Trip Start Feb 11, 2007
Trip End ??? ??, 2008

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Thursday, July 19, 2007

My flight back to Singapore was without difficulty and I managed to meet up with my friend, Lynn, from uni.  I had a few classes with Lynn and when I told here I was to be back in Singapore, we made plans to meet up. I must say, she was a kind host and an excellent tour guide!     My time in town was to be short, but we made the most of it.  We started by taking a cable car over to Sentosa Island, where I was able to see the thrill seeking side of Singaporeans.  Our first stop was to be at the luge, where you get to race down a hill at breakneck speeds.  I am almost positive I set a record.  We then took a tour of Fort Siloso.  Built by the British in the late 1800s, the fort has had an interesting and important history, especially during WWII.  After that, we went to visit a statue of the Merlion. Half lion and half fish, the story of the Merlion is one of legend and myth and stands as a symbol fro Singapore. After Sentosa, we toured around a night market, I was fed some local delicacies and went out for drinks at Clark Quay, a hip night spot for young professionals.  Ah, yes. I almost forgot.  Earlier in the day, we were walking through this massive mall to get to the train and we heard the most incredible rendition of 'Little Wing'.  We followed our ears, and sure enough, it was being played by the US Navy Southern Fleet Rock Band.  They were putting ona  free concert that afternoon.  Keep on rockin' USA!   The next day, we took it easy, and I was off to the airport... Well,  my first travels to Southeast Asia have officially ended...I hope you all could see that in my eyes it was an amazing trip.  While I must say I did enjoy checking out the major sites and attractions every now and again, I think many of you know  I, more often than not, try to get away from the tourist trail and beat my own path.  While I understood the limits of doing this in such a short trip, I think I was able to get a taste of what many of these people and cultures experience on a daily basis.    In light of many of the circumstances that directed my life so far, I have realized I am more fortunate than most.  I have been given opportunities that many people around the world, quite frankly, will never have, and I am forever in debt to those who have helped me along the way. Life is unfair to many and, at times, can be downright heartbreaking.  I think, however, what was confirmed on this trip is the idea that life is, in fact, what we all make of it.  I had the absolute pleasure to befriend at least one or two people from every country I visited.  In most cases, I spent the better part of a day (or more) just engaged in conversation with these individuals.  We discussed life and love, politics and religion.  It was not the case that they wanted something from me or I wanted something from them.  We always met by chance and connected through a common interest, which I think was a genuine curiosity and desire to learn more about others different from ourselves.  Whether in the chaos of Phnom Pehn or in the rural tranquility of Lombok, I found that fate dictates a vastly different life for each of us and that while some of us will live our lives in contempt of our current situations, the people that inspire others and work to progressively make things better are that who believe that one must make the most of what one has and treat others with respect.  I walked through places of absolute poverty, conditions that would make you cringe, but more often than not, I was greeted with a smile.  The idea that we can rise above adversity is a powerful one.  I think the key is to acknowledge that it cannot be a singular battle.   I am now sitting at a computer in Perth, where I am safe and sound back in Australia.  I know what I just experienced will take time to fully sink in, as my mind is still a bit numb with activity.  This was a trip I know I will look back on with great relish.  I am not sure if I will ever have the freedom to just pick up and leave for a month again, but at least i will rest easy with the knowledge that I did it once.  Moreover, I think the insights I have gained and will continue to unlock will serve me well throughout life.   Well, enough for tonight. I still need some energy to explore Perth tomorrow! 
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