SONDER

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Sonder
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own — populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness — an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

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In the last couple of weeks, I've been fortunate enough to travel to 2 neighbouring countries. And even if they were short trips, I'm still contented because my family hasn't travelled in a long while for certain reasons I do not wish to speak of here. I'm also not allowed to travel alone because my parents are very concerned about my safety, and I mean VERY.

The thing about travelling is that you shouldn't do it just so you can tweet or instagram about it, but more to open your eyes, your mind and heart to learn about the different cultures and lives that others lead. Of course I know that there are approximately 7 billion people on this planet but you never truly understand the meaning of "7 billion people" until you meet another 10,000 people in another country. Another 10,000 lives you never knew existed, and when you look at their faces — every wrinkle on their face and every vein in their bloodshot eyes it tells you a story about part of their lives. I feel like I want to know more about their story, their lives, what they do for a living and how differently they live from me.

When I arrive in another country (which is almost always larger than where I'm from) I always ask myself or the people around me, "How do they get from one place to another?" or "How long does the journey take?". Coming from a little red dot, it doesn't take more than 2 hours to travel from East to West or North to South — and that's by public transportation.

The final and best part about travelling is coming home. When I say home I don't mean the home I live in, but home like homeland (aka Singapore). Nothing beats being in unfamiliar ground for awhile and then seeing the familiar skyline again. This is something unusual for me to say, because I'm someone who is always itching to travel.

I think travelling is great for your mental health and soul, and everyone should too but only if your bank account allows you to. It definitely also makes you miss and appreciate the family you have back home. I wish my parents would be a little less worried though, so I could travel and meet new people and embark on new adventures and be awed by the beauty on this planet. Life is short and you never know when will be your last day, everyday should be filled with doing something meaningful.

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by every moment that takes your breath away." ○

Stay gold, xx