Hi everyone, here is a new thing we’re introducing with this new website: interviews! The aim is to interview two people a month, focusing on travelling and life abroad. So, I hope to introduce you to other travellers, fellow expats, writers and the likes!
Our first interview is with Winston Lee Wei Sheng, our first guest photographer. He’s quite humble but I think he’s one of the most talented people I’ve met.
Please keep in mind that English is not his first language. I corrected as little of his dialogue as possible to keep it authentic
Road Beer: First of all, hello and how are you! Can you give us a tiny bit of information about you?
Winston: Hi, this is Winson Lee from Malaysia, I’m 27 at the moment. I work as a Dispensing Optician in an optical store, I have at least 5 year of experience working in the optical line. I do really love travelling, hiking and photography.
R.B: Can you tell us where you have travelled and lived?
W: I have stayed in New Zealand for 9 months, and afterwards spent 5 months travelling from South-East Asia up to East Asia, in the end I flew to South Asia for another 3 months.
R.B: How long were you away from home?
W: I started my big trip in May 2013. I went on a working holiday in New Zealand for 9 months, thought I had enough of travelling so went I back to my home country and got back to work. Well, it only lasted about 3 months and in the end I decided to get back on the road again for another 8 months.
R.B: Straight to the point, what is the best advice you can give someone about travelling long-term?
W: I’ll suggest always try something new. So far I have try hitch hiking, woofing, couch surfing, volunteering and the outcome was always beyond my expectations. I’d say this is a fun way to travel long term.
R.B: What is the best day you’ve ever had while travelling?
W: Surviving a disaster. I remember I coincidently ran into my friends on Koh Rang island (Cambodia). The next day, after several hours of rain the sky became clear and we decided to kayak to the opposite island. The weather was fine when we start to kayak, but one hour later the weather suddenly went so bad, the waves became very strong and it tore us apart, we were struggling to find a place to land and due to heavy rains we couldn’t see anything. Being lost in the middle of the sea wasn’t fun, while we almost lose our faith we finally saw a small island, we were trying so hard to reach our destination and finally we landed on a uninhabited island. We consider ourselves lucky because on this island we found a few workers who were building bungalows and they were willing to bring us back to Koh Rang for free!
R.B: Has your life, mentality, outlook on life, work ethic or anything like that changed since you first started travelling?
W: Yes, I would say now I’m better than I used to be, I see things clearly and I able deal with problems with my own ability. Travel turned me into an independent man, I’ve learned a lot during my trip.
R.B: What do you miss most, now that you are sedentary again?
W: Freedom. while travelling I can do whatever I want, I go wherever I like. I can temporary leave all the burden behinds and just focus my best time. Yes I do miss my old days of travelling without limits. I’m trying to look for a stable job now and hopefully in the future I can have enough money to do one big trip again!
R.B: What was the best book you read while travelling?
W: I seldom read, the book I read the most while travelling was “Lonely Planet”! (Laughs)
R.B: What is the best song to listen to while travelling?
W: Skinny love, it was a hit song during my working holiday in New Zealand. I would hear it everywhere, ever since then the song has been in my playlist and it reminds me of good old times.
R.B: What was the best guesthouse/hostel/homestay you stayed at?
W: Too bad I couldn’t remember the best but here are the 2 the worst hostel on my mind. One is Utopia in Sihanoukville, Cambodia and another one is Bacpacker Hostel in Vientiane, Laos. These 2 hostel were nightmarish. I got the most terrible bed bug bites in the hostel and it took me 7-10 days to recover.
R.B: I also stayed at Utopia and it’s also the worst hostel I have ever been to.
R.B: What is the most over rated place you have visited?
W: I hate to be in a very touristy place, I remember I went to Jiuzaigou which is located in China, Sicuan providence. The ticket was quite high and the scenery was okay but it was very crowded. The bridge was full of people and I barely could find a angle to take a photograph
R.B: What is the most under rated place you have visited?
W: India! I’ve been told India was a dangerous country, but actually no, India is a beautiful country. I love the food, scenery and of course the local people. India is my top favorite country and I will definitely pay a visit again!
R.B: How did you get enough money to go travelling? Did you have a savings plan, did you just work super hard, do you have any tips for our readers?
W: I finished my studies in the (Malaysian) capital city and started to work full time. I don’t have any effective plan or tips, to me I won’t spend on any unnecessary stuff and I don’t fancy luxury brands so, spend less and save more.
R.B: Would you be willing to share your ultimate lifegoal or something you’re working towards achieving right now?
W: My passion is photography, hopefully I can convert my hobby to freelance or a viable business
R.B: Finally, did you remember how we met?
W: Of course, we met each other in Chengdu, China, we were in the same hostel. I remember we even stopped a pick pocket.
Thank you Winston for your time and your words!