'You can't get there from here'

  • Business
  • Saturday, 28 Dec 2013

Proof that where there is a will, there is a way

SEEING the destination is one thing. Getting there, quite another. Often, realising a goal can be the biggest obstacle. Two people coincidentally re-entered my life in past weeks, illustrating that getting there is an attitude based on a point of view that turns obstacle into opportunity.

Dyanna used to work for me in the world of multinational corporations. She speaks fluent Japanese and has a very organised mind. She also wanted to travel, but lacked funds to do so. She planned to backpack overland from Malaysia to Taiwan on her own. Her voyage took her to Taiwan, through Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan and numerous destinations — a petite, Sarawakian Malaysian with determination stronger than steel.

A few weeks ago, after hearing of her completion of a Masters degree, her video blog and travel website, she told me of plans to visit London next year. No big deal really, for most. Jump a plane and voila, 12 hours later in the land of verdant green with a pub on every corner.

Not for Dyanna. She plans to take a year to get to London and to do it overland through China, Mongolia, Siberia and the former Soviet Union — on her own. It’s a simple plan involving working with volunteer agencies along her route, building contacts, blogging and earning her keep from KL to Clapham.

Where there is a will, indeed a way will present itself.

Only yesterday, a stop at Turn 9 of the Sepang circuit bought another familiar face back into focus. Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Kenny travels the world indulging his passion for motorsports. Originally meeting at a Formula 1 event a few years ago, he surfaced at a recent Asia Le Mans race. Decked out in orange marshal’s overalls, he related tales of races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

Hotels and entrance tickets all cost money. Lots of money. Especially at international sporting events. Kenny has married a love of motorsports and a search engine for cheap flights to realise his dream of visiting the Le Mans endurance race in France, F1 in Malaysia and over 30 events in between. All without breaking the bank. A little bit of work for which he receives a ring side seat and a circle of friends that span the globe.

What does all this prove? Barriers are only there because we allow them to exist. While nothing is ever free, thinking differently around the problem often provides an unexpected solution. Both Dyanna and Kenny are richer for their innovation.

Perhaps the challenges we all face could use a little bit of Dyanna and Kenny as we tackle those same issues from a fresh perspective.

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