Destination X: On Culture, Coffee, and Chakra.
Charmaine, the 24-year old solo Travel veteran
Charmaine is no stranger to solo travel. Her first solo trip was to Hong Kong to celebrate her 21st birthday, and from then she's not stopped. Her second solo trip was to Seoul, the third to Taipei, but for her fourth, she turned to Anywhr. Embracing the true spirit of authentic travel, we decided to send the Human Resources Executive somewhere completely different and less travelled, but definitely not less interesting.
Here's her Destination X: On Culture, Coffee and Chakra experience!
Living Like a Local
Charmaine had opted for an Experience holiday, so off she went to a destination with rich culture to allow her to throw herself into the local life. Of course, Charmaine had no idea where she was headed, so in true Anywhr spirit, we planned a trip and booked tickets to her mystery destination, and all Charmaine had to do was was show up at the airport!
Hong Kong, Seoul, and Taipei are all big cities, and we decided to push our city-slicker veteran traveller out of her comfort-zone and straight into the arms of Mother Nature.
Charmaine landed at her destination, and was whisked away to the cottage among the rice fields she’d be calling home for the next 3 days!
Now safely back in Singapore, Charmaine reminisces about cycling past stunning rice fields, with the sun setting in the background, and watching women carrying baskets of rice.
*You may also wish to learn about: Top 5 Survival Tips for your first Solo Trip
To her credit, Charmaine embraced the spirit of wanderlust, and immersed herself in her surroundings, and the culture around her. Sometimes a little too much… as she recounts her inability to resist the local coffee despite her caffeine allergies! While her taste buds were delighted, the rest of her body was not, and she spent that night tossing and turning, unable to sleep!
Experiencing Local Cultures First Hand
Experiencing local culture first hand is often the highlight of visiting new countries for most travellers, and it’s definitely the focus of this Experience holiday. Experience trips often include homestays to allow travellers to engage with their destination’s culture on a deeper level. Whilst there, Charmaine stayed with a local family, got to know their children and their pets, and got attached to all the adorable stray dogs she saw!
In the true spirit of adventure, Charmaine decided to get a little taste of local traditions and signed up for what she thought was a palm reading.
“Next thing I know my “chakras” are being opened, with spicy eye drops into my eyes and ointment rubbed on my tummy. It was frightening, but I wanted to see what the local Shaman had to say! According to him, I will start my own business in a few years'…and also will end up being a lesbian!” Charmaine laughs. The conclusion was uncanny to her, because she has been working towards her dream of opening her own cafe. Her best friend also happens to be lesbian!
*Read about other Travel Tips, Guides, and other Experiences here at: PROJECT #GOANYWHR
The Power of Travel
One of the most powerful things about travel is that it takes us out of our bubbles and brings us face to face to the realities of life and the realisation that not everyone is as privileged as we are.
Charmaine saw this first hand while interacting with her host family. She bonded with their children and tried to have conversations with them, but noticed that their abilities were limited and that the standard of education was very low. This struck a chord with Charmaine, where she felt a compelling desire to help their children and children like them. Perhaps do some volunteer work, she mused.
When asked whether she’d place her fate in our hands again, and take another Anywhr trip, Charmaine’s answer was a resounding “Yes!”