Saturday, 6 July 2013

Up in the air I fly

Bonjour friends.

This journey so far has already taken me on several plane trips. From Sydney to Singapore to Kualu Lumpur to London and now to Marrakech. On these planes I couldn't help but look around at the faces of people from all walks of life who were also leaving one place to go to another, and the stories they had to tell. Where were they going? Who were they going to visit? What were they going to do? What juicy nuggets of wisdom did they have to share? And what better way to find out than to actually ask, hey? And that I did!

A little ironic - Talking Paper Planes but connecting onboard a real one

Gerald Lim, an architect from Singapore, was traveling aboard with his clan; his mother, father, brother, sister, niece, nephew, mother-in-law, wife, and three children aged 11, 7 and 6 months old. This was not a one off for Gerald. Travelling with his extended family is an annual event that has taken them to many new and far-reaching places including Australia, Europe, Japan, and now to Malaysia for a different adventure. "Travelling for me is about making the time and space to bond with my family all the while learning and marveling at new and interesting places... Day to day we are all so busy with our own commitments and I travel a lot for work so holidays are prioritised to re-connect as a family." Gerald explained that he usually opts to travel by car wherever possible. “A car allows me to explore the hidden places you miss out on when on a plane or train. There’s real freedom in seeing the land this way and flexibility to chop and change what we want to do depending who we meet along the way. Some of my fondest travel memories are meeting locals and other travellers along the way and exchanging advice and hot tips which makes the experience all the better and richer.” Each place Gerald and his family visit they collect a piece of artwork as a unique momento. “Art to me is probably the most beautiful expression of human nature. It’s a different language, which is up to your own interpretation. As an architect I have always had a deep appreciation for the creativity.” I asked Gerald what sprung to mind when he thought of Paper Planes to which he said, “To me it means learning and exchanging. When you stop learning, you lose purpose, inspiration and desire to grow as an individual. I aspire to continually grow and to grow as a family brings me ultimate joy.” I say cudos to that!

Gerald and his 6 month old daughter Faith

On another leg of my travels I met Kathleen Tay from Kuala Lumpur; a big believer in creating the life you want to live and shaking it right up if it doesn’t feel right. She recently left her job with an insurance company where she had been for two years because it was highly stressful and basically not bringing her happiness – and that ain’t cool. “The old me would have just stuck at it because I thought I didn’t have another alterative but this time I did what was best for me.” With a passion for project management, Kathleen was on her way to London to gain more knowledge and skills in the area while spending some quality time with her sister who has been a London-ite for many years now. “I get great satisfaction out of managing a project and seeing it through to its completion.” Since leaving her job, Kathleen has also had the time to volunteer with the Langkawi Animal Shelter and Sanctuary Foundation (LASSie) in north-west Malaysia; an organisation which aims to provide another life for stray, abandoned and abused animals on the island and is currently home to more than 135 gorgeous pooches. “I have always had a dog. Two years ago I rescued a street puppy which was hiding under a hawker stand, starving and covered in flees. It was the best decision I made. Her name is Baileys and she’s my best friend.” As a volunteer, Kathleen and other animal lovers at the sanctuary walk, clean them and feed the dogs – and basically show them love. "Love is the answer to everything.” Kathleen is following what she feels most connected to and passionate about, and life is looking a lot shinier.

Kathleen en route London
Have you changed direction, made a decision on a whim or took a leap of faith? How did it change your world? Spill your guts below lovelies!

Keep an eye out for my next blog all about Glastonbury; a friggin' awesome contemporary performing arts festival held on Worthy Farm in Pilton west of London that attracted more than 200,000 people. That's a lot of boppin' heads I tell you! Music, social justice awareness, the creative arts and the good will of generous people. A sublime spot to discuss connection. Check it.


  1. Leah this is amazing! Such a good and heart-warming idea to engage with like minded travellers whilst aboard. You learn so many new views on life doing this! I love blogs that take you through the emotions!! I can not wait for the next instalment! xx

  2. Thank you thank you thank you Kayla!! Means a lot and glad these stories are touching you xxx

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