Four months of travel completed, each of them special in its own way. The first one was about discovery and learning; the second, the month of changes. The third month turned around the idea of being lucky and working hard to achieve our dreams.
I will remember this month for all the unexpected things that happened, mostly thanks to couchsurfing. In parallel, I also discovered my introvert side.
These are the reflections of my fourth month of solo travel, with a summary of the places I visited and the best moments I had.
Couchsurfing and unexpected things
I landed in Malaysia without any plans. I was more interested in its people and culture than visiting specific places, which is the reason why I decided to do couchsurfing there. So, completely unplanned, I let the trip guide me… and it did very well. Completely unexpected. I thought I would stay 3 weeks and I stayed 5, I thought I would go to Singapore and never made it. But I did plenty of things I would have never dreamt of.
Teaching in a school
I had never considered teaching, but in only two days in a school in a rural area I discovered a new dimension of teaching: inspiring the kids.
Celebrating the Chinese New Year with a Chinese family
I arrived to Penang without any plans nor bookings. Thanks to that and the couchsurfing community, from my first host I met a second and then a third one, and I ended up in a Chinese family’s house for the New Year.
Taking care of a hostel
One of my hosts had just opened a hostel, and he allowed me to stay in the dorm for free in exchange of a review and some help. The last day he asked another couchsurfing member and me to take care of the hostel since he needed to visit his family.
Traveling more than 400km by motorbike
If one year ago some had told me one day I would be excited about a motorbike trip, I would not have believe it. I had always seen motorbikes and scooters as unstable dangerous things. No way I would ride one. Ever.
But I guess you cannot really experience Asia without traveling by scooter, so I overcame my fears several times and got some short rides in India, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. After that, I started to think that they might not be so dangerous after all, and quite useful.
Finally, in Penang, I made a friend who had a real motorbike (you know, the really cool ones). And there, instead of being more scared I started enjoying more the experience, to the point that we went back from Kapas island to Penang by motorbike. More than 400km. And yeah… it was cool.
My introvert side
I had always thought I was a very social person. However, after two weeks of sleeping in dorms and doing couchsurfing, I started missing a little bit the quiet days I previously had. I missed having a meal in a restaurant reading a book. I missed having time to write. I missed having time to think.
I missed being alone.
The thought struck me. Had I become unsocial after three months traveling alone?
My only explanation is that I have an introvert and an extrovert side that live together, alternating each other. Sometimes I feel like talking to everyone, even the walls. Sometimes I need silence. I was very surprised to learn that some people like (prefer!) to sleep in dorms. They told me that they would feel sad if they had no one to talk with at the end of the day. Wow. I only sleep in dorms when I cannot afford a room. I like to have my own space, and spend time in the common areas if I feel like meeting people.
- Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Penang (island), Kota Bharu, Perhentian Kecil island, Kapas island, Penang (mainland and island) and Kuala Lumpur.
- Kuala Lumpur, Perenthian and Kapas islands.
- Feeling the modernity of Kuala Lumpur (and going to a lot of shopping malls, even though I did not buy anything).
- Teaching in a school and getting positive feedback from the kids.
- Snorkeling in the Perhentian islands.
- Being lazy and watching the sunset in Kapas island.
- Traveling by motorbike.
- Eating great food in Penang.
- Making new friends that will last forever!
I cannot believe that I left Malaysia almost two months ago! Yes, I am a bit late with the blog…
From Kuala Lumpur I flied to Australia, where I visited a friend for two weeks. After that I spent five weeks in New Zealand. I hope to catch up soon and tell you about these beautiful countries. And now, I just arrived to South America… stay tuned!
You can also get the latest updates of my trip by following the facebook page.