In a display of determination and resilience, Malaysian adventurer Manu Ram took to Twitter to share his journey of walking 159km from Damansara Utama in Selangor to A’ Famosa in Melaka.
The 26-year-old’s seven-day trek captivated the attention of 2.4 million social media users with his updates and snapshots of his journey.
Starting the journey on 2 November, Manu, who works as an editor, faced unforeseen hurdles and had to respond with tenacity.
In the first day alone alone, he battled through challenges such as his shoes falling apart, being sunburnt, having blisters, and finding trouble navigating through the pitch-black night when accommodations were scarce.
Despite these physical and mental obstacles, he also encountered the kindness of fellow Malaysians, who offered him lifts to Melaka, all of which he declined as it would defeat the purpose of his journey.
On 9 November, after seven days of walking, he triumphantly reached A’ Famosa, concluding his ambitious travel plans.
In a Twitter thread documenting his journey, Manu hinted at the possibility of walking from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore for his next adventure.
What made him decide to do this?
In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Southeast Asia, Manu shed light on the inspiration behind his daring expedition.
He revealed that the idea was born out of frustration and a desire to break free from the monotony of everyday life. Between job searches and numerous rejections, he sought something exceptional to change his mindset and break free from routine.
"It was a shower idea. I was frustrated by feeling trapped, average, in the mundane routine. In between jobs, applied to over 200 places with no success, and wanted to do something exceptional to change my mindset and break out of the same old patterns."
Addressing the challenges he faced, Manu said, "The biggest challenge is definitely the mental aspect, as opposed to the physical one. Constant thoughts of what others might think, I had to remind myself WHY I am doing this journey: For myself, so that I can look back and say I achieved something."
But there was also another trial that Manu faced.
"As far as another major challenge, my fear of the dark," he said. "I am not really afraid of the dark per se, but walking alone on a dark road for hours can get pretty terrifying, and I had to face it and overcome the darkness, which I successfully did."
Finding his way on his journey, in more ways than the physical
Reflecting on memorable moments, he highlighted that there were "so many memorable moments and coincidences".
"The Malaysian rakyat, so many of them, almost 15 or so, offered me a ride. A lot stopped to chat with me, wanting to know more about my journey," Manu said.
"Watching average Malaysians [as I] go about my day, them having no idea what I am going through, and me having no idea what they are going through, gave me a new perspective."
Despite the physical toll on his body, Manu expressed that the journey made him mentally resilient. He also encouraged others to believe in themselves, challenge their limits, and keep promises to foster self-confidence and self-respect.
"Believe in yourself, and challenge yourself to go further. Keep your promises to yourself, no matter how small, and the boost in self-confidence and self-respect that comes from that is something that money cannot buy, it has to be earned,” he said.
Meanwhile, internet users applauded Manu for his bravery and courage to go on this journey.
“Your persistence is admirable. Love the way you write this too. Mad respect!” tweeted akif_basri.
Your persistence is admirable. Love the way you write this too. Mad respect!
— Akif Basri (@akif_basri) November 16, 2023
“So proud of you for conquering your fear, obstacles and inner struggles to reach for the goal you have set for yourself. Immensely proud!!!!!!” said another user, Sya.
So proud of you for conquering your fear, obstacles and inner struggles to reach for the goal you have set for yourself. Immensely proud!!!!!!
— Sya (@causeim26C4U) November 16, 2023
“Bro. Great inspiration. Your grit and perseverance and crazy idea of starting this journey reminds me of my best fren who is no more. He would have joined you without thinking twice. Kudos bro. I'm inspired,” @cirez06 commented.
Bro. Great inspiration. Your grit and perseverance and crazy idea of starting this journey reminds me of my best fren who is no more. He would have joined you without thinking twice. Kudos bro. I'm inspired.
— KR (@cirez06) November 16, 2023
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