I always say this … if I can travel, anyone can travel too!. I will be 54 years old in September, have 3 kids (age 23, 20 and 15), married to an awesome guy and was involved in the food business (effective 1 Jan 2015, I have stopped doing it).
Together with 3 good friends, I visited Laos for 10 days. Our entry point was Wattay International Airport, Vientiane and it was just 2.5 hours’ flight away from Kuala Lumpur. Immigration took slightly longer than expected as the officers took time to check the visa documents and passports. We were met by our driver sent from our hotel in Vientiane which costs us USD9 for the transfer. The distance from the airport to our hotel took merely 15 minutes.
WHAT IS SKY BURIAL?
Human beings are not immortal and when death knocks on the door of our lives, the souls leave the earth but the lifeless bodies remain. How we approach to handle the last vestige of the evidence of our life will depend on the culture we live in. In Tibet and in Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures in China, they have a unique way of handling the deceased. Tibetan Buddhists follow the guidance of their death handbook, the Bardo Thodol, a guide to the stages of death and the pathway to reincarnation written in the 8th century CE. But this journey is for the soul, not for the body, which is just the soft shell we are encased in. Unlike the Christian traditions that many western nations have founded their death practices on, which speak of resurrection of the intact body, in Tibet the body is seen as part of nature’s cycle and not the human it once was.
The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes ‘sight-seeing.’ – Daniel J. Boorstin
No…. it’s not because I could not get anyone to travel with me! No…. I am not anti-social.. neither am I a loner. So.. why do I like travelling alone?
Travelling alone means that you are the only one to make all the decisions pertaining to your own holiday. No compromises, no obligations, no considerations of others are needed. It’s purely about what you what to do with this precious time that you are given to travel on your OWN TERM.
I started backpacking in my early forties and now that I am in my fifties, I still do not get enough of it. Some may say that backpacking is for the young and restless. Guess ….. I must be a late bloomer with tons of restlessness residing in me. It’s never too late or too old to start if you are adventurous and bold. Yes… my dorm-mates were half my age and some were even younger than that but never once did I feel out of place. In Marakkesh, I was the only female backpacker staying in the same dorm with 9 hunky young man from different parts of the world. Yet…. it didn’t feel strange. What I am saying is that there are no set criterias for a backpacker. You just need a zeal for travelling at a shoestring budget and loves mingling and rooming with strange people from all corners of the earth.
Of all the countries I have travelled thus far, Syria was the country that my family and friends were most concerned for my safety. In 2010, my solo backpacking trip was flying into Athens, island-hopping amongst the beautiful islands in Greece, taking a boat from the Greek Island, Kos to Bodrum, the beautiful seaside resort of Turkey and onwards to some parts of Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. I will blog about Greece, Turkey and Lebanon in a separate blog and dedicate this one wholly to Syria.
My hubby and I took advantage of the free seats offered by Airasia and booked ourselves free flights to Phnom Penh and Siam Reap. It was a 8 days trip and we left on 3 July 2006. We have never been to Cambodia and thankfully, my travel agent friend, Elizabeth arranged for someone to meet us at the airport. Mei was there when we came out of the arrival hall. She is Malaysian and has been in Cambodia for two years working in an orphange. She is a missionary and we could see that she is very comfortable speaking Cambodian language. The moment we turned out into the main road from the airport, we were bombarded by the the sights and sounds of motorbikes. Well, as we all know, motorbikes are meant for two people. But take a peek at the photo. Four adults on a motorbike and see how comfortable they were! There was even room for a green basket of groceries in front of them! Necessity is the mother of all creations!
I stumbled upon the existence of Dongchuan Redland while I was surfing randomly for beautiful places to visit in 2012. The different layers of bold brilliant colours of the landscape captivated my eyes and I vowed that I will see it with my own eyes. In September 2014, I lost my beloved brother to liver failure and his death deeply traumatised me. I was wallowing in deep grief and drowning in great sorrow. Tears fell constantly and I was heading into a gloomy depression. My most effective therapy was to get away to reconcile my emotions and also accept the demise of my brother. Dongchuan was a balm to my sorrowful soul and a delight to my eyes.