Travel tips for the adventurous wanderer from Lynn Tiang
Lynn Tiang, an award-winning travel entrepreneur, certainly knows a thing or two about unleashing her adventurous side when travelling. In 2009, while pregnant with her first child, she quit her stable job in pharmaceuticals and joined her husband to set up land tour company, Amazing Borneo. Today, the company is thriving with offices in Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, and Australia. A true testament to following your passion, Lynn now helps guide thousands of thrill-seekers to the shores of Sabah and Sarawak for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. From scaling the majestic Mount Kinabalu to spotting rare wildlife in the ancient jungles to diving the depths of the warm, tropical seas – Tiang and her team at Amazing Borneo seek to ignite excitement and create memories that will last a lifetime.
We sit down with this travel veteran to gain insights on how to get out of your comfort zone, what to pack for a safe and fun trip, and why she believes you should try everything at least once.
Always up for an adventure
“We wanted our jobs to become something we really wanted to do,” she explains. “It was our goal to love our jobs so much that it didn’t feel like a job. We wanted to live our passions every day.”
The gamble certainly paid off. With offices around the globe and troves of happy clients, Amazing Borneo has proven to be a success. For her, Borneo was always an easy sell being relatively undiscovered and with a plethora of natural and cultural experiences that are unlike anywhere in the world. The company assists tourists in curating their perfect Bornean holiday with a wide range of tours, experiences and adventures such as jungle trekking, helicopter aerial tours, honeymoon experiences, and guided hiking.
Although Tiang doesn’t consider herself an adventurous traveller, she is open to all experiences that come her way. In Borneo, the chances for spontaneity and adventure are bountiful. One of her favourite memories was sleeping in a rainforest lodge on the east coast of Sabah and waking up to the calls of gibbons in the surrounding forests, then boating down Malaysia’s second longest river in search of pygmy elephants. Furthermore, without any physical or mental preparation, Tiang agreed to scale Mount Kinabalu with only a few hour’s notice.
“Something I always recommend to people who are visiting Borneo is to try eating raw sago worms,” says Tiang. “It’s a delicacy in the tribes in Borneo, and it’s actually really nutritious. It’s very milky and juicy. I’ve even tried it on a pizza!”
When travel goes awry
Even if you map out your travels minute by minute, unexpected events can always get thrown into the picture. As a tour operator, Tiang is no stranger to travel hiccups, but she takes them in stride, knowing that there is a solution around the corner.
On Tiang’s first trip as a tour manager, she was responsible for taking a group of Singapore-based students and teachers to Borneo. The flight out of Singapore ended up being delayed by six hours, much to the disappointment of the teachers, who demanded to be put on another flight. As Tiang was rushing to another terminal to secure the tickets for the group, she sprained her ankle.
“I was in pain but we made it onto the flight,” says Tiang. “I had to ask for ice packs while on the flight, and I had to be carried off the plane! When we got to Borneo, all the clinics were closed, so I had to go to a local herbalist who treated my foot by burning it with cigarette butts! Surprisingly I was able to walk the next day and complete the tour.”
Although the unexpected can always arise, it’s important to secure yourself and take precautions when travelling. Tiang strongly advises on purchasing travel insurance so that you can rest easy while you’re away. Listening to the rules and regulations stated by tours and guides is also crucial to ensure safety, as is travelling with only licensed tour companies.
Personally, Tiang is relatively low maintenance when it comes to travel. Her short list of travel must-haves includes her mobile phone and charger; citronella oil, which she uses as a mosquito repellent and fragrance; wet wipes; as well as feminine wipes from Betadine.
“It’s important for me to bring my Betadine products when I travel,” says Tiang. “Especially in places that don’t always have clean water, I need these products to help keep me comfortable and clean.”
Whether you’re an avid traveller or not, we all can certainly take something away from Tiang’s fearlessness and openness in life and travel. By taking the right precautions, even the most adventurous trips can be safe and easy.
“You only live once,” says Tiang. “If you don’t try something, you might regret it. I don’t believe in ‘what ifs’ – just get out there and do it!”
The BETADINE™ Daily Feminine Care range is for external use only. This article is for information purposes only and not meant to serve as medical advice or to replace consultation with your physician or other qualified healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a worsening skin condition or other medical condition.