Part 1 - the fear and excitement
Klang Travel Blog› entry 1 of 4 › view all entries
Iâ€™ve been waiting to take a vacation for the longest time. But there was always an obstacle to my plans: lack of money, lack of time, no money, too much work, not enough moneyâ€¦ you get the drift! ;)
I donâ€™t have an issue when it comes to location, but without enough money, it becomes difficult to plan a holiday. Yet, Iâ€™d surf the internet for holiday destinations that have sun, sand and sea in abundance, because I love the ocean! It was in the midst of my surfing online, that I discovered this website for people who were travelers, or loved to travel, even if they hadnâ€™t ventured further than their own country.
It was a web community of a gazillion people from all across the world who came together as they all shared a love of travel. Backpackers or luxury vacationers, young and old, novice or experienced, they share stories of love, life, challenges and excitement of each of the places theyâ€™ve had the opportunity of exploring.
With the addition of photographs of historical ruins, miles and miles of marigold fields, snowcap mountains, sandy beaches with bluer than blue seas and red and bronze deserts, it was enough reason for me to actually plan a vacation, even a short one, and take off for a well-deserved break!
After shopping around for the cheapest type of vacation, Iâ€™ve settled for Terengganu, on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Terengganu is famous for her beautiful islands, which underwater divers flock to after the monsoon season is over, to indulge in the prettiest underwater life courtesy of Mother Nature. But I will be headed to the beach for a little R&R all by myself.
I donâ€™t have any friends to go with as theyâ€™re all busy with work and some are saving their annual leaves for longer vacations. But I am not worried about travelling alone, although Iâ€™ve had far from positive comments from some colleagues who think that it is â€˜sadâ€™ that I should vacation alone.
I can think of three upsides to holidaying alone: 1) you donâ€™t have to worry about your vacation partnerâ€™s interests in sunbathing on the beach when you want to explore part of 5km stretch of golden sands; 2) You can try out that stall under the big oak tree which probably serves food tastier than that of the air-conditioned cafÃ© that charges triple for a place of nasi lemak (where your buddy would prefer to dine at because itâ€™s a lot cooler!); and 3) you donâ€™t have to worry about anyone wanting to get home when itâ€™s check out time, especially since you feel like staying another day to soak up the sun.
I havenâ€™t personally been on holiday solo before, so this will be a new and exciting adventure in and of itself for me. After nightmare vacations with my family, where mum only wants to shop when weâ€™re in duty-free Langkawi Island, I hardly got a whiff of the salty air because we were in the town so much!
I did think this trip through because I had concerns about being a bored out of my mind with nothing to do all by myself. But a vacation should be an adventure. We have to make the effort to go out and enjoy the places we visit. Every location has a story â€“ whether itâ€™s history, landmarks, popular attractions, the people, the food, and the craft. And you donâ€™t need a companion to do any of it. Travelling alone also forces you to come out from under your shell and reach out to the localsâ€¦ a great cure for shyness, I think!
On April 16, I leave for my first solo vacation. My tickets are confirmed and my room reservations are made. All I need is to pack light and Iâ€™m ready to go!
* No prizes for guessing which site I was talking about in the paragraph in red. ;)
(This blog first appeared in my Yahoo 360 Degrees page)