Better known as ‘JK’, POWER 98 LOVE SONGS DJ Jerald Justin Ko (@power98jk) is one of the most boisterous voices on air, and probably one of the most jovial personalities you’ll ever meet. He is unafraid to voice his opinions, laugh about himself and take life less seriously. In fact, it is this exuberance that makes him so great at interviews, having interviewed international icons like Mel B of the Spice Girls, F1 legend Mark Webber and adored NS legend Encik Leong on his radio show. His hosting repertoire is equally extensive, having spearheaded events like SAFRA’s annual SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon and Nike’s We Run SG. It is no wonder he was recognised by the The Straits Times as one of the “DJs under 30 to look out for”.
A mainstay in local radio since 2010, he currently hosts POWER LUNCH on weekdays and OWN TIME OWN TARGET WITH JK on POWER 98 Love Songs. He is also a loving husband to his wife of 11 years, Vion Seng, the ‘fun dad’ to his two kids and intrepid globetrotter. How does he do it all?
Swapping seats, we interviewed him for a change. And he isn’t afraid to tell it all! He shares tips on how young parents can have it all – romance, vacations and happy kids!
Romantic vacations should always be about your partner
While the novelty of the escapade is tempting, it is important that you curate a trip that is exciting for both you and your partner. JK has learnt this the hard way. “Learn from me. Don’t plan things that they absolutely hate, or they will end up scolding you for the rest of the trip!” he cautions.
While JK is clearly an avid traveller, his better half doesn’t share the same appetite for wanderlust. Still, that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his international voyages; on the contrary, he relishes the opportunity to share the world’s many sights, wonders, and experiences with his partner-in-crime. “I can be in the most romantic city in the world. But if it’s with someone that I can’t click with, then the trip ain’t it! Conversely, the right person can make the most dreadful of locations beautiful!” he quips.
In fact, travelling as a couple has revitalised his own itinerant bucket list with a renewed sense of purpose. He used to relentlessly chase that desire for escape. Today, his motivations are more grounded; he simply wants to be there for Vion’s first glimpses of the world. Since then, he has brought her all around the globe, from Europe and USA to Japan. The highlight of their collaborative journey recently included front-row seat tickets at Taylor Swift’s concert.
Working with your parents and in-laws
Travelling overseas can be a logistical hassle with kids in the picture. Thankfully, JK’s in-laws are more than happy to take care of his kids while they are away. “That’s the secret! Always have a good relationship with your parents and in-laws!” he shares.
Always one to practise gratitude, JK is including his mum in his travel itinerary for 2024. “I want to take my mum to the US. She turns 70 this year so what better way to celebrate it than with a great trip! It’ll be her first time there too,” he shares. He has already brought Vion to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York City in 2018.
A much-needed break
Vacations take on a whole different meaning once you have kids, JK admits, “Honestly after having two children, our trips are more about catching up on sleep than it is about romance and love”. Funnily enough, they spent their recent trip to Italy sleeping in more than anything else!
However, that doesn’t mean that their trips are any less exciting. JK tries his very best to plan couple-friendly activities that are both experiential and accessible. “Perhaps workshops like pottery or painting classes where it’s just the two of you! Just make sure you know what your partner likes and doesn’t like!” he advises.
Romance as the driver, not the passenger
We asked JK how couples with kids can keep the romance alive while navigating the obligations of parenthood.
“There is no romance in our lives, you tell me how!” he jokes, “I brought her to Venice, Rome, and Florence. Trust me – did not work!”
On a more serious note, he makes a good point for many young parents out there. It is inevitable that priorities change with kids in the equation, but then again, romance does not have to be fixed on a singular definition.
The simplest acts of love can make a big difference. “Date nights! Every week, head out for one night without the kids,” he shares. And if you can’t afford to commit to a full-fledged vacation or staycations, JK has an alternative – sleepcations! “Always choose a luxury hotel next to a mall! That way, you and your partner can stock up on snacks, indulge in delicious makan and of course, have more time to catch up on sleep!”
Uncle JK’s vibe checklist
It is not easy to find the one that can be your travel partner, and also your soulmate. That said, a vacation may be the romantic litmus test for you to evaluate your partner’s compatibility, according to JK, “Just make sure to set aside a budget for your own room in case things don’t work out during the trip!”
If that isn’t enough, ‘Uncle JK’ has devised a vibe checklist inspired by his own life experiences!
Ask yourself if your partner:
- Is patient with you. Does he or she blow a fuse over the smallest of things?
- Communicates with you regularly and is open with his or her feelings.
- Inspires you to be a better version of yourself, while loving your current self.
- Goes the extra mile for you. Can be small gestures such as getting food for you while they are out.
- Sees a future with you that isn’t dictated by your current financial capabilities, social connections, and personal influence.
Note: He did not have this checklist before he got married, though he wishes he did!
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