Jan 25, 2013


Sascha and I never spent more than 12 hours together each time he's here in KL. He contacted a bunch of people on CouchSurfing in December hoping for an answer on a host or even someone to kill time with. I replied saying I'm good to hang out.

So one December day, I decided to meet up with a complete stranger I've met on the internet - possibly getting lectured by friends about how much I'm disregarding my own personal safety by doing this - but not knowing the friendship we soon developed.

Sascha is a big brother type. From the moment we met, he picked on me non-stop like a big brother would to his little sister. He is 9 years older than I am, so I suppose it comes with the territory. 

The first day he was in KL, we spent the whole day together before he heads off to Borneo the next day. After Borneo, he came back to KL and we spent another day together before he left for Bali. Yesterday he came back, we spent some time together before he goes back to his base in Germany -- with his flight to Dubai to connect to Germany being delayed unfortunately.

At 35 years old, Sascha says he's "retired". He spends his days travelling. He made a joke about how he's so close to the typical "mid-life crisis" age. Dr. Drew once said that mid life crisis is a weak cop out by men to act out. Sascha figures he's already been acting out for a while by quitting his job and just travel the world. He strikes me as an intelligent individual, definitely a special friend to have around. A little on the deadpan side but he has a strange and interesting brand of humor. 

Now he's at the airport to board his flight. I drove him to the airport despite the fact that it costs me quite a bit of money and time. I didn't mind. I wanted to spend even a couple of hours with him. We had breakfast together and just hung out before I had to leave for work. 

I don't know when I'll be seeing him again. And I don't know where I'll be seeing him again. He said his next round of trip will be Africa. But he might come back to this neck of the woods in the future. Or maybe I head to wherever he is. 

Sascha is definitely a friend I want to keep in touch with for a long time. I love his company. And maybe spend more than 12 hours together for once. 

I miss the traveller friends I made through CouchSurfing. Saying goodbye is pretty hard, despite only spending time with them at the most 4 days. I guess it's the bond we've created in such a short span of time. I hate to think we'll never see each other again. But the world is small, the possibility of meeting is there :)

Jan 21, 2013

What if Money Was No Object

Last one before I retire for the night. This comic page was from Zen Pencils and it's one that stuck to me. If money wasn't an object, I would have been gone a long time ago. I want to a framed print of this hung over my bed.

Read the original here.

Jan 20, 2013

Bangkok Bound

10 more sleeps left till I trade my city for another for one week.

Thinking about it, I realized that it's been 10 years since I last boarded a plane. My last plane ride was to Japan, 10 years ago, also for one week. It's a weird feeling. Truth be told I never imagined myself buying my own plane ticket, booking my own hostel, settling all this on my own. But this surreal feeling began the moment I renewed my passport for the first time after a long time.

Honestly, I have no idea what to do in Bangkok. Some say shop, some say explore. I have a week. I'll do touristy things and at the same time, get in touch with the locals. I should seek out the local CouchSurfing community over there.

So many feelings going through me right now. I'm nervous as hell and scared but at the same time excited. Maybe a little too excited since I went out to get stuff that I think I need. Haha. Packing my first 36L backpack as well as bringing a daypack. 

I guess once the travel bug bites, it infects you with an incurable disease called wanderlust.

Jan 16, 2013

"Take me back to the sweet times, the hot nights, everything's gonna be alright"


I spent my weekend catching up with Departures on Nat Geo Adventure. Departures is basically about a bunch of Canadian boys who decided to leave the normal and the regular and set out on an adventure around the world. And most of the time, it is off the beaten path. 

I've seen episodes where they visited North Korea, Siberia, Mt Bromo, Chernobyl and many others and they were somehow able to just blend into the culture and get on well with the people. 

I am hoping that my future adventures to even be a fraction of what these boys have experienced. 

I've never really travelled. I guess I've never got the opportunity to. Time constraints, responsibilities, money issues were all contributing factors. When I renewed my passport for the first time in over 8 years, I was probably more excited than most people would be. 

For the longest time after I left MMU, I was actually blacklisted by PTPTN (local organization that gives out student loans) and was not allowed to leave the country. It was partially my fault, partially theirs. But last year I finally got that sorted - broke, but sorted - and now I can finally leave the country to travel or work.

And my first stop will be Bangkok, Thailand on January 30th. I bought the ticket completely on a whim. And what had started out to be a 4 day trip turned into a week long one because I wanted to take advantage of the cheap ticket deals on Air Asia. 

So now I'm basically heading to Bangkok in two weeks without having any idea what to do. I'll be meeting a few people, but other than that I have no idea what to do. Of course, the touristy bit is a given, but I want to experience something not in the guidebooks as well. 

At this moment, I'm also planning a couple more trips for the year - mainly to Bali in June for my first surf training and hopefully it will lead to more surf training in August. 

Need to get the hang of planning for flights and trips in preparation for our RTW trip. 

Jan 13, 2013

Hitting the surf

I don't know whether it was the excessive Bondi Rescue marathon session or it's just something I really wanted to do for a long time but I've been bitten by the surf bug, on top of the travel bug. A lot of people would choose to go for scuba diving lessons and get their licenses but I really want to learn and get really good at surfing the waves. 

I saw the price for a surf school in Kuta, Bali and it was RM290 for 3 days of lessons, 2 1/2 hours per day. Inclusive of equipment. It's looking pretty tempting at this moment. I am looking into going to Bali in June.

A lot of factors are beginning to solidify my urge to go on my round-the-world (RTW) adventure. I can't wait till the time is right and I have money in my pocket.

Jan 2, 2013

Something from the Past, Looking Towards the Future.

Thinking back, 2012 was not a completely pleasant year. But then again, which year was completely pleasant?

Many of my friends told me that they have lived through 2012 with absolutely no regrets. I wish I could say the same for myself. I had my share of regrets in the year 2012 - there are things I wish I had done, things I wish I had done better and things I wish I hadn't done at all. It was a year of many bad, misguided or rushed decisions.

I didn't think a lot of things through, I just did it because it was convenient at the moment.

But of course, the year wasn't a complete shit fest. There were good moments. Mostly towards the end where I begin to be more sociable and meet new people.

2012 was the year I realized that I have not seen the world, and I made an instant decision that I will see the world as soon as humanly possible.

I'm hoping this new year will be the year I sort out my life, clear out the cobwebs and cancel out all the unnecessary noise. Forget what other people say about how I should live my life. There might not be an undo button in life, but there is a refresh. And this is my refresh. I have 364 days left to make a difference in my life. I have 364 chances left to make things right.

I used to think my existence was a mistake.
But I am finally around people who appreciate my existence. And I am forever thankful to God for these people.

I will not quit easily this time around. Enough of that.
I will try harder. I will keep my chin up. I will smile more. I will laugh more. I will keep my steps light, and my determination stronger.

I will be a better person this year.