Almost five years ago, Yvette King packed up her bags and left her home in Sydney to chase after one dream: To be the host of E! News Asia. Fastfoward to 2016, and King is doing exactly that. In this episode of our fashion video series with Chanel, the bubbly TV presenter touches on her mixed heritage, the tenacity required in pursuing a goal, and her constant desire to travel.
"I was always dreaming
about leaving. Travel was
always on my mind."
You were born and raised in Sydney. What was it like growing up in Australia?
Idyllic — I can't complain. I lived in the suburbs with my family and a Cocker Spaniel, Henry. I was also lucky to grow up near a beach. I think that's why I'm always looking to book my next holiday to some tropical island. The need to be near the ocean is a very Sydney way of behaving.
Your mom is Korean and your dad is Australian. What is it like being part of two different cultures?
It was confusing at times to say the least! The first language I learnt growing up was Korean and I couldn't converse with my dad or kids in my playgroup. I genuinely identify with cultural aspects of both the East and West, but I will admit that I struggled with my identity, especially when I was a teen. There were times I felt ashamed of my Asian heritage and felt like I didn't fit in back in Australia. Opening my lunchbox up to homemade Kimbap was my worst nightmare when all the other kids were eating Vegemite sandwiches. But now, I couldn't be more proud of my mixed parentage and get a little offended when people say I don't look Korean. Being from a mixed background, I don't seem to fully fit anywhere, but I'm very much at home in Asia and I definitely feel blessed to be exposed to two very different cultures.
Why did you decide to move to Singapore?
There was never any doubt that I would live in Asia at some point. It was a rite of passage for me and it was all just a matter of time. I visited Singapore in 2006 and fell in love with the city for its own merits — the lush greenery, cleanliness, efficiency and endless summer. I also knew that the international TV networks were all based here.
After living in Singapore for almost five years now, how do you feel about this city?
I will be forever grateful to Singapore for not only providing me with endless opportunities, but for also taking a chance on an outsider like me. Australians always say they believe in a 'fair go', but I think it's the media industry in Singapore that actually acts on that mantra. "The Pore" — as I fondly call it — is an exciting and dynamic place to live in. It has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a place where anything can happen. Well, at least for me.
What advice do you have for those looking to pack up and move to another country?
Be open-minded. Don't compare your current city to the previous one. The coffee may not taste the same, or they may do things differently, but I believe change can be a good and beneficial thing. Also, try to avoid 'FOMO' vibes. You might see all your friends heading out to dinner on Facebook, but while you may feel left out, they may be feeling envious that you're living an exciting new life abroad. Lastly, enjoy it while it lasts. I believe everyone is likely to end up back home at some point, and you don't want to be wishing you had just gone with the flow and not resisted all that change.
What does travel mean to you?
A lot. I don't practice feng shui but my friend once told me that travel is good for my chi — that moving keeps the positive energy flowing. I couldn't agree more.
Name three things you love about travelling.
New experiences, being able to check out of reality, and gaining new perspective from watching how people live their lives.
If there is one place in the world you would love to travel to, where would that be?
Pig Beach! It's a place in the Bahamas where you can literally swim with wild pigs. The water is crystal clear and the pigs are adorable. I love pigs... I'm a big weirdo, I know.
MY TRAVEL RÉSUMÉ
PROFESSION: TV Presenter
MY TRAVEL STYLE: Casual luxe nomad sprinkled with a hint of adventure. No camping please!
MY PACKING ESSENTIALS: The holy trinity of S's... skincare, sneakers and sunglasses.
MY FAVOURITE SOUTHEAST ASIAN CITY: Phi Phi Island (does that count as a city?) where I got engaged so that will always be a magical place for me.
MY NO.1 TRAVEL RULE: Pack light and always leave space in the suitcase for some shopping.
Fashion Direction: Dora Aljoofri
Directed by: Vanessa Caitlin
Production by: MLC Productions
Director of Photography: Alvin Choon
Production Coordinator: Marianne Koh
Video Editor: Siti Khairunnisa
Hair & Makeup Artist: Emma Haddock / Indigo Artisans
Location: Potato Head Folk