[SBA2015] Best Travel Blog: I quit my 9-5 job to travel

October 9th, 2015


… and you can do it too, says Hendric.
Singapore Blog Awards 2015 Best Travel Blog - Pohtecktoes

EPIC SOUTH AMERICA: Hendric cruised down the river in the Amazon rainforest (left) and also took an epic selfie with a smiling horse in Cotopaxi, Ecuador. (Images: Interviewee)

EPIC SOUTH AMERICA: Hendric cruised down the river in the Amazon rainforest (left) and also took an epic selfie with a smiling horse in Cotopaxi, Ecuador. (Images: Interviewee)

1. Give us a brief introduction to yourself and your blog!

My name is Hendric, and my travel blog Pohtecktoes is a play on my mandarin name! Life is too short not to live in the now and travel in the moment. So I started the blog to hopefully inspire others to do more of the same.

In 2013, I left my job and decided to travel the World. I realized that after more than two decades on this planet, the only thing that gets me really excited are new experiences and the outdoors. Since traveling is the best way for new experiences, I figured the best way is to get out of my 9-5 job and work for myself, traveling as much in-between.

2. What do you think sets you apart from other travel blogs?

Perhaps it’s the variety of content my blog offers. Other than the usual listicles and travelogues, I also write content that offers useful tips to my readers. There are even topics that focuses more on budget travel, solo travel, and long term travel. Having an interest in videography and photography definitely helped as well. Just take a look at my videos!

Lastly, I think the story of quitting my 9-5 job to travel and freelance also appeals to others who might want to do the same!

"You can do it too," says Hendric, when people gets envious at his travel opportunities. (Image: Interviewee)

"You can do it too," says Hendric, when people gets envious at his travel opportunities. (Image: Interviewee)

3. You do not have a full time job, so how do you sustain your hobby of travelling and also your lifestyle in general?

I am a digital nomad, which means I make use of technology to do work regardless of where I am.  As long as there is a decent wifi signal, I can work anywhere around the world and answer my clients. Right now I mainly do graphic design, web design, and social media marketing.

4. Most people must be very envious of you because you get to travel so much. How would you respond to them?

I usually tell them that you can do it too. At the end of the day, it’s about what you are willing to sacrifice. To be honest, I’m not earning any less than my peers. I’m just sacrificing long term stability for micro retirements along the way. Life is unpredictable and you never know when something unfortunate may strike. That’s why I believe in spreading the concept of “retirement” throughout your life instead of waiting till the end of my career.

5. Tips time! It is the year end very soon, what are some places you would recommend people to visit for a short holiday (less than 10days)?

10 days is really short! But I reckon…

Myanmar
Hendric took his first Hot Air Balloon ride in Bagan, Myanmar. (Image: Interviewee)

Hendric took his first Hot Air Balloon ride in Bagan, Myanmar. (Image: Interviewee)

It’s affordable and you can cover the main sights in 10days. Myanmar is growing very fast, so now is a great time to visit before it gets too commercialised. (Read more)

New Zealand
Hendric trying kayaking in Abel Tasman Nature Reserve of New Zealand. (Image: Interviewee)

Hendric trying kayaking in Abel Tasman Nature Reserve of New Zealand. (Image: Interviewee)

For the adventurous, New Zealand is a haven. It is so easy to drive around, taking in the sights and going for outdoor activities. You’ll probably get to cover either the North or South Island with 10 days.

Tokyo

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For the city lovers, Tokyo is an amazing city to visit. The mash of traditional and modern culture in Tokyo makes it such a treasure trove for discovery. Not to forget good food! (Read more)

**TIPS ALERT**

To save money, one can consider

1. Staying in hostels instead of hotels. It’s not that bad and if you are afraid of security, book a private room with ensuite toilet. You get to meet more people too!

2. Eat local instead of tourist restaurants. Walk a little further from the main sights, see where the locals go. Step out of your comfort zone. After all you are there to experience everything about the country, which includes food.

3. Save on drinks. Drinks are overpriced everywhere. Other than beer, which is a social lubricant, I generally bring my own bottle of water everywhere.

A few dollars here and there can easily make up to 1 night’s worth of accommodation.

6. When you plan your travel itinerary or perhaps even when during the trip, what are some of the experiences that is a MUST for you?

Every country is different but generally I look for experiences that are different or more adventurous. It could be taking the local public train instead of a tourist bus, ordering something unexpected from a local restaurant, or even trying a new outdoor activity.

You can try plenty of outdoor activities in New Zealand, including skydiving. (Image: Interviewee)

You can try plenty of outdoor activities in New Zealand, including skydiving. (Image: Interviewee)

7. Share with us some best and worst experiences you have had in your blogging journey and how do you deal with them.

I am my harshest critic, so I guess the worst is when I feel that what I produce isn’t good enough. When the numbers show the same thing, it just makes me feel like giving up. It’s all part of the journey though, and for every down, there will be many ups.

The best experiences are times when I receive emails from people who have enjoyed a post I’ve written. It’s really heartening and keeps me going. I’ve even made a few like minded people through this!

8.  Lastly, say a few words about winning in Singapore Blog Awards 2015!

Thank you very much! This year is extra special because it isn’t about voting and popularity. The focus is on content so I feel happy that what i write is useful for my readers. It’s easy to fail jaded after blogging for awhile, and validations like these really helps in giving a lift!

Singapore Blog Awards 2015 Best Travel Blog: http://pohtecktoes.com
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SBA team post-interview thoughts: Hendric’s blog is very well thought out, presenting resources to people while preserving his own travel memories. We enjoy reading your blog and we are sure other readers are too. Keep travelling (we know you will) and keep writing!

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