“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
Created on Tuesday, 01 February 2011 04:42
Written by Shermaine Lee
– St. Augustine
I fully agree. There is just so much to this world besides Singapore. After touring Europe and Western Australia for 8 months, I came back a different person.
Once upon a time, I had many lofty expectations of the Western World and how much Singapore had to learn from there. After having set foot in many countries in Europe, I learnt that each and every country and city has its beauty and imperfections, and that we have a lot to learn from each other.
And this is what I saw through the eyes of my toy camera:Of Places(Picture above)
Maastricht, The Netherlands. This is where I lived for 6 months, and yet I could not even finish touring the small city in the south of Netherlands – though it was wonderful cycling across the river each day! But somehow, I found a home away from home in Maastricht, living with the locals and experiencing many cultural events. It also made me more aware that touring a place for a day or a week is completely different from living there.
Harrods, London. Harrods could be likened to a national institution in London and surely one of the most famous departmental stores in the world. Shopping there was a luxurious delight and a feast for the eyes. There were even perfume bottles in the washrooms! Also, the different sections of the store were each decorated elaborately to suit various themes by country such that I felt like I was walking into Egypt, or Paris, or somewhere else in the world.
London, United Kingdom. I spent a month here, soaking up the sights and sounds of London. This is the view that I have each time I enjoyed lunch by the River Thames, looking at the London Eye and being reminded of Singapore. When I think of London, I think of crowded tube stations, fulfilling days spent eating Fish & Chips in a local bar, and then heading out to watch a musical such as Phantom of The Opera or Wicked.
For me, it was also fascinating to see and compare how much Singapore was influenced by our British rulers during the colonisation: Our MRT system is similar to The Tube, which is London’s subway system. Our education system is modeled after the British system. We use British English. Through my time in London, I was reminded of how our lives in Singapore would be different should we not be under British Rule all those years ago.
Stratford-upon-Avon, UK. This picture looks like it could have been taken during Shakespeare’s time. Shakespeare was born here, grew up here, and got married here to Anne Hathaway. A lot of his writings were done here too. It was so easy to see how Shakespeare could have produced such marvelous works just by walking around his town, his house and to see where he lived as there was just so much beauty around.
Rottnest Island, Perth. I’ve been to many beaches in Singapore, Thailand, Ireland, United Kingdom, Greece, Italy and Australia this year, and it is really amazing how different each beach can be. Of Animals
Even animals are different all around the world.
Look at this Highland Cow from the Scottish Highlands!
And here’s an Alpaca – a domesticated species of South American camelid from Peru.
A Kangaroo from Perth, Australia, should be familiar to most of us.
And here’s Quokka – a marsupial only found on Rottnest Island, Perth.
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”
– Jawaharial Nehru
Travelling to me is a thirst that cannot be quenched. It is not nearly enough to read about these places in a book, or to see them in a travel documentary. Some people travel simply to mark off a checklist on places they have been. But for me, each journey is a journey of self-discovery, and to explore and learn more about the different parts of the Earth where I live in. Travelling has to be done with an open mind, and with an open heart to embrace all the earth has to offer, because there is indeed a difference between a tourist and a traveller.