Flying off tomorrow!

Tomorrow I and KKH will be flying off for a long trip after a year of planning and saving up funds. I will be travelling to the other side of the globe to the Galapagos Islands. It will be a long journey consisting of over 24 hours of flying time, and that’s not including the time in between transiting flights yet. I wonder if I can take it? I had not flown for longer than 6-8 hours at a time and I’m a bit worried about the long flights. Still, it is guaranteed that this trip will be an experience unlike any other.

I had this impulse to travel.

Perhaps it was a mid-life crisis or something. One day I realized that I’m not getting younger anymore and I should travel before I get too old to walk. Instead of sitting around and imagining about going to those amazing places I saw in documentaries, I should attempt to go there myself. I want to see it with my own eyes. I was bitten by the travel bug and I had this impulse to see the world while I’m still fit enough. It helped that at this stage in life, I had the ability to support my dream financially. It would not be easy but it felt attainable.

I want to travel to somewhere far away, somewhere very different from home. I had a list of places I want to go and sites I want to see, but obviously I would not be able to go to all of them. So I thought to myself, if I could only go to one place, where would I go? Where would be the trip of a lifetime? I chose the Galapagos Islands.

Another reason why I want to go to the Galapagos Islands is that I want to see it before it is gone. Even with conservation efforts going on, I’m not sure if it will be enough. The world is not made up of isolated pockets but are all connected. Sometimes I feel that there is a ticking clock counting down to the day when it will be gone. The longer I wait, the more likely it will disappear.

Map of the Galapagos Islands

What are the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago that had remained cut off from the mainland for many years. Due to its isolation, there were many unique creatures living on the islands that could not be found anywhere else. It is situated at the equator so the weather remained pretty constant. Although there are no winters, there is a cold current that enables penguins to live in the Galapagos Islands. Imagine that, penguins at the equator! Besides all the other interesting creatures we want to see, KKH specifically wants to see the marine iguanas and I want to see the blue-footed boobies.

Probably the most famous person to have visited the Galapagos Islands is Charles Darwin. The islands were a large influence in helping Darwin develop his theory of evolution. I must admit that there is something romantic in the idea of following the footsteps of such an influential figure in human history and visiting the very place that had played such a big part in his theory.

But for a long time, it was just a distant dream.

One day, I chanced upon a newspaper article about a Singaporean couple who managed to travel the world for a whole year. Friends who know me will know how rare it is that I read newspapers, if at all. So it must be a sign, ha ha. I still remember that the husband was a Caucasian who works in an IT-related job and the wife is a Chinese who does stocks. So they don’t have to be in office and all they needed was an internet connection to keep working. Thus they traveled and worked for a year, returning to Singapore after every trip to learn from their mistakes and plan for the next one. I don’t remember much about the article because while it was possible for them, my job does not allow me to work and travel at the same time. But what I remembered was a short paragraph about finding an internet connection overseas and they mentioned that even the Galapagos Islands have an internet connection.

That was when I realized that it may be possible for even someone like me to go to the Galapagos Islands. Although to tell the truth, I didn’t immediately start planning for a trip there. Firstly, it was difficult to find people who want to go. And when I managed to find someone who is interested, they declined the moment they heard about the cost. It already cost a lot of money to fly to South America and there were also costs and expenses for the tours and other stuff. I stopped going on overseas trips for a whole year to save up money for this trip. But I can’t expect other people to give up their holidays like I did. So I was really surprised and grateful when KKH calmly indicated her interest and not even the price caused her to raise her eyebrows. I felt incredibly lucky.

It’s time to say bye bye.

Now on the eve of the trip, I find myself feeling excited and nervous. Maybe a bit apprehensive too. It is so far away. If anything goes wrong, it’s not as if I can just return back to the comfort of Singapore. But this is an adventure and perhaps I should just let go of the worries and enjoy myself. After all, 兵来将挡, 水来土掩. We’ll meet our troubles when they come.

See you all next month!

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