Monday, December 26, 2011

New Places AND New Adventures...

I realize that I haven’t blogged in a few months, but after awhile your day-to-day routine becomes the norm.  Every day seems to be the same or similar to the day before.  Though within the past month I have traveled to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.  Went hiking/camping on the Kinabatangan River.  Celebrated my birthday and Christmas and climbed Mount Kinabalu.  So I would be lying if I told you that my day-to-day routine is same as usual. After four months, I can truly start to say that Sandakan is feeling like “home”, as I start to miss it when I am gone for a few days.

 photo by Ashley Haseley

Visiting Singapore for me was like visiting any big city, I’ve always loved cities – could I live in one I don’t know, I go back and forth on the debate, but I enjoy visiting.   Singapore is known to be a clean city, no chewing gum (yet it can be sold in stores), no spitting, no littering, etc.  The city keeps strict rules, but lives up to its reputation.  As you walk around the city you see building after building – wondering the height of each.  You no longer feel like you stand out – you are surrounded by the city lights, the tourists and the shopping malls – Prada, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s – the best can be found here.   Even if you are not a fan of cities, I would still recommend it. If you get tired of the busy city life, you can always take the subway to the Botanical Gardens, walk around Holland Village or take an evening cruise to see the night lights of city.  Like any city you can always find something for everyone.

Kuala Lumpur
 photo by Ashley Haseley
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia, located on the peninsula and is known for Petronas Twin Towers.   It can also be compared to any other city, with busy subways and shopping malls, but when you compare it to Sabah you almost feel like you are in a different country.  The culture, the food, the language is all mixed.  You can visit ‘Chinatown’, ‘Little India’, or even ‘Times Square’.    As I looked around KL, everyone seemed to be hurry, it reminded me of my life before I came here and at that moment I knew I wasn't quite ready to come back home to the States. In Sabah, there is never a reason to be in a hurry, which has taught me to live a more relaxed life.  I have learned that even if you don’t get something done that day, it’s okay, because it will be there tomorrow.  And of course I’ve heard that saying from my parents many times, but I don’t think I really understood the meaning till now.  

My favorite part of both cities was just walking around, with no plan, no map and no real destination.  If you go about life this way, you learn that you will never say you are lost, you can never feel like you are late and you can never be disappointed in what you see. 

My Birthday/Christmas
I have been blessed with great friends here.  I couldn’t of asked for a better birthday and Christmas celebration.   


I spent my birthday in Sandakan, eating my favorite meals and being around wonderful people.  Some of my friends took me out for steamboat for a birthday dinner, followed by cake and ice cream.  At the restaurant they play a birthday song as they sang “Happy Birthday” – it’s definitely a birthday I will always remember.  The next day, I had a lunch celebration with more of my favorite meals and my co-workers at Cheshire.

photo by Ashley Haseley 
For Christmas, I went to a small village near Kundasang called Bundu Tuhan.  The village is located within the mountains.  As you enter the village all you can see for miles is green peaks and vegetation farms.  You can feel a chill in the air and there were several times I had goosebumps – which I haven’t felt in months.  The view was breath taking, the peaceful noises was relaxing.  I was able to spend a morning on an organic vegetation farm, picking beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.  There were so many rows of so many vegetables; I found a new respect for farmers that day.  The family I was with was very hospitable and made me feel right at home – we even had turkey for our Christmas dinner! 

My Birthday and Christmas was filled with love and laughter, so I couldn’t of asked for anything better.

To be continue…. ‘The Adventures on Kinabatangan River’ and ‘The Climb of Mt. Kinabalu’…

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