Experience Your Life is all about connecting your with people who dare to go off the beaten path so you can get your own inspiration. For example, here is a very real account of one traveller who recently ventured outside her comfort zone to experience her life and learned so much about herself. Enjoy this incredible travelogue from Tiffany Lee that is written from heart.
“When Aunt X and Uncle Y ask you ‘oh, what’s next?’ after you’re done school and you say ‘I want to travel,’ you immediately see their faces falling. ‘How long?’
I wonder- why is it that when we think of solo traveling- the first things that come to mind are
- she’s running away from her problems
- she doesn’t know what to do with her life
- she needs a break after what school put her through…
our parents, peers, and people of the past generation, who are used to the thought of settling, investing, flourishing locally, can’t seem to understand why we don’t want to do the same.
I am privileged. The only reason I can think global, to dream in colour, to speak multi-languages is because of my parents. I’ve had the opportunity to go to Singapore for a co-op this summer.
Out of my entire forensics department, I was the only one who got to go. I don’t know if it’s because they didn’t apply, if they pulled out last minute, or due to financial barriers but I am so lucky to have gotten it.
Let’s zoom in on me geographically. I worked in this huge grey government building in Outram downtown Singapore: the Health Sciences Authority. Now on the third floor, the Forensic Toxicological Lab resides. And then there’s me, striding with multiple flasks in both arms in the Drug Abuse Testing Lab.
This entire facility is under lockdown over the weekend, and during all non-operational times. It has cameras everywhere, with limited access to every level, and card keyed elevators, corridors, doors, and locked drawers, cabinets, computers, and even shelves(?).
I can’t go into the details of my special project, but I have to say- it was eye opening. I had four years of unrelated subjects, mandatory courses, and mind-numbing work invested for this forensics dream. And here I am, working beside actual scientists (look ma, I’m one too) who deal with top secret, confidential and incriminating evidence everyday.
The first two weeks were stressful. Arduous, eye-straining reading. I had to pour through a couple three-inch binders, familiarize myself with related articles, researching the method, playing catch up to the scientists who do this everyday. After I completed their tests, their week long of training, I was left alone with my devices. It was finally time to get creative, get thinking. I was an artist in my own field.
The write up portion was the worse part, I couldn’t help feeling like I was thrown back in school again, that this was another report for another professor. But instead of a mark, I get a bit of money.
I think that’s when I realized I couldn’t work in a lab all my life. The weekends where I got to travel to Malaysia and Indonesia with my new found friends made me realize just how stuffy a lab work life can get. How lonely it was to be a scientist, and how mundane.
I’m back now, a quarter of a year gone, tanned, healthy and glowing. I’m diagnosed with wanderlust and I’m committed to making a pivotal change in my career.
I’m not saying it was a mistake, because it wasn’t. This trip was the positive influence I needed to quiet the voices of society, family, and peers. I finally know what I want. You just can’t live in fear of figuring yourself out. And you can’t be afraid of being wrong. Because it wasn’t a waste of time, it wasn’t a meaningless journey. Travelling was like a hard shake to my Torontonian snow globe world. South East Asia awaits for my return.