I first heard about Goh Mia Chun and his wife Samantha Pan when a friend shared their amazing story with me — a couple who travelled the world on a motorbike! WOW!
Maybe it was fate, but before I could hunt them down, their contact fell onto my lap. A PR company contacted me and suggested an interview with them.
At that time, Ning & I were already discussing plans to take a break from our careers and embark on an adventure of a lifetime. So that conversation in The Living Room with Goh and Sam was – unknown to my listeners on 938LIVE – very poignant for me.
What struck me most about the couple is that they are the most humble and down-to-earth people. We often think we have to be well-off to travel the world. But what Goh said really struck me, “My parents own a hawker stall, and I live in a 3-room HDB flat. If I can do it, you can do it.”
Check out this vid of their triumphant return to Singapore after 2.5 years on the road:
The last time I met up with them was at Ning’s “The Aerial Exit” at the Asian Civilisations Museum. Well, I met up with them again last night for a curry fish head dinner at Blk 354 Clementi Ave 2. Since coming back from their trip, this is their 1st fish head curry meal, and Goh was really looking forward to it.
During the meal, they shared with me how they managed their finances on the road. What I learnt was this: Have a “reservoir” of money in an account that we can draw from. Then have a number of debit cards which are like “taps” to access this reservoir.
Don’t keep too much money in the debit accounts – perhaps 2,000 bucks. And top-up as & when these accounts drain. This is because if our debit cards are stolen, the thieves can only take away this much. Our “main reservoir” is still safe.
Make copies of vital documents like IC, passport, bank statements, international drivers permits, passport photos etc., and put them online. In case our actual documents are stolen, we can still access the soft copies and print them wherever we are.
On a lighter note, Sam shared with me about how Europeans count differently with their fingers… it was hilarious! Who would’ve thought? *LOL* But these are little details that will come in handy (no pun intended) when I’m ordering 2 coffees or sandwiches at an Italian espresso bar!
Sam also suggested we bring our own little lock for securing our cupboard at cheap 2-star hotels or B&Bs… Often they do provide, but isn’t it safer to use your own lock & key?
Having friends like Goh & Sam really reassures me because I feel like what Ning & I are doing is possible. They have done it, so can we. And I’m so touched by their generosity in sharing their time, their stories, their travel tips with me.
I can’t wait for the BFF to come back tomorrow! I’m bursting to share with her what I’ve learnt from Goh & Sam, as well as Class 95’s Yasmine Cheng, whom I had lunch with today at the MediaCorp canteen.
Yaz heard about our trip and asked if I was free to grab a quick bite together. Over a bowl of laksa yong tau foo, she shared with me about the South of France & Provence, and how we MUST rent a car and drive through the French countryside & French Riviera. She talked about fields of sunflowers and lavender, and quaint Medieval towns.
She even lent us her own guide books, with must-see places all marked out in pen. We love you, Yazzie!!! *big hug*
From feeling lost and nervous, I suddenly feel supremely empowered and very, very excited!!! *beams* Thank you, Yaz! Thank you, Goh & Sam, for your wonderful help and support. Goh, you could at least have let me pay for dinner!!! *pout*
Read all about Goh & Sam’s amazing adventures here.
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