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“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” – Paulo Coelho
Normally, we always complain about how boring life gets. We end up doing the same thing almost every single day. This is beset by having a full time job. Realize that most of us will end up spending probably 80% of our life working. The remaining 20% is distributed among childhood, studies and retirement. And this can wear people out. We barely have any time to enjoy. And even then, it’s just too limited.
However, it is also because of this limitation that makes any adventure we seek all the more memorable and special. The memories you create when you did them stand out from the rest of your mundane life. And this is why when one opts to take a vacation, he must see to it to make the best out of it. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do. And if possible, do something that is out of your comfort zone. Do something that is a “first” for you. This way, not only do you experience happiness and satisfaction but pure delight as well.
I am no daredevil but I have done some pretty exciting things during my travels. And how I wish I captured them on videos. It’s one thing to experience them. It’s another when you have something physical (whether a picture, video or a journal) to look back on that would remind you of the things that made you happy and immortalize them forever. Because let’s face it, no matter how wonderful the experience was, our memory could potentially betray us in time.
It would always seem to be inconvenient to take videos but taking snapshots are mostly always the easiest way to capture these moments. And to keep these memories intact hopefully forever, I will describe them in words how and what the experience is all about along with the [mandatory] pictures.
That day, all we wanted to do was to go the beach in Sentosa. The weather was hot so it was perfect for swimming. On a whim, we grabbed a tourist guide booklet. Then we noticed one of the more imposing must-see spots. I was’t aware of this until only after almost 2 years of living in Singapore. I did not know that it is located just right at my backyard! After a few rounds of swimming, we headed out there. But just as soon as we did, rain started pouring! So we ultimately ended up braving a heavy rain. We were all drenched and cold and shivering to death. But the thought of being in that spot was pretty cool, enough to make it all worth it.
When I went to Kuala Lumpur, it was my first time to go cross-country on a bus! I was quite elated to find out that it only takes about 6 hours from Singapore to get to the capital of Malaysia. And the coach ride was pretty comfortable too! There was a lot of leg room, a small TV with headset and lunch is served as well. And although it was a double-decker, there were only about 10 of us there which made the entire trip all the more pleasant.
I love animals. And cats are exceptionally my favorite. And although I love them, I don’t like having pets or even touching or getting near them. I just wanna admire them from afar or on animal TV shows. I am quite scared of them to be honest as I don’t fully understand how they behave (even domesticated cats). I always fear that they can just attack you any moment and turn you into their prey. Among cats, tigers would have to be my top favorite. So I finally decided to be brave just this once so that I can get up close and personal with them. That I finally did at the Tiger Temple in Thailand. And although I was so damn scared all the while, I stuck it out like a true trooper!
Although I love going to the beach, I have never done any water sport before. When I went to Bali, I made sure I get to do at least one of them. So I chose parasailing first. And boy was this frightening and exhilarating at the same time! I was so far above the air but the view was just spectacular. And when I finally let go of the fear, the whole thing became a very calming experience. Wind blowing my face and cooling my entire wet body until it got dry. I felt like I was flying and gliding freely like a bird. The landing was difficult though as one needs to be very strong to maneuver the chute. It proved extra challenging when you realize how strong the wind was. I panicked a bit at first but thankfully got down to the water safely.
I’ve taken a speedboat before but it was just for short distances. When we wanted to go island hopping during our Krabi trip, we were told that a speedboat would take us. The trip from Krabi to Ko Phi Phi Island is a 2-hour speedboat ride. That’s how far off the island was. And imagine this thing going 200 mph! It was raining that time as well so that made the whole experience more scary. I had thoughts of the speedboat toppling over or running out of gas. There’s nothing more I’m scared of than being in the middle of the ocean stranded. Thank God we got back alive! That’s 4 hours of thrilling ride for sure.
I am a pretty good swimmer but I’ve always had a fear of the open ocean or diving in the deep waters mainly because of the creatures I’d rather not deal with. Like I said before, I love animals. I just don’t wanna get near them. I had the option to go scuba diving but I was still too chicken to do that. So I opted to go reefwalking which only required me to go underwater in a more shallow area. That helmet is as heavy as it gets. It must have weighed about 20 lbs! But that was the least of my problems. The challenge was how to stay upright the whole time since the underwater current was pretty strong and you have to be careful not to fall or hit the corals because you’ll surely hurt yourself. I did manage through unscathed though. And for the fishes to get to you, we had to feed them bread crumbs. Pretty cool sight to be swarmed by them. Only wished it was sunny that day. It was cloudy so that’s why the shots are a bit dim/murky.
I’ve always thought that ATVs are cool so during my Siem Reap trip, I made sure I did this. Quad-biking as they call it there is pretty easy to do. There’s only the gas and the brake you have to control. And unlike motorbikes, you don’t have to worry about balancing on quadbikes. The only thing I didn’t like about it is that motor right between your legs and it gets really hot and could burn you. So from time to time, I have to lift my legs to avoid getting burned. One tip: wear long pants! Nevertheless, I truly enjoyed driving around the countryside of Siem Reap. It allowed me to empty my mind of everything…at least for an hour and a half.
Getting on cruise ship and be on water for days is something that doesn’t interest me. Like I said, I don’t like being in the open ocean. Halong Bay cruise however is more of mini-version of a typical cruise ship tour. Besides, it’s just gonna be along the bay. I booked an overnight cruise but unfortunately there was an incoming cyclone so it was cut short to an afternoon trip. It would have been nice to experience sleeping on a ship above water!
Have you ever taken 10,000 flights of stairs? Because that’s what it felt like going up to the Big Buddha in Hong Kong. My thighs got sore for sure! And the hot, humid weather didn’t help either.
These are just some of my interesting experiences I had lately. I am looking forward to have more of them. And hopefully, I can capture them at least in pictures.