If I were to be given the opportunity to leave my job, family and basically everything behind in order to set sail and see this beautiful world, I think I might not take it. Why? Being human, we are naturally driven by instincts to ask the underlying million dollar question that everyone is bound to conjure up in their minds—what’s the catch?
Surely if I were handed a one way ticket to traverse the globe, there has to be somewhat of a catch. There are no such things as ‘free gifts’ after all. Well, perhaps the catch is that in exchange of work clothing and a stable income and lifestyle, we would instead be dressed a labackpacker and go whichever way our heart desires while facing unexpected challenges and obstacles.
Perhaps I may not have collected as much bravery as yet to just up and leave, but these 9 Malaysians certainly have. The ultimate reward which they have reeled in at the end of the day must certainly be a library full of memories, and enough postcards of the world to keep them inspired and enlightened for a long time to come.
1) Zahariz Khuzaimah
Going through this photographer/filmmaker’s Instagram feed is almost as if I were going through painting upon painting of beautiful nature. The natural outdoor setting seems to be his personal portfolio because these make up the bulk of his images alongside the occasional picturesque animal shot.
Zahariz has spent enough time abroad to even become a tour guide leading people through the Kyrgyz mountains. His places of travel include Finland, Kyrgyzstan, Scotland and Sweden, and according to his website, he is currently based back in home sweet home, Kuala Lumpur.
2) Liau Yun Qing
This Kota Kinabalu lass who upped and left to Singapore to pursue her career, left it all in April 2013, in order to travel for 4.5 months around places such as Greece, Peru, El Salvador and Hong Kong. Through her website, Yun Qing candidly shares what she has learned from her trips as well as help other aspiring travellers make wiser decisions about how and when best to travel.
Besides her website, Yun Qing also recently released her own book called, ‘Your Big Break’, in which she shares how one may quit their job, and at the same time come home to another job.
3) Syahrulfikri Salleh
Syahrulfikri’s biggest passions in life is evidently displayed through his social media platforms, and they are art and travel. He begun his journey in early February 2013 and quit his job as a typography design lecturer to travel the world and make art at the same time.
His places of travel in which he documents through his Facebook page include Paris, Berlin, Bucharest and Seoul. Nowadays, Shahrulfikri is based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia where he continues to produce artful content such as watercolour caricatures, typography and even the occasional papier-mâché head.
4) Muazammil Mamat
Also known as Menk Mahawangsa or Routexplorers, this is one to allow goal setting to steer him to where he wants to go in life. This included his one mission which is to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Leicester overland on a shoestring budget.
Menk has successfully travelled to over 75 places around the world, inclusive of Macedonia, Kosovo, Slownia and Switzerland and one of his most notable experiences was having survived the catastrophic earthquake which occurred in Nepal during April of this year.
5) Tey Kher Ying
Ying, also known as Piccola Ying, which translates to ‘petite Ying’ is a tiny wanderer with big dreams. She documents her journey on her website and it all started with her first leaving behind her corporate job as a PR consultant, taking up odd jobs such as becoming a crew trainer on board Italian cruise ships.
She began her journey with only USD400 but made the currency last her whilst also working at times, and that has sustained her throughout her travels which include Barbados, Lithuania, Norway and Romania.
6) Bijan M. Baki
Bijan is one who found saving for her travels to be the easier part of the journey she took. Afterall, she had planned for her travel and saved diligently for about 3-4 years. In fact, the hardest thing for her had been to tender her resignation because that made things all the more real. To ease the fear, she roped in a friend to travel alongside her.
They have seen places like Mongolia, Sudan and Turkey and one of her nuggets of wisdom which she had developed from her journeys is being mentally prepared to do it, as well as being healthy enough to make the trip, as some do require vaccination.
7) Hadhinah Fawwazah Nasaruddin
Better known as Hannah on Earth, this smalltown Sandakan lass has a large Facebook following and this is because she documents her scenic travels. Not many Americans would have even visited all 50 states in the US, but Hannah has seen 43 of them thus far.
Married to an American husband, it is only natural that Hannah wishes to tick all 50 states off her bucket list, and certainly in due time it would be fulfilled. Her most recent place of travel on the US map is the majestic Grand Canyon.
8) Razali Makhtar
Many would say that travel changed their life but Razali, also known as Kenyalang Celup, truly believes so. “No matter how far we go for our travels, the earth will still remain round. Whether we are in America, France, Australia, or Japan, we will still step on the solid ground and the skies would always still be above us,” Razali shared, putting travel back into perspective.
He has seen places like Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Qatar and Albania.
9) Adib Harith
Now a photographer and aspiring barista, Adib was once an IT analyst with Dell. He left it all in order to pursue the life of a traveller and he has since started Monsoulia—a play on the words ‘Mongolia’ and ‘soul’. In Mongolia, Adib dubs it the heaven on earth experience.
“I love the never-ending hills. Words can’t describe how beautiful everything is. The place, the people, nature, the view, the animals—everything!” Adib shared. His other places of travel thus far includes Cambodia, Vietnam and China.