Day 30: The end is not really the end, is it?

Unofficially, the backpacking trip ended last June 25th, when I returned to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur. Still, I wanted to end it on the 30th, as I originally intended, since I’m still on holiday until today, even if I am suitcasing, rather than backpacking. Admittedly I have been taking it too easy when I got back. Work starts in less than 24 hours, and I wanted to get plenty of rest before I start staying up all night again.

Singapore 05
I like my brats cooked


I woke up earlier than usual today, 7:30am, instead of 8:30am. There were several places I had in mind, including the Magma Heritage store in Geylang, to pick up some dolls. However, I got distracted at the supermarket, and ended up buying groceries and going back home for lunch. It was lucky that I did, because when I checked my mail, I got a notification from Paypal that they are suspecting that my account has been compromised and is being used by a third party to send money without my consent.

So the payment I sent last night has been reversed, and there’s a dispute that would probably take a couple of days to resolve. The thing is, that payment was made by me for Magma Heritage, which is why I’m going to their store today to pick up dolls! GAAAH! I understand Paypal’s stand on protecting my account, but damnitttt, it’s just so frustrating. It’s been troubling me the whole day, specially since I have to get those dolls before I fly back to the Philippines next week.

Still, I managed to peel myself away from the computer to spend some time outside. Today was the complete opposite of the day yesterday. The sun was shining brightly and the sky, though a bit washed out, was still a pretty blue. I ended up at the Esplanade, just so I can take a photo of Sayuri with the Merlion and the Singapore skyline in the background. Much time was spent staring at the river to try to clear my head, which worked for a bit.

Singapore 06
Sayuri in Singapore

I promised my sister-in-law that I’d cook pasta for dinner, so I headed home, earlier than usual. On the bus ride home, I started thinking about the past 30 days. June 1 seemed to be so far away right now, and exploring Angkor Wat seemed like something from a distant memory. I was disappointed with myself when I went back to Singapore earlier than I initially planned. There were so many things to regret, so many plans that I wished I pursued. But what’s done is done, and there’s nothing I can do now except to live for the moment.

RELATED:   Day 8: Flying into Luang Prabang, Laos

Things do happen for a reason, and despite my disappointment, I was happy to be back in Singapore. I might have missed out on a lot of things, but I do cherish the experiences that I was able to have.

I’ve stayed in places that I would not recommend to my enemies. I got annoyed and frustrated at taxi and tuktuk drivers who charge exorbitant amounts, and a couple of times, ended up just sighing and agreeing to the price. I got scammed into giving a “donation” for something I don’t believe in. I’ve endured several long bus rides, with one bus even ending up in a ditch.

Still, the good parts outweigh the negatives.Though the bad things that happened are easier to remember, it’s the positives that makes me want to do it all over again. It doesn’t matter if it rained on me, I was still able explored the temples of Angkor and enjoyed the laid back lifestyle of Luang Prabang. I’ve savored the best dishes Thailand and Malaysia has to offer.

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My new favorite spot: Esplanade Park

Of course, I can’t forget the people I’ve met along the way. There was Soryan in Cambodia, whose love for his culture is evident in his work and Ming in Thailand who shared his love for Thai food. Then there was that cheeky girl in Luang Prabang, who was actually quite annoying because she was trying to sell me something, but you just can’t help but love her. In Vientiane, it was the staff at the guesthouse that made my brief stay bearable, and the other travelers headed to Khao San Road that made the last hours in Laos just a tad more interesting.

RELATED:   Day 23: Leaving Paradise

It was great to have met up with Mikoy in Bangkok, as well as meeting Ynna and Nat. Then there was that German guy who passed on his body wash, as he’s flying home and have no need for it anymore. To continue the chain, I pass on a packet of detergent I wasn’t able to use to one of the housekeepers at the hostel. Another memorable character was the elderly Italian gentleman who was sitting across me in the express train from Bangkok to Butterworth. I was finally able to meet Wei, a long time online friend in Penang, who so graciously took me — literally — around Penang island.

The staff of Watercolours Resort were all lovely, as is the service people I’ve encountered in Kuala Besut. At the scene of the bus accident, I am grateful to the people who helped me out and looked out for me, even if they had a hard time talking to me in English. The warm reception of the crew at Matahari Lodge was a huge relief after that ordeal. It was great to come home to family in Singapore, and getting to meet Marvin and Babes.

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My favorite bus stop

In the three hours I’ve sat down to write this entry, I managed to remember events that I’ve practically forgotten about, and even things I’d rather forget. Still, they were all part of this amazing month long trip in Southeast Asia. I honestly didn’t expect anything from this trip. I just wanted to go out, to explore. I ended up with plenty stories to tell, a couple of gigs worth of pictures and a one in a lifetime experience that I’ll treasure forever.

RELATED:   Day 25: Retreat

[Edit] Just how sappy is that last line? Ew.

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 6 Comments
  1. dementedchris says:

    Oks lang yun, Nina — you’re entitled to give in to your sentiments 😉 I didn’t read the bus accident thing; buti na lang may recap dito! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. I’m pretty sure another one’s waiting for you. 😀

  2. YUE says:

    It was my 1st time to keep a travel post in real time.
    I wanna say thank you so much nina!
    I had so much fun reading, your happy moments…while I also felt little worried for the bad happening moments,
    (that bus accident scared me a lot! Im so relieved your safe nina!)
    & I felt little like traveling together with you.

    I’m so happy you’ll be back home safe & sound, I can’t wait to see you soon & hear about your travel!

    Take care! :3

  3. carlo says:

    you’re excused for the cheesy cliche’ line haha. bagay naman eh. your blog entry made me realize how much i miss cambodia. aside from angkor and the other beautiful temples, it was the warmth of the cambodian people that makes the country one of the best places i’ve been to. sarap ulitin!

  4. bertN says:

    I wished I was able to backpacked my way around the world when I a lot younger. I was only able to do it in North America for a stretch of two to four weeks at a time when I was working at a university. Now I am retired and travel a lot but my travels are limited to cruising and organized group tours. This is no way to see the real world. Keep traveling the way you do, Enjoy the good experiences and learn from the bad ones. No regrets. The only regret comes from not being able to do what you wanted to do until you cannot do it anymore.

  5. Marky says:

    30 days of priceless memories – something to look back with fondness…Its also my dream to someday go on a trip to South East Asia.

    In Singapore, I got distracted too when I passed by Geylang road, not with grocery items hehe. On the other side of Raffles Hotel me and my brother ate at a small restaurant there manned by two Filipina and had a lovely conversation with them.

    • nina says:

      Go Marky! It’s easy to go around SEA, specially with low cost airlines. And once you get to mainland Asia, madali na kasi you can just take a bus or train across borders!

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