I did thought about taking a break until 2014 but then I would be leaving 2013 hanging. Strangely, I do not feel an urge to look back, like I did in 2012.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been updating you guys about my RTW along the way and I feel bad about repeating whatever you will have read by now. Maybe it’s because there are just too many places to write about that it gives me blogger’s block.
Still, let’s take a look at what happened in 2013.
As you have probably guessed: my 130-day trip around the world was my longest journey. During this trip, I spent the most time in Peru (1 whole month) and the least time in Uruguay (less than a day).
What surprised me most about this trip is that it’s actually not that difficult or expensive to do a round-the-world trip. Safety-wise, while there were scary situations, 95% of the times I was quite safe and content.
My sister and I went on our first sibling-only trip back in February. The trip spanned two days so it was the shortest trip for me this year.
We were planning to go to Gunung Ledang but we missed our train by 10 minutes. In the end, we went to a little town called Pontian. From there, we visited the “tip of the Asian continent” and ate some food at very slow eateries.
I haven’t mentioned this on the blog: I went to Boracay in early November. Two days after we landed, typhoon Haiyan arrived. Luckily for us, Boracay was not badly affected although other parts of the country had been hit really badly.
It wasn’t the typhoon that was scary for me. It was my near-drowning incident at sea that scared me the most. (My parents don’t know of this yet, I will break it to them gently.) I was saved by a lifeguard in the end and I am very grateful for that.
Before being saved, I kept floating on my back to conserve energy. My life didn’t flash past my eyes so I figured I wasn’t dying yet.
But the loudest thought in my head then was: What would my family feel if they receive my corpse at the end of my trip? That kept me going (well, on my back).
Most natural disasters I encountered
Growing up in Sabah, we didn’t have lots of natural disasters. The worst thing that could happen was rainy season when the clothes wouldn’t dry fast enough. (Have I mentioned how much I love sundried clothes?)
This year, I met three typhoons in the span of four months: Hong Kong, China-Taiwan and the Philippines.
Hong Kong’s city center shut down on typhoon day. In China, I was given a hotel stay for a night as the airline wait for the typhoon to leave Shanghai. In the Philippines, my flight back was delayed by four days because of the supertyphoon.
I’ve concluded that in the future, I will continue living in a city where there are no natural disasters. Any recommendation?
Biggest travel lesson
As much as I love solo travel, I have discovered this year that I prefer travelling with a companion.
Maybe it was the days of intense solo travelling this year that reminded me that
- It’s much more fun to have someone else with me to discuss the scenes in front of me.
- It’s more fun to share a table load of food with someone else instead of a large single portion that made me weepy because I couldn’t finish it.
Despite this revelation, I will still travel alone. There will definitely be times when others cannot travel with me. This won’t stop me from travelling.
Like many things in life, solo travel is not an either-or choice. You can love both solo travel and travelling with someone else equally. (Might I add that this is the case too for e-readers and “real books”? I love both of them equally.)
How has your year of travel been?
Featured image source: 123newyear