Embracing Mortality, Celebrating Life: “1001 Nights Project”

Embracing Mortality, Celebrating Life: “1001 Nights Project”


Raffles Place, SINGAPORE

We are thrilled to share with you a deeply moving and insightful interview conducted right here in Singapore with the visionary behind the 1001 Nights project. 1001Nights.club is a profound project dedicated to capturing the diverse aspirations and reflections on mortality from individuals worldwide.

Through a series of thought-provoking interviews, the founder of 1001 Nights has collected a rich tapestry of stories, each reflecting the diverse values, beliefs, and experiences of the individuals they have encountered. Some wishes are rooted in the pursuit of personal dreams and aspirations, while others reflect a desire to leave a lasting legacy or simply to experience peace and contentment in their final moments.

In this exclusive interview, we will delve into the fascinating stories and profound lessons learned from the 1001 Nights project. We will explore the motivations behind the project, the challenges faced along the way, and the impact it has had on both the interviewees and the founder.

The conversation concludes with a heartfelt message to the Ad Astra community: to create something meaningful in this world before departing, leaving it slightly changed from how we found it.


What is the goal of the 1001 Nights project?

I am on a mission to collect 1001 death wishes from individuals from all walks of life, regardless of nationality, sexual orientation, religion, or physical condition.

What are some of the most interesting things you have learned from your interviews?

It is the fact that the answers I collected so far adhere to the 2-8 rule of the universe. Out of the 830+ stories I have collected so far, roughly 80% of respondents express death wishes such as “travelling around the world,” “seeing my grandchildren grow old,” or “being surrounded by my loved ones before I die.” These answers are not “boring” or merely conforming to social expectations; in fact, I once had similar wishes. However, what truly excites and motivates me to continue collecting more stories are the remaining 20% of respondents. These individuals often share a common trait: they have either witnessed death almost daily (such as palliative nurses) or have experienced significant change or loss in life, leading to a more unique death wish and life aspiration, which is less influenced by the social norms and expectations from irrelevant people in their lives. It is these people who add richness and diversity to our world, making it a more interesting place to live.

How do you think the 1001 Nights project will help people to understand the world better?

To be honest, I have some doubts about whether my project will have a significant impact on those who read it, given that we live in an era of information overload, where people’s attention spans are often too short to fully absorb the messages I aim to convey. However, if it does have any effect, I hope it inspires readers to appreciate the world’s incredible diversity and our shared vulnerability in the face of death.

Truly understanding these two aspects can empower individuals to deviate from societal norms and expectations, embarking on an attempt to discover their true selves and the universe we inhabit. This quest for self-discovery and a deeper understanding of our existence should be the ultimate goal for any being with consciousness (*assuming that free thinking and consciousness exist).

What are your hopes for the future of the 1001 Nights project?

I hope to continue this journey, meeting more fascinating individuals and expanding my comfort zone along the way. Once I achieve my goal of collecting 1001 death wishes, I aspire to maintain the spirit to push further, collecting 10,001 wishes from people I encounter while backpacking.

Can you share a success story or a memorable moment since the inception of the 1001 Nights project?

Most of my memorable moments are recorded on my 1001 Nights website. Apart from that, one particularly touching memory stands out. I used to receive messages from people I’d met, sharing their reflections at the end of life after battling long illnesses. One such person was Nancy, an elderly lady from Michigan diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when I met her in a Middle Eastern restaurant in Chicago. Despite being in a wheelchair and on drips, she had travelled to 91 countries and dreamed of visiting every country in the world. As her health deteriorated, she decided to visit all the exotic restaurants in her city, imagining she had been to those places.

A few months later, Nancy sent me a postcard, saying she was too weak to hold a pen and had decided to have a life celebration ceremony the following Tuesday. She had bought a niche at a columbarium and placed a photo I took of her along with her final wishes. In the photo, she smiled peacefully, free from the struggles of this mortal world. The postcard took over 20 days to reach me, and by the time I saw her handwriting, Nancy had already passed away. 

What has been your personal journey in founding and growing the 1001Nights.club?

I believe the most important lesson I’ve learned is to start immediately if I’m interested in something, even if I haven’t figured everything out yet. Taking action opens up opportunities and options, and I have plenty of time to improve along the way. The cost of not trying is far greater than the cost of failing. In fact, most of the time, you won’t fail. The lessons you learn and the people you meet will become the foundation of your next life journey. So, what am I really losing?

How do you engage with your audience on social media?

I have an Instagram page and my own website where I sometimes share the memorable stories I’ve collected via email. However, I don’t maintain these platforms on a daily basis, as I find that constant updates can distract me from what truly energizes and inspires me.



The official website of 1001 Nights


What message would you like to give to the Ad Astra Community?

This is challenging. I’ve thought about it for a long time, but perhaps simply to create something in this world before you die. Even if such creation seems insignificant on the scale of the universe, it makes the world a slightly different place than when you found it. It might be sad, but it’s also the most poetic thought I can muster.

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