We need sometimes to escape into open solitudes, into aimlessness, into the moral holiday of running some pure haphazard, in order to sharpen the edge of life, to taste hardship, and to be compelled to work desperately for a moment at no matter what.  George Satayana, The Philosophy of Travel

In Hokkien, they say I have a Jiam Ka- Chng, which is a term for buttocks that are so sharp they can’t sit still for long. At the age of 24, I’ve lived in 3 countries and traveled to more than 90 cities. I’m blessed with parents who have, in their infinite wisdom and love, taken me on adventures around the world since the tender age of 4.  I can scarcely remember the places I went to before the age of 10, and even those from age 11 to 16 are somewhat of a blur, but I’d like to believe that each of these places that I’ve traveled to have taken a piece of me and left an indelible impression. My first memory of adventure was at age 9 in Yunnan, when our tour bus got caught up in a 15-hour traffic jam, and we girls learnt to pee like men at the side of the road under the cover of nightfall. I remember falling face-first, mouth-open at the bottom of the sand dunes in Australia at age 11, with my dear mum lying on top of me, because we had ‘braked’ too quickly trying to avoid a bush while sand-boarding. I remember watching the moon race across the starlit sky in Korea with tears in my eyes because I was still emotionally- fraught after completing a 13-hour hike up an icy mountain. And then 2 years ago, I fell in love with Europe again and again and again as I began to learn the meaning of art, of passion, of history. It was also then that I got introduced to Couchsurfing, which has since changed the way I travel profoundly and allowed me to meet some incredible people.

This journey started 20 years ago, but it’s really only beginning now. I write for myself- for my ailing memory; I write for my future children- so that they too will have jiam ka-chngs that will lead them to explore whatever is left that is authentic in the world; I write for you, my loved ones- because this is my way of grounding myself to you and reminding myself of where I came from.

And for everyone else, I write in the hope that you will enjoy (:

Love,
Sheena

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