HOW DID I FALL IN LOVE WITH TRAVELING? You will not understand it unless you also love traveling. Call me cynical, but I will bet my last dirham on my pocket that we’re not on the same page unless we have the same passion.
More than two decades ago, I simply enjoyed going to tourist spots and hotel resorts with my parents and siblings, particularly when my Dad goes home for his vacation from Middle East where he used to work. I was also excited every time my classmates, teachers and I go to educational field trips together, then write and submit reaction papers after. Back then, I travel to just go and have fun. No responsibilities. Nothing in mind but fun.
TWELVE COUNTRIES IN THREE CONTINENTS AFTER, my reasons for traveling apparently evolved. I’d like to think it comes not with volume but with maturity. I liked the idea of having and sharing short vacation in different places with my own family. Nothing could be happier than seeing your own child delight in theme parks, dine and savor local food and appreciate discovering new things together. Chance and time allowed me to do solo traveling that challenged me to become less dependent and more responsible. While being vulnerable to a lot things, I revel each time I laugh at my mistakes whenever I take the wrong train, or during times when language barrier gets in the way. I found myself constantly craving to experience new ground, to taste dishes that are unusual to my palates, to learn beyond Geography and Social Science books by meeting persons native to a place, and being in places inscribed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, to celebrate adventures via either planned or spontaneous journeys, to know more about myself while exploring the world.
Traveling taught me to become more patient and more thankful. It made me feel more alive!
WANDERLUST AND BUCKET LIST. Needless to say, I have strong desire to wander and to be in places on my bucket list. I lust and love traveling. Europe, Africa and South America on my mind. However, shame on me as I haven’t been to most provinces in my own country and a long list of regions in Asia to set foot on. Those are on my list too.
WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE WITH TRAVELING? It gives you opportunities to see God’s creations. Healthier than a shot of vodka, a bottle of beer or a dose of sleeping pill, planning for the next trip and traveling are so therapeutic that it heals emotional, physical and psychological burdens. Best of all, it lets you create memories to cherish and treasure forever.
2014 : JORDAN
Amman. Madaba. Mount Nebo. Dead Sea. Kerak Castle. Shobak Castle. Petra.
2014 : UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Dubai, my current work place. Abu Dhabi. Sharjah and counting.
2013 : NEPAL
Thamel, Boudhannath and Swayambunath in Kathmandu. Bhaktapur. Patan. Nagarkot.
2010 – 2013 : MALAYSIA
Penang, my home from 2010-2013. Kuala Lumpur. Genting Highlands, Pahang. Selangor. Kota Bharu, Kelantan. Malacca. Johor Bahru. Sabah, Kota Kinabalu.
2011, 2012, 2013 : SINGAPORE
2010 : JAPAN
14 days in Tokyo.
2004, 2012, 2013 : THAILAND
Bangkok. Hat Yai. Chiang Mai.
2005 : BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
Bendar Seri Begawan.
2005 : NEW ZEALAND
7 weeks in Auckland.
2004, 2006, 2012 : HONG KONG
2000 : UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Los Angeles. Anaheim. Malibu. Carmel. Monterey. Santa Barbara. San Francisco. Yosemite. Fresno. San Diego. Las Vegas. California and Nevada in 22 days.
Metro Manila. Cebu. Cagayan De Oro. Baguio City, La Trinidad, Benguet. Batangas. Cavite. Ilocos Norte. Ilocos Sur. Subic, Zambales. Bulacan. Laguna. Rizal. Capiz, Roxas. Boracay, Aklan. San Fernando, Pampanga. La Union. Tiaong, Quezon.
“I will not be famous, great. I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one’s self, to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.” ~ Virginia Woolf