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The Road Ahead: Wade to Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia

Wade on the path to Singapore, Batam, and Malaysia.

I have no idea why I’m going to Singapore. I was at the CIFIT trade fair a few weeks back in Xiamen and I saw an exhibit for Xiamen Airlines. It was a wall sized board that had a map of their flight paths. There were way more lines than I assumed. I locked in on one.

“Singapore? I’ve never been to Singapore.”

That night I did some investigation as to how much it would cost. I found that a round trip flight from Hong Kong was $115. Not bad.

This is how these things happen. I will go anywhere. Where I happen to go at any given time is often as variable and random as happening to see a graphic of flight paths and getting the feeling to follow one of them. I booked a ticket to Chile once because I saw a picture of a glacier. I went to Ireland because an Irish song happened to resound within earshot. I went to Morocco because I saw something about it on TV and bought a ticket before the program was over. [Enter place name] why not? is how these journeys are planed. There is really no higher complexity or purpose to it. I’m going to Singapore because I realized that I’d never been there before — and something about the way it looked on that map got my attention. When the goal is to go everywhere where you go next doesn’t really matter too much.

The plan is to fly to Singapore, take a ferry to Batam, Indonesia, then take a train to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Objectives and intrigues will be added en route. There are no real plans for this jaunt of travel.

The travels for my Ghost Cities book have concluded. After two years of looking for cities without people I’m craving something different. I’m hoping to get some fast, low intensity — anything goes style — travels in before the next big project arises. I’m hoping I give myself three or so months before I find myself down the rabbit hole of something heavy again. Though big projects tend to be unruly guests: they show up whenever they want and leave only when they’re ready.

Websites like Skyscanner, et al. are like refrigerator chests full of airplane bottles of liquor in a hotel room to an alcoholic. You just kind of sit on the bed looking at it. Knowing that you shouldn’t, but you open it anyway. It’s just too easy to check a ticket price and crack open the bottle. This time, I drained the entire fridge. While I was searching for that ticket to Singapore I discovered that there are myriad cheap flights originating from the southeast of China, my current turn-wheel. I bought three more: Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia. Lots of random travels to come.

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Filed under: Travel Plan

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 83 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3211 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Bandar Seri Begawan, BruneiMap