Sunday, February 12, 2017

Trip To Kuala Tahan

So this weekend I had to attend a trip to Taman Negara Kuala Tahan, Pahang with the male teachers from my school. I can't say that these kinds of hiking/fishing/bro-out-with-bros trips are my cup of tea, but it was mandatory, so I went.

My favourite part of the trip was that we got to explore the river there called Sungai Tahan. Going up that river with a boat felt like a trip through Jurassic Park. Everything looked so picturesque and tranquil. The trees looked majestic, the water was as clear as I'd ever seen river water, the people manning the boats seemed super chill.

Another thing I liked about the trip was that we weren't the only ones staying at the hostel that was booked for us. There were also some travellers who were spending some nights there. I got to meet a woman from Albany (which is a place south of Perth) who at that point had been travelling for more than two years around Australia and South East Asia. I asked her what the most interesting thing to have happened to her was, and she told me of how she broke up with her then-boyfriend while on the road after two-weeks of travelling and being left at a mall parking lot with her stuff.

Instead of heading home from there (which was something I would've done), she continued her journey and she said that it was the best decision she has ever made. She said that she had grown so much within the amount of time she had been travelling and that she has gotten to learn things about herself that she otherwise wouldn't have. She said she's now more comfortable being by herself, but at the same time has no trouble navigating new people either. I think it's safe to say that she was one of the most carefree people I have met in my life and seems like she can take on anything else life has to throw at her. I guess that's one of the things that happen to people who travel the world alone.

Another person I met was a Swiss dude who had finished his Master's degree in Linguistics and is now just travelling South East Asia. He talked about what it's like in Switzerland, that there mainly were two sides to the country, namely the French-speaking side and the German-speaking side. He pointed out that the French-speaking side were more left-leaning in their political views, while the German-speaking side was more right-wing. He said that this put the country in a weird position, to a point where he questioned why were they still just one country, since they seem to view the world so differently, but he ended that thought with "I guess money keeps people together". As much as I wanted him to elaborate on that, he looked super sleepy while talking (it was close to midnight when we had that chat), so he voiced his intention to go to bed, to which I responded with encouragement.

I envy their ability to just leave their homes and go on a journey of self-growth and learning about the world and its peoples, but at the same time I also understand that at the moment my focus is on serving those around me and achieving my own set goals, that do not (at the moment) involve travelling around the world. I want to build upon my skill-set, strengthening my ability to do the things I want to be good at, and travelling around the world has to be put in the back-burner at the moment.

An ideal situation would be that my journey towards self-actualisation and community-service would take me to places I've never been before. I'm not ruling that possibility out, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen any time in the near future for me at the moment. I just have to try to focus on the positive things around me and even though I sometimes find myself in less-than-ideal settings, I have to look for the things that can help me learn new things and help people in need. It's tough, but it needs to be done.

Here's to learning and helping.

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