Here’s why you do not have imposter syndrome — Uncommon

In 2018, former US First Lady Michelle Obama made headlines for admitting that she still grappled with imposter syndrome. During the book tour of her bestselling biography “Becoming”, she confessed: “I still have a little [bit of] imposter syndrome. It doesn’t go away, that feeling you shouldn’t take me that seriously.”

Ah, sweet, cruel imposter syndrome: the nemesis of professional confidence. That dreadful feeling that you don’t quite belong, that you’re not quite good enough, that somehow yo

8 cool new hobbies you can easily learn online

In a pandemic rut? You’re not alone. Rather than whiling the hours binge-watching your favourite Netflix docuseries, why not get around to finally picking up that new hobby you’ve been putting off? Especially with travel and movement restrictions in place, embracing a new pastime is a fun and socially responsible way to let your mind discover and explore curiosities, despite being physically locked down.

From portrait photography to stargazing, we’ve curated eight new hobby ideas you can pick u

These 9 luxury hotels are offering their online spas for free

Real world travel is on pause right now, but the bright side is that it’s opened our eyes to a whole new way of experiencing the world. Luxury hotels too have embraced the digital wave, with the likes of Six Senses, Aman, Anantara and Bawah Reserve offering their highly acclaimed wellness sessions online – completely free. There’s everything from meditation podcasts and mindfulness rituals to virtual workouts and home spa rituals – even a surfing bootcamp! Until we all get to travel again, they’

Author Pico Iyer on how we can keep a sense of wonder in our day-to-day

“Sitting still is a way of falling in love with the world and everything in it,” reads a line in Pico Iyer’s book The Art of Stillness: Adventures of Going Nowhere. It’s a quote that feels especially timely today, as we come to terms with this change of pace, but it’s also one that might seem at odds for a globetrotting journalist and author whose writing has led him everywhere from the terrains of Tibet to North Korea. Much of Pico’s earlier work, after all, consisted of travel memoirs and port

How letting go of perfectionism can boost your career and personal growth — Uncommon

What perfectionist behaviours are you guilty of? Do you find yourself writing and rewriting a work email, only to find that an hour has passed and said email is still sitting in drafts? Or do you hear an inner self-critic berating you whenever you fall short of your exacting standards during an important project? If that sounds familiar, you might be a perfectionist.

By its definition, a perfectionist is someone who strives for perfection in execution and outcome. At work, that could look like

Designer Fern Chua: “I want to bring the batik into the future”

Once seen as a traditional fabric worn by the older generation, batik has seen a revival in recent years, thanks to a new wave of designers modernising the art form. One of them is KL-based Fern Chua, the self-taught batik-maker and founder of womenswear label FERN.

Known for her signature resort wear wraps and kaftans bearing contemporary prints, Fern first started dabbling in batik 10 years ago, as a way to rehabilitate her hand after a serious car accident. Falling in love with the art, she

Armchair Travel: How to explore Malaysia's most famous landmarks from home

The current CMCO means that interstate travel might be on pause for now, but you can still explore the richness that Malaysia has to offer from home. Whether that’s an online caving experience at Gunung Mulu National Park or an interactive 360-degree video tour of Langkawi Sky Bridge, here’s how you can squeeze in some (virtual) sightseeing of Malaysia’s best landmarks from your living room. To keep your spirits and your sense of wonder alive, we’ve listed out 10 different ways you can experienc

8 noteworthy museums opening around the world in 2021

Something for the Murakami fans: The Waseda International House of Literature, nicknamed the Haruki Murakami library, is a gallery dedicated to the award-winning Japanese novelist, most famous for bestselling books Norwegian Wood and 1Q84. The in-campus library in Tokyo’s Waseda University (where Murakami was an alumnus) allows visitors the chance to browse the novelist’s personal archive (which he donated to the school), as well as a collection of his translated works. The gallery is designed b

Local gems: Nine destinations in Malaysia that feel like a vacation abroad

Now more than ever, we’re learning to discover and appreciate the bounty of places on our doorstep. While places like the Maldives, New Zealand and Sri Lanka are some of the world’s most beloved destinations, Malaysia also brims with natural beauty that may fly under-the-radar but equally worth a visit.

Beach bums can head to the turquoise waters of Semporna, often said to be the “Maldives of Sabah”. Here, you’ll find idyllic islands like Sipadan, a world-famous diving spot with great beaches t

These 7 wellness trends will be big in 2021

In the wake of what has been a trying year, one of the biggest silver linings is the shift in conversation about wellness and mental health. Across the world, data has revealed that people are now devoting more time and attention to their mental and physical wellbeing, with the wellness industry projected to boom further in 2021.

Perhaps the biggest trend is how we’re now looking at various ways to introduce spiritual, emotional and environmental wellness into our homes, which have more than ev

"Just like your physical health, mental health is a key part of your well-being": In conversation with mental health advocate Sabrina Ooi

Sabrina Ooi is the co-founder of Calm Collective, a social enterprise on a mission to break the stigma around mental health in Asia. Founded in 2020, right at the onset of lockdown in Singapore, what started as a one-off summit has since grown into a vibrant community that hosts a regular series of virtual talks, webinars and events focused on mental health.

Below, we speak to Sabrina about her own mental health journey, the misconceptions she often hears about mental health, what she’s getting

Hidden gems: 7 secret, under-the-radar cities in Asia to visit next

With a whooping figure of over 300 million tourist arrivals in 2019 alone, Asia is a thriving tourism hotspot. The ever-growing traveller interest in the region isn’t surprising, given the incredibly rich tapestry of cultures, languages and landscapes within the continent. The flipside to it, however, is that finding hidden nooks and crannies still untouched by tourism can be increasingly hard to achieve.

But don’t despair – we’ve picked out seven cities and towns in Asia that are still under t

Malaysia's secret paradise: 6 of Terengganu’s postcard-perfect islands to escape to now

The beautiful and underrated islands off the state of Terengganu deliver on that postcard-perfect tropical escape you may be dreaming about: forested cliffs, pristine, white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters that are perfect for diving and, most importantly, refreshingly free of the crowds typical of other beach locales in Southeast Asia. While islands like Redang are now well-trodden vacation spots among locals, there are still plenty of hidden gems waiting to be explored. The secluded beaches

Meet Malaysia’s “Papa Bear”, Dr. Wong Siew Te who’s fighting to save the Malayan sun bear

Wildlife biologist and ecologist Wong Siew Te has the honour of being Malaysia’s “Papa Bear”, a moniker earned by his commitment to the Malayan sun bear. Sporting wire-rimmed glasses and a smile that lights up his face when he speaks about his life’s work, the Penang-born biologist is the founder of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) in Sandakan, Sabah.

The BSBCC is the world’s only sun bear sanctuary and works closely with the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) to rescue, rehabilita

Author Tan Twan Eng on his go-to lockdown reads and #traveltomorrow plans

How does one reconcile the past and present? That seems to be the heart of what Penang-born author Tan Twan Eng seeks to untangle. His two novels, The Gift of Rain and The Garden of Evening Mists, both delve into history’s often complicated truths and a nation’s wartime scars. Set in places like Penang and Cameron Highlands, they have a cinematic quality to them and bring to life familiar landscapes, like the rolling tea plantations which become the backdrop of the enigmatic Japanese garden at t

Armchair Travel: How to take a virtual day trip to Thailand from home

It’s our umpteenth week spent at home and by now, cabin fever is an all-too-familiar sensation. We’re replaying our flimsily shot smartphone vacation videos, wistfully sniffing old plane ticket stubs (just us?), and generally aching for the slightest whiff of adventure. So, to add some inspiration to your daily at-home humdrum, we’re unveiling our new Armchair Travel series, where we take you on virtual day trips to some of the world’s most well-loved destinations. This week, we’re whisking you

Common Ground's Juhn Teo shares his secrets to start-up success

The number of players has made co-working a competitive space to be in, something Common Ground’s Juhn Teo knows all too well. Juhn and business partner Erman Akinci started their business in 2017, just as co-working was gaining traction in Southeast Asia.

Since launching their flagship in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur, the pair have grown Common Ground to 28 venues across eight cities in three countries (Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines), with plans to open in Vietnam and Indonesia in the nex