The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking, don’t settle.
– Steve Jobs

2017 has been the year I cross my inflection point.

I suddenly feel like I’m breathing new life into Bel Around The World. I am filled with hopes and dreams for Bel Around The World, plans I have never been able to see through or move forward due to my full-time work and daily, ongoing commitments.

It’s not an easy decision to make. I’ve been stuck with this quandary for many months now, weighing the pros and cons, sometimes on a daily basis, about whether I should make this leap and take the risk.

Going against the currents has never been easy (I experienced this first hand swimming in an upstream river in Khao Sok over my birthday this year)  – it involves every ounce of mental determination as it is physical stamina.

Read: Torn By Decisions? My Advice for 20-Somethings, Through My Life's Lessons

The reality has just sunk in, but I can already feel the dormant energy that I never knew my body had in me. Heck, I am now sleeping at 3am when in the past I couldn’t stay up past 12 midnight. Not because I am inundated with work, but because of the excitement bubbling inside me that wouldn’t rest.

Deep down, I actually knew it would come to this eventually. I just didn’t know how much sooner it would come rather than later. Then again, I knew it didn’t have to take that much convincing, because the signs were already all spelled out for me. The bone in me was never content being conventional.

Couchsurfing in Brussels, Belgium | Bel Around The World

Making friends from Couchsurfing in Brussels, Belgium

Read: 6 Couchsurfing Lessons & Tips I Learned From Travelling Solo

It started with the people I’d met through my 6 month travels in Europe in 2015. It solidified when I met more like-minded people online, people whose life I dream of having.

They’ve shown me how what I thought was impossible or insurmountable could be achieved, if you break it down bit by bit, if you manage your expectations, if you evaluate the priorities in your life.

You know that somewhere, somehow, something is going right when you have opportunities presented to you, opportunities it would kill for you to reject. You know you are making progress when your hard work is being noticed.


Sharing about my Hokkaido trip in May 2017!

For me, it comes in the form of my articles being recognised on Google on the first page. It comes in the form of emails I get asking me for tips about my trip. It comes in the form of being invited to speak to an audience. Having my name on print in newspapers and magazines. Being invited by tourism boards, airlines and tour operators.

It means I’m doing something right.

Some people may dismiss it as an act of folly, or call it a lack of foresight, but to me it’s as clear as day.

Mount Titlis, Engelberg

I choose happiness.

Even if it means being different. Even if it means daring to be different.

I wouldn’t have been able to be where I am now without the brands that have their faith in me, without the help of my assistant who devotes to BATW as if it was his own baby. I owe my courage to the people who’ve been by my side and supported me, who’ve made the little voice in my head grow louder and bolder.

Most of all, I owe my success to YOU who are reading this, who believe in my words (or maybe to find out what’s going on in my queer mind. Yes – hiding in my online world).

You’ve guessed it – Bel Around The World is going full-time.

And this means you’re going to see more exciting changes happening on this space. Thank you for your support – if you’d like to be updated on what’s in store for you, fill in your particulars below! 🙂

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Isabel Leong

Isabel Leong

An explorer at heart, the world is Isabel's playground. She enjoys seizing every moment exploring every hideout and doing the unimaginable, like bungee jumping in Phuket and couchsurfing in Europe. If she had wings, she’d definitely be soaring right now. Also a fitness trainer, if she’s not at the gym, you can find her doing yoga or rock climbing! Read more about her on


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