The GranD Tour and His last words...
Thanks for following along our Grand Tour of Malaysia! We've done, Genting, Cameron Highlands and Melaka over the past 34 days! If you are curious as to why we've chosen to travel so slowly, you can read it here!
This blog post's inspiration came most dramatically on a starry starry night as I enjoyed the cool 18 celcius night breeze with several bugs as company in the balcony. Cameron Highlands rarely has clear skies at night. That special night, the clouds cleared, the massive full moon shone and the stars appeared. I sat there in awe of that indescribable beauty. Most unexpectedly....
A shooting star suddenly cut across the night sky
I made a wish. I wished that our Grand Tour will never come to an end. I wished that we would be able to make travelling our way of life. I wished that I could live out my dad's last words.
I know of so many people who would have these thoughts...
Why?! Of all dreams, you dream to live a life on the road?
Why not dream of owning an expensive property on prime land or an expensive car?
Gold? silver? stocks and bonds?
Why won't you choose stability for your family? Why can't you be like everyone else?
I did. I chose the Singaporean way of life back then. I studied hard for 16-17 years and had a career I loved. The stress of raising a young family and growing a small business had a significant impact. For many years, my health was poor and my mental health was dismal.
I lived vicariously (& precariously) through others and their dreams. I watched countless films, followed many YouTubers and read blogs. But these people inspired me! Their hopes and dreams showed me that there was something more. These 3 teams/people were the MOST impactful:
1. Tim Slessor and team (1955) The First Overland from London to Singapore in two Land Rovers. Back in 1955, you don't have highways and the first generation Land Rovers were far less comfortable than a regular hatchback today. That spirit of adventure gets me SO excited. This trip also inspired the Last Overland. The dream of making a similar trip consumes me!
2. Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. Two men on their motorcycles riding 3 epic journeys. (Long way down, Long way round, Long way up) I have special respect for people who take journeys on two wheels. You are exposed to the relentless elements and the terrain is very often unkind to bikes. The camaraderie, the open minds and the tenacity in these guys inspire me the most.
3. 7 years ago while I slipped down this rabbit hole, I found out about Juvena Huang, a Singaporean lady who rode to Europe from Singapore on her old Vespa, ALONE! A regular person with a big dream, she has given me so much inspiration and courage to overcome our fears of the unknown.
On a stormy night in December 2021, daddy breathed his last in the ICU. Just a week before that he sent his last WhatsApp message to us...
“尽量享受人生，感恩。” (Enjoy life as much as possible, be grateful)
I spent many nights thinking about my life. Am I really living my life like I'm enjoying it? Did he say those words from the hospital bed tinged with regret?
I still feel an immense guilt that we couldn't make a last trip together. The pandemic didn't let us have our way.
We walk through the tea plantations and talk about how daddy would have loved it. He would have had so much fun filming on his video camera! We have scones, cakes, coffee and tea thinking about daddy’s smile if he were having it with us. We walk through the Parksons emporium and thinking about how happy he would be shopping there.
We travel in honour of a man who worked 40 years of his life, always loved his family tremendously and didn't spare any expense taking us across the world on amazing trips. He infected us with this love for the journey and travel.
To be brutally honest, we cannot afford any of the trips taken by the 3 inspiring people/teams mentioned above. Looking at the airfares, accommodation and transport costs scare me. We are cracking our brains on how and where we should go next.
We are working hard on new merchandise on our store, remodelling it so we can work remotely from anywhere.
We are working on our story-telling, photography, art so we can create value and perhaps raise the funds we need for a life changing journey.
Help fuel our journeys! As we go on this journey, we hope you can be there for us and support us!
Help share our posts, like them if you enjoyed reading it!
Drop us a comment or a word of encouragement (we need lots of it!).
Link us up with sponsors or other inspiring people who can give us a boost in this journey.
We are in the midst of creating content of our journeys through Ipoh, caves and also visiting some gentle giants. Stay tuned for Thursday's and next week's editions!
This is our story, this is our Grand Tour.
What's yours? What inspires you to travel?
Vincent & Debra Kwan, Founders of Hiro & Jack and stay-at-home parents with the odd life.
Drop us an email at email@example.com
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