Went overseas for a MUN conference, caught the travel bug.
To date, my personal travels include (click to expand):
1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nov '17 (and afterwards, many more times)
I've been a lot - mostly due to attending various MUN conferences. Nevertheless, it's a lot like Singapore with very cheap and good food. Also, Auntie Anne's is pretty widespread, tastes great, and isn't inhibitively pricey like their Singaporean outlets.
2. Seoul, South Korea, Nov '1821 to 27 November
MUN trip turned into a week-long holiday in Seoul. Stayed in Songpa Hostel at $14/night and got 3 free nights at the Seoul Olympic Parktel (~$100/night). Amazingly, there was a day of snowfall (around 1 month before snow was expected). Had a snowball fight with a new Korean friend, ate incredible food, took the world's longest zipline (940m!!!!), had a North Korea border DMZ trip sadly cancelled on us. Addicted to Kimchi to this day, still have tantalising flashbacks of Sulbing's Bingsu.
3. Beijing, China, Mar '1920 to 25 March
2nd conference back-to-back, so was pretty tired. But had a free stay at the J.W. Marriott/Ritz Carlton, which were both chains I'd only vaguely heard of before (as being fancy hotels) - so randomly getting the chance to stay in them was pretty crazy. One bummer was that the hotel and conference locations were in a pretty rich enclave (China Central Place), meaning that I didn't really get to see any "real" Beijing (though I'd soon fix this at the end of the year). Did, however, get to visit the Forbidden City + Tiananmen Square and see the changing of the guards.
4. The Maldives, Sep '196 to 12 September
Found return tickets to the Maldives for <$200 and immediately snapped them up. Stayed a night in a sleeping pod in Malé, then stayed a couple days in Thulusdhoo, followed by Guraidhoo. Had an incredible time - packed clothes, a bar of detergent, and a second-hand snorkel + fins that cost a cumulative <$15 and just went. Kayaked, snorkeled, had a public transport ferry (dhoni) break down on me (made a friend out of the ferry attendant!). More expensive than I'd like (they only have resorts or guesthouses, no actual hostels) at ~$30-$40 per night, but the service and amenities were outstanding. They really know how to do tourism!
5. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam + Kansai, Japan, Oct - Nov '1927 October to 7 November
A graduation trip with my schoolmates. Slightly more expensive than normal, did slightly more cliché things - but cliché things are cliché for a (good) reason. Got to experience a bustling Ho Chi Minh, saw the Củ Chi tunnels and the Mekong River. For Japan, based in Osaka and had a bunch of day trips throughout the Kansai region (Himeji, Kobe, Nara, Kyoto). Ate incredible food, saw incredible things.
6. Bali, Indonesia, Nov '1912 to 15 November
A trip for a conference in which, funnily enough, I was compensated enough to earn a profit from flying to Bali. First stayed in a chill $4/night hostel, then a fancy resort-hotel immediately after. Pretty funny dichotomy. Also, touched down in Singapore the morning of my high school convocation.
7. Journey through Southeast Asia, Dec '19 - Jan '2023 December to 6 January
A relatively impromptu (and cheap!!) backpacking journey from Singapore to China with the following legs:
Singapore -🚌-> Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -🚌-> Padang Besar, Malaysia -🚶-> Hat Yai, Thailand -🚂-> Bangkok, Thailand -🚂-> Aranyaprathet, Thailand -🚶-> Poi Pet, Cambodia -🚚🚶-> Siem Reap, Cambodia -🚌🛻-> Ban Nakasong, Laos -🚣-> Don Det, Laos -🚣🚌-> Pakse, Laos -🚌-> Danang, Vietnam -✈️-> Hanoi, Vietnam -🚂-> Nanning, China
8. Germany + Finland, Dec '21 - Jan '2219 December to 1 January
First trip since the onset of COVID-19 :)
Germany: Berlin, Füssen, Munich, Dresden
Finland: Lappeenranta, Porvoo, Helsinki
9. Greece, May '228 to 17 May
Athens, Santorini, Meteora, Delphi
10. The Netherlands, Feb '2318 to 26 Feb
Amsterdam, Den Haag, Leiden
11. The Netherlands, Apr '2318 Apr to 4 May
I once had the intention of starting an informational travel blog, but I’ve chosen to instead contribute tips to Wikivoyage so more people can benefit.