TO TRAVEL IS TO LIVE

ANY TRAVEL GUIDE does one thing well: it tells us where we ought to go and see but never truly captures the real experience that pans out. That’s how Afterglobe Magazine is different from travel books. It doesn’t seek to be a laundry list of to-dos. In fact, it’s very much the opposite. 

The 160 pages of their first Pilot issue shared myriad slices of travel experiences through submitted poetry, photographs, illustrations, and prose from Singaporeans all around the globe. Wherever they find themselves in the world, contributors reveal insights into their personal desire to travel.

They urge you to go off the beaten track and get lost, connect with local hosts through the Couchsurfing community, race across the Pacific Ocean in a yacht, get unsuspectedly caught in a riot, or even observe tourists having their moments atop the Empire State Building. The annual literary and arts magazine seems to come alive with the passion for life and travel intertwined with the love for food and human connections, yet down-to-earth in its poetic and philosophical musings of life.

Afterglobe Magazine launch party at Cups N Canvas

“IT’S RATHER HUMBLING REALIZING JUST HOW SMALL AND INSIGNIFICANT WE ARE – A MERE SPECK ON THE SURFACE OF THIS VAST, PULSATING EXPANSE OF WATER.”

― Sherlyn Chen, Nº1 PILOT Contributor

“What is travel to you?” I pose to Rachel Ng, editor of Afterglobe Magazine, over beer and fish & chips. Soon, it was clear how significant travel is in her life. Just back from visiting friends in Australia and Korea, the self-professed city lover boasts diverse travel experiences ranging from going on Overseas Community Involvement Programs to an impressive Silicon Valley internship.

With a half-cocked brow, Rachel was quick to point out that the realization of the magazine was not a eureka moment. She begins by sharing that editor-in-chief Andrea Lim and her first met on an OCIP trip. With a shared love and thirst for travel, they kept in touch. When Andrea came back to Singapore with a stirring idea for Afterglobe, both her and Rachel decided to go for it after seeking Math Paper Press and BooksActually co-owner Kenny Leck for his opinion. Kenny, she says, was a valuable mentor in making Afterglobe Magazine a reality.

The Afterglobe Magazine team

The Sociology and Economics graduate from NUS tells me they were inspired by how well-received Kinfolk Magazine and Cereal Magazine were in Singapore, even to people outside of design fields. With that in mind, they felt that Singapore was lacking a magazine that primarily focuses on the Singaporean experience of travel. 

Just like any launch, the team was initially met with apprehension that the magazine would not sell well. To their surprise, they were greeted with plenty of support from the local community, and even received bulk orders from individuals and shops overseas. 

“THERE WERE NO GUARDS AROUND; NOBODY YELLED AT ME TO GO GET LOST. SO I DID.

AND THIS, I THINK SHOULD BE THE FIRST AXIOM OF TRAVEL: TO EXPLORE WITHOUT COMPUNCTION OR DIRECTION, MAPPING THE UNKNOWN MOMENT WITH EXPERIENCE AND NOT FROM A PRE-DIGESTED GLIMPSE OF GOOGLE STREETVIEW.”

― Marc Nair, Nº1 PILOT Contributor

Although independent in nature, Afterglobe Magazine isn’t creating a niche for themselves. In fact, they hope that the magazine is able to reach out to people, and has something for everyone. Given that the team of seven all have their own jobs, and are not working on Afterglobe Magazine full-time, their dedication is most admirable. 

At present, they are almost done with their second issue, which surrounds itself with the theme of seasons. It is projected to be out in January 2015.

Not your typical run-of-the-mill travel guidebook, Afterglobe Magazine is a cherished travel guide—the sort you put together for your loved ones—that reminds us of why we Singaporeans travel. 

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