1. Lost my bus in Johor
Grew another year older and instantly reverted to an idiot. I was too caught up with watching a video on my laptop that when the bus I was riding from Melaka to Singapore pulled up at Johor Bahru’s Larkin bus station, I hurriedly got off, thinking it was immigration. On the upside though, I learned that even when you’ve lost your bus, there are alternative ways to go to your destination. Just relax and take it one step at a time… you’ll get there eventually with more stories to tell.
2. Saw proboscis monkeys in the wild
I was burning out from traveling last February and coupled with some money problems, I was ready to put off going to Kota Kinabalu. Up to the last minute, I was thinking whether I should still go. I’m glad I did because I had an awesome time — a serene boat ride along the river, gorgeous views (there was a cute Eastern European guy in the boat next to ours), great company (Hi Giselle!) and of course, seeing the unusual monkeys in their natural habitat.
3. Went to El Nido
I honestly never thought I’d be able to visit this dream destination. Thanks to Seair and some awesome friends, we had a blast swimming, snorkeling and basically just lazing about in this gorgeous paradise.
4. Slept underneath the stars in a deserted beach
The Philippines is home to some of the best beaches in the world, and Mahabang Buhangin in Calaguas island is one of them. Imagine a long stretch of fine white sand beach with clear turquoise waters gently crashing on the shore and there are less than a dozen people to share it with. Heaven.
5. Bungy jumped from the highest commercial platform in the world
Yeah, it’s not enough to just bungy, it has to be from the highest bungy! It wasn’t planned at all — I had this crazy idea of jumping when I got the invitation to tour from the Macau Government Tourism Office. The words “No refund” sealed the deal for me and I made my way to the 61st floor of the Macau Tower and jumped amidst all my paranoid thoughts.
6. Crossed the streets of Vietnam
Vietnam is known to be every pedestrian’s hell with the thousands of motorcycles that zoom through the streets. I remember when I was just starting to plan trips in 2006 that Vietnam is one place that I won’t visit on my own because I’d be to scared to cross the streets. As every travel guide advice, just walk slowly and don’t step back. Much like life.
7. Went to Disneyland for the first time
I never really thought about going to Disneyland, because I always travel alone and theme parks are never fun when you’re alone. But thanks to Nuffnang, I was able to enjoy it (and the Disneyland Hotel) both with friends and on my own. I have to say, the Disney magic is really something else.
One of the most amazing scenes in the world: watching the sky change colors over the tips of a hundred ancient temples that dot the horizon
8. Made friends on the road
I’ve always said it in this blog: I’m not friendly and terribly shy. As the blog grow though, so did I. Thanks to the people I met through blogging, I have grown more confident (a bit conceited at times, too), and I’m not as afraid to talk to people now. Go me!
9. Watched the sun rise over the ancient temples of Bagan
My goal for this year was simple: complete visiting the 10 ASEAN member countries before my 30th birthday. Yes, I cheated; it was supposed to be Southeast Asia, but I knew I won’t be able to do East Timor this year. Brunei and Myanmar were the last two in my list and I ticked them off just in time. It was a trip that almost never happened, but now I’m so glad I did — it was easily one of the best experience I’ve ever had. To all the people I’ve met and encountered during this last trip — Toni and family, Badong, Jim, Camille, Danielle, Kissman, Norli and Fateh — thank you. Your company was the best birthday present I can ever have.