Why I’ll Never Return to Singapore

Last week was my final week living in Singapore. I don’t plan on ever returning.

Behind the curtains of the hawker stands and the brand new five billion dollar casino, there is a struggle in Singapore. A struggle that is constrained to the small boundaries of this city-state, but reflects issues rooted in the human experience. What happens when everything goes right?

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Learning How To Pickpocket

All of my training led up to this moment. I chose an unsuspecting victim, waited for the perfect opportunity, unzipped their bag, felt my hand grab a wallet and like a pro, I made a break for it. It was blatant theft and this time I wasn’t the victim. Learning to pickpocket has been by far my weirdest bucket list item (even weirder than this one!). I am not exactly sure who recommended I put it on my list but in hindsight, I am glad it got there. Like layovers at airports, pickpocketing is one of the uncomfortable truths...

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Dear Unhappy Former Self

Dear Unhappy Former Self, At lot has changed since we parted ways… The basic differences are easy to point out. First and foremost, I am in a lot better shape than you. I am about 60 pounds lighter, and significantly more agile and flexible. I can maintain a dead sprint for half a mile at sea level without losing my breath. You get winded after a 10 meter dash to answer the phone. It might seem hard to believe, but I also heal faster than you. Injuries and bruises are gone much sooner for me than they are for...

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My TED Talk: The Most Important Question

I am very excited to share an important event in my life with all of you. Last month, I had the opportunity to give a TED talk about my life list to a room full of amazing people. The event was fantastic and I was humbled to have had an active part in it. For those who don’t know, TED is an organization that is dedicated to spreading unique and interesting ideas around the world via free and accessible video lectures. The speakers range from famous world leaders to relatively unknown but extremely talented artists. The lectures focus on...

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Quitting My Job and Moving To Spain

My last few blog posts have made me feel more like the old man reminiscing about his glory days rather than the active adventurer I want and claim to be. Life is tricky in many ways but one of the trickiest aspects is trying to balance being proud of your past with being truly present. Each year this gets harder but it also creates an extremely positive incentive to make progress and live a happy life. I am ready to start doing more. My life is extremely convenient right now. I have a job which is fine but doesn’t...

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Life After Depression

Suffering from depression feels like looking into a mirror everyday and seeing a pathetic version of yourself. Every reflective surface reveals the same disturbing secret. The illness is like having earmuffs involuntarily installed on your feelings. When I was battling depression, I wasn’t sad like the name of the illness implies, instead I was numb. My passions no longer excited me, and the people in my life no longer inspired me.

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The End Is Nigh; Full Steam Ahead!

I am the middle of the most ridiculous, outrageous and trying leg of a trip that I have ever had. I am beyond burnt out and in a completely foreign place both mentally and physically. At the same time, I feel at home, loved and at ease. This is why I travel. Even at my most creative moments I couldn’t possibly write something like this. Yet somehow this has become my life story. Last night I prepared my things in order to get quarantined in a Japanese hospital. A friend of mine had been diagnosed with Avian Flu after...

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The Single Best Decision I Ever Made

I am sitting here typing this in a hotel room in Ashford, Washington. Tomorrow I will make a summit attempt on Mt. Rainier, the 14,410 ft volcano that, on lucky days, graces the skyline of Seattle and reminds the population why they put up with all the rain. This life list item, if completed, will mean I have passed the halfway mark on my life list. Before starting to write this post, I exchanged friendly tweets with the person who now has my old job. (From what I can tell, Cyrus is doing a fantastic job) It was right...

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My Worst Bucket List Item (Possibly NSFW)

Notice: NSFW is an acronym that stands for Not Safe For Work. I don’t think this post will offend most of you but it is worth noting that it does contain harsher language than I usually use on this blog. Until recently, I had never had a bucket list adventure that I didn’t like. Obviously, I have hit some rough points (getting stranded in Argentina, learning the hard way that people primarily speak Catalan in Barcelona, not Spanish, the time I mixed up Rubles and Rupees) but these were merely spices that added to an overall delicious travel experience....

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A Country I Have Never Heard Of? I am Going!

Hiking through the remote jungle of Borneo, my guide stopped suddenly. With a worried expression on his face, he said it was going to rain. I was still a novice to the jungle but knew that it didn’t just rain in Borneo, it downpoured. We had just enough time to jump into a wooden longboat before the guide’s premonition proved true. As the rain beat down, the wind picked up. Bravely (or foolishly), we hit the rapids at full speed as we rocketed in the direction of our base downriver. Most of my travels are not preplanned but my...

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