My first week into the “Best Life” expedition has taught me a valuable lesson in happiness: be hospitable to others. I’ve had an incredible time exploring Singapore and discovered the locals get genuine pleasure from taking care of others. No personal benefit or payback required.

Let’s chat about Tony, for instance. This generous gem of a man is the Founding Manager of Betel Box Backpackers and Tours. Not only has he offered Ben and me a home in Singapore, he’s also given us the gifts of his precious time and knowledge.


Tony’s an active, entrepreneurial spirit, somehow managing to run Betel Box with intense passion and momentum whilst working on side projects and lending his hand to charity on the side. Yet, he’s still made time for us.

On a daily basis, we’ve caught up to enjoy some of Tony’s local wisdom. His mind has provided a never-ending stream of information for our eager sponge-brains. Live, interactive demonstrations have become a regular highlight during our lessons. We recently enquired about Frog Porridge. Tony’s response turned into an epic, button-splitting feast along with a nightlong tour of Singapore. We didn’t hand over a single dollar. Tony wouldn’t stand for it.


Spending time in this special city-state has made me realise a few things. Firstly, I need to learn, read and retain more information about…well, anything! I feel pretty useless at the moment and, one day, I’d love to be that person people go to for stories and insights. Secondly, I need to be more generous with the things I can share. “I’m too busy” is a lame excuse. Thirdly, I need to stop thinking like an only child and starting acting like a child of the planet – one who contributes to the global community.

Easier said than done. But, I want to try.

Thought for the day: What do I have to offer others? What can I do to help someone on a daily basis?

Here are some of the pics I’ve taken of Betel Box Backpackers. I can’t recommend this “home away from home” enough. It’s worth staying at, just to meet Tony.

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