Reading the thoughts that I have written weeks before my trip at one-third of my trip, I felt the need to post the condensed version here:
When you think that traveling long term will strain your relationships with your family and friends, you are wrong. I instead found that it would, in fact, bring me closer to them. At least prior to the trip, I can say so that it did.
In view that my long term trip (albeit for now about 100 days, short for some but long for most), I actually took more effort to spend more time with them. I spent time with family (mum, dad, sis, nephew and BIL) in KL, back in hometown Taiping and even manage to go all the way to Penang to visit my Pho Pho (grandmother) and relatives. I also get to catch up with my other family (nanny, her husband and her son and the rest of us young ones). Amazingly I manage to meet everybody important (almost) in just one weekend!
My parents are both really worried about this upcoming trip of mine, but they have been a real sport about it. My dad for one was being really cool about my safety as a girl backpacking long term. My mum, on the other hand, have been really cool in terms of my financial planning, as she is one of those who are always worried about stability and such; she had just lightly advised me to try to secure something before I go but she is almost accepting that I might not be able to. Yes, I do not have any if you are wondering. I am solely going to live on my savings for now and to come back and start all over again.
As for me and my closest of friends (my 1984s from way back to the high school days in Taiping), I had indeed done much, much more with them this year than a few years back in combination. This is because, I have this sort of feeling that I would be away for a long time from them, thus whatever activities that we might want to do for the year, should be cramp and done in these four months prior to my departures. In results of this motivation, we had indeed done lots of spontaneous and planned trips only in this year itself –
- Impromptu trip up Cameron Highlands just to eat scones and drink tea overlooking the tea plantation.
- A whole day excursion in KL from climbing the steps of Batu Caves, to KL twin towers and finally to Petaling Street (Chinatown)
- Last minute planned trip to Port Dickson including trekking the beautiful Tanjung Tuan (an underrated jungle of Malaysia where the trek ends with various points at the seashore and has you scale past the coast side overlooking the sunlit sea across Selat Melaka to Indonesia), which ended with us overlooking KL at the Lookout Point
- Mini group adventure on Skytrex along with picnic by the lakeside with the rest of the gang and a short cycling around the Shah Alam park.
- Planned trip to spelunking in Gua Tempurung, scaling walls, sliding down steep terrains, squeezing through tight holes, jumping down to unseen end and wading through the water along body-hugging tunnels.
- Rock climbing session with E and M early Saturday morning, despite me being really rusty in it already, while M had only her first lesson the week before and E who had not tried it before. Indeed, it was scary yet fun!
Of course not to mention the numerous times we spent calling each other for weekdays dinner and bumming around on weekends, just because I know soon I would not be able to for a while.
Matter of Choice
So as we can see, everything that happens is all base on how we set our mind to be. And how our mind are set to be is based on choices we make in our lives. Thus far even before the trip, I am already thankful for the choice I have made, this almost crazy idea of traveling non-stop for almost 3 months, with no further plans thereafter (not yet at least), which in some ways have made me a better daughter, sister, aunt and also friend. With that, it had somehow made this choice a right one.