Storyteller . Speaker . Lover of animals and nature . Friend . Daughter . Aunt . Sister . Traveller . Motorcyclist . Change-maker . The Wandering Wasp
What was the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
For Juvena, I would say that it was the time she left Singapore on a scooter with only a direction (towards Europe) and no plans or preparations in place. She ended up riding 44,000km across 25 countries over the next 27 months, inspiring everyone in her role as The Wandering Wasp.
The loss that pushed her to travel…
Juvena: An intrepid friend of mine was about to set off on his own motorcycle adventure to China Border. Just one week before setting off, he passed away in an accident while driving a van at the age of 28. The unforeseen manner and timing of his passing was a crude reminder of mortality which fuelled my decision to embark on the long ride. I did not want to wait until I am retired or become a millionaire to travel around the world. That time may never come.”
‘A Latin phrase by Horace, a Roman Poet, “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero” which means “Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow”. ‘ (Juvena shares with us a quote she lives by)
This experience is why she boasts her health and wellbeing as her best asset and decided to throw herself into this adventure of a lifetime despite lacking what some may consider essential – financial plans, knowledge of relevant languages, technical skills to fix her scooter and many more. Juvena decided that these were things she could learn along the way.
“If you want to be 100% ready before you start something, I think it may never happen. The attitude and willingness to learn will bring you further ahead rather than being 100% prepared.”
In recent years, Juvena’s story has gained more attention. In fact, some of us may have heard of Juvena through her feature on Dear Alyne!
The woman behind The Wandering Wasp…
Juvena is now back in the little red dot saving up for her next trip in 2020. More importantly, she’s spending her time meaningfully by being a friend, sister, daughter, and aunt to the dearest people in her life who have stood by her endeavors. After all, she describes her mother as “the first woman leader” she knew since birth.
Juvena: She is very brave and strong to let her daughter go and explore, to pursue her big dreams even though it worries her a lot.
Juvena: I am also a storyteller as I believe with my privilege of being able to travel, I have the responsibility to share my experiences and bridge humanity across different cultures with human stories.
This is why Juvena actively shares about her travels via her Social Media platforms and events whenever she can. Like she says in Dear Alyne’s video, “We shouldn’t paint a diverse country with a single paintbrush”, and this is the message she spreads as an inspirational storyteller!
Juvena: During my first public presentation about my journey at Singapore Bike Show, I shared my anecdotes and deepest reflections about the 27 months journey and the countries I have been to, including the most misunderstood ones. Crossing so many man-made borders and boundaries, I rediscovered the similarities most people have and most importantly, humanity whenever I needed help.
“I also raised thought-provoking points that being confined in this comfortable societal construct failed to raise.”
…After the presentation, there were many questions from the audience. Many came up to talk to me saying, how their views of countries, its people and the world have changed. It inspires them to travel in order to see the world for themselves too. I believe traveling with an inquisitive and open mind helps to break down personal biases and prejudices.
“I guess if I can open one person’s mind about the world around them, it will help to make the world a more tolerant and understanding one bit by bit.”
This is why Juvena is not just an avid traveler as some may think, she’s a change-maker who aims to bridge the gap between international boundaries through her journeys and stories.
To her fellow women…
Juvena: We are all unique individuals with our own strengths and weaknesses. I don’t think we should let others or society impose limitations on any of us regardless of gender, male or female. The only limitations are the one you impose on yourself. If you never try, you will never know if you can do it.
I think the biggest failure is not in failing but in failing to try.