20 Oct 2013

Europe Trip Update 20: What have I learned from the trip...Part 2

Salam guys, yeah  I know, it has been so long, but in my defense, I'm just overwhelm with workload, and even I need to do my work during weekends  and not to mention have family function last week so my hands are tied up. So here I am continue with the second part of my updates.

6. Trust your guts - Yep, sometimes when you are alone, there is nothing to trust but your guts, although sometimes your guts make you lost in the middle of the night. I know it takes courage to go to foreign country for the first time and alone, but you got to do what you got to do. You have to believe that you can do it and pray a lot. That's what makes you go through beyond your limit. So, now you can believe that you have good guts and they guide you along the way. To tell the truth, I never feel unsafe during my journey except maybe in Paris but thank god nothing happen. I remember, after getting down from Eiffel Tower, I was alone to go to the village by myself taking the train. I just have to act out like I'm local and on my daily routine to go somewhere. Of course you just watch up for anyone, but I did enjoy the 45 minutes train ride. If you scare to do something, then you can't go anywhere, period. Just trust your guts, trust me.

7.  Take your time - Sometimes, in the rush, you forgot to enjoy the time you have there.  You know, busy taking picture or taking someone's picture and you forget that you are on the Swiss Alps mountain. After all the locomotion, it is good to take time, soak the sun and enjoy the scenery. I really love it when I was on top of Jungfrau. It is the whitest place I've ever seen and I even lay down on the sun to see the sun and fell the coldness of snow on my back. You will never get that feeling ever again. I also love the time in Paris, you can still hear you know the "Paris song" that always playing in the movies or Ratatouille. I do feel romantic there with all the small cafes, sipping coffees, I just wish I can do it again.  Sincerely, the place I miss the most is Fussen. I don't know perhaps with the cold weather and looking at the castle, it just bring a lot of satisfaction, I fulfill my dream. I love walking around the Alpsee and seeing people with camera hang loosely and fell so secure. I really wish to go there again.

8. Learn something new - Like people say, travel is like reading a thousand books. I learn new culture, new language "parlez-vous anglais" and even I learn about "khuf wudhu" and it is taking wudhu and then you wear something like stocking and you no need to take wudhu again, unless, you take off the stockings. This is taught by the Med students from Galway. You can get more info from here: http://www.al-azim.com/masjid/infoislam/ibadat/khuf.htm

I also learn more about people, nurses from Saudi Arabia, who some of them are still young and travel away from the beloved country and family to work in foreign country. I admired them, I don't know if I can do that. I also learn about myself, I can use public toilets, yeah before this, seriously, I think in my previous posts I do mentioned I don't like to use public toilets, except for emergency and there's not so much public toilets that I approved.. But after the trips, I learn to use them and actually, it is not that bad. So, I think my bladder will thanks me a lot.

9. Document everything - Other than taking photos, I also bring travel journal as photos below. It was a gift from colleague of mine. I wrote my feeling for the journey and getting the addresses, postcards to send to and comments from other travel buddies. Every night, after the journey I will took some time to write it. Sometimes, I wrote it in the bus while looking through the window. It is not only help you to write the blog updates, it also captures the true moment of the feeling of that time. Sometimes, when I read the journal, it just bring back all the memories, and you feel like you are there. I also kept all the receipts, tickets and info and planning to do scrapbook, yeah one day.

10.  Enjoy yourself - I mean that is important lesson. You work hard, save your money for the trip and you should enjoy it. I learn that you can budget, but sometimes, you want to try something new, like eat waffles in Belgium, eating fries while shopping in the village outlet or sipping coffee in Paris, yes it will cost a lot, buy you can't buy the experience elsewhere, why not invest for the experiences? That is why you travel for, right? If we are thinking about the budget or fear of someone snatching your camera, you are not able to enjoy yourself. You also need to enjoy the people around you, if you come with friend and just the two of you, then you can get much experience of getting to know someone new. Trust me, I didn't think about my work and even after I came back, I think my IQ has dropped a little bit until my boss said I need to wake up and re-focus. Sorry boss.

So once a travel bug, it always will be. So now I fulfill my dream trip and now what? Seriously, I have a hard time to figure out where to go next. I also have some dilemma like what is my life goal now? Seriously, I don't know. I am a little bit lost on what to do now. Should I wait for my prince charming to come and swept me away or should I go for another adventure to find myself? I still thinking and will update once I got it. So after this more boring updates of my life and hoping you guys still want to read them.

Thank you for taking your times to read my Europe updates and if you have comments please write them and if you want to go for travel, can I follow? I will be good partner, I swear!


My travel journal...

Yep, some notes...

Wrote the travel plan inside...

Postcard for friends








7 Oct 2013

Europe Trip Update 19: What have I learned from the trip...Part 1

Wow it took me more than 3 months to document my Europe journey. So I hope you guys enjoy them and perhaps help you a little on your plan journey there. So here I will highlights some of my learning and tips from the trips and hope you guys learn something too.So here we go...

1. Planning - First thing that I learned is about planning. Yap, it takes a lot of hours to do research and to plan what/where/when/ (well I left out who/whom) and how to connect them all together so I can have smooth journey. So my trusted guide would be TripAdvisor and Cari Forum. I gather a lot of tips from them for example, one of the forumer told me about Cotswold, and I research it and I plan to go there. Other than planning for all the transportation and not to mention the total cost. I even plan of how to save space in my luggage by wearing those t-shirts and things that I don't want to rid off. Yet, I know in the photos I wore the same jackets again and again but underneath, different shirts ok. So, I just left those shirts in the hotel to save up the space. Yeah with one big luggage and one plastic bag after 18 days, it is not so bad, right?

2. Faith in Humanity - Yep, the trip has showed me that people is nice and there are a lot of them. I'm so lucky that I met a lot of nice people, for example guys who still help you to carry your big luggage to the stair and even I saw one of the day help to bring stroller down for one of the mother. They still care, for example, one of the aunty asked me if I was lost and point me to the right direction when I was in Fussen. When I was with Kelana Convoy, people are looking out for each other and we feel sad when one of us have been left behind. One of the Madinah nurses lost her money and things as it was stole from her tent and we do have donation so that she can enjoy the rest of the vacation days. So, I do like people more now and like to see the goodness in them in the first place.

3. Understanding the culture - So, Europe is different than the world I live in. One of course, punctuality, wow they are punctual. So that is why I was left by my train to Fussen and I just late by 2 minutes, I guess. Another thing is, they let people to cross and would stop the car to let you cross, when you hesitate, should I cross or not. In my country, well not so much, you rarely get the the car to stop, you just sometime have to run to cross, yep, I did that. So, now I try to give time people to cross. Another thing would be, as I live in the world that expose to both American and English language, sometimes you just confuse. For example, when I left my jacket in the train so, I try to buy one and I asked the staff whether I can buy sweater, and she was like what? Then I remember one of One Direction video explaining the meaning of some British words and one of them is jumper, so I said I'm looking for a jumper and she showed me the way. Oh by the way, they also say love to everybody for example, "Do you need anything, love", so it doesn't mean he loves you haha..

4. Expect the unexpected - Even though you have plan perfectly, but sometimes, you need to be prepared for unexpected thing happen such missing train or getting lost in the middle of nowhere or your tent cover has pulled off during strong wind, so rather than cursing yourself, you just need to embrace it and try to find the solution for the problem. Another example would be, yeah you bring all the snacks and instant mee and porridge and hoping to save some money but in the end, you just left in in the hotel, not because you need to save space in the luggage, but because you just feel sick to eat them and you wanted to eat something hot and meaty. You you just buy the meal without thinking the budget, because you just want to eat something hot. I still remember the hot kebab at the Paddington, it is delicious.

5. Sometimes, it just not about you - So, you save your money and would like to enjoy the vacation of your life. You want to do the things you want to do, the one that you have plan years before. But when you in group, you have to give and take. Yeah, sometimes, you really want to go to the place you have been dreaming off, but you just keep stopping because you friends want to take photos, and even ask you to take photo of them so what you want to do, just sulk there and ruining the vacation mood for everyone? You also need to think it is their vacation too and just try to enjoy with them. I remember, I separated from my group and hanging out with this girl, and she asked me to take photo of her because there just two of us. We were in Paris at that time, and I really don't want to go in LV boutique because I just feel, it is to expensive but she just push it and we went in, so she decided not anything so we when to Lafayette Galaries and she just bought a lot of perfumes and I just feel the glimpse of being somebody who has a lot of money, it is an experience for me as they treat us nicely and even got some perfume sample. So in the end, you have great time.

So, I think I give you the first half, and another half later. Perhaps you also can share with me some of your learning from your vacation. So, see you soon!


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