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'Curiosity In Singapore'


'Curiosity In Singapore'

James McKenzie-Blyth


Curiosity goes hand in hand with creativity. It's even said to be as important as intelligence. A partnership that is noted in many journals and books, but how does being a curious drive the creative to look past the obstacles and keep the end goal in sight? 

Travel Photographer and friend of Flyotw, Jon Reid shares his story about his desire to capture his curiosities through a hunger for exploration.


Journal by Jon Reid.

I’ve always been burdened with an insatiable curiosity. Even before I started using a camera to explore the world,  I needed to see around the next corner. Short hikes into the mountains would turn out to be full day events because I struggled to turn back. Some drive always pushed me forward. I have to keep exploring. It is part of the reason I started photography. Peering around corners inevitably led to interesting sights and stories. The only way friends would believe me is if I had proof. Photography proved to be the ideal medium. 


Travel photography is now my profession. Travel companies ask me to explore and share my findings with the world. My expenses are all covered, but before this became my profession, I worked a day job simply to earn enough to fund my next trip. I worked to support my curiosity. I was reminded of this recently during a trip to Singapore that ended up being two trips. I had a job in Australia followed by South Africa, Indonesia and then Dubai. The most convenient stopover between Australia and South Africa turned out to be Singapore. 


Because I love architecture and the urban environment, I chose to spend a few days in Singapore. It is an incredible city to visit. Like Dubai, it is a new, modern city. Unlike Dubai, it feels finished and finessed. Skyscrapers are surrounded by landscaped gardens rather than dusty car parks. It was fascinating to explore, but in a city full of skyscrapers, I needed to see what the view was like from above. 

On my first night, I went to a cocktail bar in the downtown area that had a beautiful view of the marina. It had a $15 entrance fee, which I was more than happy to pay, but it also had a no tripod rule, which ruled me out.  The following day, I tried the Singapore Flyover, which is an enormous Ferris wheel. The views were incredible, but this time I had another problem – the glass is slightly rounded, which meant that all my pictures were a bit distorted. I also couldn’t move around much to get different views, so my curiosity wasn’t fully satisfied.


On my final night, I visited the Marina Bay Sands hotel – one of the tallest structures in Singapore and host to what is surely the best view in the city. Unfortunately, to get where I wanted to go, I needed to be a guest of the hotel. It would seem that I would never know what lay beyond that corner.

Two months later, I needed to get from Indonesia to Dubai. There were a few options for layovers, but that corner still plagued me. Back to Singapore, I went and this time, as a guest at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. I need to point out that during my layovers, I was on my own budget. I was paying about 3 times as much as I usually would for a hotel, but for 1 night, it was manageable.  

Marina Bay Sands View (5).jpg

So what lay beyond that corner? For one, the world’s highest and largest infinity pool. More importantly for me, the views in every direction were spectacular, and I had full access with a tripod. Bliss. As if to reward my curiosity, the sun stayed out for the entire evening – a rarity in Singapore. I took more images that evening than I did during the entire 3 days from my previous trip.

Curiosity is only a burden if left un-indulged.