Monday, May 16, 2011

Travel tips/Things to Know

1. When choosing reading material for your trip, make sure to bring a book that wraps up nicely ... or bring the sequel along. There's nothing worse than getting all caught up in some characters only to be slapped with a big, ole "To be continued ... " at the end. :(

2. This one's mostly for the ladies, but you'll find yourself doing your hair differently or wearing things you'd NEVER find yourself wearing back home. I wish I had a picture to show you of this thing I've been wearing on my head, but the benefits of traveling alone are that there ARE no pics! I am kinda sad that I left my fisherman's pants at home because again, although I wouldn't wear them at home, they're super comfortable and "fashionable" amongst travelers.

3. When buying trail mix for a snack, make sure there's no chocolate in it. Makes for a very messy situation when in warm climates.

4. Don't forget to put suntan lotion INSIDE your ears. Yup. They will burn and it'll hurt to put in your ear buds to listen to your iPod later. If you do forget, still do it the next day even though it hurts like a bugger. You'll thank me later.

5. You'll start getting a British accent - or at the very least, an accent not your own. Let me explain (granted, this may just happen to me). English is the common language (fortunately, for me), however, from my experience, a lot of ESL people have learned English from the proper British, therefore, when they speak it, they kinda sound British (at least to me they do). Lately, I've found myself when talking to someone from Holland (met a nice couple from there today ... thought of you, Bren), let's say, that all of a sudden sentences all sound like questions and just generally sound different. If I say it the way I'm used to, a lot of times people don't understand you ... but put on the British accent and they get it! I haven't said "Ta" or "Cheers" yet, but I have found myself saying "Reckon" (not with the southern US drawl, but again, the British accent). Ok, like I said, maybe this one's just me.

6. When ordering a cheeseburger, it's best not to ask until after you've eaten it what kind of meat they made the patty with.

7. You'll most likely get so relaxed that the very thought of going back to work will make you want to "accidentally" lose your passport ... then you remember that you have to work to make more money and go do this again, and the panic attack passes.

8. Canadians are very polite. It's not like that everywhere ... but sometimes it's part of that country's charm, in a weird way.

9. Don't let your left side turn towards the sun today ... oh sorry. That one's just for me. :P

10. When the "captain" tells you, "Jump in here and you see turtle" or "Jump in here and you see shark" do it, even if you're scared! I did it! Can you believe it? I hardly can!!! :)

11. Talk to people around you. Most of them will be interested to hear where you're from, where you've been and to tell you good places to see and things to do. If they don't feel like talking, you'll figure that out pretty quickly and you can move on to the next person/people.


12. You can't outrun the Biebster. They play him in the airports, hotel lobby's and even little restaurants on practically deserted islands. I know some of you will be happy about this, but I thought I'd warn the rest of you. You're welcome.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Things I'm Thankful For Over The Last 24 hours

Thank You, Lord, that as I was reading my book on the beach and watching the sunset (yes, you can do both simultaneously), I "happened" to look behind me when I heard a rustling. My eyes weren't sure what they saw, so I had to take a closer look. It looked like a badger, but with the talons of a bat. It was a flying squirrel. A gentleman passing by saw me looking up into the tree and asked, "Anything interesting?" We stood and watched 2 flying squirrels hop their way to the top of the tree and eventually jump/fly down. Very, very cool.

Thank You, Lord that I "happened" to wake up at 5:30 this morning and look outside and see a crazy lightening storm ... with no rain ... even better.

Thank You, Lord, that when I set out on what I thought was going to be a short excursion today, I "happened" to think to take my sarong to cover my shoulders so I wouldn't get more burnt. My excursion ended up lasting 4 hours, so I'm glad I had it along.

Thank You, Lord, that I've learned to look behind me when I hear rustling and again, "happened" to turn around and see a monitor lizard slowly walking down the path towards where I was laying on the beach.

Thank You, Lord, that as I was setting up my self timer on my camera to take a picture, that I "happened" to see a "stick" move and "happened" to look at it more closely to see it was really a snake (the equivalent to what we'd call a Gardener snake - is that how it's spelled?"). And thank You, Lord that I "happened" to get a National Geographic moment as I looked closer and saw that it had a little lizard in it's mouth. Thank You, Lord, that my battery on my camera "happened" to die right AFTER I'd watched this circle of life moment so I could capture most of it on my camera. The reason I was setting up my self timer was because the beach I was on was completely deserted. I literally felt like I was a castaway all alone. Kinda cool and creepy at the same time.

Thank You, Lord, that when I got back to my hut and wanted to relax by listening to some music, U2's "Beautiful Day" "happened" to play when I put it on shuffle.

Thank You, Lord, that I don't believe in happenstances. Thank YOU for a GREAT day!

Oh, and thanks for banana/pineapple smoothies. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

What I Know About the Perhentian Island so far ...

By the time I arrived on the Perhentian Islands, I was soaked and thought we were going to capsize about 3 times from the boat ride over. The poor sap beside me had only just met me and yet I grabbed his arm every time I thought we were going over. It's ok. We're fast friends now and he's most likely going to come visit tomorrow. haha - don't you love meeting other travelers?

My room smells like urine and the sheets are stained.

I've got a chicken and her baby chick living under my hut and a nosy squirrel constantly staring at me.

I've got no hot water and the bathroom leaves much to be desired.

And you know what? ... I LOVE IT ALL!!!

I'm not kidding.

This place is BEA-U-TI-FUL!!! The water is so clear that when I stand on the dock, I can see all the colourful fish ... I don't even NEED to go snorkeling! The sand is so soft and white that it squeaks under my feet. Last night I was sitting on the beach just people watching and I looked to the south and watched the coolest storm roll in. Once it passed, the air felt fresher and less humid.

I slept for 10 hours!!! How is that possible? Why can't I ever sleep that long at home? I'm not going to think about it right now. I'm just going to enjoy it.

Here are a few other things I've learned:

I should've applied more sunscreen today. Oh well. That just means I won't have my back to the sun at all tomorrow. It'll be a front facing day. So, I make an adjustment. No big deal.

Yes, travelling alone has it's lonely moments, but I haven't once felt that I'm holding anyone up while I stop and take my MILLION pictures or take a super long shower. I haven't felt like I've disappointed anyone by simply wanting to sit and read my book for 5 hours straight instead of "doing" something.

To sum it up, I'm having a GREAT time! This is the life. I'm telling ya. And I've still got 3 full days of it ... looking forward to doing more of nothing. :) Then I'm on to my sisters and I just learned she's got a pool in her complex ... I guess a few more lazy days are in my future before the grad festivities start up.

Hope you're all well. I do wish you were here. Oh, a rooster just walked by the door ... did I mention I saw a monkey in the tree above the restaurant earlier as well? Yeah, pretty darn cool.