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.
|(L-R: Evelien, Janna (both from Holland), me and Diego from Switzerland)|
|(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.
|(L-R: Yancy, Jaime, Alberto, Me, Brenna and Cho)|
|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.
|Aerial view of KK and Gaya Island|
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!______________________________
Read more of my Kota Kinabalu stories here!