If you can't fly, let's walk

Dear friends,

How was your day?

It's been a month and moving forward, I will be updating my blog once every month (every first Thursday of the month)
Today is Nov 5th, 2020, marking the longest 8 months that I've stayed in Singapore without returning to my hometown. It had crossed my 6-months threshold and I needed to figure something out to maintain my sanity and keep myself "inspired" with what's already available in Singapore. What will you do when your travels are limited? 

My first excursion in Singapore was to experience the intertidal walk-in on St. John Island. After that refreshing experience, I was eager to scout for nature addresses in Singapore to "kill" my boredom.  I was curious about what other hidden gems would lie out there besides the well-known Night Safari and the Gardens by the Bay. Singapore is a very small country which you are able to cover by car in about 50 minutes. Therefore after much thought, the most ideal way for me personally to explore Singapore slowly and with a deeper understanding is through my two feet - walking. 

"In every walk in nature, one receives far more than he seeks"
- John Muir

And I found The Green Corridor and decided to do this trip in the early mornings. As I am writing this article, I've already done a few long walks (10 km and above) in the last 2 months. The Green Corridor is still my favorite path because this old railway route made me see Singapore in a new green light. I loved how this old route is surrounded by random trees that remain "untouched". When a city is "designed" with human conveniences, what often remains are beautiful concrete architecture with an empty soul. That's why places like The Green Corridor are crucial for the urban jungle to celebrate the connectedness and oneness with nature.

The starting point of The Green Corridor from Kranji Railway

The entrance to Kranji Railway is a hidden address inside these thick and green bushes

Riverside in the green, it reminds me of my kampung days (days in the village) in Malacca where my brother and I would travel miles (One and a half-hour journey back and forth) to buy candies and snacks from the only Kopitiam (shops which sold served simple local food, snacks, and cigarettes) in our village. We would travel with long tree branches to wade off angry dogs and the highlight of our trip was always the riverside where we can rest and soak our legs after our long walks. This was one of those scenes that brought me back to my sweet old days of childhood. 

Old Bukit Timah Railway Trail

1 km away from the finishing line

My husband E, my friend A and I took 2 days to complete a total of 26km. There were rainy days, cloudy days, sunny days and you had to ready yourself with waterproof equipment and sun protection to be prepared for any weather.

My personal experience through this long walk taught me the importance of preparing the right kit before I travel.  Here is a checklist of 12 items which is customized to my personal needs:

🌲1. Waterproof bag pack from Decathlon 
Investment in a reliable waterproof backpack is a must. It's the most essential item to provide 100% protection to all your valuable items. After all, the last thing you want is to worry about your stuff getting wet in stormy weather.

🌲2. Raincoat 
I bought a long waterproof raincoat from Uniqlo because it gave me full protection from head to knee

A combination of comfort and practicality. This pair of sandals (perfect for broad feet) traveled with me all over South East Asia with 0% worry for me. I find it very suitable for use in outdoor Singapore. 
After a 26 km long walk through The Green Corridor with my Mustard Salt Water Sandals (on your right)

🌲4. Wear Cotton/Linen/Rayon/Lyocell
I've tried to travel in a sports jersey and after a long day, it just feels extra hot and a typical nylon polyester sports short would also leave patches of abrasion on both of my thighs. With this experience, I understood that sportswear does not work for everyone. 

My body prefers something soft, breathable, and light. For someone who likes to look good with comfort and practicality, here's my recommendation to create 2 looks for your upcoming adventure:

1st Look

🌿 A timeless denim short sleeve shirt is suitable to use as outerwear to keep you warm when you travel before dawn. This stress-free classic blue denim is an easy color to match with your other outfit in the wardrobe. It is durable and not afraid of scratches and it also comes with a small pocket for you to keep cards and pens. Click here to find out the details of this top.

🌿 These pants are made with a cellulose plant-based
fabric-LYOCELL (one of the fabric which doesn't use the harmful chemical in the process of making it)
A lightweight kind-of denim that feels like rayon, soft, and comfortable. The wide pants design will give you a lot of room to breathe while walking on a hot sunny day.
🌿 I liked the fact that these pants come with an elastic band, which makes your toilet business a "breeze". With the left and right deep pockets design, you can place your phone and keys within "hand" reach. 
If you are a size M, click here to get (the one and only) pants.

2nd Look

🌿 When you travel in the outdoors, dirt is inevitable no matter how careful you are. This washed-out oversized denim V neck jacket is embracing the charm of aging. Stains will only add character to this jacket. Who doesn't love a top that embraces flaws? It is a size XL, the model who wears S (in the above picture) use it as an oversized jacket, if you are the size between S-XL, click here to make it yours.

🌿 When I take long walks, I will always bring an extra pair of the top as a backup (just in case if my top gets wet).
I cannot emphasize how weight weighs you on a long journey. That's why traveling light is the key to a pleasant journey. This top is less than 100g, and is not afraid of wrinkles (because that's the nature of it). The loose armhole design is my favorite detail, as it is highly "breathable" and helps to flash your beautiful sports bra.  It's a free size, click here to bring it on your next adventure!

🌲5. Water bottle
I don't like the idea of buying a mineral bottle when I can bring my own. I will carefully measure the planned distance of my journey to determine the amount of water that I would need to carry (within my own capability). This is probably one of the heaviest items which you would have in your backpack and it will eventually get lighter as you sway towards your finish line (hooray!).

🌲6. Dry towels
For tears and sweats

🌲7. Light snacks
I dehydrated slices of fruits to keep my bag as light as possible while having enough snacks to nibble on

🌲8. First aid kit
Plaster, sanitizer, and PAWPAW

🌲9. Sun protection cream
Keeps me away from an unwanted suntan

🌲10. Buckle hat

🌲11. Ziplock bag/ small waterproof bag (to store wet items)

🌲12. Divider

Most waterproof backpacks do not come with an ideal divider to organize big and small items as much as I needed. Therefore, I got myself some drawstring bags with a "skeleton structure" and a wide opening to make my life easier when I need to pull something out from my backpack quickly. Why is a "skeleton structure" an important feature to me? Because it helps to compartmentalize and protect whatever is inside this bag. Besides, it will "stand" alone without any support. What bags can do magic like this?

My answer is the Japanese Kinchaku bag, it has these practical features which are ideal to use as a divider in a big backpack.

🌿 Wide opening design - easy to pack and access things inside

🌿 Stylish design, good enough to carry as a handbag, click here to learn more about Diagonal Kinchaku bag.

🌿 The different "skeletons" of the Kinchaku bag is designed to allow you to rest your bag on both flat and rough surfaces without falling

This is the entire list of my essential items to bring along in my walking adventures. What are your essential items to travel with?

You might notice that I did not include mosquito repellents on my list because mosquitos don't seem to like how I taste 😅. Do bear in mind that when you travel in nature, insects are part of the package, so get yourself mentally prepared before you travel.

The pandemic has forced us to do things in entirely different ways. Remember how we used to travel by flight? We are so accustomed to finding happiness by traveling out of the country, and yet this period is actually providing us a unique opportunity to see where we live through a different lens. 

When we can't fly, why not explore where we stay with a walk. There's something magical about a walk - it slows time down, it slows you down. When "slow" happens within you, you have that extra space to love, heal, and be reborn. And that's my wish for you, my friend, to reborn and celebrate your upcoming weekend. 

"Paths are made by walking."
- Franz Kafka
"As you start to walk out the way, the way appears."
- Rumi 

I'll see you back here, same place, on the first Thursday of December - 3rd Nov 2020 (put a star * sign beside this date *wink*).

Walk the path & rediscover yourself,
Waee Waee