Love Love Peace Peace

Now that Eurovision 2016 has ended, I find myself at a loose end. Yes, I’m too invested in this shit. I’ve been crooning this all day long

Why am I doing this actually, trying to start a travel blog? Not only am I 6 years late to the game and my photos are of the shitty quality, most of the things I have in mind have already been covered in numerous websites and blogs. One thing that is glaringly obvious in most blogs and websites though is that they only touch on 2 ends of the spectrum; one is for people on a shoestring budget, and the other one is for the people opposite of that. Maybe it’s too optimistic (and ambitious!) of me to say that I’m trying to find a middle ground between the two.

I always distance myself from generalising people and such but sometimes I can’t help myself. I always believe that everyone has his/her/their own preferences when it comes to travelling because hey, different people like different things. Some people want to cram as much activities/places as possible into their travel plans and some like to take it leisurely. Some people like the beach and some don’t, and that’s okay. Some people go for the cheapest plans and some are willing to fork out more. What I’m trying to say is, we are all different and each of us approach travelling differently.

I don’t have lots of money at my disposal but I don’t mind paying for comfort. And I like historical places. The older and the more decaying they are, the more I like them. I like knowing how things were done back then. I love visiting shrines, temples, mosques, cathedrals, tombs, castles, museums and such. I love learning about different religions and cultures. Everything historical is fascinating to me.

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Conwy Castle in Wales.

And I don’t like beaches. I won’t say no to beaches, but if I can help it, I won’t put it in my travelling plans. But that’s just me.

What irks me is that some people have this mindset that everyone wants to follow the same set of plans, especially when you’re travelling in a group. Okay, story time. I went to Guangzhou last year with my family and we stayed at a hotel near the Guangzhou Zoo. It’s a lovely, large zoo and you need to only pay 20 yen to enter. I saw pandas and red pandas for the first time. I saw elephants (my favourite animal) lazing around a large compound. I saw rhinos and giraffes and others. I thought it was amazing but my cousins apparently thought not. After 20 minutes of walking around, they wanted to go back to the hotel because they said they were tired ( we were walking around the area right after we checked in and decided to go to the zoo on impulse). I told them to go back but they didn’t want to leave me alone. They grumbled the whole way saying their feet were hurt and I told them again to go back. After the third time, I turned deaf to their grumbling.

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If you squint your eyes, you can actually see a fat panda being lazy (a.k.a my spirit animal)
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A rhino giving me a “not impressed” look

That wasn’t the only instance where my interests clashed with others during the Guangzhou trip. For me, when I go to a different country, I like to try their local dishes. And in Guangzhou, where you can find restaurants/stalls operated by the Uyghurs and therefore halal, I really thought there was no need to look any further. I was wrong though. Another cousin accidentally came across an Indonesian restaurant near our hotel and we ate there every fucking day. An Indonesian restaurant in Guangzhou, can you imagine how much that cost us? A fucking lot, I can tell you. I can find at least 10 Indonesian restaurants in Kajang and Bangi alone. Luckily I skipped out for the last 2 days and went exploring the city alone and salvaged what was left of my sanity (the others went shopping every day). Please believe me when I say there are more to Guangzhou than just mega shopping malls.

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Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, where a large collection of traditional art pieces is displayed. IMPORTANT NOTE: one of it is ivory carving, which I vehemently oppose.
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A creepy mannequin in Peasant Movement Training Institute, one of the highlights of my trip

I can write more about the Guangzhou trip if this blog takes off.

So there you have it. I think there’s nothing wrong if you go to London and you don’t feel the need to see the Big Ben. There’s nothing wrong if you go to  Saigon and you don’t feel the need to buy Naelofar scarves and check out the hipster cafés there. And there is absolutely nothing wrong if you go to Kuching and there is no photo of you with that cat statue. It’s okay if you don’t go to the same spot millions have gone to. You don’t need to ask for others’ validation by taking 10,000 selfies and post them on Instagram to show that you’re having fun. But if you think that posting 10,000 selfies while on vacation is your prerogative, then please go for it.

Like I said, different strokes for different folks. Just go have fun and don’t let others bring you down.

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