10 Lessons Learned From COVID-19 (From Singapore Travel Blogger Who Travelled More Than 100 Countries)

by Keith Yuen
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As a Singapore travel blogger who travelled more than 100 countries, 2020 is supposed to be a big year for me. Instead, 2020 is a year marked with fear, stress, changes, and a key life event for every single soul in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis that turned the world up-side-down. 2020 was indeed a strange year and as 2021 has just begun, we definitely can reflect on the past chaotic year and there must be lessons learned from COVID-19 Singapore. It was a year of contradiction and confusion!

  1. Hugs and physical contact have become a weapon that could harm your loved ones,
  2. Staying away and practicing safety distance from your loved ones is showing love,
  3. Animals became free to roam, while human beings are locked up instead,
  4. Things that we seemed unimportant last time (*cough e.g. Toilet Papers) suddenly became so important,
  5. Sometimes we are happy to work from home, sometimes we are depressed and feel isolated.

Just like everyone else, I lost many opportunities but on the other hand, I also gained some new inspirations and skills. Here are the 10 lessons learned from COVID-19.

Singapore-Travel-Blogger-Who-Travelled-More-Than-100-Countries Lessons-Learned-From-Covid-19-Singapore

Every storm in our life is followed by a beautiful rainbow! If 2020 was our storm, then 2021 will be our rainbow! As a Singapore Travel Blogger, I am blessed to see and learn a lot. I choose to see things on the brighter side. There are lessons we can learn from Covid-19.

#1 Effects of Globalisation

We all know the world is getting closer due to globalisation! It is an inevitable process where lives are influenced on an international scale. Having MacDonalds in every corner of our neighborhood, buying something from overseas at the convenience of your mobile phones are all the benefits of globalisation. On the flip side, globalisation also means when someone sneezes in a country a thousand miles apart, and tomorrow the virus could reach the corner of the world you are at! There are good and bad in everything, so while the world is getting closer now, we can greatly or badly influence each other, affecting each other’s lives. This shows how impactful and deeply we are connected with one another. This further proves that we are very much interdependent. Whatever actions we do, will directly or indirectly causing an impact on the communities and livelihood of others. We cannot afford to have selfish thoughts anymore but instead, we must educate ourselves about the knowledge of the world. This is the true impact and effects of globalisation.

Singaporean-who-travelled-more-than-100-countries singapore-travel-blogger

Singapore travel blogger who travelled more than 100 countries! The benefits of globalisation, lead me to embrace diversities better!

#2 Human Lives Are More Fragile Than We Thought

Even though advances in medicine and science has improved greatly, alas the human lives are still as fragile. Smart inhalers, robotic surgery, wireless brain sensors, artificial organs, precision medicine, or CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) are all some of the new medical technologies invented in recent years. It seems like a rat race to combat diseases and viruses! There may be countries preparing to fight enemies but never we could imagine, 2020 biggest enemy for the world are not aliens but an invisible enemy- a strain of coronavirus aka COVID-19 that could kill and infected millions. It seems unimaginable before 2020 that the world could be defeated by a tiny virus strain and it could kill millions of people all over the world, even if all the advanced medical technologies we have developed.

Bosnia-Srebrenica-Massacre Lessons learned from covid19 singapore-travel-blogger

Praying for the lost souls!

I sincerely pray for those who lost their lives to the pandemic. May God blessed their souls with peace.🙏🏻

#3 There Are Many Real Life Heroes And Heroines That We Don’t Know

Some people may be complaining about how sad or depressed their lives are, but I think now is the time for us to put aside our negativities and sincerely pay a heartfelt tribute to our COVID-19 heroes and heroines who have worked tirelessly to help us through the pandemic. Besides the front-line medical staff who tirelessly help us to front the invisible and scary virus, there are many others working behind the scenes who sacrifice their time, blood, money, or even lives for us. And we do not know these people!

GOV.SG Covid-19 Tips

Singapore Government Sending Daily GOV.SG Covid-19 Tips Via WhatsApp

Think about the people who manage these updates for us every day! A big thank you! 🙏🏻

There are heroes like the Scientist and Laboratory Researchers who work 18 hours a day, racing with time to develop vaccines. Government Officers working days and nights to keep our country safe, or administer funds and provide financial, employment, or social assistance to people who are in need. Safety Ambassadors who face difficulties and challenging situations to keep us all safe. Cleaners to beef up their efforts to keep premises clean and sanitize for our well-being, Honestly, there are many more people I can’t thank enough! Let’s all appreciate them every day! Say thank you, put on our widest smile of appreciation, be more considerate to others, and keep our own negativities down is the best way to appreciate their efforts.

Read: Singapore Safe Distancing Ambassadors Keeping Us Safe!

#4 Thankful For The Food On The Table

Food wastage is a HUGE problem in many developed countries! To many of us, COVID-19 affects our livelihood and employment, but to millions out there in the developing world, COVID-19 kills them with the cruelty of starvation and famine. Jobs are lost, local markets are closed and poverty deepens. The situation in many crisis-affected African countries is worsening! So every time you are ordering food, PLEASE think about how much you can eat (don’t over order what you need), and let’s not waste any more food!

Keith Yuen singapore-travel-blogger who travelled more than 100 countries

Singapore travel blogger Keith Yuen with African Children (Dassanech Tribe) in Ethiopia

Ethiopian Child Eating Singaporean-Who-Travelled-More-Than-100-Countries lessons-learned-from-covid-19

Covid-19 Lessons: An Ethiopian child told me he is fortunate enough to have something to eat for his lunch

Read: 16 Life Lessons I’m Grateful Ethiopia Taught Me

#5 Vegetarian Diet Might Be A Good Idea

I’m sure the famous Netflix show Game Changer has changed a lot of our mindset about vegetarianism. You may also read the article and correct your misconceptions about vegetarian from this article “10 Misconceptions About Vegetarians“. We have been learning about the danger and threats from Zoonotic diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, fungus, or parasite threats. In the past, we already learned about the Zoonotic Diseases from SARS (from Palm Civets), Swine Flu (from Pigs), H5N1 (from Birds), Mad Cow Disease (from Cows), and marine zoonotic infections from Seafood Parasites! COVID-19 is not really a surprise to humans who consume meat.

Vegetarian-Cuisines-Around-The-World singapore-travel-blogger

Read: Different Vegetarian Cuisines Around The World

While everyone is blaming the outbreak of Coronavirus/ COVID-19 on the wildlife food (e.g. bats) that some people eat is disgusting! I want to point out that the word “disgusting” is actually subjective to individuals. As a Singapore travel blogger who travelled more than 100 countries, I witnessed some locals in Peru eating guinea pigs, some people in Thailand eating insects. Also, there are people in France who eat snails, some locals in Australia eat kangaroos, there are also people in Africa eating field mice satay in summer, some people in the Middle East eat camels, some locals in Italy eat horses, and in some parts of Indonesia, there are people who eat cats, and the list goes on…

Africa-Field-Mice-Satay singapore-travel-blogger-Who-Travelled-More-Than-100-Countries lessons-learned-from-covid-19

African Field Mice Satay In Malawi

For me, I eat vegetables! And to be honest, it is also tough for me to watch people eating chicken drumsticks, hams, sausages, fish heads, steaks with all the drops of blood. Which by the way, these animals have the same red color blood as us humans. So I would highly encourage meat eaters to change to a vegetarian diet. It’s good for your health, good for the animals, and good for the world.

Luang Prabang Day Market

Read my experience at Luang Prabang Day Market

Read how I survived my experience at the day market in Luang Prabang, Laos

Recently, there was a new release of medical research findings of a connection found between high meat diet and symptoms of childhood asthma. The researchers found that children with high meat consumption were associated with breathing issues. No matter how nutritious the child’s diet may have been, the presence of dietary AGEs (advanced glycation end products, highest found in red meat) will put the child at risk. This will leave us more vulnerable to more severe cases of COVID-19. Reference: Eating Too Much Meat Has Been Linked to This Disease, New Study Says

Check out the delicious vegetarian reviews collected by Singapore travel blogger who travelled more than 100 countries on Vegetarian Inspiration 360: https://travelinspiration360.com/vegetarian-inspiration-360/

#6 We Can See The Clear Definition Between Being Wise or Being Intelligent – The COVID-19 ZEROES!

Having shared earlier about the COVID-19 heroes and heroines, one of the key lessons learned from the COVID-19 is about the Zeroes! These Zeroes are the those who perpetuate racism, dividing people from different class or caste, the selfishness of people who ignore the safety of others, and many irresponsible people who created fake news, or untruthful claims to confuse people, or to take advantage of the chaotic situation! Intelligence is about knowing something, but Wisdom is not just knowing, but also understanding and empathizing with others.

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European Union’s Faces2Hearts Project about educating the younger generations about world issues such as women’s empowerment, human rights, environmental issues, water resources and etc…

Check out European Commission’s project #faces2hearts: https://faces2hearts.eu/jury/

For example, there are intelligent people who work in high positions, but chose the wrong path to take and ended up in undesirable situations. On the flip side, people like Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi are very wise people who show a compassionate heart to the world. Sadly, the world emphasizes only intelligence but not too much wisdom! Skills upgrading courses from schools or universities only provide us knowledge, so how can we improve our wisdom then? As a Singapore travel blogger who travelled more than 100 countries, I am very blessed to have seen and learned a lot from wise people. These people inspired me to take the wisdom path, rather than just academically inclined.

Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya Mumbai India

Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya, Mumbai, India

Memorial House of Mother Teresa Skopje, North Macedonia singapore-travel-blogger-who-travelled-more-than-100-countries lessons-learned-from-covid-19

Memorial House of Mother Teresa, Skopje, North Macedonia

#7 Treasure The Family & Friends’ Time Together

With lockdowns (like Circuit Breaker in Singapore) and other health measures implemented by the government to keep us safe, COVID-19 has stopped us from getting close with our loved ones. Many people are physically stuck and unable to meet up with all their family members or friends. This is a good time to reflect on whether we did enough for our parents, siblings, or friends in the past. When opportunities arise, won’t you want to spend more time with them? This pandemic taught me to treasure the time spent together, and not to take people for granted.

Tokyo-Disneyland

Important to have family time together! After a shag day at Disneyland… 🙂

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You don’t really need a lot of friends in your life! You only need 1 who you can depend on. I am fortunate I have many…

On the other hand, due to the fact that I was busy travelling around the world for the past 4 years, I seldom have the opportunity to spend quality time with my family and friends. So 2020 was actually a year for me to have some quality time together! There were times I thought to myself, “maybe I should stop travelling for a while and spend more time at home”, but work keeps piling and I just didn’t have the chance to slow down my pace. So, COVID-19 gave me this chance. Not being able to travel is something I am still adjusting to, but I remain thankful I have the quality time at home. Moreover to spend Christmas (Singapore at Circuit Breaker Phrase 2) and New Year (Singapore at Circuit Breaker Phrase 3) with family and buddies.

Lessons learned from Covid-19 singapore-travel-blogger-who-travelled-more-than-100-countries

During Xmas, Covid-19 Singapore is at Phrase 2, so only 5 visitors a day! How we celebrate Xmas with buddies is by getting the same set of Cheesehaus’s pastries & cookies

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Finally, after Circuit Breaker lockdown, Singapore enters phrase 3 and allows up to 8 visitors, we can reunite. (7 of us visiting my sister’s house for NYE 2021) Love Them!

#8 Grateful You Have A Job

We may be complaining about our work, but I believe this year everyone is saying “Be thankful you still have a job!”. For those who are employed, congrats, and hang in there. You may be experiencing some challenges and changes, but that’s a blessing! For those who are jobless, don’t give up hope. There is job assistance provided by the government, stay positive, and be thankful there are still hiring sectors. We must tell ourselves, this is not the time to be picky, it may not be what you want but you must grab whatever opportunity that knocks on your door. Personally, my work as a Singapore travel blogger also started after I did some pro bono collaborations in the past, soon after, opportunities kept coming in. If there is nothing you like or can do, then you gotta ask yourself, are you being too choosy or maybe you are just not that hungry enough? And this brings us to the next point.

MGTO Greater Bay Area CCTV singapore-travel-blogger Who Travelled More Than 100 Countries lessons from Covid-19

From Singapore Travel Blogger To Singapore Trainer (Click To See Corporate Training Profile)

Career Services By WSG (Workforce Singapore) & E2I: https://www.wsg.gov.sg/career-services.html

#9 Importance of Life-Long Learning

COVID-19 gave everyone a chance to slow down and reflect, also to have the opportunity to learn new things or skills. For many, they started to develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow, and the beautiful thing about learning is nobody can ever take it away from you. While over the years, you may be thinking whether you can accomplish something else? Perhaps this is the time for us to slow down our pace and take a step back to reflect, unlearn, and to relearn new things., Find new inspiration to steer us to a new life by achieving new goals and unlocking new achievements. If you want to change, you need to start learning new things. As situation change, the environment change, social change, people change, our competencies (skills, knowledge, and attitude) must also change according to time. This is to catch up with time! You may live in your past glory, but those have already PAST! It will never come back. Only those who think about their future will have a future. So start learning new things and have a sense of purpose and direction in life!

singapore-travel-blogger travelled-100-countries mediacorp-youyi survive-covid19 job-transiting

In Youyi’s Programme, Keith shared his personal story on how he survived the COVID-19 pandemic by transiting into a new work arena, as a Singapore Travel Blogger to a Singapore Trainer!

The above was the programme that I shared how I have adapted to change & survived through COVID-19 pandemic by successfully transiting into a new work dynamic. Watch: How to Remain Positive & Adaptive From Being A Singapore Travel Blogger To Be A Singapore Trainer!

My new work profile on Training & Development: https://travelinspiration360.com/singapore-trainer/

There are a lot more new home bakers, private home dining, chefs, home businesses, and entrepreneurs. They are trending now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It may be a chance for us to learn and fulfill our entrepreneur dreams.

#10 There Is Always Something Positive In Everything That Has Happened

I always believe there is something positive in everything that has happened, even in a negative situation. I believed one of the lessons learned from COVID-19 is about life is too short for us to lament and to be depressed. Everyone is equal and gets 24 hours a day, so we must learn to look at things positively!  To make your day happy or sad really depends on your own mindset! While it’s gloomy and depressing due to the pandemic, I lost all my travel-related work but I am really fortunate to be able to dive into another work arena- Training & Development. As I travelled a lot and to tell stories is my passion in life, a training job allows me to give back to society, inspire new minds, and open mindsets to keep people more positive. It is definitely something I enjoy doing as well. I am grateful that I still can work and able to contribute to society, making impacts on lives. I am also grateful that I get to spend a lot more time with family this year, and get to learn new things. I slow down my pace and made reflections and assessments about my life. Most importantly, I finally have the time to explore my own beautiful country!

Singapore Travel Blogger Keith Yuen Covid-19 Lesson singaporean travelled more than 100 countries singapore-travel-blogger

Didn’t know Singapore has such a beautiful long white sand beach at Singapore Lazarus Island. Finally, get to explore as a Singapore travel blogger!

Singapore Travel Influencer Keith Yuen singapore-travel-blogger-Who-Travelled-More-Than-100-Countries lessons-learned-from-covid-19

Sailcation Yacht Anchored at Beautiful Lazarus Bay

Read the article and the YouTube video on Keith exploring the Southern Islands of Singapore via Singapore Sailcation!

On the positive side, COVID-19 may have disrupted our lives, but not so much to the environment and endangered animals. There are much lesser pollutions and bluer skies in the world due to the less carbon emission and improved air quality. Endangered animals show signs of short term relief and recovery from reduced human activities. COVID-19 is definitely NOT the solution to these problems, but at least, it shows our Mother Earth does take its chance to relieve and breathe a bit. That’s something positive and heartening to see.

Singapore-Beautiful-Destinations-COVID-19-Lesson singapore-travel-blogger

Singapore travel blogger who travelled more than 100 countries, Covid-19 gave Keith Yuen the opportunity to explore his home country Singapore!

Bonus Lesson: Toilet Paper Is Not As Important As We Thought!

This is one of the funny lessons learned from COVID-19 for me! Please comment below if you agree with me on this and if this is still in your mind “Why would the world snatch toilet papers during the pandemic outbreak?”. I just don’t understand why the panic buying or stockpiling of toilet papers! Need I say more? haha 😂🤣

Travel Showreel on a Singapore travel blogger who travelled more than 100 countries

I believe many people would think that 2020 is a depressing year! Just like everyone else, I am also affected by the global pandemic! I actually have some good projects with a few clients this year. But, I have lost all my travel-related work. On the flip side, I believe there are positive things in every happening. In life, we lose some, we gain some! I am grateful that I have learned and seen a lot in the past years as a Singapore Travel Blogger, Travel Influencer, and a Travel Host, a Singapore travel blogger who travelled more than 100 countries. This showreel highlighted and showcased all the hard work, sweat, tears, and blood I have put in. I honestly felt a little emotional when creating this showreel. I am not giving up, and will not give up on the passion and love I have for traveling. WIll continue to travel and tell compelling stories around the world. For now, let’s stay safe and healthy! Taking good care of yourself means you are being socially responsible and taking care of others! Let’s all wait patiently until the day that we take to the skies again! ✈️❤️👍🏻

Do share with us what else you have learned besides the 10 listed above by commenting below. Thank you so much for your support over the years! Please like Travel Inspiration 360’s Facebook Page, follow on Instagram, and subscribe to the YouTube channel. Do also check out other vegetarian or travel articles at Travel Inspiration 360! 🙂

No matter what’s going to happen in 2021, we must continue to stay safe and healthy. With a healthy mind, a healthy body and a healthy soul, there are still OPPORTUNITIES and CHANCES to come back again. Let’s all continue to do our part to stay safe and healthy, not just for ourselves but also for our family, our friends, our country and our world! 😍👍🏻

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