Khoo Swee Chiow on the So This Is My Why podcast with Ling Yah on becoming Singapore's professional adventurer, scaling Mount Everest three times, K2, breaking two Guinness World Records etc.

Ep 143: Becoming Singapore’s 1st Professional Adventurer – You Never too Old to Take Risks! | Khoo Swee Chiow

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Welcome to Episode 143!

Our guest for STIMY Episode 143 is Khoo Swee Chiow.

But first, here’s a question for you: Would you die for your passion?

Most wouldn’t but for 58-year-old Swee Chiow, Singapore’s first professional adventurer, it’s a question he must face every day.

And it all began when he caught a glimpse of Mount Everest from a plane.

He was working in IT (Singapore Airlines) then, but he decided from that one glimpse that he wanted to climb Mount Everest – a dream that took him a mere 10 years to achieve!

The journey was hard.

He knew nothing. So he read many books & even went on a 10-day mountaineering course at Mt Cook that he flunked because he wasn’t fit enough!

In 1998, he joined Singapore’s first Mount Everest expedition. It was a disaster at first because:

❌ Their tent collapsed during a freak storm

❌ Their first attempt at the South Pole failed as they didn’t have enough rope – the Singapore media hounded them & issued headlines declaring that the expedition had failed

But they didn’t give up.

Their second attempt was a success!

But an exhausting one. 

In the midst of the media glory, Swee Chiow knew he had to take advantage of it so he immediately launched Singapore’s first Antarctic expedition.

Since then, he has:

  • Climbed Everest x3 and K2
  • 8,000km cycle from SG → Beijing (China) = 2003
  • Swam 40 km across Malacca Straits
  • Kayaked 3,000km across Philippines
  • Broke his first Guinness World Records for the longest scuba submergence (220 hours)
  • Rollerbladed 6,000km from Hanoi SG in 94 days (and broke the Guinness World Records in 2008)

Want to learn how and why Swee Chiow does what he does? You’ll just have to listen to this STIMY episode!

P/S: And don’t forget leave a rating & review!


Also a special shoutout to Karl Mak (STIMY Ep 55) & his team at Hepmil. 

They’re the ones who made this subseries possible and helped me record all my interviews in their studio.

I definitely couldn’t do it without them – thank you Hepmil!

P/S: Let me know if you’re interested in doing a studio recording in Singapore! There’s plenty of space at Hepmil’s Limpeh studios. 😉

P/S: This episode is available on YouTube too!


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    Khoo Swee Chiow on the So This Is My Why podcast with Ling Yah on becoming Singapore's professional adventurer, scaling Mount Everest three times, K2, breaking two Guinness World Records etc.


    • 3:34 Why Why Why?!
    • 4:12 Fear of heights
    • 5:00 Computer science in Kansas
    • 6:11 Saw Mount Everest from a plane
    • 6:51 Not giving up after 10 years
    • 7:24 The mountain is magical & spiritual?!
    • 9:06 Lessons learned
    • 10:27 Altitude sickness / AMS
    • 12:04 Pulling Singapore’s first Everest expedition together
    • 13:25 You can’t fail!
    • 14:19 What should people know about Everest?
    • 16:45 Quitting his day job
    • 17:45 Antarctica
    • 19:38 Commercialising his adventure business
    • 20:32 Swee Chiow’s value proposition?
    • 22:02 How he builds trust with his clients
    • 24:11 Risks & death
    • 25:11 Any trick to staying calm?
    • 25:24 Drifting to Taiwan & near certain death
    • 27:37 Never let your ego take over
    • 29:28 Dealing with the media
    • 30:55 Never doing K2 again
    • 32:19 The ghosts at Tibet’s Xishapengma
    • 36:12 Adventurers hogging the limelight
    • 37:04 Collaborating with AirAsia X
    • 40:16 How Swee Chiow decides on his adventures
    • 41:43 Advice for those in their 30s
    • 45:28 What’s next?
    • 46:26 The second act of his career?
    • 47:36 Leadership principles to be an effective guide for his team
    • 49:15 What drives you to push yourself to the extreme each time?
    • 50:23 Do you feel like you’ve found your why?
    • 51:06 What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
    • 51:27 What are the most important qualities of a successful person?

    If you’re looking for more inspirational stories, check out:

    • Justin Byam Shaw: Co-Owner of the Evening Standard & the Independent – on building the UK’s largest media empire
    • Lucas Lu: Head of Zoom Asia – on his secret to climbing the corporate ladder to the top of the tech world in Asia!
    • Loh Lik Peng: Founder & CEO, Unlisted Collection – on how a lawyer transformed himself into one of Singapore’s top hoteliers with 40 properties under him (including 9 Michelin starred restaurants!)
    • Fong Wai Kheng: On life as the 4th generation owner of Tong Heng – Singapore’s best, 100-year-old confectionary town with its famous diamond-shaped egg tarts
    • Adrian Tan: The Late President of the Singapore Law Society & King of Singapore

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    If you’d like to support STIMY as a patron, you can visit STIMY’s Patreon page here

    External Links

    Some of the things we talked about in this STIMY Episode can be found below:

    • Khoo Swee Chiow: LinkedIn, Instagram
    • Subscribe to the STIMY Podcast for alerts on future episodes at Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher & RadioPublic  
    • Leave a review on what you thought of this episode HERE or the comment section of this post below
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    Khoo Swee Chiow on the So This Is My Why podcast with Ling Yah on becoming Singapore's professional adventurer, scaling Mount Everest three times, K2, breaking two Guinness World Records etc.

    STIMY 143: Khoo Swee Chiow - You HAVE To Take Risks!


    Khoo Swee Chiow: My motto is dare to dream.

    Dare is the big word. You have to take risks. You do all you can to prepare, to train. You cover all your ground. There will come a time you have to execute.

    And I have failed many times. People know. It's in the newspaper and all that. But it's part of the learning journey. There's nothing to hide. You know that transparency. Being genuine.

    And that's how you garner trust, right? If you're not genuine people will not trust. When sponsors see this is Mr. Khoo, he's gonna do what he says and if he doesn't succeed he'll come back alive and try again.

    That, to me, is very precious, that commercial trust.

    Ling Yah: Hey, STIMIES!

    Welcome to episode 143 of the So This My Why podcast. I'm your host and producer, Ling Yah, and today's guest is Khoo Swee Chiou. If you're from Singapore or around the region, you might know his name, especially if you love adventure because he is a Singapore's first professional adventurer.

    He started out in IT, and one day he was in a plane, he looked down and he saw Everest, and he thought, I want to climb it.

    And so he did.

    He trained for 10 years, and in 1998, he was part of Singapore's first successful expedition up to the summit of Everest. At the end of it, obviously there was a lot of interest from the media, and he thought, oh, I need to ride on it.

    So he arranged another trip in the following year, He went to Antarctica and from there he thought maybe I should give this a go.

    Since that first expedition he's done Everest three times Another time in 2006, 2011.

    He's also skied from South to North Pole He cycled from Singapore to Beijing in 2003, which is 8, 000 kilometers He swam 40 kilometers across the Malacca Straits Kayaks across the Philippines, which is 3, 000 kilometers, rollerbladed 6, 000 kilometers from Hanoi to Singapore, has broken two Guinness World Records, including being underwater for 220 hours, climbed K2, which is honestly a lot more dangerous, and harder than Everest in 2012, and completed his 200th peak in 2019.

    And guess what?

    He's now age 58 and still going strong.

    So... If you are curious as to why someone like this made such a huge pivot, how does one make a career out of it? How do you deal with things like death? Because he has had many friends who were very, very good mountaineers who died as well. How do you combat things like the fact that hikers, adventurers are very selfish?

    All you want to go is for self glorification, but consider the geopolitics of those regions. And those are for people who want to do exactly what he's done. What's his advice for all of them?

    If you're interested, just stay tuned because we're going to dive deep.

    And before we get into this episode, just to let you know, there is a YouTube version of this episode.

    So if you want to see this studio in all its glory, just head over to YouTube and look for So This Is My Why And if you're in Singapore and also want a studio, just look out for Limpeh Studios. The website is It's also in the show notes so you can find out more as well.

    So, are you ready?

    Let's go.

    You were born in Port Dickson

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah.

    Ling Yah: And you have a sister who got really frustrated with you because you always asked why, why, why ? What were you like as a kid?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, I'm a kampung boy. You know, PD boy, and I have five elder brothers.

    So by the time I grew up, there's a big age gap, they've all gone, work and all that. So I'm pretty much alone.

    Playing just with one or two friends. I'm always curious since young, asking lots of questions and you know, my sister got so fed up with me. I guess that turned into the drive to climb mountain later on.

    Ling Yah: But when you were young, you hiked Gunung Ledai? Or never again. You have a fear of high.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yes. Yes. That was fast forward to high school, after, I believe Form three. A bunch of us went to Gunung Ledang . Yeah. Yeah. I remember I was so scared. That was my first big adventure.

    It was quite steep and at that time there was no ladders, very few, so you were really climbing that mountain as it is. Very steep and we spent a night up there and after coming home, I promise to myself, I will never climb a mountain again.

    Ling Yah: I mean, To be fair, I've climbed some of these mountains in Malaysia. They're not safe.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Ah, yeah. Things can happen.

    Ling Yah: Things can really happen. You just need to fall to the side a little bit and that's it. Yeah.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: But that trip was quite interesting . But after that I didn't climb for many years. Yeah.

    Ling Yah: And then you end up doing computer science.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yes. Yeah. That's also interesting because I didn't know what I wanted to do in life.

    I picked computer science because people say, Hey, you know, it's a good future, blah, blah, blah. So I said, why not? And so I ended up doing computer science.

    Ling Yah: You went to Kansas.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, that was after I graduated. I was what do you call, working in Abacus. Yeah, Abacus is a consortium of a travel agency, kind of reservation system.

    Set up by MAS, Singapore Airlines and so forth. So yeah, they sent me to Kansas City of all places. It's a very flat place.

    No mountains. But that was the beginning of my journey because I went to the Rockies and I love it. Then I started trekking.

    I was so crazy. I remember I would Friday night, drive like 600 miles to Colorado, sleep for a while, and then climb one or two mountains, and then Sunday night drive back, and Monday go back to work, it's like wow. All by myself.

    Ling Yah: Good to be young.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, but that was the beginning of my so called mountain journey.

    Ling Yah: And then you saw Everest from a plane.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, and then I got a job in Singapore. I went to Nepal for the first time, and again, I was not a climber. Just went with friends.

    We wanted to go to Everest Base Camp. We didn't go. The weather was so bad. Oh, that's unfortunate. We couldn't go so we ended up in Poon Hill.

    And then on the way back, I saw Everest on the plane. I still remember that black pyramid. And that etched in my mind it's like, wow, you know, that piece of rock.

    Ling Yah: I want to get to it.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, the highest on the earth and I came home very excited .Very scared as well, not knowing how to do it.

    So I started reading a lot of books and then I went to New Zealand to do my so called basic mountaineering course.

    Ling Yah: But it didn't turn out well, so you didn't give up?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, it was too tough for me at the time. I wasn't good in technical stuff and so forth. The instructor was very strict.

    Ling Yah: So what kept you going if it was already so tough?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: So what happened was I kind of stopped for a while. Yeah. I came back and then I thought maybe Everest wasn't for me. Yeah.

    But I didn't give up and I went to climb Kilimanjaro. Okay. And I got to the top and then that dream was like alive again.

    So from then on, I started pursuing it very actively.

    Ling Yah: I think that's the thing, right, if people haven't gone to the mountains, they don't understand there is something about it that's magical. And you come back, you're almost on a high.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, what can I say? Mountain is magical, it's spiritual, it's a very personal kind of feeling and encounter.

    Ling Yah: Can you elaborate a bit more about the spiritual? For those who haven't been on the mountain, they'll be like, you're crazy, man.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah I used to spend a lot of time in the church. There was even one point in time I thought God called me to be a pastor. Then I started going to the mountain and I saw something very differently.

    And you can say I found God in the mountain.

    Ling Yah: How so?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: That connection, that clarity. Tha t quietness, you know that peace.

    Ling Yah: Is it because every day it's really just you in the mountains?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: It's just me in the mountains. It's like, there's a communion going on.

    Yeah. And you could appreciate the beauty, you could appreciate that mountain was talking to me and, and since then I know, yeah. I found my calling.

    I found my second home. Yeah. Then I stopped going to church.

    Ling Yah: But 10 years to prepare for that trip. That's a long time to keep it alive.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: It's a long time.

    And I believe it was necessary.

    People say you need 10 years to be a master of something. And I believe that 10 years gave me a very good foundation. And it also gave me a very sound risk. assessment. To put it in a nutshell, it's better to be alive.

    Yeah. So knowing when to turn back is, is so crucial.

    Ling Yah: You learned that during those time?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: I learned that a lot.

    Ling Yah: How so?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: I got lost many times in the mountains, you know sometimes with friends, sometimes alone.

    Ling Yah: Oh, that's scary.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: And those experiences taught me to to be very careful. To plan it even more properly and to know when to turn back.

    Yeah, so I have a list of mountains which I climbed, which I attempted, which I haven't got to the top. Yeah. Yeah. And it's okay. You know, every trip is a learning point.

    Ling Yah: Was it tough for you to get to that point where you say, it's okay to not let my ego take the forefront?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: It took a while.

    When I first started, it was like I have to get to the top, you know. I spent so much money, so much time and all that. I want to get to the top. And there were times like that when I started.

    But then slowly you learn. The mountain kind of speaks to you and you learn to appreciate every step of the way.

    Yeah. Yeah, and that is a lot more than the summit.

    Ling Yah: What were some of the big hikes you did in those 10 years leading up to Everest?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Well, Kilimanjaro was a big one. Yeah. And then I went to Nepal again a few times. Okay. Before the Everest team came on.

    There was one trip, again, I was so ambitious I paid permit for like two or three peaks. And I climbed none of it. Yeah, I got so sick.

    Ling Yah: AMS.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: A very humbling experience. And in those early years, I wasn't sure what to do. You know, no knowledge of AMS. Don't know what is HAPE. I don't know what is HACE. You know, vomit all over, headache.

    Ling Yah: How did it affect you?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: It was Learning, yeah, it's just learning. It wasn't pleasant at the time but as I read up more, as I get to know my body more that helps.

    Ling Yah: So what's the trick to get better with AMS?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Go slow. Very simple. Don't rush it. And that is so true in our maddening pace, our modern society pace.

    Most of us don't have enough time, don't have enough leave, but we still want to get to that point.

    So these days, , having done guiding for so many years, I tell people, if you don't have time, do a smaller mountain.

    Never, never, take the shortcut, because that can cost your life.

    Ling Yah: I remember when I was doing Everest Base Camp, there was this person who's a local from Dingboche, and I bumped into him as I was hiking from Namche. And I was like, Hang on, where are you coming from?

    He has this large gunny sack on him. He said, I make this trip every single week. This is my week's supply for my family. Wow. I'm hiking from Namche to Dingboche this afternoon.

    And I went, Dingboche is two days away from us. Yeah, right. But for him, he was taking it very slow, very steady. That's the thing I notice about every local there.

    They grew up on the mountains, but it's slow and steady. No matter what, you don't run.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: That is the mountain peace. Yeah. Yeah.

    Ling Yah: That's the most incredible thing.

    And then one of the things you mentioned, obviously, cost is a huge factor. I learned as you were preparing this Singapore trip to Everest as well, you got the support of the late Ong Teng Cheong.

    I wonder how that came to be.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, we owe our president, Ong Teng You know, a big one. He was the one that believed in us. You know, and believed in our cause trying to climb Mount Everest, you know, as the first Singapore team.

    He gave us a lot of support. He Gave us an endorsement letter, which is very important.

    At the time I was in Singapore Airlines So with that letter, he opened doors Yeah, not just sponsorship, but in terms of support from, my immediate boss, for example.

    From my department, my colleagues. I have to kind of, you know, buy in everybody. Yeah, and then we met him personally as well, Ong Teng Chong.

    He hosted us in the Istana and talked to us. At the time he was the president's charity. Yeah, and he raised a lot of money for us as well.

    Ling Yah: Oh wow. Yeah. What was the thing that you think allowed him to say, yes, I'll support you? Because it's not like you had done huge, huge peaks before.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Well, he, I guess, believed in. the courage to try. Yeah, you know, there has to be the first, team, right, to do it.

    Ling Yah: You were told when you went, you can't fail.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Ah, yes. I remember at the farewell at Inistana, he, said to us very sternly, get it right the first time. , he was like, wow. What kind of pressure? . And as you know, we got it wrong. Yeah. . Yeah. And we didn't, we didn't submit the first attempt, due to many reasons. Yep. But we didn't give up. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We didn't. Within one week later we, we got it.

    Ling Yah: But by then you must have been exhausted.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah. Yeah. The second attempt There was not that joy anymore. It was, somebody had to do it for the country. Yeah.

    Ling Yah: And two of you did.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah. Yeah. Climbing Everest once is tiring, you know, because we got up to the South Summit, which is very high.

    And then you climb it again one week later. It's like, wow, you know, you hardly recovered. Yeah. Yeah, we were hard pressed. But we got it done.

    Ling Yah: What is something you wish people knew about climbing Everest?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Okay, so these days it's so different, the scenario. I'm sure you've read a lot about the news.

    So commercialized. Yeah, so commercialized, so crowded. Yes.

    When we climbed it first time in 98 the crowd was there, but it's very different. Not so many people. There was traffic jam, but it's not so bad. Okay. Yeah. And we know most of the people, most of the teams in the base camp.

    You know, we make friends with the Iranians the British Americans. So it's like a little family. Now, the base camp is like a huge city.

    It'll take you one hour to walk from one end to another. Wow. Yeah. It's that big. That is huge. So, there's no longer that, that community feeling.

    And yeah, it's just too crowded and then you have so many issues coming up,

    Ling Yah: Do you think that's a shame? Because on one hand, it's great people love this so much more. And the other is that original feeling is gone.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, yeah, I think people of my generation who climb Everest will always regret. It's turned out to be this way.

    Ling Yah: Just for those who have never done it or research into it, you do spend a long time in that base camp.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, a long time. Reason is the logistics, you know, the Sherpas need to set up Camp 1, Camp 2, Camp 3, Camp 4.

    The route has to be open, to the summit and so forth. So you are waiting for all that to happen.

    And then you yourself have to go up to Camp 2, maybe Camp 3, at least once.

    Ling Yah: And then acclimatize, come back down, go up again.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah. Yeah. But all in all, there are very few climbing days if you look at the whole, like, six weeks. Most of the time you're waiting.

    That's Everest. Yeah. That is with all the 8, 000 meter peaks, actually.

    Yeah. Yeah.

    Ling Yah: Was Everest all you dreamt it would be?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: First time? Yeah, yeah, first time, yeah. It's more than what I expected.

    Ling Yah: How so?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: I mean, because of the first failed attempt, and then the second time was hard. But, I remember standing on the summit, looking at the horizon,. That view, you will never, never forget.

    On the horizon you could see Makalu, you could see Kanjengjunga. And then you turn around, you could see Chou Yu and Xie Xiaopeng, it's like, wow.

    Ling Yah: I want to conquer you.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, no, it's like, man, you know, you're in heaven.

    Ling Yah: Yeah, oh my goodness. And then you came back.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: When I came back from the first trip, it's like I saw a new horizon. Literally and symbolically.

    And I knew I want to do this for the rest of my life. I did not know how or what kind of form it would take, but I know I want to dedicate my time, wholeheartedly.

    Of course the idea of quitting my job came. But I needed some time to test it out.

    And that is why after Everest, I did the South Pole quickly because I knew... In one year? Yeah, it was...

    Ling Yah: Yeah, and it's a totally different skill set.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, different skills. And I love it because I have to unlearn and learn new skills. But what happened is year 2000, I took one year no pay leave to kind of test it out. And I finished my seven summits and I was lucky to find sponsors, to do all that. Yeah.

    At the end of that year, that was when. things confirmed to me that, yeah, I'm gonna do this.

    Ling Yah: But just before that, right, going back to Antarctica, because I think that's so interesting.

    You said before, every day look exactly the same.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, that trip was another, epic adventure.

    I knew the media high will not last forever. I knew now's the time to do it, even though it's another big one. Yeah. Right. But if you don't do it now, you won't get the chance.

    So I quickly organized the team. At the time it was Goh Chok Tong, our, our, Prime Minister lend us support.

    He did. Yeah, and he did, which was very nice to quickly launch the Antarctica expedition.

    We only took one year to train. And that was like a leapfrog learning because I took 10 years to learn how to climb Everrest.

    So we went to Greenland, we went to New Zealand to learn from, the best basically.

    Yeah. So there's a lot to talk about in that learning process. But I just want to say that you need to take risks to achieve something that you think you cannot achieve.

    Ling Yah: It wasn't so much the mountain statue, it's more the pushing yourself to the very edge physically.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah. That excites me. And that was pushing myself in all in all ways. You know, the skill set, the leadership the sponsorship. Everything. Everything was, was new to me.

    Ling Yah: How did you figure out after two years, I'm ready to take it full time?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: I love it. You know, Antarctica opened up, another set of horizon for me.

    It's like being out in the middle of nowhere. Again, it's that nature connection. It's like, this is my home. I'd rather be out there than in the concrete city. That feeling, you know? Yeah. Yeah.

    So, it's a very strong connection, I would say. A very personal connection. It's like. God talking to me out there.

    Ling Yah: But there's also the reality, right? If you want to do it full time, you must make it into a business of some sort. Like, even Everest must be at least $100, 000. Just to do it, let alone sustain yourself.

    How do you figure out the commercial part ?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Sponsorship. Yeah, of course personally, I couldn't afford it.

    And so I knew sponsorship is the way to go. And from Everest, we, we had a good learning. Yeah. Yeah. Good experience.

    We learned how to pitch, to potential sponsors. We know how to approach them. How to set up a unique angle. Yeah. It's basically a marketing pitch. Yeah. Right.

    What is the product? What is this so unique? Yeah. And why would sponsor part million money to you? You know? I'm not a marketeer. ,

    I'm a mountain climber, you know? Yeah. So I had to learn all that, but, but I embrace it all. Yeah. And I knew, the route A to B is not straight line.

    That's how you learn.

    Ling Yah: So what was your pitch? What's your value proposition then?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: I think the Everest one was easy, being the first, you know Singapore team. And then Antarctica is also very obvious. The first Singapore team to the South Pole and so forth.

    The 7th Summit was a bigger one. The first Southeast Asian team. Because no one has done it, not just Singaporeans. And I found, luckily, AXN at that time. Yeah.

    Very timely, they came to Asia and they needed a story. So sponsorship is not just a donation. People think it's just asking for donation.

    It's far from it. It's a business proposition. Contracts are involved. You have to sign on the dotted line. It's work, basically, and I have to learn how to, you know, sell myself and then I have to deliver the product.

    Ling Yah: But you can't deliver promises of success, though.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Ah, I've also learned that the trust between me and the sponsor is so important. Yeah. So, there's always a clause in our contract that says Mr. Khoo can never promise success. Yeah. Yeah. And sponsors understand because it's a high risk venture.

    Right? So the trust sponsors have with me is that I will do my best. But, you know, beyond that if it's too risky, then I have to pull back. .

    It's like business. You have to trust somebody.

    Yeah. And that people don't quite understand, I think. Yeah. People think once you sign on the dotted line is done deal.

    Ling Yah: How do you build trust then?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Basically you meet with your sponsors.

    And then you tell your story and you lay out your plan., What you want to do. What's your training plan? And more importantly, what's your emergency plan if something goes wrong.

    So you assure your sponsors that you're not going to go out there and die. You know what I mean?

    Yeah, that's very important. So through that process, you build a trust. And looking back, it is really, human connection.

    Ling Yah: Is it at the back of your head the fact that, yes, you have already told them, I will not promise success, but if I fail this time, all the other sponsors and potential sponsors will know, and if I do it over and over again?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, that is that risk. But there's no other way around it, right? Again, That's why my motto is dare to dream.

    Dare is the big word. You have to take risks. You do all you can to prepare, to train. You cover all your ground. There will come a time you have to execute.

    And I have failed many times. People know. It's in the newspaper and all that. But it's part of the learning journey. There's nothing to hide. You know that transparency. Being genuine.

    And that's how you garner trust, right? If you're not genuine people will not trust. When sponsors see this is Mr. Khoo, he's gonna do what he says and if he doesn't succeed he'll come back alive and try again.

    That, to me, is very precious, that commercial trust.

    Ling Yah: But that emergency contingency plan, sometimes you just can't have it. Like, for instance, up there, I remember we just did base camp, and some of our friends really were suffering. It was really, really, really bad. They were physically... convulsing as well. And we were told it's dark.

    I mean, you can't get out of here. You just have to hope you survive through the next day. And the helicopter hopefully can come if the weather is clear.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: There is risk. But there are ways to minimize the risk and then the rest you just pray. Yeah. You know what I mean?

    I find that process exciting.

    Ling Yah: Yeah, we can't talk about your particular kind of risk without talking about death. That's the first thing that will come to people's minds as well.

    When was the first time you confronted that? And then did it make you rethink about what you were doing?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: My first time, it was the training for the South Pole.

    Greenland, there was a storm and we were stuck for like, I think eight days or five days. And we were stuck in a snow cave and, and, and the walls of the snow cave was coming in slowly. We were like being buried alive, that feeling. And we ran out of oxygen. Our stove couldn't start. That was scary. That was scary.

    Looking back, the way we survived that was we didn't panic. We, we kind of held our ground. We, we prayed and then we waited. Yeah, we did all we could. Inside the cave and then the storm stopped, and we came out alive.

    Ling Yah: That's something you talk about a lot, staying calm or you die.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yep, there's no choice, if you panic you die.

    Ling Yah: Is there a trick to staying calm?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: No, no trick, there's no trick. You can't teach this.

    You just gotta go and experience it and hopefully you come back alive. And you learn it and you become stronger and you become better.

    Ling Yah: But the thing is, it didn't stop you from continuing. is that?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: I love what I do. Yeah.

    I feel alive when I'm out there.

    Yeah. And so I don't stop. I keep going. And and these days I spend a lot of time bringing people. That's another story altogether. You know, being responsible and all that.

    But that still give me the chance to go out there and being in the mountains.

    Ling Yah: What's that feeling like when you found yourself drifting to Taiwan?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Oh, that is another scary one. Yeah.

    That was the last day of the Philippine kayaking traverse. We were traversing from the southern tip to the northern tip of the Philippines, 3, 000 km, and it was day 87, I remember.

    We were in a hurry to finish, and the media team was waiting at the finish line, but we knew it was, it was quite a windy day.

    So me and my partner discussed and said, okay, let's give it a try. And on hindsight, that's a mistake, we should have waited. Anyway, as soon as we got out of the lagoon, we faced the full force of the wind.

    And then very soon I capsized and my friend also capsized. Strangely, he, he drifted inland and I drifted out into the open sea and I didn't realize until I look at my GPS. It's like, gee, I'm going to Taiwan

    I panic. I have my cell phone I call my support team it was quite Scary to hear what they say.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: I said, please come and help me, you know, get me. i'm in trouble And then I think a few minutes later they replied nobody is coming Yeah that message, got me, you know, it's like, wow, I'm all by myself.

    Somehow I stayed calm. My whole kayak was submerged already. I couldn't bail water and I was just holding on and looking at my GPS, it was quite a fast, current.

    I was at the end of my wits. And I'm thinking, what's next? And lo and behold, fishermen boat came.

    I waved frantically, you know, Please help me, and they, rescued me.

    Looking back, I believe in angels. Yeah, I believe somebody up there have been looking after me. You know, again and again.

    Ling Yah: A lesson is to never rush. Or let your

    ego take over.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: I learn my lessons, yeah. But again, it's that spiritual experience. That somebody carry you back safely. Very strong feeling.

    Ling Yah: Is there a particular part of nature that you feel most connected with? Whether it's the mountains, ice, water?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: No, it's just the full force of mother nature. you know,

    Ling Yah: When you decide to quit, you also have family as well. Yeah. How did that conversation go?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: At that time when I quit my job we didn't have children yet and my wife was very supportive. She's a climber also. Kayaking.

    So she understood my motivation and My feeling at that time wanting to venture out.

    So yeah, she said just go. Go and do it.

    Ling Yah: I'm sure you were planning as well. So it wasn't as though I'm gonna quit to do this. It's a quit but I have these things in play.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah at that time I was already starting to do motivational talks Yeah, and corporates were engaging me.

    Yeah, so that was one stream of revenue. So, yeah, it was one step at a time And then, the sponsorship to continue the expeditions.

    Ling Yah: And then also training other people as well.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Oh, the guiding came much later. Yeah. The guiding and the commercial trips.

    Ling Yah: Hey, STIMIES!

    If you haven't done so already, please do head over to give a rating and review for this podcast, because without it, Apple Podcast, Spotify, would never push it forward to let anyone else see. So just head on over, share with people, so that people will know about this special series, especially the ones that we are showcasing right now on Singaporeans who have achieved incredible success.

    So the more of these big achievements you make, the more, valuable your brand became.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah. I call it work. Yeah. You know, my work is sponsorship. So I have to deal with media and PR, branding products and all that.

    Ling Yah: What's the trickiest part of dealing with media because that can be a double edged sword?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Actually I'm an introvert, you know.

    Given the choice, I would be rather in the mountain. Yeah. But this is work. So I learn to talk. Yeah. I learn to do PR and all that. Yeah.

    Ling Yah: You forced yourself like how to do it?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah. Yeah.

    It, it's not easy at first. I mean, being an introvert, doing a motivational talk is scary.

    Right. . Yeah. Yeah. I knew this is, part of that process to, you know, achieve my dreams to climb big mountains.

    This is another message that I always tell people, you know, you have to adapt.

    Mm-hmm. One door close, another door open.

    Ling Yah: Did you have a hit list of everything you wanted to do, which clearly wasn't just mountains. . ,

    Khoo Swee Chiow: My list is very long. Oh, I'm sure you never finish a news lifetime.

    I would love to cross the Sahara Desert.

    Ling Yah: How did you figure out what to do in each year though? Like, the following year you were doing the Tibet Shisha Peng Ma, without oxygen.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah sometimes I have a dream and then I will pitch it to the sponsors. Sometimes it's the other way around. The sponsors have an idea.

    Yeah, and then so you walk around. It's the same with my guiding trip. Sometimes I want to go to a new place. So I open it and then people join.

    But sometimes there's a group of people who say, I want to go to this place. Can you bring me there? Yeah, it works both ways.

    Ling Yah: You've done everest three times.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: I think enough.

    Enough already. Yeah.

    Ling Yah: But K2 you will never do again.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: No. K2 is, is, is very risky. Yeah. And I'm just very concerned now because K2. as you know, it's become like Everest. So this year hundreds of people submitted.

    You know having hundred people submitted does not make it less risky Because there are certain section like the Poh Phangan and the traverse , you are just counting on your luck because if the huge charrette comes down , Hundreds of people are going to die There's no way to run.

    So I just hope that day will not come. You know, because in the past, K2 is just very few people. If something happened, very few casualties.

    But now you have hundreds of people in one line like Everest, but it is a lot deadlier than Everest. is amazing mountain, so I'm very lucky to...

    You know, that was my first time to Pakistan, first attempt, and I got to the top. Thank God.

    So, thank you God. I'm not going back there again, yeah.

    Ling Yah: People don't realize that it's a lot more technically difficult. Yeah. Compared to Everest as well.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, it's a lot more objective danger, rockfall, you know, the chureks, and just steep. It's no place to rest. It's almost like a pyramid.

    Very majestic. Very awesome.

    Ling Yah: What about Tibet's shishaping? How was that?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: You're not going to let me go on that, huh?

    Ling Yah: No. No.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah. That recent accident. Yes. The four people that died make me realize that again, I was very, very lucky on Xishapengma when I climbed it in year 2001.

    I was younger and I did it without oxygen. So that was a bit like, you know, a challenge.

    And we actually climbed without Sherpas. Wow. Yeah, and luckily we had another team that had Sherpas. So we kind of you know, used what they set up.

    Quite radical. And we climbed the British route so it's quite steep.

    Ling Yah: But why though? Is it because you wanted to challenge?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah.

    Ling Yah: Deliberate choice.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, you know, Can I do it? Yeah. So anyway, we went. Just me and my American friend.

    There were like six of us to start with. But in the end, on the summit push, it was just me and Chris. You know, me and my friend.

    Many parts of that route has no fixed road.

    We're climbing alpine style. Almost like free solo, on that steep route. We got to the top, very late. It's like 3 p. m.

    3 p. m. is way past the safety zone. You should have turned back like maybe 10 a. m. But we kept going,

    And By the time we started to come down, it was sunset, and then nightfall, and we were still coming down, and that was when things started to happen.

    I was starting to hallucinate. Of course there's no more water, no more food. Your body is just dying, you know, dehydrated . I started to talk to, I thought my friend was there, but literally there's no one there. Yeah, and my friend was further down.

    So luckily I was able to kind of hold everything together and again not panic. Slowly down one step at a time, and there was no rope. Yeah.

    Ling Yah: In pitch dark?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: In pitch darkness. that's not the end of the story. So we came back to the high camp and we were very tired. It's a snow cave.

    So we sat down and Rest for a while. And then we look around. Something was missing.

    Our sleeping bag was missing. Our food was missing. we look around and there's no one there. And we knew we were the last one on the mountain. There's no one there else. you know.

    There's no storm, there's no wind. So, what happened? Up to today, it's still a mystery.

    The only explanation I have is the year before, in year 2000, there was a huge avalanche. And two American climbers died. And one of them was very famous Alex Lowy.

    So, I figured they were hungry. And they were cold. So they took our sleeping bag and our food.

    So Tibet is a very mysterious and deeply spiritual place.

    Ling Yah: Never again.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Never again. And now, just like a few weeks ago, you know, the huge accident that killed the two American ladies and the two shephas. To me, it's like, wow, she's shuffling mud, you know call it again.

    Very scary. Very scary.

    Ling Yah: Wow. That concept of pushing even though you shouldn't push, do you think that was summit fever?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Definitely. I mean, if you read the story of the two ladies, they were competing fiercely to be the first American lady to finish the 14. And with that fierce competition they ignore the danger signs.

    I saw the video and it was very windy.

    On a windy day, that's when avalanche risk is even higher. So they shouldn't have crossed that slope.

    So competition in the mountain is very unhealthy.

    Ling Yah: But it exists though.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, everything goes wrong once you have competition in the mountain. Yeah, they should not do that.

    Ling Yah: And I imagine they also do it because they want the attention, then they get more prestige.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yep, it's all part of the sponsorship, you know.

    Ling Yah: But then I suppose there is that group of people who go some of these mountaineers are always seeking and hogging attention I've dealt with that before and they go, you don't love the mountain for the mountain itself.

    How do you think through that?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, I did the same thing. Because if you want to do sponsorship, you have to have that. Nowadays with the social media.

    But you gotta have that healthy respect for mountain. You can't just say, okay, I'm going to get to the top today, no matter what happens and that's when you go wrong.

    Unfortunately I've seen many young climbers like that. I wish them well. Yeah. I wish they will learn to respect the mountain more.

    Ling Yah: I want to talk about Altitude X.

    With AirAsiaX.

    Yes. How did that whole idea come about?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Hmm. Yeah, it was just a crazy idea. I got to know Azran at that time.

    Yeah. CEO of AirAsiaX. You know him?

    Ling Yah: Yeah, I've interviewed him before.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, okay, okay.. Ah, okay, that's such a nice guy.

    So I just casually pitched to him, the idea that I will climb the highest mountain or where you fly to. And he said, okay.

    Ling Yah: Cause he's into fitness as well.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Just like that. And then off we went.

    It was a very casual conversation and then he turned into a sponsorship.

    And he's a risk taker and of course he has done his homework and he must have research about me. He said, okay, let's do it. I was very surprised as well. Yeah, and that's when I went back to climbing the third time from Tibet.

    That was a special because I have not climbed from Tibet. First two time was from Nepal.

    Ling Yah: Is it very different?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: It's colder and it's a bit more technical. With the rock and all that.

    Your base camp is very high. Your so called ABC advanced base camp is almost as high as Camp 2, 6,400.

    . So imagine spending one month at 6,400. Your body doesn't really get to rest. The Tibet side of Everest is really wild.

    There's no tea house, nothing. So you get that wild feeling. However, on that Summit day, my eyes got into trouble, and because of the wind burn and all that, I was almost blind.

    It was again, very scary moment I thought I was going to die.

    Unfortunately, my Sherpa was very impatient, After following me for, you know, I don't know how many hours, I got to the top, but I couldn't see. It was all blurred. And on the way down, he basically left me.

    And if you know the route on the north side, there are a few vertical sections where you have to climb the ladders and all that. It was so scary. Yeah. So scary. I was alone. So I was climbing down all these vertical sections until I got to about quite flat, he waited for me there.

    Yeah. So it was quite a lesson. So I learned that I have to trust myself. Yeah. Especially on the 8, 000 meter peaks.

    Luckily my eyesight kind of regained a bit of vision. And then when I came down to camp three, it was okay. But that episode was Very scary. Can you imagine climbing Everest blind?

    Ling Yah: Most people wouldn't have gone to 6, 400 meters What is it like being at that altitude? Because everything changes.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Because of lack of oxygen your whole system slows down. Your digestion your breathing. Like for example, if you get a cut it takes a long time to heal because there's just not enough oxygen so you got to be very careful .

    Basically your whole body is under stress. You're spending a lot of time up there, so long you lose muscle mass, not just fat.

    It's kind of like your body is eating up its own self. So you come back skinny.

    Ling Yah: So there's only an X number of time you can spend there, basically.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, because we are not meant to live in a high altitude. There's so little oxygen.

    Ling Yah: How do you decide on all the different adventures that you also went on?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: There was one period of time 2003 and 2008, I didn't climb. Yeah.

    So I went cycling, I went swimming I went kayaking, I went skating. Yes, I wanted to break from the mountain and I also wanted to explore other things. Yeah.

    And I love it because I love this concept of journey, travelling long distance from one point to another and for me it has to be sports.

    Using your own body strength. So I learned how to skate. Yeah. I was not a skater. I learned how to kayak. I learned how to swim.

    Ling Yah: And bearing in mind, you first submitted Everest, 1999. And eight, sorry, when you were 33. So this is way past 30 already. Yeah. You're still picking up new skills.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah. And that's precisely the point. Yeah. In endurance sports, you can go very far. You can go very long. I'm almost 60.

    Yeah. Next year. I'm thinking of what to donext year to celebrate my 60.

    Endurance sports, there's no hurry. Yeah. It's all about stamina and endurance. Of course, some strength.

    Actually this is the message I want to give to so called old people. People say, oh, 40, you're old. No.

    These days you can live very long and it's all about lifestyle. Yeah. And being active is so important. And the right training. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, enjoy life. Don't say you're old.

    Ling Yah: So some of us in their 30s, their 40s, they want to start getting into one of these things that you're doing, what is your advice for them?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Go do it. Don't, don't wait. Yeah, you never know what happens tomorrow, right?

    Ling Yah: What about the training? Because there's so much information online, right?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: These days it's much easier with, with YouTube. You can learn anything, right? Yes, yes. It makes it easier, but you need to be more selective because there's so many things to do.

    Pick one or two spots that you love, learn and become good at it and then you will enjoy it.

    Ling Yah: Do you find the way that you hike differs once you started leading expeditions?

    Your relationship with the mountain because now you can't just go go

    Khoo Swee Chiow: It's different now because I'm taking groups so I am responsible for their safety. That's most important.

    I've seen so many accidents in the mountains, so when I take people I'm very aware that they have a family waiting for them.

    So, my most important goal is to bring people home safely first.

    And then I'll bring you to the summit if everything permits. You know, your condition, your body, the weather.

    If you ask me what's my biggest achievement, I can tell you the thing that I'm most proud of is after guiding for so many years, I've brought everybody home. Yeah. That's something that I am proud of.

    Not, not just the summit.

    And I think also the reason why they want to join my team, they know I can bring them home and they trust me for that.

    Safety is, is very important. Because I've lost too many friends, in the mountain.

    I have a list in my phone, people that are no longer with me. Friends that have taken too much risk. I learned from each of their case. And it could have been prevented.

    Ling Yah: What were some of the lessons you learned that we haven't covered?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Well, we cover a lot.

    Well, it's hard for me to say to you, the summit is not so important. Yeah. Right. It's hard for me to do it. Until you do it. Yeah. Yes. You know, your life is a lot more precious.

    Ling Yah: It's like the way people always say, the journey is more important than the destination.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: But if I tell somebody who's young that, they won't listen. Yeah. Right?

    Ling Yah: I looked at my Everest journey and I go, actually, the journey was more important. Because that's what you remember. The summit was like, a little bit, 10 minutes, and then you're gone.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: I wish everyone knows this. You know, and then they will enjoy more mountains.

    Yeah, I think that that is one of the most important lesson.

    The other thing is don't take shortcuts. So put in your training. Put in your research, read up all you can. And these days, a lot of information. Not just about the mountain.

    Read up about the people that are taking you. The shephas you know. Are they experienced?.

    Things like that. The company that you join, is it a reputable company, for example, right?

    Make sure you get your insurance. Make sure it includes helicopter evacuation, things like that. And also, like, if you go Nepal, you're almost going to go above 4, 000 meters. So make sure you have or your guide has emergency oxygen.

    Things like that are very important. Details.

    Ling Yah: And since you mentioned Sherpas, they are very important. There's always controversy around them.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yep. Yep. Sherpas are human. Yeah. They are experienced ones, they are not so experienced ones. So it's really up to you to select the good ones. The experienced ones and people who you can trust.

    I've seen so many. Good ones, not so good ones. Yeah, so basically you, you have to look after yourself, you know, and equip yourself with the necessary skills before you go out.

    Ling Yah: And speaking of looking after yourself, as you said, you're almost hitting 60.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, next year. What should I do?

    Ling Yah: What should you do? But obviously there is the whole physical aspect as well. You can't keep hiking. Yeah. Even if you wanted to.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Yeah, there will come a time I'm very, aware that you know, my legs will give way. My lungs will give way.

    Ling Yah: How do you think about that?

    Because you don't want it to give way when you're up there.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: I don't think about that a lot. I mean, people ask me, right? Why do you keep pushing yourself?

    My motivation is very simple. I know there will come a day when I cannot climb. So I better climb while I can. Very simple.

    Ling Yah: Yeah.

    Anything still on your list that you haven't ticked off?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: There are many mountains I would love to climb. Many countries which I would love to travel to, you know south America, there are many countries. Africa, there are many countries that I've not been.

    There are beautiful mountains there as well. Even finish , I need another life.

    Ling Yah: So in terms of a second act, what would happen after that? Do you think about it? '

    Cause some of my previous guests say, We do think about it. We plan 10, 15 years before.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: I don't.

    You don't. Yeah, I don't seriously think about it.

    Who knows what will happen tomorrow. Yeah. You know, so I'm just making the most of what I have now. Yeah. And that's, that's enough to keep me going.

    Even though I've written five books. I'm actually looking for inspiration to write the next book.

    Yeah. Let me know. No, I don't have a long term plan if that's what you mean. Yeah.

    Ling Yah: Is there anything that listeners can help you with?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Oh, well, ideas are welcome. Yeah.

    Ling Yah: Before we end, I actually have two questions submitted from listeners that I would like to play for you. So here's the first one from Vimala Thangaveloo

    hi, Swee Chiow, I'm Vimala Thangaveloo, and I find your commitment to pushing yourself to your mental and physical limits absolutely fascinating.

    And I think there's so much we can learn from you to apply in our careers and our leadership journey. So my question for you is, as a leader in extreme environments, which leadership principles have proven most effective in guiding your teams through adversity? Thank you.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Leadership example. You know, leadership is a word that is overused.

    Okay, to me, I think being genuine is important. I bring people to the mountain. So I'm genuinely concerned for their safety, for their enjoyment. You know, for their comfort.

    Just to give you an example, there have been a few cases where they wanted to push on, but they got AMS.

    And sometimes when you have AMS, you can't think straight., Right? Normally when things are okay, my style is, I let everybody do their own thing. You know, I don't tell you what to do , because it's an adventure. You want to have fun, as long as you don't get into danger, it's fine.

    However, when you are sick and your life is in danger, that's when I will come in and say, No, you have to go down. And I've done it a few times.

    So I think being a leader is you have to be firm. You have to make difficult decisions. When you know it's difficult, when you know it's not popular, but you know it's the right thing to do.

    I find that very important. Yeah, and again, many times, I have to do that. And after people go home they tell me they appreciate it. Because they are alive. Yeah.

    Ling Yah: Second question from Regina.

    Hi Swee Chiow,, my name is Regina. I'm a financial planner who advocates holistic planning.

    My question to you is, I wonder what drives you to push your limit to the extreme each time? And how do you reconcile the fact that each climb can potentially be your last? Thank you.

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Well, like I said before, my motivation this day is very simple. The sand in my hourglass is finishing.

    I do not know how many more years I have, so I'm just enjoying it and making full use of what I have now, while I still can. While my legs are still allowing me to climb.

    I'm very aware that one day I cannot climb again. So, I, I just keep going. I

    don't worry about it being the last or could it be the last expedition. So again, that goes back to the the risk taking, the risk assessment, the preparations.

    The risk is there, so you do your best to minimize the risk. But then you have to go and climb the mountain. Yeah.

    Ling Yah: Swee Chiow, it's been such a pleasure to have had you on. I always end with the same questions.

    So the first is this. Do you feel like you have found your why?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Wow. Yes and no. my favorite song is U2.

    I still haven't found what I'm looking for. But I'm contented because because I enjoy what I do. Yeah.

    People talk about what's the meaning of life and purpose. I don't think I will find it in this life. When I see God, I'll ask him. But I think it's important to just find a little thing that you enjoy and, and do it well.

    And to me it's, it's the mountain, it's the adventure. And now the why is the connection, is the passing on to people around me.

    Ling Yah: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: I don't think about it. I let people decide. So my legacy is letting people appreciate the mother nature, letting people test their own limit in a safe way and so forth.

    Maybe encouraging people to dare to dream. To chase their own dream.

    Ling Yah: And what do you think are the most important qualities of a successful person?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Wow. Leadership again? Be yourself. I think you cannot be who you are not. You have to find yourself in this noisy world and finding your path.

    Ling Yah: So if people ask, who are you, how do you introduce yourself or describe yourself?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Adventurer.

    Life is an adventure. Just go out there and find your own path.

    Ling Yah: And where can people go to find out about what you're doing?

    Khoo Swee Chiow: Ah, okay. I'm on Facebook and IG.

    I post my trips and schedules and pictures and all that on, on Facebook and IG. And also people who have been on my trips you know, they will come back and do a few more trips.

    So I think, word of mouth is, is the best.

    Ling Yah: And that was the end of episode 143 of the So This My Why podcast.

    The show notes and transcript can be found at 143 And if you wanna know more about what's happening on this podcast, the behind the scenes, and also how you can brand yourself online, just head over to or just drop me a DM on any of my platforms, including my name, Ling Yah on LinkedIn.

    Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast and I'll see you next Sunday with another amazing guest.

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