Chasing Dreams is a multi-part series chronicling my thoughts, dreams & changing ideals over the years (since 2018), including burnout, quitting the rat race, migration and trying to find my path in life
A friend of mine was really stunned by my unconventional dreams, because most medical students intend to stay and work in Singapore for most of their lives, which makes my path very far off the beaten track. She said I’m as ‘unique’ and filled with childlike wonder as Amélie, the titular character of the movie, and she suggested that I write a book about my life if I eventually manage to achieve the future I’ve always dreamed about.
I don’t have enough time, and my short 2 decades of life haven’t been nearly interesting enough to warrant writing a book, but her comment spawned the idea for this series – Chasing Dreams – and I might write more parts in future, as the years pass and I either let go of my dreams or somehow manage to fulfil all of them. I’m excited to see how my future turns out, and I hope all of you will follow me on my journey through life and its misadventures. 🙂
In this post, I’ll be writing about my passion for travelling and my dream to travel the world before I die, as well as my dream of publishing a book someday. I apologise that it’ll be a lot shorter than the previous parts since I’m rushing these out while preparing for a clinical skills exam (i.e the last official exam for my 2nd year in med school) + packing for my trip to USA next week.
I’ve had a severe case of wanderlust ever since I was little, partially due to my parents taking me on annual family holidays to fun (albeit touristy) destinations. Wanderlust is a blessing but also a curse, because it creates this itch and urge in your heart that can’t ever be sated, and being in one place for too long just feels like prison. When you’re stuck in your day job or in school, your mind is wandering elsewhere, wondering when you’ll be brave enough to escape this lifestyle and live as a modern nomad for a few years.
When I share this dream of becoming a nomad with people, they invariably ask ‘Why not just go on holidays while on work leave?’
Being a tourist and flying from one country to another on holidays would certainly be one way of seeing the world and fulfilling my wanderlust
(when I’m a middle-aged woman with angsty teenaged children who don’t want to go on family vacations??), but while I’m still young, commitment-free and able-bodied, I want to travel the world in a different way. I want to live in different cities and countries for short periods of time (anywhere from 1 month to half a year), to truly soak up the culture, as well as pick up some new languages.
Furthermore, my twenties will probably be the only time my life where I can choose to turn down commitments and enjoy my last vestiges of freedom. With adulthood comes great responsibility, bills to pay, and a family to take care of. I fully intend to settle down someday (in a country other than SG), so I’ll have to make the best use of my single years to find out who I am as an individual and what I want out of life, before I’ll truly be ready to find someone and start the ‘settlingdownhavingkidsandworkinga9-5job‘ phase of my life.
Aaand that brings me to my next part – being a writer and actually getting paid for it.I have a dream that someday I’ll be an author of my own self-help/motivational book, or at least a having a paid writing opportunity, because that would be a sweet compromise between having to earn money for my family and still being able to have a job that I’m passionate about.
My friend Alfonse has been an inspiration to me to follow my writing dreams; he’s a successful film-maker, photographer and writer (he gets paid well; he’s the one who convinced me that writing could be a career), and you can check out his works here. He’s one of those people who dared to swim against the current back in Junior College when everyone else was headed towards ‘conventionally successful/very Asian’ career paths; our teachers thought he wouldn’t succeed but gosh he proved them all wrong, and I’m so proud that he did. :’)
My current career path doesn’t allow for much creativity at all, which is rather stifling. No matter how fulfilling and meaningful the job is, I feel like a part of me won’t be entirely satisfied unless I can make a living off being creative and coming up with weird new ideas and just having the freedom to express myself. This blog is one of my main creative outlets, along with my tumblr that I use for short poetry/writing. Writing is a labour of love for me, and I can’t be sure if I’ll love writing as much when I have an editor pressuring me to churn out articles, so I’ll just enjoy the ride for now and see if any paid writing opportunities ever come my way.
Maybe after I’ve lived for a few more decades and experienced more of what life has to offer, I’ll have enough material and….dare I say, wisdom? to write a book about my life and travels. Perhaps it’ll be a story of how I managed to chase all my dreams and lived life with no regrets, or maybe it’ll be a tragic tale of how I got sucked into the rat-race and forgot about all these beautiful dreams.
(Bonus trivia: The title of this post was loosely inspired by BTS Jin’s song Awake, although its lyrics are “Maybe I can’t touch the sky”)
Oh gosh it’s getting late (10:31pm), I’ll end this piece here and work on part 4 of Chasing Dreams tomorrow. In yet another round of shameless self-promotion, I’d love if you guys would follow my Insta or Facebook page. It won’t get me any closer to my dream of being an author, but hey, at least it’ll brighten up my day! 🙂
P.S. I don’t make any money from running this blog, so if you’d like to support my writing and help me bring even better content to you, you can buy me a coffee/donate on Ko-fi!
If you’re interested in exploring my blog, click here for an index of all the posts I’ve ever written (travel, musings, doctoring), or check out my most read series below:
- the Chasing Dreams series: a multi-part series chronicling my thoughts, dreams & changing ideals over the years (since 2018), including burnout, quitting the rat race, migration and trying to find my path in life
- the (not-so-definitive) guide to doctoring: Getting into Med School & FAQs | Surviving your Clinical Years | MBBS Tips | Life as a M1 // M2 // M3 // M4 // M5 during COVID // Life as a Doctor (monthly series) | Chasing Careers series