A writer’s dream to give everybody the chance to travel
What would you do after selling your self-written book?
Would you take up your earnings and splurge like there’s no tomorrow? Or would you plan to do something extraordinary with it?
From 2001 to 2009, 36 year-old writer Wong Hui Shin visited Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Maldives, Egypt, USA, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, United Arab of Emirates, India, UK and Ireland.
Most of the travelling was done when she was still a student on a very tight budget.
Her travelling experience varies; in South Korea she witnessed heritage preservation with the Korean National Commission for UNESCO. In 2003, she train-hopped through the Land of the Rising Sun on a Japan Rail Pass.
The software engineering graduate took a chance to explore Egypt in 2004 when she was invited to present a paper in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Computer Engineering Conference (IEEE ICENCO) in Cairo.
Wong again took a train from Chennai to New Delhi for a connecting flight to London before spending what she said was her first real Valentine’s Day in Hanwell Community Observatory.
After absorbing all of these once-in-lifetime experiences, she then meticulously collected her stories and put together a book she christened ‘Sunshine Little Kitchen’.
She said that the book contained no maps or treasures, but instead a list of words of wisdom from ten short travelling stories.
“’Sunshine Little Kitchen’ is a compendium of ten travel stories around the world in 365 days within ten years on a budget, reading a lot about these travelling destinations and also, some introduction about my country, Malaysia.”
She did not read up on any literature for her writing, instead depending on her own writing skill and intuition. She did assure that her writing style would fill the reader with joy along with tiny bits of class, educational elements, exaggeration and hilarity.
Wong also said ‘Sunshine Little Kitchen’ would hold some eye-openers about social issues around the world like prostitution, pollution, environmentalism among others.
Penning down these social issues in her book gives Wong the chance to give back to the community.
“In the future, I hope to fully utilise my money earned from the book sales to open a Sunshine Little Kitchen food court which sells all those international and local food mentioned in my book.”
The food court would be a pay-what-you-want (PWYW) restaurant serving both buffet and an a la carte menu comprising Thai, Japanese, Korean, Western, Mediterranean and Malaysian food.
“After the food court, I would be happy to set up the ‘Dr. Wong Foundation’ to sponsor selected college students to travel around the world on a very minimum budget.”
She plans for each fellowship award to be worth RM13, 999.90.
“I will register the Dr. Wong Foundation officially once 30 per cent of sales from the net income from my book achieves the minimum amount of a foundation or a charity organisation set-up fund in Malaysia.”
According to Wong, the focus of the sponsored travelling is also to act as an advertising platform and interactive print distributor to a website called SoLemMi.
Wong founded SoLemMi last year as a web and mobile application where users can post their travel photos or upload videos as virtual tours for those who can’t afford to travel.
“It will also be for virtual tour operators to upload videos and virtual tours to the website and let them have more opportunities to meet valuable people all over the world.”
For her second book, she is working on a fiction called ‘Amore: The Indication of Civilisation in 22nd Century.’
It will be a love story taking place in the 22nd century where most parts of the Earth have made significant scientific and technological advancements.
The Kelana Jaya-based author hopes that her readers will spread word about what she wants to do for a better community and a better world.
“I hope that my readers will buy at least a book to support my dreams.”
According to Wong, the book is suitable for high schools and college students who wish to know more about travelling around the world.
“My current plan is to promote my book to various book stores and advertise at schools, colleges and universities.”
Her book is available at www.sunshinelittlekitchen.com.