Alhamdulillah for the past decade. A wonderful ten years journey. To make a specific calculation, ten years ago I was a young 14 years-old girl, dreaming to be a scientist; by the end of 2019, I was a 24 years old girl – 6 months after graduating medical school. Alhamdulillah for everything.
Also for the past decade, with the opportunity I had, I was able to travel and visit many places, tidak sebanyak rakan yang lain, but it was enough that I was given opportunity. This wasn’t possible if it wasn’t for the fact that I studied in Jordan, and getting my monthly allowance from my government. Even it was half scholarship, it still helped a lot.
1. Mecca & Medina
This was a once in a lifetime experience and I am so grateful I was able to visit here. For a Muslim to be able to perform Umrah and Hajj is at the top priority and to be able to do so at such a young age was the greatest blessing and Rahmah given by the Al-mighty.
Visited in early January 2018, it’s winter season in middle east, so it’s not too hot while I was there. Pergi sana guna jalan darat, which took us almost one day travelling by bus. Our first stop was Medina then we go straight to Mecca to perform Umrah. Kat sana terlalu ramai orang, dari pelosok dunia kat sana. If korang sampai sana, immune badan lemah, spesifik vaksin tak ambil, sangat senang untuk jatuh sakit. Because Muslim from all over the globes come here to perform ibadah.
Istanbul is irresistible. Okay, that’s unfair. Because not just Istanbul, the whole Turkey is great! I plan to revisit this place soon, and when I have the chance (and money ofc). There is no low cost airlines from Kuala Lumpur, not that I know. Istanbul is very easy to navigate, has a lot to offer. We went from Istanbul to Cappadocia, then Bursa and Pamukkale. It’s Ramadhan season when I was there, so the daytime for fasting is almost 16-17hours. But it was a great experience.
Personally, Turkey is suitable for honeymoon vacations. And if you plan to take your family for holidays, which includes your kids and elderly, Istanbul is great. It has good public transport, easy to access and all its attractions are reachable by walking. I stayed at Airbnb which was located only 5-10 minutes walking to Haghia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace Museum and Bosphorus Cruise Tour. I plan to take my family there before I get married. And we gonna have our honeymoon there yeay!
Don’t forget to watch Manisnya Cinta di Cappadocia and Istanbul Aku Datang to get the vibe.
p/s: my friends and I went to Cappadocia to ride on hot air balloon. It was very expensive (around 800+ TL) but it was once in a lifetime experience. hehe but you can also opt for paragliding. They say it’s cheaper.
If you read my post before on Get To Know Me, you shall know that I am a big fan of Harry Potter. But I was a rather ‘late’ fan, and only noticed the series when they were screening the last two series; The Deathly Hallows. But I caught up with the stories pretty fast pheww.
London had been in my go to list since forever. Like I’m dying to go. Tbh, it’s the UK thingy that every kampung girl read in fiction novels at home. And the land where the legendary J.K Rowling fantasies began? of course I’m in!
London is one hell of a city. It was hectic and the streets were always busy. London people always on their feet and it’s easy to get to anywhere using their public transports. Before, Rome was my favorite city but not anymore. I can say, Italy wasn’t for me, but I can handle London, oh yeah.
This trip to London includes also a visit to Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Ireland. Basically, we covered the whole United Kingdom. It’s not enough to tell about our trip in single entry. I’m coming back to this city soon.
The thing about travelling is you cannot be greedy. You may have that adrenaline to cover as much country as you can in short period of time you have while you are in the prime of your life, you are missing on a whole lot of thing. You should grasp the moments fully, that when you come back to your root country, you should have a different perspective of how you see things.
4. Perth, Australia
I argued with myself about which should come first; Australia or London? This was the first trip I decided to go after spending a huge amount of money on the ticket back to Malaysia. Usually, it’s always Malaysia OR travel? Not Malaysia AND travel. I usually give myself time to save up some money after travelling before buying ticket back to Malaysia for semester break. And the decision to visit Perth, Australia was the first one I made to spend my money on both ‘balik kampung’ and ‘have fun’ clause.
And it was the best decision.
Perth is like a second country for Malaysian. You can find Malaysian people almost everywhere there, some living among the locals, some are students, and some a tourist like me. The vibe and environment there are very comfortable for Malaysian to travel. And it’s also affordable (I’m talking about Perth, not Sydney or Melbourne).
Not a single moment I wasn’t having fun. I think, having a group of great friends cum travel-mates is helpful. The bonding between friends who travel together is important to make it more memorable and enjoyable.
The decision to revisit, I think apply if I am to visit the other side of Australia, like Sydney and Melbourne. I agree, there is so much more to explore in Perth, but I’m giving Sydney and Melbourne a chance also. Australia is a big country. They have big land. Even flight between the two states, Perth – Sydney can take us up to 5 hours.
So next should be Sydney/Melbourne!
I cannot believe I am saying this, but I miss Jordan. For the food, and the memories piled up for 6 years. ‘tempat jatuh lagi dikenang, apatah lagi tempat bermain’. It’s been more than six months since I left Jordan for good, cannot brush off all 6 years memories there. It’s in the least of my list to revisit but it’s in my plan.
Besides Paris, Jordan is the most expensive country I’ve ever been. It’s currency is so expensive. But I miss the food, and my Jordanian friends. We’ve been through a lot as a foreigner but I can’t deny what Jordan has to offer. However, Jordan public transports are not well developed. If you can’t speak Arabic, there is a high chance that you can’t survive there. If you are visiting their main capital like Amman, most of locals there can speak in English but if you are to come to my place like Irbid, it’s the outskirt. You may have a problem to communicate.
Plan your trip well. Jordan’s sky is unbelievable. I don’t find that magical blue sky anywhere else. So, majestic!
This was my best trip also. Went there on early January 2019, that was a last minute decision. I was on my low budget and my savings were not enough for me to travel to Austria and Budapest – the initial plan. So had to call it off and would spend the break under the hirom. But the deal from RyanAir came out and the next thing I know, I already on the plane heading to Krakow a week later. hehehe.
The initial reason was to experience winter fully as it may be my last winter experience. However, Poland was having the heaviest snow and worse weather in 8 years but don’t worry, I got it cover. The snow? It was perfect! If you wanna experience snow, best to have it in Zakopane. You can hike to Morskie Oko Lake or take a ride up to Gubolowka Mountain and ski. Poland is near to Prague, and Germany. You can have a day trip to Germany from Poland. Please visit Poland for your winter experience! You won’t regret.
Compare to Kuala Lumpur, taking flight from Jordan to any European countries proves to be a cheaper choice. However, the EasyJet airline stopped all their flights departing from QAIA, Jordan since 2015? So, we actually didn’t have any low cost airline options to choose from. The closest we could plan was to take Aegean Airlines to Athens, Greece and jump to another low cost airline from there like RyanAir or EasyJet. So it has become a tradition to transit at Athens before continuing to your destination.
In my trip to Spain and Italy, I stopped at Athens for 24 hours, and discovered the city by foot and metro in just few hours before taking a flight to Paris the next day. This was the first time I felt in love with Greek Frozen Youghurt! You can have a taste of original Greek Youghurt topped with honey there. Might wanna reconsider going there again to visit Santorini.
8. Manchester, Liverpool, & Edinburgh
In my UK trip, I also visited Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh. Most of the time, we got there by bus or train. The journey was tiring. To travel from London to Edinburgh and then take a flight to Ireland. Back to London again to catch the flight back to Jordan. We had friends across UK alhamdulillah, so I asked my friends for help. I got free accommodations and food from them, at least for a few days. So, we saved up a big time. We spent such little time at each stop that I think of going back, especially Edinburgh. I din’d get enough time to properly visit all places. But not in the near future.
10. Seoul, South Korea
This was the most anticipated trip because my love for Korea is unconditional. I felt in love in Kpop when I first knew Big Bang. That’s another story. My friends all went to Korea at least once in their life, and there are a lot of articles about low budget trip to Korea where you can actually spend less than MYR 2K there. I am shocked. However, I cannot handle the hectic life of Seoul. Seoul is the heart of South Korea. Their subway is massively busy. Seoul people use subway most of the time and it is easy to move around. You don’t have to get into a taxi to get to an attraction, everything is one ‘subway-away’. Not to mention, it’s easy to navigate.
Seoul is too much for me and I don’t think of going back soon. I still have the fun don’t get me wrong. But I have to be fair, so I’m planning to come back and visit only Jeju. Give South Korea a second chance. We’ll see when.
The last stop for my UK trip in 2016 was Ireland. It was a very good destination for nature lover but I won’t recommend going there in winter. The whether tend to be cloudy and it rained a lot. Most of the time, you can’t see the beauty of nature. And to get from one place to another there was quite a journey. We even had to cancel our plan to the famous Cliff of Moher. Because it took us much time to even get there while we only had limited time in Ireland. So, I had to revisit again of course! Ireland was famous for St. Patrick Day. So, you would find the three-leaves clover in all souvenirs shop. I bought one home hehe. Because it’s so cute, and the fourth leave symbolizes luck. (if we are lucky to find it)
I hate it here. Italy wasn’t for me. I mean, no. I used to love it but not anymore. They say Rome is the city of love, most of the time I think because of a movie I can’t remember the title. There were some moments which indeed memorable and worth a visit, but still no. I won’t be going back. I just went to Milan and Rome. We had to cut off our vacations because the sudden exam announcement from the university. My aim was to visit the Trevi Fountain, but when I got there, it was under construction! My whole moment was ruined. So yes, Italy wasn’t for me. I’d like to come back to visit Venice and Florence but only if I have no other choice.
This is a sad story because I only visited Madrid. Because our holidays were cut off, Spain was one of the country where we had major changes. It is sad. I didn’t even get to visit the Alhambra. It was over six years ago I couldn’t remember what were the places we got to visit. Luckily, we got to visit Santiago Bernabeu Stadium – from the outside. haha. Btw, my hard disk was damaged so I lost almost all my first year trip. So, no pictures sadly.
14. Hatyai, Thailand
What can I say? Cukuplah sekali hahahaha. It was good and memorable because I went there with my family. Especially my father right before he died. That’s the last vacation I had with him.
I won’t come again. But I can’t say much because I don’t know the future. I don’t really like it there. Maybe I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe I need to visit again and have someone show me the way of Paris so I can have a change of mind. I don’t know. For the time being, no. I don’t like it
I agree that in my circumstances, it is a privilege. To be able to travel to many places that if it isn’t for what I have, it is impossible. Thanks everyone making this little kampung girl see the world by herself.
I am forever grateful for it and never have I ever want to take it for granted.
Top 5 Places I Plan To Revisit:
- Mecca. Medina