Music in the wild

One post that I’ve been meaning to share for a while is about music. If you have met me recently, you would probably know how obsessed i am with instruments and music as a channel for expression.

Someone once told me that when you have two guitars nearby, and you pluck the E string on one guitar, it will resonate the same string on the other completely separate guitar. When i heard this, i thought it was like a perfect analogy for empathy. If someone pours out their emotions in a song, I can really feel it mirror in myself  like as though my heart-strings are vibrating to theirs. That is why something I appreciate more than most things in life is hearing people make music.

I’m careful not to use the word ‘perform’ because I think the best music are among new friends, spontaneous, wild, and they capture moments in life perfectly. It doesn’t even matter if you’re a good musician on not. Hearing someone musically express is a very humbling and honourable feeling because music is really, a powerful and underrated tool for sharing empathy. It’s just like the movie happy feet! Everyone has a song, they just need to discover theirs.

So I wanted to share some of the beautiful sounds on my adventures from last summer. Filming these moments is a really fun hobby of mine because of all the beautiful musicians that I’ve met along the way, and I carry little pieces of them everyone i go.

These are the kind of moments I love to collect.



Total engagement

The thing about living as a student in the UK is that you enter a whole different culture. I feel like a general trend i keep seeing in university students is that they have this external sense of courage and purpose, but its compounded with this weird sense that they know how the world works and where they belong in it. It’s as if university students has to have this narration of why they are there, studying what they are studying and what they will be. How can you justify going 9k pounds in debt every year if you don’t have a plan? This isn’t to dismiss their efforts as being silly. I’m just constantly reminded how university students are just as sheltered and confused as when we were in secondary school.

I am admittedly confused with life but thats fine because i think it takes a confused person to find out some amazing truths. I’m excited to meet my university friends in the future after they’ve had the rug pull from under their feet because i think that is when they will realise their full potential!

Last summer was a confusing period for me. My mind had enough with all the unnecessary stresses that comes with being a student so i was full bent on this notion of ‘being  completely present’. I disliked how noisy life can be. Theres just a bombardment of stimulus in day to day life that it can be hard to completely engage with whats really in front of you. It’s one of the big reasons why I stopped blogging or carrying a phone.

I honestly think being completely present is the most addicting feeling in the world but talking about being present always presents itself as a subjective matter. A lot of people don’t  understand what it means to be completely present because maybe because they don’t know it any other way, or maybe they forgot how it felt. If i had to put it to words, i’d say It’s like looking through the eyes of a child.

I think this post is long enough so the next post will be about some of the overarching experiences i’ve had last summer. Watch this space.



Such a lonely island.

So i always had this dream in my mind that one day I’ll become a hermit somewhere in nature, enjoying the deep-rooted luxuries of living a simple life and in balance with the world, and being cradled by mother nature. Plus, I think that I’m pretty thick-skinned because I look at life’s hardships as lessons instead of punishment, so anything short of dying just means i’m still alive. However, sometimes my love for living life can be to a fault. haha.

On the winter on 2014, I started having this urge to go someplace cold, isolated and in a way, difficult. I felt like that was an experience that i needed to overcome for my own sense of growth so i decided that i must, go to Iceland that December. In hindsight, i think i what i really wanted was for the experience to mirror what i was experiencing in my mind. Maybe i was subconsciously manifesting my thoughts into real life?

One step forward, two steps back, every step of the way

Well, i had this optimistic idea of me and Lee hitchhiking around Iceland, seeing the northern lights, and experiencing the real harshness of winter. For someone who grew up on the equator and is generally quite new with this whole winter thing, it didn’t take long after we landed for me to realise how much i underestimated the things that the local people have to go through with everyday.


Proud moment teaching Lee how to dumpster dive!

There was a lot times when it felt like we were the only things alive. When we tried to find forested areas to camp, i realised that seeing a standing tree is usually more of a privilege than a fact of life, and when the temperatures drops to below -15c, you could feel parts of your body start to turn to ice as your body tries to keep your core warm.


Thank you candle for the false sense of security!

But we persevered anyway, sleeping in abandoned vans and gas stations and i realise that the number one reason for our survival was not my own abilities and strength, but rather it was from the kindness and hospitality of everyone we met along the way. Every single time when it just seems like too much, a helping hand always extends and helps up along the way on our journey. Every single time. And i can’t discount how much easier the whole thing was because i had Lee with me.


Through ice, snow and blizzard, we made it to the north of Iceland

And so we managed to beat the blizzard and found ourselves on an island called Hrisey.

On a frozen island, off the coast of northern Iceland, was a little town with a population of about 100, you would think that this would be a miserable place right? Well, i actually felt like the whole community warmed up my heart and in a cliché way, taught me the meaning of christmas.

The sense of community was such a juxtaposition to how barren and cold the place really is. We lived in the only restaurant on the island which was also a its only grocery store, as well as being the post office and a bed and breakfast! They offered us a home, treated us like family and expected very little in return. Everyone on the island was this nice that it’s something i usually think about when i wonder how little i need to be happy.

I have enough sunset pictures for a lifetime of #throwbackthursdays

So after the whole trip, and some time to think about it. I realised that my dream of completely removing myself from civilisation by living as a hermit would not only get me killed eventually, but I don’t think that’s a life worth living.

I love people too much and I love the exchange of love. When I pluck an apple off a tree and eat it i always get that feeling that mother nature will always take care of me but this love might just be an illusion of circumstance. This tropical boy only has always seen the earth as a provider, not a taker. Now I realise that the earth doesn’t directly care if i am alive or not. I am no special than the ant on the floor but that’s fine. I still believe that if we live in balance with our surrounding, then nature will give you all you need and take what you don’t. And plus now, I realised that a lot of my misplaced trust should actually be directed to humanity and the strength i get from people. ❤
by default 2016-05-22 at 02.24.15

In total, we managed to hitchhike a total of at least 920km this trip. Special thanks to the wonderfully hospitable people living in iceland(they are not cold people at all!) anda giant thank you to my girlfriend Lee for going through hell and back with me.




Much needed.

Hi everyone! It’s been a really long time since i pushed content here.

Last year when i came back i told myself that i wanted to take the year off from travelling, to relax, collect my thoughts and simply be someplace peaceful where i can reflect and process all the amazing things that has happened.


house squad

So for the past year i’ve been sort of indulging in a lot of meditation! Being the scatterbrain that i am, Its a bit of a challenge to untangle my thoughts. It’s sort of like trying to follow a single shoelace among a ball of tangled shoes. It’s really noisy in there to be honest. But I’m learning a lot so it’s kind of fun.

For example, i used to think that i really sucked at art in general. I don’t know how to put ideas into paper so whenever i draw, its always a far cry to all the ideas in my head and its always a discouraging fact. So i tried to clear my mind and figure out why. Well eventually the more i got to know my my mind works, the more i realise that it’s because i’m doing art all wrong.

Give me a white piece of paper and i wont make a scratch. I become overwhelmed by the potential, but then i realise that if i work backwards, start with a noisy piece and start reducing it, i can actually start to form ideas that becomes more concrete as i go on. So in a way, as i start to reduce the creative potential, an underlying idea grows. It’s kind of hard to explain really, but i’ve been doing a lot of carving lately and i think it really compliments my thought process.

Writing is also another way for me to follow an idea to completion. I think it’s been about a year now since i stopped carrying a phone, and started carrying a pocket notebook. It helps me reduce my thoughts instead of grow them.

Anyway, I’ll end it here before i go off on a tangent. I realise that even writing this post i had to alway remind myself what i was talking about. haha. I’ll try to write a few posts about my reflection period before the i start the summer, and completely get lost in the throws of life.




End of another amazing trip

After the rainbow i toured in a spanish caravan to Avalon which is a community in elfs village but that place was having problems with visitors at the time so we left to go to cinque terre to find this squatted nude beach in Corniglia with Amalia, this sweet spanish woman, Jasmine, a friend i travelled with in Berlin who is also my hairdresser, and Markus, this Danish guy i met in Italy. 
Cinque terre was very bittersweet, it was a nice time there but i almost drowned (again) when i went swimming and Jasmine had to help me out. I feel like i have no competency in water anymore. From now on, i will have to admit to myself that i cannot swim. The sea is just too much for me. The waves were intense and the current just pulls you out further and further jo matter how much you swam to shore. It was like i was not even making any progress and the waves crashing over my head made it impossible to breathe. And when finally the current decides to spit you out, the waves break and lifts your u up 10 feet and drops you onto a rocky shore. It doesnt stop there though because the backwash is powerful and three seconds later youre back 10 feet in the air and falling down onto rocks. I fucked up my knee from landing on it and that was a huge lesson for me. I am not as invincible as i thought and i need to be more humble about playing with fire. Im planning to get a tattoo of waves on my knee as a reminder of that lesson.

From there we drove to france and i hitchhiked up to Calais where i hung out with a few refugees before catching a ride to london. I thought that going back to Bruhall meant back to this brunei mental isolation but no, i realise that that little isolation only happens if you believe it does. After i checked in i came across two people in the middle of the night, Dara and Fauzan who i connect very well with instantly and we went out the following evening and had really deep talks about life in general and we have a very intense circle of trust now. I realise that even i stereotype people and that is something i need to quit doing because there are amazing people literally everywhere. All you have to do is be compassionate.

From here on out i will start university so i’ll probably post even less frequent until i start travelling again. Cheers beautiful people. I love you all. Thank you.