An Ode to Time and Travel

March 02, 2017



And so it begins: my 2 month-long work-sabbatical* in the Far East; starting with my native Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia where I'll be visiting my extended family and seeing friends in all three countries, then a quick jaunt to Hong Kong for more work and play before heading back to London for a bit and possibly back to South East Asia for a detox in Thailand. An exciting journey of self-improvement and discovery that starts - as all my favourite beginnings do - at the airport. It's an occasion I celebrated with a little gift to myself - a Gucci timepiece to mark the moment my year truly took flight.

*A contradiction, I know. But you know the saying: “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”.


As with all my other early-morning flights to Kuala Lumpur, my feet dragged the same familiar route on autoshuffle: check in at Counter D (Malaysia Airlines Platinum Enrich members), go to the security Fast Track lane (thoughtfully shielded from the general chaos of Heathrow Terminal 4 with privacy panels tastefully adorned with butterfly and floral motifs), turn left past World Duty Free and assorted retail destinations for those last-minute presents for people you care about but somehow slipped your mind. Normally I skip the shopping and go straight to the Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge, but being earlier than usual I popped into Gucci for a little nosy.
I asked to see any accessories to match my ‘power purse’ - a limited edition Lilith handbag - and was offered a watch with the same embroidered tiger on the watch face. Adorable as it was, the silver finish and navy strap just didn‘t do it for me. But the same watch with a golden bee in all its symmetry against the quintessential Gucci green and red leapt out at me. In a typical flight of whimsy (Bee, flight to KL...geddit?) I impulsively bought it as a lil' treat to myself for having the patience to endure having to wait 3.5 months to travel

And what a wait. Weight, even - you know my weary, wanderlusting soul only ever feels light with the wind beneath my wings: all 11887 metres above sea level of it. Existential ennui is my specialty - an expertise no doubt born out of being a modern flaneur whose luck and lot in life is to devote one’s cause to the pursue of gratifying hobbies; in other words being Posh, Broke, & Bored. On the upper deck of an A380 this skill set of mine works at its best with my mind soaring through the clouds to thoughts of distant lands and new sights, sounds, and smells.

They say that travel is the only thing you can buy that will make you richer. Well colour me a proverbial billionaire... 

Thirteen or so blissful hours of curling up under a duvet later and the plane begins its descent. The screen in front of me plays one of many variations of the ‘welcome to Malaysia’ montage video. These heartwarming choice of scenes and music never fail to elicit my love and longing for my country. The twee bubble of sentimentality is quickly burst by the Captain’s cheerful warning that any would-be drug or human traffickers coming into Malaysia face the death penalty. Adorbs.


From the moment I step foot into Kuala Lumpur International Airport begins a song and dance I could do blindfolded or in my sleep. Which, essentially, is exactly how I feel after having crossed 8 time zones. Shuffle on to the Aerobus, skip the long immigration queues and head straight to the Autogates (my new passport is one of the few that does work with the e-gates: ding ding ding!), linger at Duty Free, pick up my luggage, and finally head to the exit to find my driver waiting (sans parents, sadly - the novelty of picking me up or dropping me off at the airport has long since worn off). It's my tale as old as time, with a different kind of beast (backpackers be grizzly - namas-stay away) but elicits a similar shade of Stockholm Syndrome.

Perhaps one day I’ll stop to smell the roses, or rather, take the time to walk in the indoor tropical rainforest at KLIA. It seems almost a shame to let such a stunning sight and unique feature of my second-most frequented airport go unexplored, yet this is the price I pay for always being on the go. Here’s hoping that my shiny new timepiece, more than just keeping me on time, will serve to remind me to savour the moments. We all live on borrowed time, and each precious minute is a gift to behold - a philosophy I’m keen to practise whether I’m in Asia, Europe, the Americas, or Africa. 

A toast to the next two months of travel, and to every minute after for all of my many days. x
Gucci Le Marché Des Merveilles 38mm watch 
Bye Bye Bella Sheridan rose gold sunglasses

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