leticia hughes

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REFLECTIONS...

Posted by Leticia Hughes on November 30, 2007 at 8:02 AM

I have just spent the last half an hour getting my photos prepared for my website in a small caf� in Kotu Kinabalu, Borneo.  While I have been sipping on my iced coffee and looking at my photos, I have been reminded how easy it is for us to take for granted what we have in front of us.

For the last month we have been in Malaysia and there have been times over the last few weeks when I can honestly say I have been over traveling.  For example, living out of my rucksack, squat toilets, sickness, no decent coffee or low fat milk � I even miss washing and cooking!!!  Coming up to Christmas, it is very hard for me to be away from my friends and family, however after reviewing my photos, it reminds me how lucky we are to be doing what we are�  So while I have had a few �moments� lately (yes Marc has survived) � it just part of traveling and we sometimes just need to take a step back and appreciate what we have in �the now�.  It does not matter where we are, or what we are doing, we just need to be enjoying life and making the most of what we have.

Well, it is hard to believe that a month has passed since my last update � where has the time gone!!!  After Nepal our first stop was Thailand.  To cut a long story short, we were meant have a 6 hour flight via Varanasi, India (transit only) to Bangkok.  We ended up having an unplanned trip to Delhi, visa issues and ended up at our destination 19 hours later.  Can laugh about this now�   The major issue was poor Marc was sooooo sick.  He ended up with a gastro bug and on our first night in Bangkok the poor lad ended up lying on the bathroom floor with issues occurring from both ends.  Nurse Milligan was on hand and luckily he stopped excreting bad smelling stuff the day next.  We spent a week in Bangkok recovering from Nepal � we were pretty exhausted and it was so refreshing to get back in a country where there were some Western comforts like fruit, clean streets and hot showers!!! 

After Bangkok we left by train for Butterworth, which is just across the water from Penang Island.  We caught a ferry to Penang and spent a few days on the island eating loads of yummy curries and exploring the colourful city on foot and motorcycle.  Penang is a classic example of the very cosmopolitan Malaysia � Hindus (Indian decent), Buddhists (Chinese decent) and Muslims (Indonesian decent) are all present.  It makes for great cuisine and a resulting pot gut!!!  I must confess, I am still getting my head around why all the Muslim women cover up completely (they wear head scarves).  They even swim at the beach fully clothed while their men laze around half naked.  I am a constant sense of amusement for them with my Western ways.  The short shorts are a goodie and the bikini on the beach is also a showstopper!!!  In saying this, Malaysia is pretty relaxed � there are a lot of foreigners wandering around scantily clothed, so I don�t feel too bad about my ignorance.

After Penang, we took another ferry to the infamous Langkawi Island.  For me personally, while it was lush and very beautiful, the wank factor was pretty high.  The island is full of wealthy, ignorant tourists who spend two weeks just lying on the beach working on their tans.  We had a good look around but were disappointed, as the diving conditions were less than desirable.  We spent most of our time playing with our new underwater cameras in the shallows and we also explored the island on an extremely uncomfortable moto.

After some serious sun in Langkawi we took a train to Kuala Lumpur.  This was the train journey from hell as neither of us got any sleep due to the constant noise and uncomfortable movement (Marc even tried vodka as a sedative!!).  Normally the trains are a great way t o travel, so it was surprising that the Malaysian trains are not up to standard.  In the end, we arrived in KL exhausted, hunted down our hotel for some serious sleep and the next day we flew out to Borneo.  On the way back to Thailand we have 3 nights in KL so we plan to see more than just our hotel!!!

Now we are in Borneo - I was expecting this backward place, but man it has it going on!!!  Beautiful islands where we have spent the last two days snorkeling, massive shopping centres (I even found the Body Shop and Dermilogica!!) and the hotels are pretty swish.  Last night we had a few drinkees and challenged the locals at Karaoke!!!  They loved our rendition of �I Got You Babe� and I even got a round of applause for my version of �Dreams� by the Cranberries (I think the applause was because I stopped!!!).

Tomorrow we fly North to the Orangutan Park in Sepilok and following that, we head to the world famous dive location Sipadan.  After Malaysia we then make our way back to Thailand for 4 weeks at Phi Phi and Koh Tao Islands before we leave for Canada on January 7th.

And while you may be thinking I am dreading the cold winter, I can�t wait to snowboard, cook, shop in a real supermarket, live in our own place and last but not least, I am actually looking forward to using my brain again for work!!!  I also think most importantly, we now need time to reflect�  When you are submersed in an experience, at times it can be difficult to fully appreciate what you are learning and enjoying.  Asia has been an amazing experience � the traditions and way of life has changed my perspective on their cultures in so many ways.  

Well that is about all for now�  I will probably do another update before Christmas.  For all those in the Southern hemisphere, I hope the first day of summer tomorrow is a good one!!!!

And finally, for those that are interested, I can reveal the following inside information regarding our future travel plans.  We would like to stay in Canada for approx one year working before starting stage two of the world tour, which will involve some serious surf action in South America, then we will move onto India, Europe / UK and hopefully a small slice of Africa.

Take care and big hugs to you all.

Tecia 

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46 Comments

Reply anonymous
3:55 PM on November 30, 2007 
Great to get an update from you guys. Guess you'll be meeting up with your cousins in Canada? I know all about spewing all day, everyday (morning sickness) alteast Marc only had this for a couple of days and not for weeks / months! Have a great time for the rest of your trip (not that I need to tell you to do that!) <br>xxxxKylie - Aussie Cousin
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