Tioman Waterfalls

Seizing the Storm to Surf

Training For The Amazing Race

Settling Into Singapore

Can use slanguage-lah!

Can use slanguage now-lah!

Finally getting used to life in Asia, all of the things that first felt like insane new experiences slowly become the new normal (with “normal” meaning “crazy series of events”).

Tales of a Longboarding Hipster

How to Ride The Singapore MRT Like a Champ

#exchangestudentlife

An Analysis in Singapore Stair Climbing

Thailand Trippin

How could anything go bad at a place like this?

I used to think the surface of the ocean was pretty, but it’s got nothing on what lies underneath

Semester break from Nanyang Technological University = a trip to Bangkok and switching my uni courses for an Advanced Adventurer diving on with SSI in Koh Tao.

Blitzing to Bangkok

TukTuk Temple Tour

How Market Shopping in Bangkok Made My Life

How Market Shopping in Bangkok Ruined My Life

Kickin Back on Koh Tao

So Much More Than a Weekend in Sumatra

The ground wasn't actually level at all, handstanding on a slope is easier said than done!

Less than a week after Thailand, I was back in a plane bound this time for Indonesia. Ready to get off the beaten path, I visited waterfalls, traditional villages and climbed volcanoes before sunrise. Plus, trading humidity for mountains felt amazing!

En Route to Berastagi

EEEEE!! Pretty Markets!! (Berastagi)

A Trip Back in Time to Dokan and the Karolands

Owning the Sipiso Piso Mountains and Getting Owned by the Waterfalls

Lake Toba Lovin’

Indonesian Kopi Luwak

Sunrise Volcano Trekking Mount Sibayak

Out and About Sumatra and Berastagi

My Brief Life in Sumatra

Singapore Museums and Tigers

Reflecting on my recent triumphs with my Lego counterpart

Clearly serious business

Goofing around at a Lego art exhibit, national museum an a brewery.

The Arts and Science Museum, Art of the Brick Quest

Because Every Park and Museum in Singapore has “National” Status

Because If Something in Singapore Doesn’t Have National Status, it has Tiger Status

Time for a Tiger (Brewery Tour)

Vietnam and Cambodia

Ancient temples and trees together!? MADNESS!!

Ancient temples and trees together!? MADNESS!!

I knew the Angkor Temples were someplace I couldn’t miss while in Southeast Asia, and while they were the main motivation for the trip, it ended up being so much more than just that!

Good Morning Vietnam!

Cu Chi Tunnels with a Crazy Devil

Becoming a Cu Chi Tunnel Hamster 

Out and About Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City

Tales of a Mekong Delta Hipster

Ben Than Market: Cartoon Characters and Helicopter Crashes

Bayon Shootouts and the Anti-Sunrise (Angkor Temples Part 1)

EEEEE!! Pretty Temples (Angkor Temples Part 2)

Raiding the “Tomb Raider” Tombs of Ta Prohm (Angkor Temples Part 3)

Khmer Chicken Bok Choy

A Walk Through the Cambodian Genocide: Killing Fields and S-21 Museum

The Different Sides of Singapore

Silly frog, wearing a shirt and a crown - how cute!

Land that’s used for farming, not shopping malls in Singapore!? MADNESS!!

The city-state may be small, but it still has a ton of different layers. Even after living there for a few months, I didn’t feel like I could say I’d really seen Singapore until I’d seen everything it had to offer.

MAAD Trip to Bras Basah

Singaporean Countryside (Yes, it Does Exist)

Getting Back to Nature on Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin Pirates

70 Stories of Food in Swissôtel’s Equinox

Haw Par Villa Horrors

Quick Trip to Japan

Venturing around places that look like they're straight out of a Miyazaki film?? Count me in!

Venturing around places that look like they’re straight out of a Miyazaki film?? Count me in!

It may only have lasted a couple hours, but I did everything I could to make stretch those hours as much as I could in Narita.

Finding Myself Lost in Japan

A Crash-Course in Narita Culture

Putting It All Together

My entire life consist of 1 suitcase, a backback and a longboard!

Just some of the things I learned about life (and Tuk-Tuks)

A Comparative Study of Tuk-Tuks Across South East Asia

Packing Tips From a Nomadic Hipster

Reflections on Living Abroad

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