We were winding down at a cafe one evening when the topic of individuality came up, about not being swayed by our peers and being comfortable in our own skins.
I think it was the first time I said it out loud to others about it. About how sailing had a big impact in my life.
I was 14 when I learned to sail. A nerd sailor, I felt that I was cooler than the cool kids at school. Although I never had a problem with not being a cool kid, it was a nice feeling. It made me realised that I can be a different kind of cool and even if I was the only one, I am okay with it.
Ever since then, path has always been different from the ‘majority’ of my contemporaries. Japan was my country of choice for my undergraduate studies. Journalism when most of my friends ventured into the corporate world. A naval reservist.
Travel is another big influence in shaping who I am. The shoestring budget kind of travel, where each decision made is mostly based on cost and making the most of what I am able to afford. The kindness of strangers I have received, especially in 2010, made me rethink my priorities in life. It’s not about designer shoes or social status. It’s about passion and realising my dreams, it’s about giving back and living life to the fullest, despite the challenges that may come my way.