It’s amazing how life takes us to unexpected detours, leading us to the most beautiful and memorable journey towards happiness and gratitude 🙌🏽
How one life decision can make such a huge impact on our future, and how these series of choices pave way to really heartwarming destinations.
Get to know Aaron, and his journey from living in Malaysia to moving in Australia 👇🏽
What am I grateful for? I am grateful for one event that happened to me when I was 18.
That year, back in the hot and humid land of Malaysia, the most handsome postman handed me a letter telling me that I had received a full scholarship to study in Australia. The more surprising thing was, I didn’t even apply for one.
This takes us back to my high school years. Honestly, I still struggle to find out the reason why I entered this school. Known for its sports prowess, my high school was never good in academic. They built new tennis courts and hired the best coaches from all over the world to train the students. It had state-of-the-art sports facilities and full-fledged courts. My school was so bling-obsessed that they would invest in anything they could to win another sports-related trophy and put it into the already-full trophy cabinet. The sports culture was so strong that almost everyone in my school knew how to play at least one sports well. But, know what? I was/am/will never be good at sports.
I drowned in a sea of peer pressure, a sea where everyone’s like a sporty dolphin getting all the attention. And I was a sea snail crawling deep down in that sea. So, I tried to study as hard as I can. I wanted to prove that I was capable of something else. If I am not good at sports, I could at least try something else to make that up. I told myself that I needed to get as many A’s as possible in every exam. You can say that this is an extremely Asian mindset. But that mindset seemed to be the only way for me to gasp for air in that sea finding my self-worth.
The life-defining public exam was around the corner. Panic crept to everyone’s study desk and I wasn’t spared. Past year papers were done, midnight oil was burnt, essays were revised, but I was still so scared that I couldn’t do the exam well.
Unfortunately, that exam stress haunted me throughout the exam season. I knew I couldn’t do well, and I had mentally prepared myself before attending the results day.
Surprisingly enough, I got 9A+’s. I was shocked. And I hugged my school principal (he got a little bit caught off guard though). I achieved what I wanted. But now what?
I’ve always wanted to study overseas, but with meagre incomes, my parents could never support such an expensive tertiary education. Even with such results, universities abroad wouldn’t recognise it and I still had to take another pre-university course, which basically means money.
And a few days later, that handsome postman came and passed me the letter. I then realised that people who achieved 9A+’s in that public examination will be automatically selected to receive a 4-hundred-thousand-dollar-worth scholarship to study in any of the top-notch universities in the world. And they also provided a pre-university course for free.
Thanks to that, I am now here in Melbourne, Australia pursuing a medical degree. And you know what? I caught the biggest travel bug when I moved to Australia. And you have no idea how grateful I am for that. I also started to find my passion in photography and in documenting all beautiful memories, the people that I meet, the experiences that I encounter when I travel. All of these that I never knew could happen to me, happened to me just because I was so naive chasing after some self-worth. If I had never struggled to find self-worth and never studied hard and never achieved 9A+’s and never gotten the scholarship and never moved to Australia to study, I think I will still be in Malaysia today waiting for the travel bug to hop onto me.
Thanks to that event. It ultimately led to the creation of Aaron Gone Travelling, a student travel blog where I actively share about budget travel itineraries, money-saving tips and more.
I am grateful for how far this scholarship has brought me, and I believe that it will bring me even further. It changed my life, and it will continue to change it. Let’s wait and see what will unfold, shall we?
Aaron Gone Travelling is a humble student platform, showing that a balance of adventure and passion is attainable despite having a tight student budget, and a demanding degree.
For Aaron, “Travel doesn’t have to involve big decisions like quitting your job. It should be enjoyed in whatever way you feel comfortable, be it a long weekend trip or a 3-month adventure.”
Wanna know more about how Aaron travels to Europe by spending only $30 per day! Find out now!