Destination X: On Travelling Often And Embracing Its Imperfections With Yu Kee
25 year old Yukee travels often and seemingly fearlessly. Having sent him on two surprise trips (one solo, and one with friends) already, we invited him to our office for a quick chat about what made him come back for seconds, and to get to know a fellow traveller—better.
Finally, we had him in our office. Now was the chance to have our burning question answered. “Why Chicken Travel?” we asked, referencing Yukee’s Instagram handle. There was a pause, then Yukee—audacious adventurer, man behind Chicken Travel and veteran Anywhr traveller—began his explanation….
Trekking in a Chicken Suit
“It was last April 2017, a friend did a trek [a famous mountain circuit], and I said to myself ‘I want to do that too!’ before buying myself a ticket.” 100/100 for spontaneity. Until he discovered his friend had prepared for this trek by doing treks of similar difficulty.
It was one of those “ohhhh….” moments, but Yukee remained unfazed. “I decided to carry on with it.” The adventurer even decided to do the trek with a chicken suit on because he was born in the year of the Rooster, for the stories he’d be able to tell his future grandchildren… and we’re guessing for the LOLs too. With that—‘Chicken Travel’ was born.
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Yukee: The Weekend Warrior Traveller. As I like to call him, is a Content Creator by day and the man behind ‘Chicken Travel’. What sets him apart is his attitude. His very positive attitude. And his chiong-sua [Singlish slang for hardcore] travel style—often jetting off on a Friday night, and back in the office come Monday morning.
Got a less than ideal leave package? Take a leaf out of Yukee’s book. He proves that often times we’re just letting our idea of how many days, destination and activities define a holiday.
A 2D1N Challenge for Anywhr
It wouldn’t be wrong to say Yukee enjoys a good challenge… and we figured, enjoys challenging others. “I was quite surprised that Anywhr accepted my booking request sent in one and a half weeks before—for a 2D1N trip,” said the serial weekend traveller. A challenge thrown at us, from a traveller who enthusiastically accepts and attempts as many of our Anywhr Travelogue Missions. Lucky for him, we [the Anywhr team] enjoy a good challenge and we got his trip planned in no time and sent him on his merry way.
After his first experience with Anywhr, he came back for seconds… yet another 2D1N weekend travel adventure. For such an adventurous soul, have his Anywhr experiences given him fresh perspectives on travel as intended? Could it be merely a novelty? We had to know…
What is it that compels Yukee to get out there, time and time again? When asked about his dislikes and fears when it comes to travel, the 27 year old had this to say, “the uncertainty…. But in the end, it’s the adventure of the unknown that I’ve come to enjoy about travel.” He went on to explain how he believes not having fixed plans [save for his period of travel] grants him flexibility and the best chance for a full immersion into a destination’s culture and its people.
Putting a positive spin on what may have once held him back from having travel experiences worth sharing, he shines a light on how a little shift in perspective, could turn your average holiday, into a getaway you’ll never forget.
Which is why his [Yukee’s] discovery of Anywhr piqued his interest. The idea of finding out about your destination on the day of departure at the airport made it even better for him. “I didn’t have to worry about planning at all,” he pointed out.
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Judge Less, Adventure More
We [Anywhr] want travellers to step out of their comfort zones, and break from their status quo. We genuinely believe that by doing so, each individual grows exponentially and in turn makes the world a better place as they become more aware of themselves and their role in the world. This is all made possible through meaningful connections during our travel journeys.
When we asked Yukee about what he learnt about himself, and his most unforgettable Anywhr memory, he replied without having to give the question much thought. Perhaps testament to the impact the experiences have had on him.
“The time the locals waited with us, making sure we made it back safely,” he said of his second surprise adventure trip with us. During this surprise , Yukee found himself stranded—after conquering a mountain and only descending after sundown. Two hours from the city, ride hailing app drivers rejected his requests. His saviour came in the form of a local passing by on his motorcycle, who stopped when our traveller flagged him down.
Riding pillion, with a kid [in Yukee’s words] in control; “He looked like he was high,” he chuckled. “What had we gotten ourselves into?” (wondered Yukee). At this point, he was expecting a not so happy ending to this adventure.
As their unlikely saviour squeezed on the brakes, not only did he not demand a reward, he called the weary travellers a taxi back to their hostel—without hesitation. After relating his experience, he gave his thoughts about those of us lucky enough to travel, “we judge too much, myself included… thinking locals in developing countries as backward or uneducated.” assuming others harbour ill intentions. We’ve all heard the tourists’ cautionary tale. You know… locals offering a helping hand, only to demand something in return. However, as Yukee and his friend experienced, there are those full of generosity and hospitality.
“People aren’t bad... they often do things because of circumstance,” he went on to explain. “I don’t judge people… I try to understand their situation—to help them,” pointing out how he carries this throughout his day-to-day life since that fateful Anywhr experience.
So the next time we come across or experience something negative about a destination, take a step back and try not to villainise it. Give it a chance, and it just might leave you pleasantly surprised.
Living Without Expectations
Now, you may be wondering how and why Yukee remains so unfazed by life. We did too. His secret? “I live without expectations,” explaining that he doesn’t get [as] frustrated with this mentality.
There couldn’t have been a better way to demonstrate his almost enlightened levels of patience than during one of his Anywhr trips.
In the mood for river rafting, Yukee and his travel buddy found themselves by the river, with two options:
Wait and hope more people turn up to fill the raft to lessen the costs;
Split the full cost of it between the two of them.
This is where most of us would sigh, moan and leave defeated. Yukee being Yukee, however, chose to wait – first. And got impatient. Was he going to throw in the towel? Not a chance. He rose to the occasion, whipped out his phone and launched… Instagram. It’s what any good millennial would do.
“We offered to promote their business on social media in exchange for a discount,” 21st Century bartering at its finest. Whipping out their phones, Yukee compared his following on social media to the river rafting company’s and breathed a silent sigh of relief – they had more followers than the other party. They struck a deal and soon found themselves paddling down rapids, and with an interesting story about patience and being resourceful (perks of stepping up your Insta-game, anyone?).
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The Journey > Destination
As the interview came to an end, Yukee turned the tables around and asked, “what’s next for Anywhr?”
The answer is simple: We want to change the way you and I think about travel.
We’re all travelling for the same reason—to experience something out of our ordinary. Sure, it may be beach getaways for you, gastronomical experiences for another person, and wild adventures for the seemingly tireless and infectiously positive Yukee.
The only way to do that in our opinion, is to let go. Cast aside fears and what you think is mandatory for you to have a holiday. Get on your own journey to Anywhr—it’s time to meet the people, experience culture and have adventures.