Saturday, 11 February 2012

Journey of a Thousand Miles start with a Single Step

Fuji Maru - My Home for over 40 days (Photo credits: Koh Zhizheng)

Having been on the 53-days once-in-a-lifetime journey on board Fuji Maru really defines the above saying very well. With Grace's numerous persuasion, I finally get to achieve what I have wanted to do since 1999. The hectic lifestyle is one reason that kept me postponing my encounter with the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) and when I thought it is a dream that can never come through, opportunity struck.

25th October 2011, I started on this journey on board Fuji Maru together with 318 other youths from ASEAN and Japan. And of course, nothing comes easy. The build-up to this journey consisted of arduous pre-journey work of 91 days, 28 Singapore youths, 1 National Leader, countless late night meetings and many other things starting from 26th July 2011. However, looking back at the effort and time invested into it, the take-away can be described with one word, "Magical".

Photo for individual namecards (Photo credits: Koh Zhisheng)

Magical because of the friendship that I would not have thought of forging. Magical because of finding affirmation of my directions in life. Magical because being able to showcase my first (not to mention a couple more times) dance performance in front of hundreds of audiences. Magical because of the countless opportunity across contingents that had been opened up. Magical because of the growth it had given me, as an individual, in the short span of 53 + 91 days.

Pre-departure trainings

Demonstrating indoor kite flying during Pre-departure training
Team Building activities
Rehearsals for Pre-departure Concert and National Presentation on Board Fuji Maru

On-board Fuji Maru:

25th October to 2nd November 2011:

Departure from Singapore, Japan-ASEAN-Youth Leaders' Summit in Tokyo (National Youth Centre)
and Niigata visit before Homestay in Niigata

Homestay family in Niigata, on board Fuji Maru and 
departing and sailing from Yokohama port, Japan to The Philippines

4th to 13th November 2011:

On board ship programmes
(Solidarity group activities, cultural performances, costumes exchanges), 
Institutional visit and Homestay in the Phillipines

13th to 19th November 2011: 
Sailing from the Philipines to Brunei, on board ship programmes,
Institutional Visit and Homestay in Brunei

19th to 28th November 2011: 

Sailing from Brunei Darussalam to Indonesia, on board ship programmes,
Welcome ceremony in Indonesia, Homestay in Indonesia, Institutional visit in Malaysia

28th November to 6th December 2011: 

Homestay in Malaysia, sailing from Malaysia to Vietnam,
Institutional visit in Vietnam and Homestay in Vietnam

6th December to 16th December: 

Sailing from Vietnam back to Tokyo, Japan 

So, why Journey of a Thousand Miles start with a Single Step? For, I see SSEAYP as a beginning of more great dreams to come. I thank SSEAYP for all the Eureka! moments as well as the tough times I had to go through that made me a person more affirmative of my role I want to play in the community I work with and is involved with. And thus, I have finally decided to get this blog going...

For more information about the SSEAYP program, please kindly check out
1) SSEAYP Singapore International:

2) SSEAYP International:

“The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

1 comment: