3 months, 23 cities, and 29 hotels. What a whirlwind. A crazy, beautiful whirlwind. As I sit here taking it all in and enjoying the Florida sunshine with my pup back on my lap, I can’t help but get lost in my memories. Sean and I have gotten many questions specifically around our travel route and where we stayed in Southeast Asia. The biggest question we’ve gotten is: “Is it really that cheap?” and the answer is a lot of YES and a bit of NO. It depends on what you want to do, how safe you want to feel while doing it, and where you want to stay. I will dive into each country individually in future posts, but I figured I would start my virtual diary (in essence) explaining our travel route in hopes that it will inspire you to get out there, and step outside of your comfort zone! Although I had a preconceived notion of our timeline and cities we wanted to visit, we generally flew by the seat of our pants. The only accommodations we pre-booked were the flights into Singapore and our hotel upon arrival. This was the BEST decision we could have made, as our “plan” uncontrollably and drastically changed 5 days into our trip.
Looking Back: 2016, you were SO good to me!
Hello January 5, 2017! I never would have thought you’d arrive so quickly. It feels like just yesterday I was welcoming 2016, and looking forward to so much. Without a doubt, 2016 was the best year of my entire life.
As you will see in my prior posts, reflection has always played a huge part of my life. I feel the most gratitude when I slow down and take a second (multiple seconds) to realize how much I have to be thankful for, and how much I have accomplished. I did a lot this year: I married my best friend, I took a leap of faith, I traveled throughout Southeast Asia and Central America, I met wonderful people who taught me so much, and I fell in love with my husband over and over again. I also became more emotionally in touch with myself, and learned so much about WHO I am, and what I want to do with my life. I will no longer do anything I do not feel passionate about, and I will ONLY spend my time & energy fueling my creative passions, and making my dreams a reality. I’ve learned life is way too short to be doing anything that doesn’t make you smile from ear to ear, or nearly pee yourself from laughing. I’ve also learned to see a different side of love and happiness, and it does not include anything our Western bubble provides. It includes being mind- blowingly happy all the time, so happy no matter the situation, and so happy even when you have nothing. This is a life-altering experience to witness, and it puts so much into perspective. It is my mission to live my life the way I want to live it, and I have truly encompassed my favorite quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi
As far as New Years resolutions, I have always seemed to come up with a list in year’s past. This year I have not done that, and this year, I do not intend to. Why do you ask? Well, because I feel different. I feel like a changed person. I have a clear vision of what I want to do and how I will do it. For the first time, I don’t need a list to remind me. It is engrained in my soul.
These last 365 days have been so wonderful to me. Each and every month has taught me something, and I am so incredibly thankful! It is no secret that the best day of 2016 was the day I vowed to stand by my husband’s side for eternity. April 2, 2016, is a day that changed my life forever, a day that I would do over and over again alongside my family and friends.
I have decided to do something different this year. Sean and I traveled A LOT. We learned so much, and there are so many life lessons that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. Rather than go through each month, and state what I loved about it, I am going to post one of our favorite photos (Gosh, that will be hard) from each country we visited and what impacted us the most, or taught us to think outside of the box.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hi Love Bugs! Wow, it feels good to be writing again. It has been way too long, and I am a few posts behind where I’d like to be. To be honest with you, my body has had an extremely tough time adjusting to Southeast Asia. Since leaving Singapore on the 8th, I have been very sick, sprained my toe, and been focusing on my health. I finally feel well enough to update you on our travels! I know you are all wondering what the heck happened to me, so for the sake of time and bearing you the gritty details, the enviornment here has taken me a long time to get use too. The cities in Malaysia are very hazy and polluted. I only expect this to get worse or stay stagnant as we make our way through Southeast Asia. I’ve noticed through traveling people are always sick (coughing & sneezing all over the place, close to food, and/or on public transit), so my immune system could not keep up, and my sinuses went horribly out of whack! As for the toe, the streets are very uneven here, and often have metal slabs sticking out of the cement. If I have learned one lesson, it is to constantly watch for your next step! I kid you not, yesterday [while in Kuah, Langkawi] Sean and I were walking home from dinner, and he almost stepped in a 1- foot hole, and 150 yards later, we saw a random 3-foot hole just chilling by the sidewalk ready to break someone’s leg. Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way by stubbing my toe very hard into a metal casing sticking out of the sidewalk, and I went flying. Needless to say, I AM A-OKAY!