My open letter to the millennial snowflake who whined about how tough travelling overseas is

My open letter to the millennial snowflake who whined about how tough travelling overseas is

My open letter to the millennial snowflake who whined about how tough travelling overseas is

Dear Audrey,

If you think travelling overseas is tough and in a way gruelling, try life.

I came across your experiences on a Facebook post by Youth.SG on February 18 (screenshot below) and I just felt that I had to intervene and say something about it.

From a former snowflake to another, the simple act of whining, whinging, sulking and complaining doesn’t run well with me right now. I see any deeds of perpetuating average or mediocrity an act of heresy, sacrilege and terrorism. When you are just complaining about problems and issues you face, without adequately coming up with solutions, you are essentially terrorising and wracking havoc on your truest and highest potential, and are holding yourself back from being the best version of yourself.

I didn’t become an international trainer and TEDx speaker by whining. I didn’t become an author and finish a 103km ultra-marathon by bitching. And I sure didn’t end up traveling around Europe (13 speaking events, 8 cities, 7 countries) for a speaking tour by complaining about things.

Allow me to first and foremost handle your complaints/objections.

“I thought planning a holiday with my friends would be all rainbows and sparkles, but the execution was a lot tougher than I expected?”

Guess what? You’re damn right! Planning a holiday is tough, but have you tried life? If you didn’t expect it to be tough, I’m not sure what cave or hole you’ve been living in thus far. It’s going to be tough and you need to brace yourself for it to be way tougher than you expected it to be.

“I faced all sorts of problems, from…”

You faced problems? Good. But I won’t be surprised if the bigger problem was your attitude, perception, capacity and how you handled the situation.

Life is full of problems. But you can choose to see the opportunities in the obstacles and the possibilities in the problems.

Most people are great and competent at talking about problems, but people who are successful are the ones who can come up with solutions to those problems. Don’t just describe the problem; prescribe a solution.

“…to finding friends who will not bail out before the trip…”

If you are merely surrounded by friends who are lazy, unmotivated, disenfranchised and disengaged, you need to find better friends and spend less time with those jokers.

The people you hang out with will have a profound effect on how far you go in life.

“…things like Google Maps messing up and us having to share one portable Wi-Fi router while on separate routes only led to more arguments.”

Well, if you think that just having one wifi router is the issue, why not get more? Or why not get local SIM cards with data for everyone? If money is the issue, this goes to show that you need to get your money and priorities right as well.

“But the most challenging thing for a non-early riser like me was being on-time.”

You need to start getting your act together, get up early and attack the day. If you are not up early to face the day, then your drive, ambition and purpose are not strong enough. You need to have something that keeps you up at night and gets you out of bed in the morning. If you haven’t discovered that yet, start thinking about it and kick start the process of self-discovery.

And start being early and at least, on-time. This will show that you respect the time of others and it signifies that you have a sense of urgency and you want to get things done. Great things don’t come to those who wait; they come to those who get shit done.

So, if someone asks about going on a grad trip, I’d advise them against it.”

Because of the apparent lack of finesse in handling and tackling the challenges in the trip, you are unfit and unqualified to give travel advice to others who are looking to go abroad. Only start giving advice once you have upped your game and gotten your act together.

Imagine if I failed in a fitness program and am struggling with my weight, and then I advise others against watching their weight and health? Sounds ridiculous right? Utter heresy.

A fat person shouldn’t give health advice.

A broke person shouldn’t give financial advice.

An unemployed person shouldn’t give careers advice.

Never take advice from a quitter. And if you have quit on something, never give advice.

Because no staycation in Singapore will ever prepare you for a trip in a foreign country.”

Of course! An overseas trip to a country you’ve never been before dwarves any local staycation.

Undertaking a local staycation is nevertheless a great start, but the best way to improve your street smartness, cultural competency, adaptability, resilience, attention to detail and many more life skills, is to actually go for an overseas trip – especially to a place and culture way out of your comfort zone.


And Audrey, here are a few more pointers to help you push forward in life.

  1. Don’t just do what you love; do whatever it takes

Following your heart and passion is great, but there’s definitely more to that. Doing what you love will make you good or even great. But if you are willing to do whatever it takes, you can be unstoppable. That’s the distinction between the interested and the committed, the casual and the dedicated, the amateur and the professional.

  1. Take full ownership and responsibility over your situation

Trust me, it’s very tempting to push the blame onto something else for your current circumstance – the weather, the government, the economy, the planet, the other people, etc. But successful people are those who take full ownership of their situation. If something’s not turning out right, what can you do about it? What value and solutions can you bring to the table?

  1. Ban all forms of negativity in your life

If you can fast from sugar, fatty and junk foods, consider fasting from negativity. This means prohibiting all forms of negativity – blaming, whining, sulking and complaining from your life. The only attitude you need and must have is a great attitude.

  1. Choose the tougher and scarier option

When you’re at a crossroads in life and have choices that are almost equally feasible to one another, make the effort to choose the one that’s harder and scarier. Going for the easier option might be tempting, but the choice that’s more challenging will end up shaping and refining you in profound ways and might make a great story for the grandkids!

  1. Understand the greatest pain in life

The greatest pain in life isn’t the pain of failure, rejection, ridicule, insult, discipline, failure or even success. It’s the pain of regret. When you’re 70, 80 or 90 years of age and look back to your younger days when you had that one glorious opportunity to seize, but you didn’t take action on, you would feel the sting of regret. Should-have, would-have, could-have. By then, it’s too late.

So I hope these have been helpful for you.

Yes, I might sound harsh but what’s the point in sugar coating the truth? I’m not writing and speaking to you as a mere millennial (with all the associated stereotypes). I’m seeing you for who you truly can be – a mature adult, a game changer, world shaper and global citizen.

Now go out there and make something great happen. Success is your duty and service to the people and the world around you. Go for gold!

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