Globetrotting with Gurmit Singh

The funnyman is so enthu about family holidays he asks his kids to skip school for them. Tsk tsk? 

Gurmit Singh, 50, Actor
Gurmit Singh, 50, Actor
01 Feb 2016

Gurmit Singh, 50, Actor

TRAVEL PHILOSOPHY: “I try to experience new things on my travels. My family and I really get out of our usual routine when we’re overseas. We’d take extra-long to do everything. One lunch could last two hours. In the past 20 years, I could only go on one holiday annually ’cos I was so busy with work. Last year, [after I left Mediacorp], I went on five holidays. I could have gone for even more, but my kids had to go to school. I told them to skip their classes, but they said, ‘Cannot lah, must mark attendance.’ (Laughs)

THE PACKING LIST: “I just take my wallet, passport, phone, GoPro camera, socks, two pairs of shoes, some jeans and enough underwear. I leave the kids’ packing to my wife!”

WINDOW OR AISLE? “Aisle. I don’t have to fly over people like Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible or accidentally smack them in the face when I need to get out.”

BIG CITY LIFE OR INTO THE WOODS? “It depends. I love going to San Francisco, which is a city full of culture. But more often than not, I prefer nature. I like doing farm stays or staying at seaside resorts.” 

(Pictured above) Gurmit and his brr-ood: Taking his two-year-old daughter along to a far-flung freezing place like Rovaniemi, Finland, is no issue for Gurmit. His son and elder daughter, age 15 and 18 respectively, are his impromptu babysitters. “We all take turns holding the baby and changing her diapers, except for my son. He just can’t get the hang of changing diapers!”

Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland
Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland
01 Feb 2016

Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland

BEEN THERE DONE THAT: “My family and I went to Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland in December 2014. I’m a member of [travel club] WorldVentures, and they plan [customised travel experiences called] DreamTrips, like this Christmas one. Rovaniemi is the official town of Santa Claus, and Christmas there is beyond cold. It was -30°C, and there was snow everywhere. Of course we met Santa Claus, and he was the real deal. While we were having dinner, he rode by on a sleigh pulled by real live reindeer. He didn’t take the bus or taxi okay! And everybody freaked out when they saw him. (Laughs)

We also went on a husky safari. We sat on sleighs pulled by 12 to 18 huskies. I was under the impression that someone would steer the huskies while my family and I sat in the sleigh. But the sleigh guy said, “Okay, now you can take the reins and drive!” I was like, “What?!” If you watch the GoPro video I took of the ride, you can hear me screaming. We were going at full speed. We stayed in Rovaniemi till New Year. I was able to say “Happy New Year” to my family in person at the stroke of midnight for the first time in 20 years and hug them.”

(Pictured above)
LEFT: Gurmit’s kids posing on their sleigh in Lapland, Finland. Gurmit explains, “The dogs were very well-trained. They knew where to turn and stop. But the instructors were also following us to make sure we were going in the right direction!”

RIGHT: Just how cold is -30°C? Gurmit illustrates by showing how his upside down ice cream doesn’t melt and fall from its cone. “You know how people say the cold is biting?” he quips. “Let’s just say it felt like rats were gnawing away at my nose.”

Gurmit, in Bali, with his son
Gurmit, in Bali, with his son
01 Feb 2016

Gurmit, in Bali, with his son

BEEN THERE DONE THAT, PART II: “Last June my son and I went to Bali, just the two of us. We had a wonderful father-and-son time together. We also went on all the slides at a water theme park doing crazy stunts that my wife wouldn’t have liked. (Guffaws) My son turned to me while we were queuing for the slide and said seriously, “Dad, this is very nice. Thank you very much.” I almost bawled my eyes out there and then.”

THIS HAPPENED TO ME: “During the pre-GPS days, my family and I visited the mountainous region between central and Southern France. I usually have an idea of where we’re going, but somehow that day I was driving and couldn’t remember how to go back to the hotel. I was quietly panicking ’cos I didn’t have a map, and it was difficult finding a bookstore to buy a map when we didn’t speak French. Somehow, we eventually made our way back to the hotel with some help from passers-by. We could have been stuck there! Then I would be doing this interview from France right now, in French. (Laughs)”

NEXT DESTINATION: “Rawa Island, Malaysia and Manado, Indonesia. These are the two places I haven’t been to, but have heard so much about. You can go swimming, snorkelling or scuba-diving there, and they are just a stone’s throw away from Singapore.”
 
Pictured above: During his trip to Bali with his son, Gurmit tried diving. He recalls, “My son encouraged me so I went for it.I spent half an hour underwater looking for Nemo and Dory. (Laughs!) That was my first dive, if you don’t count the ‘dives’ I did at our local swimming pool.”

Gurmit says go here…
Gurmit says go here…
01 Feb 2016

Gurmit says go here…

Sabah, Malaysia: “The snorkelling is amazing, the water is so clear and fantastic, and the seafood is fresh as fresh can be.”

Gurmit says go here…
Gurmit says go here…
01 Feb 2016

Gurmit says go here…

Monkey Mia, Australia: “I went there for my honeymoon 21 years ago. There are lots of huts along the seaside where you can see pelicans and penguins. The best part is that every morning, wild dolphins will come and greet you. I also like Surfers Paradise in Queensland. It’s not as touristy, and you can just relax in the white sand. I really wanted to build a house right there!” 

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