I say this with a lot of pride. I nod about it with locals and repeat it proudly to strangers on planes, abroad, etcetera. I say it with such assurance that it throws people off – they laugh at first at such brazen confidence, and then the laughter slowly dies off as they realise I’m dead serious. For someone who travels so frequently, Changi is synonymous with home for me, and if you’re not proud of your home, then, well, I dont know what else there is going on out there.
I dont just say it from a travellers perspective – Changi is no stranger to me when it comes to work. I tour the airport to acquaint myself with its new features every now and then courtesy of Changi Airport Group, I hosted a mini travel series for them earlier in the year, and I write traveller guides on unconventional things you can do in the airport post-checkin. And in October, I partnered with Changi Airport to take on the Changi Barepackers Challenge – where you turn up at the airport with nothing in your luggage, ready purchase everything you might possibly need to zip off to a mystery destination.
Now of course this is an exaggerated example – nobody really buys everything they need for their trips at the airport. It’d be too insane and impractical. But one of my worst fears is turning up at the airport only to realise I’ve missed out something crucial, like my toothbrush, or that I’ve forgotten one of my small comforts while travelling – like the Megrhythm eye mask I use on every flight I take. This challenge is meant to demonstrate that for any destination you have in mind, you dont have to worry too much because you can literally buy anything you’d like at the airport. Kapish?
But I’m typing too much. Follow me in live-action as I rush around the airport – our destination was Phuket.
DISCLAIMER: I honestly didn’t bring anything except my passport and my skincare. You can tell from my really freakin empty luggage. I’m still on my Erno Laszlo regime from a few posts back and I didn’t want to break off my normal routine in case my skin went bananas, so I asked Roz to help me carry my moisturiser and cleanser through. But that’s it!
So a quick summary of what I got.
Changi ishop portal, where you shop online at home and just pick it up before you fly:
inflight book: The Opposite of Loneliness (8/10 would recommend)
GOPRO HERO 4 SILVER
Megrhythm Eyemask (of course)
Biore makeup remover wipes
Charles and Keith
Everything you get at the airport, duty free or not, is GST exempt, so it’s about 7% cheaper than what you’d pay in town. I got a free toothbrush from my flight and hotel too, so I didn’t have to buy that.
After which we flew off to Phuket and proceeded to have 3 days 2 nights of eating all the thai food we could stomach. YESSS THAILAND!! (For those of you looking for the relevant BSG: Broke Student’s Guide to Budget Beach Bumming)
I also took the chance to film my first travel music video on the trip with the Gopro I bought from Changi airport – Roz gave me the idea and it was SO MUCH FUN. Granted, it’s mostly just us putting things in our mouths, but still. GOOD TIMES!
T’was a pretty insane couple of days, and the first time not hitting the beach during a beach holiday – what’s one to do? It was raining nonstop. Still, I think we did pretty good. And when we finally flew home after the short weekend getaway into the comforting embrace of Changi, I think it was agreed on all around that nowhere else in the world are you ever as glad to return to as home.
Thank you for the crazy weekend, Changi Airport. From one barepacker to the other – good times x