"Traveling isn’t really that hard if you have the guts to do it, and I think everyone should have the guts to do it."
Every summer and winter I go back to Hong Kong to reunite with my family. We have a strong family bond. Whenever we have long holidays the whole family comes together
A few years ago while flying from Amsterdam to Hong Kong, (I think we were flying over Kazakhstan) I looked out the window, and asked myself “What is it like to be down there? Why am I not down there to explore the culture?” [suddenly] this wild thought came into my mind “Should I not do direct flights anymore and stop in between every time I fly back home, and just see the little places between Asia and Europe?”
It’s was like a voice in my head told me I should go to that place.
There is a trip in particular, from Amsterdam to Hong Kong that I never want to forget.
This trip started in Amsterdam heading to St. Petersburg, I stayed there for about 6 hours and then Moscow, Abu Dhabi, Colombo, and finally Hong Kong. My parents did not agree, “What if you miss a connection, you’re screwed!” But I was fearless; I just went with my instinct. [I felt sure] I’ve researched a lot, I even read the terms and conditions on the tickets I bought.
The time was terrible though; I arrived in St. Petersburg at 2 a.m. I had to wait for the first train at 6 a.m. to explore St. Petersburg a little bit. People looked at me strange in Russia, I felt like I didn’t fit in.
I manage to catch all my flights on time, and flew home to Hong Kong successfully. And I earned all my miles and became a platinum member with British Airways. I am a mileage runner, so I spent a lot of time doing research and calculations, joined a lot of clubs. I even flew first class from Moscow to Abu Dhabi for a really cheap price with Etihad Airways.
The moment I arrived home I felt like “Ah! that’s what I did, I’m finally home” I traveled for about 65 hours, instead of a 12 hour direct flight. I stayed in a hotel only for one night, which was in Moscow. The feeling of having the first dinner with your family as you arrived from such a trip is very different. I am very lucky to have parents that can afford to pay this kind of trips.
What’s so significant about this trip is that I am raising myself; I am breaking out of the old Justin, really pushing myself to do these things.
You know, some years ago I wouldn’t have the guts to do this, but that’s part of growing up, living alone made me realize that there is a lot of things that I can do for myself. So why not use this time to do this? Why not do something that’s out of your comfort zone? Why fly direct flights all the time when you can do a world tour to reach your final destination? This is something that has shaped me as a person. It is very fulfilling.
Traveling isn’t really that hard if you have the guts to do it, and I think everyone should have the guts to do it.
My advice to someone out there that wants to do the same would be to book a non-refundable ticket. Once it’s booked you have to go, challenge yourself.
Put yourself in a position where you cannot back out, and when you are forced to do it, then you’ll know you can do it.