Hello from Langkawi! We really didn’t know what to expect from Malaysia, but it’s been such an easy, pleasant introduction to the region. We’ve spent the last month traveling northwards from Singapore, where we stayed with extended family and embarked on a food challenge to eat as much as possible. A big thank you to Chuck and Carol for showing us around and sharing your wonderful, air-conditioned apartment!
Since leaving the City of the Merlion we’ve been eating still more tasty food and meeting some truly inspiring people along the way. I must shout out to our new friends Caryl and Paul from Vegan Food Quest. We met them on our first day in Malaysia and had some long, thought-provoking conversations about the ethics of food, traveling on a dime, and the adventures of fellow wedded wayfarers.
In Kuala Lumpur we visited the Central Market and tried out one of those fish spas you see all over the place. Eric was a champion, throwing his feet in with cavalier nonchalance. I was a little hesitant…these fish! They were so much bigger than I expected! And they must have been absolutely ravenous, because they all gawped at me with these huge gaping fish mouths and steely eyes floating just below the surface. Some of them even launched out of the water at me.
I won’t lie, it super creepy.
I eventually gave in to Eric’s peer pressure and held my feet under while a whole school of them suctioned themselves onto me. It was some mix of a thousand tiny tickles and sheer terror, giggles mingled with the distressed mewling of someone who’s about to lose her toes. I may have caused a scene.
Ohy, it’s good to have that off my chest. Moving on…
Lately I’ve been thinking about this conundrum: We’ve been to 17 countries in the last 500 days, and even though we’ve had some of the best experiences of our lives in that time, I still just want so much more. I had planned out an entire Middle East leg for later this year before Eric reminded me we have to SLOW DOWN. Will there ever come a time when I’m really ready to stop traveling? What’s more, will I ever get to the point where I actually feel like a traveler? There are always cities and countries we didn’t see, meals we didn’t have, questions we didn’t answer.
It’s maddening, really, how small the world seems when you’re planning and how big it feels when you arrive. And then I think about all the things we’d be doing if we were home – how we’re missing births, weddings, job opportunities, etc, and I want everything all at once. I don’t know where I’m going with this, just thought I’d put it out there.
Tomorrow we’re finally making our way into Thailand! It seems like we’ve been dancing all around it for some time now, flying through Bangkok several times but never leaving the airport. Our first stop is an island apartment in Koh Lanta – three weeks of beachy bliss and homemade mango smoothies. We’re going in without being completely confident about the political climate there, but they’ve lifted the curfew and the US State Department has scaled back their travel warnings. We’ll just give Bangkok a wide berth until we have a better understanding of the situation.
Hope all is well with you and yours, dear readers, and that you’re loving life, where ever you are!