The project I was brought on was moving to the site location in Malaysia. Asia was new to me and I couldn’t have been more excited. Asia was beautiful in many ways. Traveling so far alone was actually very easy for me. A flight from Albany, NY to Newark, NJ to Bejing, China to Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia. Took in total 22 hours of traveling. Gives you much time to think of so much.
When I finally arrived in Kaula Lumpur and made it to the hotel (which was so nice!), I did one day of work then was off for two days. I happened to arrive right when Ramadan started. The Shangri-La hotel had a beautiful infinity pool.
My work agreement was to work 5 ten hour days and one 5 hour day on Saturdays. It was a lot of work but the money was worth it and the experience as a whole. Saturday nights was for sure, a night to let loose and enjoy the city of Kaula Lumpur. Sundays were relaxing with some sightseeing. I was 30 during that time and way more energy. I had actually lost 10 pounds in Europe, and by the end of my stay in Malaysia, I had lost another 20! What did I do? Eat local food and didn’t exercise, goes to show that food outside the United States is way better for you. At that time in my life, I had to lose that weight. Maybe it was the fact I wasn’t trying or the stress being away. All honestly? The traveling and being out of my comfort zone is what made me happy. I do adore my home, but my home can be anywhere.
Kaula Lumpur has some beautiful buildings. The Petronas Towers are worldwide known.
To see more of my photos taken in Malaysia, visit my Flickr album Malaysia
Like Europe, I traveled as much as I could during my time in Asia. Given the work schedule I had, it was difficult to see more. I took one week off to go to Beijing, China. I met up with a long time friend from Australia.
We enjoyed exploring the city together during her birthday week! We took a tour of the Ming Tombs, the Great Wall of China and a tour of the Jade factory. Our guide was great and funny. Tourists in our group were from all over. Including a few from Kaula Lumpur! China is a very different country. You do have to go prepared in many ways. One, have all your destinations translated into Chinese. That was a life saver for us when grabbing a cab. It was one of the best trips I ever been on.
My trip home was an adventure in itself! It was December 22, 2008. From KL to Beijing, then Beijing to Newark, NJ. When I arrived in the states, it was cold and icy at the airport. We were unable to get to our gate due to icy pavement. We had to wait it out until the crew was able to melt the ice. Which in turn caused me to miss my last and final flight. It was nearly Christmas and the crowd was heading towards customer services desks and being told no available flights for two days. I rented a car! Now, I came from Malaysia which is closer to the equator in the mid-80s F and humid plus driving on the right side of the car and on the left said of the road! Newark was cold, icy and back to the right side of the road and left side of the car! I drove the three hours it took to get from Newark to Albany, NY. I climbed into my own bed roughly about 3 am. After 24+ hours of travel, I was done!
What I learned from the 6 months aboard, being away from your comfort zone is great for personal growth, challenges you face and to appreciate what you have at home. No one culture is the same. Experiencing other cultures first hand is a life lesson and experience into one. You do see the flaws in your own country, it’s not to compare some aspects from country to country. If anything it gives a new meaning to life and what is precious to hang onto. I love this planet Earth and the people, sites, plant life, and animals. It’s truly amazing, I encourage all to explore what this world has to offer. Start small but exploring a town in another state or trying a new cuisine. So much to see and do, so little time in one life. Never hold back on an opportunity of a lifetime.