Name: Scott Tay
Occupation: Founder of Beyond Expeditions
Tell us about yourself and how did Beyond Expeditions came about?
I am an avid adventurer who loves exploring off the beaten path, places such as Kazakhstan, Papua, Armenia, Azerbaijan, just to name a few. I love sports, love the outdoors, love battering myself everyday, love learning new things that pick my interest that is related to adventure and also spirituality. My interest in horseback riding got me going places that connect myself with the people and the country such as Mongolia and Kazakhstan.
Beyond Expeditions was founded in 2017, with our first destination in Mongolia, followed by Ladakh, India, and our third destination Kazakhstan. Beyond Expeditions started many years back when I stumble upon a hidden gem during a trip to Mongolia, wanting to connect and expose to more friends, I was mesmerised with the the beauty of Mongolia, it's a place which an individual must visit on their own to experience the present, the moment, it's about the sense of autonomy, breaking free from the hustle and bustle. Since then I was compelled to bring more adventurers to Mongolia, to experience the breathtaking views and to appreciate the natural beauty that not many are able to experience.
Through the years, it inspired me to do more than just a tour, at Beyond Expedition we organise charity treks to raise much needed funds for locals with less opportunities and those who are marginalised. These treks came about after I did a 800 KM trek across the Gobi Desert of Mongolia to raise funds the Singapore Cancer Society, ever since then it drove me further to do more, to raise more funds and awareness for cancer and other organisations such as The Down Syndrome Association of Singapore. Apart from trekking, I did a kayak trip across Mongolia largest lake to raise funds for the Down Syndrome Society. My goal is to do a total of 100 charity expeditions in this lifetime.
What is Beyond Expeditions all about?
We are all about the experience, growth, all about pushing the limits. We firmly believe that anyone and everyone out there can achieve what they want if they truly want it as bad as they wanna breathe. We believe in equality, and that anything can be achieved no matter how challenging it is and we believe on making a positive difference in everyone that come on board with us on our tours.
How can we leave no trace when outdoors? What initiative to take and how do we prepare?
Be A Responsible Traveller Treat outdoor nature with respect and practise the 7 principles of Leave No Trace:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare Research on the place to minimise damage to nature. Prepare and pack food (e.g. use reusable bottles and utensils) to create less waste on the trail or site.
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surface Walk on durable surfaces like rocks and gravel. Stay on the trail and avoid vegetation where possible. Minimise/spread out the impact if no trail is available.
- Dispose of Waste Properly Pack all trash (including edibles like vegetable scraps and fruit peels) and dispose of in designated bins. When washing outdoor, use biodegradable or organic soap. If possible, go without soap.
- Leave What You Find Leave nature intact, don’t bring anything home with you. Leave the trail as you found it so others can enjoy it too.
- Minimise Campfire Impact when using campfire, learn how to minimise your impact (e.g. small fire, use deadwood already on the ground). Check with the regulations if fire is allowed.
- Respect Wildlife give animals some space. View and admire them from a distance. Never give them your food.
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors consider the experience of other visitors. Learn and follow trail and camp etiquette e.g. keep noise low, small group, share trail.
Where in Singapore can we enjoy the outdoors?
There are many places in Singapore that we can head out to in the outdoors a couple of examples such as the Tampines Quarry, our famous Pulau Ubin, Coney Island of course. Then again, I personally believe that outdoors can be anywhere, as long as there is this element of adventure, anywhere is fun!
With the pandemic and restrictions on travelling, how does the team keep their creative mojo flowing?
Initially, we were quite surprised and overwhelmed not being able to travel, which means that our business model has to change completely. But that didn't stop us from being creative, thanks to Circuit Breaker, we had quite a fair bit of time to brainstorm on how we can continue to inspire our travellers and participants to continue getting driven doing adventure tours and treks in Singapore. Currently we are organising Marsiling Bunker Treks and also teaching basic survival skills and wood carving skills in Pulau Ubin for our participants. We are changing and polishing our treks and workshops to be better each time.
We've been collaborating and partnering with various companies and brands out there, and it seems like more and more opportunities for us. We believe that what we are doing right now resonates with our brand identity and there will be more new experiences that is related to adventure uncovering naturally for us, we are excited and looking forward to it! Because by being outdoors and meeting new people each time during our workshops and adventure treks, we get to actually redevelop a new perspective of how we can actually organise or curate or tours: some times new ideas pops in by having all this conversation with people from all walks of life, especially from expats living in Singapore whom live experiences differs from locals. Same goes with kids that we hosts, their creativity are out of the spectrum, they give new light to ideas that sometimes bring us cool ideas for future workshops or even future expeditions that can cater to the masses.
Restrictions are still in place, what's next for Beyond Expeditions?
Restrictions is fine, we've adapted to it for the past half a year, we are still very driven and motivated with what we are doing. Basically we plan to partner with brands out there that resonates with us and we are still in the midsts of brainstorming new adventure tours in Singapore and are excited to launch our 3 Days 2 Nights Survival camping experience for our participants. We have a small section which we want to organise for couples to actually test their relationship, how strong their relationships are when you put them into the unknown/unfamiliar place for example Pulau Ubin. That's where we are going to be conducting our new updated tour, Edition Number 2. It's going to be fun, they will learn how to make fire on their own, how do they actually sustain the fire to boil a pot of water, so that they can use the pot of water to cook their food or drinks that will provide some energy to sustain throughout the next morning, and also get them to set up their own shelter, we will not be providing them tents, so it is important for them to know how to make their own natural shelter to get through the night.
Don't just travel, Go BEYOND, Whatever you do go BEYOND!