After quitting his full-time job four years ago to travel the world, Hendric Tay has, to date, visited over 46 countries. The best part? He’s only 29 years old.
Now a travel blogger and a year into his new start up, the author of travel site PohTeckToes shares more about his decision to do what most of us can only dream of doing and elaborates on his motto that everyone can travel.
Life before PohTeckToes
At 24, Hendric had just graduated with a degree in communications from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and was offered a full-time position at a well-known advertising company.
However, after spending time interning at the company, the adventurous workaholic realised that this was not a job he wanted.
With that knowledge, Hendric decided to move into teaching. He spent a year teaching at Anderson Junior College before deciding that it was impossible to pursue his true love – travelling – while holding down a 9-5 job.
“I loved my job but I simply wanted a different challenge. I knew that if I didn’t try to fulfil my dreams now, I would eventually be stuck in a rat race as time went on.” the spunky blogger said.
After realising that, the spontaneous writer decided to make the riskiest decision in his life by quitting his job to pursue travelling full time.
“At that point I was already doing some freelance social media and graphic design gigs so I used that as well as the remainder of my salary to start my travelling,” Hendric said.
Financing his trips
It was then that Hendric decided to start his travel blog, PohTeckToes, as well as to continue finding freelance media jobs that would allow him to work remotely.
In fact, shortly after quitting his job, Hendric was able to go for his first trip to the Czech Republic for two weeks, where he explored the city and did a short camping hike.
“I just pick hotels with good wifi,” he said with a laugh.
Spontaneous as Hendric is during his travels, he was very calculated when it came to starting his blog. While his ultimate goal is to write for his readers, he understands how to blend that with what brands want as well.
He said of being able to get sponsorships and brand deals for his travels: “I made sure that whatever I posted on my blog were things that I knew travel companies would want to see.”
“So when I approached them for deals, I already had proof of what I could do so they would trust me more with their work. It’s about building a portfolio and thinking about the future reach of each post while also pursuing what you love.”
While sponsorships and brand deals were vital in his travels, Hendric is firm in that even without them, he would still be travelling. “It’s about budgeting. I generally don’t dine at expensive restaurants and cafes so that I can save money for travelling. After that, it’s all about careful planning to make sure you don’t overspend.”
That said though, Hendric tries to never scrimp too much when it comes to to experiences while overseas. “I choose budget options but I make sure it’s never too shabby. I also try not to turn down an experience simply because of the price. I generally want to find the most unique experience possible so if I feel that it’s a special enough opportunity, I will still go for it despite the price.”
Hendric has many mottos, but the one thing that he firmly believes in is that everyone can and should travel. However, it’s safe to say that many people are skeptical of that statement as many people are not as fortunate as Hendric.
When asked what he would like to say to youth who want to travel but feel like they do not have the finances to do so, the blogger has only this to say: “What are you spending your money on?”
He goes on to elaborate that the idea is to plan for it. “It is certainly possible. It’s just in terms of the frequency and in terms of how long you take to get there. You might not be able to travel as much but if you set a plan in place as to how you are going to save and you make the sacrifices, it is possible.”
Planning is certainly key when it comes to doing something like this.
“It is not a YOLO thing. It is a calculated choice. I knew what I had to work on to make it sustainable and I knew the practical considerations were very real.” Hendric warned.
Starting The Travel Intern
Last year, after deciding that PohTeckToes was doing well enough, Hendric decided to venture into something new by starting a startup company called The Travel Intern. The internship programme encourages young people to explore travelling and the demands of writing and producing videos while overseas.
“The idea came to me while I was in India last year and now it’s slowly but surely growing,” Hendric said of this new project that is currently taking up most of his time.
Currently, Hendric is planning for his next trip which will be a road trip down south in Sydney to explore the coastal areas.
To end off, Hendric has this to say: “Travelling is admittedly a privilege. But it is not impossible.”
Photo credits: Hendric Tay