Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Endless Summer


My wife, a retired investment banker, and I have sold our beautiful house, sold both the sports car and the SUV, and I’ve also quit my job as an airline pilot. Now, homeless and jobless, but with cash in pocket, there’s nothing holding us back. We want to see the world and, maybe, I can make a little money as a travel and adventure writer and photographer.

At 42, I’m considered to be in the prime of life. And, as a Boeing 777 Captain working for one of the best airlines in the world, I can think of no other job I want to do. Leaving it all behind is one of the scariest things I have ever done.

I don’t know what lies ahead. That’s the adventure.

A message to my colleagues:
The past 19 years with Singapore Airlines have been the best in my life. I joined the airline as a young man, and have grown up and matured here. My best wishes to all of you, and hope that your lives continue to be filled with joy.

Photo: Dawn, somewhere over Australia. Taken with a Canon 350D, 10-22mm lens, fill flash.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi Ken,

With your personality and determination, I am sure you will succeed just as you have been so far.

Best wishes to you and your wife.

Dzul Basri

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr IronMan,
I'm inspired just browsing thru your blog.I'm looking forward to more of your future adventures.Maybe you'll be the next Bear Grille? Wahahahah(hope I got his name rite...)Hoping to see more of you soon....

Aprene

Kenneth Koh said...

Thanks guys. I won't really be 'retired'. That to me implies doing nothing, or not having to work ever again. I guess I could call myself a writer/photographer. Hmm... I'll have to give this some more thought.

Seb Rogers said...

Ken,

Wow, that's a big move. Congratulations, and best of luck! I look forward to reading more about your adventures...

Seb

Kenneth Koh said...

Thanks Seb, I'll have more to write about and more time to do it!

Aprene, I give up! At the risk of appearing ignorant, who is 'Bear Grille'?

Kenneth Koh said...

I just caught a super interesting program on Discovery Channel called 'Man vs Wild' hosted by, you guessed it, Bear Gryll.

Aprene, this guy is way beyond me. It was a great program. I got to stay in more and watch more TV...

kiki said...

I envy you both, Ken. You are living my dream. I'd stayed in "non-profit" for 7 yrs to be able to travel but never had the gut to quit to do it all the way like you do. Now, I'm stuck with family and kids :)
Best luck to you and your wife. I'm looking forward to see more of your works.

Kenneth Koh said...

Thanks Kiki,

Quitting my job was one of the scariest things I've done. Other than the loss of a regular paycheck, it is also the loss of a life that I know and have become comfortable with.

Not having any kids makes it easier to do ;)

Mario said...

I was attracted to reading the rest of your blog by that tag line "I left my job as an airline pilot for a life as a travel and adventure writer/photographer."

Did you wife quit her job too? What places would you like to visit? Are you going to set off on a trip after April next year? Where do you see yourself in 2-3 years from now? Will you come back to Singapore, or Singapore will be your base where you will come every once in a while to charge your batteries? Many questions..probably less answers :)

Nevertheless, I wish you a safe journey wherever you may roam. Maybe one day our paths cross.

Kenneth Koh said...

Hi Mario,

Those are good questions. Firstly, yes, my wife quit her job earlier this year. She has been traveling with me this past year while I was still a pilot (travel perks).

We pretty much have trips lined up for the first half of next year - Trail running in Nepal, for example. I'll have to write and photograph the trip,so it will be a little work.

The beauty of not having a 'real' job means we can take expedition style trips of a month or more. Like in 2009, we plan to travel overland to Tibet and then mountain bike to Kathmandu, Nepal.

The next 2-3 years will see if I can survive as a writer and photographer. If not, well, I'll have to beg for my old job back :)

I'll probably be in Singapore over the next 3 years. After that, who knows...

Ken

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