By Kenny Chee
IT WAS a trip around the world many dream about but few accomplish.
But foreign-exchange trader Grace Cheng and her husband did it - with a twist.
"We achieved our dream of travelling the world without missing a single day of work," said the National University of Singapore marine-biology graduate, who has been trading currencies online for five years.
While travelling, she could manage her New York-based finance site, DailyMarkets.com, thanks to the Internet.
Cheng, 28, a Singaporean, and her Spanish husband, Mr Pedro Pla, 27, spent close to a year - from September last year to August this year - touring five continents and 14 countries.
They spent a "six-figure sum" while visiting Asian locales like Borneo and Thailand, and faraway countries like South Africa and Ecuador, she said.
The two, who got married two years ago after meeting through mutual friends, also visited remote places like the Galapagos Islands, where they swam alongside sea lions and saw its endangered giant tortoises.
The couple chose locations where high-speed Internet was available. To their surprise and delight, even far-flung places like Easter Island had Internet services.
They were inspired by the legendary American investor Jim Rogers, who travelled the world by car from 1999 to 2001.
They wanted to work anywhere in the world and yet lead a fulfilling life.
Thus, what began as a month-long holiday last year became a year-long affair instead.
But the trip had not been easy to plan. The two took about a month to decide where to go, make travel arrangements and ensure they could still work on their trip.
"We moved a lot of stuff to our laptops and took important work documents," she said.
Pla, an information-technology consultant, added: "We also made sure all banking could be done online."
And then they were off. They first travelled within Asia last year, and returned to Singapore after each trip to fine-tune travel arrangements.
Then in January this year, their trip became non-stop, starting from the United States and ending in Botswana.
The couple would work in the mornings and evenings, and go sightseeing in between.
Work, however, would always come first. For instance, when in Spain, they returned to the hotel in the afternoons to track the US financial markets as soon as they opened.
Despite hectic travel plans and 32 flights, the couple would gladly tour the world again.
They hope their experience can inspire others to live life to the fullest.
"The trip made us realise that there's a big world out there," said Cheng.
Go online to www.worldiki.com/blog/ to read more about the couple's travels.
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