Two months ago, I imposed a travelling ban on myself. After China, Hong Kong, Turkey and countless visits to Singapore in the last 6 months I figured it was time to stay put and attempt to take root. I have signed on to buy a fabulous apartment so it's high time I channeled my hard earned dosh into grown up stuff like cabinets and grills rather than fluffing it away on another expensive excuse for a photography shoot.
So even as my all my best mates trooped up to Shenzhen for a long weekend and spent enough to make up the GDP of a small African nation, I stayed in KL and worked. I probably spent all of RM50 that weekend on an overpriced latte and a token pastry but still, I had saved enough to buy ceiling fans!
Moreover, I was thankful for not having to live out of a suitcase - something which I never thought I would say. Or desperately willing time to pass in a generic airport or on a plane sans an entertainment channel (ie. Air Asia).
I have stuck it out for 2 months now. And I think, it is time for the ban to be lifted!
What is it about KL that makes its inhabitants want, no, need to leave it every few months? I have a friend in Singapore who feels the same way. Maybe our position in Southeast Asia gives off the air that we are about to drop off geographically and tumble headlong South if we stay too long? For me, it's definitely a sense of claustrophobia, of the world passing me by. I can practically hear the clock ticking as I draw closer to death with only a fraction of my dreams fulfilled. I mean seriously there is no way I'm getting bumped off without having seen Kashmir first. Or Stonehenge. Or even Kelantan! There is definitely not enough time if I don't get travelling now.
Another friend, thick on wanderlust posted this quote by Mark Twain on her blog:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover."
He should have worked for Star Cruises. Thanks to Huckleberry, the need is to leave and to leave asap. Jakarta seemed appealing but again, that's going South and the whole cluster of Indonesian islands brimming with volcanic activity doesn't seem to inspire travel when one is concerned about premature kicking of the bucket (except for Bali, 'cos of course, Bali is the protected land of the Gods).
So it's North. After much internal debate between Galle and its wonderful vista of the Indian Ocean, the choice has fallen on Hanoi, where I can shop and temporarily satiate my desire of becoming an art collector. After all, I justify to myself, if I am buying stuff for the home, technically, the money is not being thrown into thin air is it? Moreover, in the spirit of letting go of material wealth, I am also gaining spiritual wealth in the form of life-long memories and friend-bonding. I understand my rationale is conflicting but it works for me.
So the travel ban is lifted, yay! But will be firmly reinstated when I return for the rest of the year! (Again, Bali doesn't count, nor does any island in the sun).