Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The KK Diaries: Epilogue

Kota Kinabalu Malaysia


It has been more than a month since my first out-of-the-country trip. It was definitely one of my best trips to date. How I wish I could stay in Kota Kinabalu for a month or two! I booked my AirAsia flight 11 months prior the flight and paid only a total of Php 2,000 for the whole trip, special thanks to promo fares.

I did not really expect that I'd really enjoy my Kota Kinabalu trip!

Truth be told, I never expected that traveling abroad could be this fun! Days before my trip, I feel anxious because I might get lost on a foreign land or get mauled by someone. Just thinking of it makes me want to just cancel the whole trip. Add the fact that the weather during that time was really bad. Well, fast forward - I passed the initial screening of the immigration by answering several billion dollar questionssssssss of the officer, boarded the plane and experienced severe turbulence all throughout the flight.

Two hours later, we finally landed on a foreign land. Foreigners, at last.

Kota Kinabalu Malaysia
(L-R: Evelien, Janna (both from Holland), me and Diego from Switzerland)

Kota Kinabalu Malaysia
(L-R: Me, Yancy, Evelien, Janna and Sophie at Waterfront)

The first 30 minutes in Kota Kinabalu was surreal. And for the first time, I got lost in translation. People their speak Bahasa Malaysia and I didn't understand a single thing... well except for a few words like dua (two), lima (five), buka (open), tolak (push), tarik (pull) and jalan (street).

You know what? The best thing that happened in Kota Kinabalu is not about our experience of trying various Malaysian delicacies or our snorkeling adventure at Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Don't get me wrong, I love Malaysian food (in fact, my ultimate favorite is Nasi Lemak) and I find TAR Marine Park to be one of the best diving and snorkeling spots in Southeast Asia.

Kota Kinabalu Malaysia
(L-R: Yancy, Jaime, Alberto, Me, Brenna and Cho)

Kota Kinabalu Malaysia
Beautiful Kota Kinabalu sunset.

Well, meeting new people from the other side of the globe was the best experience I've ever had in Kota Kinabalu! We stayed at a very cozy hostel and met a lot of new people mostly from Europe. I began to digest all the things that they have shared about their country, their practices and the food they eat. Every night after dinner, we would end up talking and sharing about our beliefs and cultures until two in the morning. Well, we didn't mind at all! In fact, their stories were so interesting and inspiring at the same time!

So when we finally bid goodbye to our newfound friends in KK, I couldn't help but feel sadness. Here's what I wrote in my travel journal hours before our scheduled departure:

I'm going back to the Philippines a few hours from now and I feel sad about it. I am aware that this might be our last meeting together, but who knows? Maybe I might visit Spain and play ukelele and accordion again with Alberto and Jaime. Maybe I'll eat sprinkles with Janna and Evelien at Holland and reminisce those funny moments with the monitor lizards of Sapa Island. Maybe I'll eat more Chinese food with Cho. Maybe I'll be once again enamored by Sophie's sweetness. Maybe I'll travel with Diego, a Swiss man who's three years younger than me, and brave the wild forests of Asia.

It was such an amazing experience and I am looking forward to meet them soon.

Kota Kinabalu Malaysia
Aerial view of KK and Gaya Island

Kota Kinabalu Malaysia
Mount Kinabalu!

In traveling, it is easy to let go of the beautiful moment because I know the adventure continues. There will inevitably be more to appreciate once you disembark the plane. In everyday life, leaving a moment you loved is really hard, most especially if you're headed back to reality. We often fail to realize that waving goodbye to a beautiful experience allows us to say hello to a new one. We may not have an idea what that might be, but there's something good ahead of us if we start to embrace new experiences and learn to appreciate every bit of it.

Nonetheless, my first out-of-the-country trip was a memorable one. I look forward to meet new people in my future trips, be local or international!

Terima kasih, Kota Kinabalu! Terima kasih, Malaysia!
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Read more of my Kota Kinabalu stories here!

35 comments:

  1. Ganda ng aerial shots Renz specially the first... 2k ticket wow! hindi ba hassle pagpunta sa clark?

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    1. Hi Jeffrey! Uhm, hindi naman hassle pagpunta ng Clark... however a train going there would be nicer. :)

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  2. The people you meet on the journey, that's make a travel worth remembering.

    Next time balik mo, trek to Mt. Kinabalu naman, Sasama kami :)

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    1. Oonga eh, the people you meet on the journey... sila ang reason kung ba't memorable ang trip. I really thought they're snob and all... pero they were SUPER FRIENDLY and open minded. I love talking to them about Philippines and all those stuff. Woot!

      About Kinabalu, WAAAA mejo mahal ang Kinabalu climb! Even the foreigners find it expensive =))

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  3. I also went there last June, it was so bitin! Now I'm itching to go there again and least go Mt. Kinabalu Park!

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    1. Yeah! Agreeeeee! Kahit Kinabalu Park, okay na okay na talaga ako roon! :))

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    2. Well sort of nakita na kasi natin yung top ng Mt Kinabalu kaya sa baba naman! :P

      Pag bumalik ka sasabay ako! :))

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  4. luckym you to avail that2K promo, worth naman for sure you have a fun experience at Kota. If ever maayos passport ko, I too will visit the place. Ganda kasi ng mga chics..LOL

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  5. Hoping for more out of the country travel for you. Reading several parts of your KK adventure had been fun as well as you've documented them well.

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    1. Thanks Franc! I wrote some important details on my travel notebook, making my KK Series a well-documented one. :) Thanks for reading!

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  6. Looks fun. I assume Terimah Kasi means "Thank you"? Well... You're lucky to avail the 2k promo, very smart and frugal. ;)

    Where's your next destination?

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    1. Yep, you are right! Terimah Kasi means Thank You. Hmmm, I'm thinking of a Southeast Asian backpacking trip. :)

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  7. I think I've read most if not all of your travel in KK. It really looks fun, and you even gained friends. Malay mo, this will not be your last meet-up and one day na lang malalaman mo eh your booking your trip to Europe... :D

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  8. First travel to other countries are surely unforgettable. I am sure you are going to do more of that and meet more people and have more memories which is the best thing about traveling. Thanks to airlines who offers cheap fares, now traveling has become affordable and easy =)

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  9. Nice photos and experience especially with good friends.Indeed one of the benefits of travel is learning and experiencing other people's culture. I do like travelling as well...

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  10. 2,000/- Php?!? awesome deal with all the experience and fun...

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  11. Great view at Kota Kinabalu! I learned something new here (Terimah Kasi means Thank you) credits to Kristel and to you RM! I love the photos, you're fortunate RM,you see and experience that place, personally. =)

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  12. I'm sure your journey to and from KK would be memorable for you in the years to come. ^_^

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  13. I yearn for travel experiences such as this, Renz! I am but a very shy gal, so I've only tried meeting up just recently (first was with Edmar of Edmaration.com).. Hope that I could also exchange travel stories with like-minded people like the friends you've met in KK.

    I have but a few questions though.. why were questioned at the immigration (was this in Clark?). What were you asked?

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    1. Yep, exited the country via Clark International Airport. Sobrang daming irrelevant questions like: "BS Bio grad ka from UP, eh bat hindi ka nag medicine?!" :OKAY: HAHA Hoping to meet you along the road!

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  14. It's always sad to say goodbye to friends and even new found friends. char. Kaya pala palagi nalang airport scenes ang ending ng mga friendship(the reunion) and romcom(spellbound) movies coz the airport can be a really sad place. ganon!?

    Anyway, you will be leaving soon. Ma sad daw mi! Padayon sa pag-uwag, este pag-uswag! LOL. Hahahaha

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  15. hala!!!! Napahala ako dun sa #6 photo mo. Nice aerial shot there.

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  16. Renz, I really love this blog of yours. I am planning to include your blog at my future blog post re: travel bloggers and their blog. I am one of your biggest fan buddy. Great KK experience for you!

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    1. Awww Ron! Thank you for your kind words! Really appreciate it dude! :D

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  17. Cheers to more out of the country adventure for you and also for more new found friends.

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  18. There are very few travel bloggers who captured the beauty of Malaysia in a great series the way you did, man. I hope to see one about my hometown of Miri in Sarawak, less than an hour by place from KK. We've got beaches, caves, and forests there :)

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  19. KK is very enchanting and it's even more inviting to visit with the wide aerial shots you did.

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  20. You really look's so happy and contented with your trip. I hope to visit this place too

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  21. love the first picture. and yes first out of the country trip are priceless.

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  22. Meeting a lot of people especially of different race is what I love about traveling :) Keep it up guys!

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  23. I did not know KK was this progressive...it looks like Davao in the late 90's. Do they have skyscrapers there too? What is Gaya Island and Terima Kasih?

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