In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we speak with the fantastic Rax Suen, the digital nomad, foodie, and podcast host behind Nomads Unveiled. We spoke with Rax about what travel means to him, his website and podcast, how he has been able to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, and much more. Check out his favorite destinations around the globe and find out what’s next for him!
It really started slightly more than a decade ago when I went to Mexico. That was the very first time I have traveled halfway around the globe and into a culture that is extremely different. It was then that I was triggered by the differences in culture and lifestyles that others were living. That exposure to how big the world is became a driving force to learn more.
Travel to me means the internal process of self-discovery and the external process of understanding perspectives. The two work in sync together, when you open your perspectives, it also triggers and challenges your beliefs. And when you understand where your thoughts come from, you can try to understand why others think in a certain way. Putting yourself in a foreign and changing environment presents opportunities for discovery.
I think it is important to look out of your usual bubble and be able to understand there are so many different ideologies and opinions out there. There is no one right view, and when everyone tries to understand where each other comes from, the world is a better place. There’s this statement that I once wrote when reflecting my travels and still holds so true to me “The world is larger than one can fathom, the world is larger than just the geographical aspects of it.”
I think the definition is becoming boarder as the community grows. In short, digital nomads are basically travelers who have remote income sources (often online) that doesn’t limit them to one specific location. Therefore, they have more geographical freedom to travel and move around while still earning their keep.
NomadsUnveiled is a travel and remote work website that provides travel insights and nomadic tips for travelers, particularly those who are interested to make travel a lifestyle rather than a 1-2 times/year kind of thing.
I actually had the idea to do this a few years back but didn’t really have time for it. However, as the pandemic brought travel to a halt, I had more time. During this period, I saw a surge of people reflecting about their work life and enquiring about remote work. As such, I thought my experiences could be helpful to others who are looking to pursue a travel lifestyle that they want.
At Chat With Nomads, we speak to world travelers and digital nomads who are living their dreams around the world. In a casual and fun fireside conversation, we uncover travel insights, business advices, adventure stories and lifestyle tips from their experiences. This is almost mimicking that story sharing conversation in hostels.
I look for guests with interesting travel stories and perspectives. Some of them (like you) would also cover specific business tips and advice because they are successful in their respective fields, that would help others build up a journey of their own.
This is just fun for me to do, but the idea is also to inspire others to take that leap. More importantly, it is to open up and understand perspectives. Across a whole spectrum of guests, you can see there are multiple, different ways to build and live the life you love and enjoy.
Singapore is a foodie paradise. Most people don’t stop at Singapore for too long because it is a small country. However, I often say that there is not enough meals to enjoy all of the cuisines in Singapore. One thing I would recommend when you come to Singapore, is to maximize every meal you have. Try something local and different.
That said, my favorite thing to do is to eat, of course. The Garden by the Bay night light show is also pretty magical.
Travel is not the only area I’m in. I also run a creative design team which actually got busy during the pandemic as companies try to adjust and a lot of new materials/content were needed.
It has probably also been easier to schedule guests for the ChatwithNomads podcast as most travelers are moving less frequently.
On the other hand, I also help my brother run MonsterDayTours, which is a travel and experience agency back home. During the pandemic, we had to quickly adjust strategies and product offerings to cater to the new environment. There is more focus on B2B experiences and virtual tours. The team has always had a positive mindset in viewing this as an opportunity within a crisis, to collaborate with larger partners that might have been harder to interact with in regular times. Perception matters 🙂
As a long-term traveler, I am kind of always overseas in the last few years. Travel activities really depend on where I am at and who I am with. It can be really varying. The adventurous side of me likes to visit nature places. The chill side of me likes food places and cafes with great ambiences in cities.
To both get inspiration and practical information to travel and build remote income sources.
This is tough. El Chalten, Budapest, Krakow
There are Lots of things to do in Budapest, but here are some great ones:
I don’t actively keep track, but I remember it is around the 50-60 mark the last I did check.
Basing off 3 countries which I would visit for food : Korean, Indian, Taiwanese.
That small shop in the alley, not known by many, and run by a cute grandmother who cooks up the local flavour of home. It’s always the local hidden gems.
Nothing comes to mind straight away. I think The Amazing Race (Reality TV show, not a movie) always does well in triggering the wanderlust.
Changi Aiport in Singapore. And while I like to say it can be a biased opinion, but I really don’t think it is. I have actually just stuck around the airport for a full whole day once, when I arrived the morning and did not have to collect any check-in lugguage. The airport is like an attraction itself.
Hard to determine, as the hospitality from each country is very different in their own context. In my experience, the people in the countryside usually tend to be more hospital. In general, I find Taiwanese people to be quite friendly.
Hopefully the next person J
Daze at the scenery or observe the locals. If on plane, then usually writing or movies.
I would say keep an open mind and be prepared to go with the flow. Unlike short vacations where you can have a fixed itinerary, plans will usually change when you are traveling long term. Don’t be afraid to lean into where life takes you and too stressed out about things not going according to “plan”.
There’s also lots of practical logistical things to consider which I wrote about here when considering long term travel.
Handphone, Laptop, my adventurous self, and an Open Mind
Right now, I think it could be Iceland.
No particular favorite I guess
Probably Europe or Central Asia.
Rax Suen is the creator behind nomadsunveiled, a travel and remote work website. He is passionate about perspectives, and hosts the travel podcast – ChatwithNomads to see the world from the eyes of other globetrotters and nomads. Rax has been traveling in multiple capacities for more than a decade and shares his experiences in pursuing freedom mentally, financially and geographically.