Singapore youth have a different kind of resilience

A Singaporean I met while on a trip to Perth, Australia, expressed her concern about the next 50 years of Singapore in the hands of my "strawberry generation".

I said yes, we live in the golden era, but we are so much more than just easily bruised fruit.

One of the reasons I say this is seen in the way we travel.

We fly around the world, certainly more than most of our forefathers, thanks to affordable flights and ease of research and navigation using the Internet.

No doubt, we cannot do a direct comparison with people from times without these technologies. Still, we have proven to be capable and effective in tapping these latest developments to put together our own overseas experience.

It is especially heartening to see a lot of my generation opting for tight-budget and off-road travel, and to corners of the world that most of our parents have never been to, or even heard of.

That gives us plenty of opportunities to make tough decisions along the way, taking up challenges that build our confidence and resilience when we realise that we can be so much more in overcoming these obstacles.

It also reflects the adventurous and explorative spirit that we all have within us, to get out of our comfort zone, interact with different cultures, and, yes, to embrace change.

We may not have experienced the hardships during Singapore's developing years, but our generation has enormous exposure to the challenging profile of our globalised era.

We have our own way of building up our resilience and capacity to tackle these issues, and our travelling style is one of those factors that helps.

When people call us the strawberry generation, let us not feel discouraged. We should hold our heads up and assert that we are a generation of sophisticated, passionate and change-seeking globetrotters, definitely much tougher and more resilient than we are given credit for.

Ingrid Chew Xiu Qi (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2015, with the headline 'Singapore youth have a different kind of resilience'. Print Edition | Subscribe