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2013 Round Up – My favourite writings

As I am wont to do every year, I like to take a look back at the past year and see what exactly I got up to with my Round Up series. Sometimes, time flies by and you forget just how awesome a year it’s been, this is my way of taking stock.

Check out where I travelled to in 2013 and how I managed to squeeze more than a month’s worth of travel from just 18 days of annual leave. Also, here’s how The Occasional Traveller has been doing in 2013.

Here are some of my favourite blogposts and travel writing from this past year of 2013 – I spent a lot more time concentrating on my writing this year, both here and for other websites, in the hopes of increasing my profile. I’ve had a great year overall, earning some of my first commissions and publication on bigger websites.


TOT Postcard - Yourself Nowhere

I played around with something new called TOTpostcards – turning some of my favourite holiday shots into postcards along with favourite inspirational quotes. Needless to say, I haven’t actually done any other postcards since this first one, but maybe I’ll get around to it some day! I’m still a big fan of this particular quote though, and of course this picture from my UAE trip.


Dubai - Hotel Lobby

I’m Asian, not a Hooker! Encountering Dubai Nightlife

The most popular post on this website to date is this post I wrote for Go! Girls Guide about an encounter on my UAE trip last year where a hotel staff assumed that I was a hooker. Based on the search terms from my stats and the dearth of comments on the page, I realise that there are a lot of people out there are searching for prostitutes in Dubai which is kinda icky, but I still am quite proud of this piece, props to GGG’s editor Kelly for giving it such a snappy headline. If you’re wondering about this picture, that’s the lobby where my encounter took place…


BootsnAll - Diving Around The World

Diving Around the World

This was my first ever piece of commissioned travel writing, and published just before my birthday which was a nice touch. Written for indie travel site BootsnAll, it’s basically a wanderlust piece with a fair bit of research on 3 places (Indonesia, Iceland, Galapagos) that I would love to scuba dive in around the world at some point in my life. The amount I got paid was not very high, but I was just pretty stoked on getting published on a fairly biggish travel website. Wanna see more of my dive articles and posts? Go here.


Fushimi Inari Torii, Kyoto

Traipsing to the Beat of your own drum

This little piece was a reflection on something quite close to my heart – the debate between being a tourist and a traveller. One of the things I actively advocate for on TOT is embracing all sorts or travel as long as you love it – whether it’s a group tour or hardcore backpacking or anything in between, just as long as it makes you happy! Also love this picture by Y taken from our Osaka trip in 2012.



Cherie Anyhowly’s Rules to Adventure By

Technically this isn’t my writing, but I love these rules in this artwork by my friend Cherie. So damn inspirational, there’s really nothing much more to say about it. More of her awesomeness here.


Talking to Travellers – Luci the Transit Traveller

I’d done an interview or two before this, but this one with Luci who is a colleague of mine was possibly one of the more fun ones to do. I knew she had pretty interesting ideas about travel – she thinks nothing of flying over 12 hours to a place and then spending just 2-3 days there, but grilling her about it and getting it all down on paper gave me more insight on her thought process, and reminded me about the myriad ways one can choose to travel. She’s rather shy though, that’s her leg on the left up there.



My very first taste of solo travel – One night in Nice

I’ve talked quite extensively about my first proper solo trip to Seoul in 2011, but perhaps the first time I was truly on my own overseas was back in 2007 while visiting a friend in Montpellier, France. I spent a night out on my own in Nice. Recapping that trip was a fun way to reminisce – I still have yet to talk about my jaunt to Monaco the next day though, perhaps a post for 2014.


Matador Network

How to Piss off a Singaporean

This article is the first (and only one to date) one ever that went viral, another commissioned article written for travel website Matador Network‘s How to piss off series. It was a pretty fun piece to write, but I was pretty shocked by how much it was shared, with friends and acquaintances telling me that they saw it on their social media streams, and that it even made the local radio station! My 15 secs of fame…


Tumpek Landep - Table

Tumpek Landep – a Balinese festival for all things manmade

I’m quite fond of this little piece on Tumpek Landep, a traditional festival celebrated in Bali to thank the gods for all man-made objects. It’s just something I happened to stumble upon while I was on my first FAM trip at Sheraton Bali Kuta, and talking to the staff and finding out more about this little festival was one of my more journalistic moments.


BlogHouse Ireland Dublin 2013

Bloghouse Ireland for me (and whether it’s for you)

I don’t like to blog while on the road so October was a fairly quiet month because I was away in Dublin and Prague and just taking a break for about half the month. My favourite post for the month would probably be the one about the Bloghouse experience and all the great people I met, the travel blogging workshop I attended before the TBEX conference.


Bulgogi and Rice

A Seoul Food Experience [Epicure and Culture article]

This post had actually been up on Epicure & Culture for awhile, but I only just got around to posting it up here. E&C’s editor Jessie is also a mentor of sorts, and I was really privileged to have her guide me in writing this first piece for her, even though it’s a story I’ve told before on TOT from my Seoul journals, giving it a narrative spin gave it some new life.


Domo Kun in Osaka

5 things you didn’t know about Singapore [Go See Write article]

One of my BlogHouse mentors Michael invited me to be a contributor to his website Go See Write, and I had quite a lot of fun writing up this piece on lesser known facts about Singapore. I enjoy writing about Singapore, even though I’m constantly looking outward and yearning to travel more and write about those experiences; writing about my own backyard gives me perspective and really makes me appreciate home so much more. And a last minute piece about cheap food in Singapore here on Bacon is Magic!

Do you have a favourite piece of writing from me that I missed out? Let me know! Check out my other 2013 Round ups to see what else I got up to in 2013.

For all my readers and anyone who’s ever commented on a blogpost or given me kudos, a huge thank you! You don’t know how important it is to me to know you’re out there reading my stuff, and I really do love talking to you, whether it’s answering your questions or hearing your opinions. Here’s to more good writing ahead in 2014!

Michael Hodson

Sunday 5th of January 2014

It was great having you at the Bloghouse!

Jaclynn Seah

Sunday 5th of January 2014

and it was great meeting you there as well Michael! :)


Monday 30th of December 2013

Great year roomie!!!! Here's to an even better 2014! :)


Jaclynn Seah

Tuesday 31st of December 2013

Thanks Helen roomie, here's hoping your 2014 is awesome too! :)