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My Travel Writing Scholarship 2011 entry - My Big Adventure

WORLDWIDE | Thursday, 3 March 2011 | Views [104] | Scholarship Entry

Someone prophesied to me before. He said I will be going to places where I never imagined before. I doubted him; I even thought he was drunk when he said it. In my little world at that time, I only knew about my house, my own backyard and the town where I grew up.

Alas, years later the prophecy turned into reality. It has not completed, of course. In fact, the journey was just a beginning. My journey took me first to the various towns in my home state, Sabah. I was travelling with my mother’s family. We crossed many towns. Some of them were totally alien to me. But the journey was really an eye-opening experience. Being led out from the cocoon for a first time, I was able to learn many things which I otherwise would not be able to get had I just stick around in home watching television. When we went for jungle trekking, our guide told us to guard our mouth. He sternly advised us not to be loquacious. I later learned that such culture was developed and practised as a mark of respect to the nature and its spirits. They treated nature as their home. The amount of respect that these people paid to nature really amazed me. I was humbled by their culture.

After those wonderful trips, I was determined to see the outside world. Soon after that, I was offered a place to further my studies in a university at the other side of my country. I seized the opportunity, packed my things up and jumped on the plane; I was enthusiastic and imbued with endless expectations.

I must admit the place where I went to study were really alien to me. Despite my mental preparation, I succumbed nevertheless to cultural shock. Food was really a problem to me. I had to swallow spicy food practically every day. Luckily, I managed to adapt quickly.

Despite all the obstacles that I had to face, I must say that the leap that I have taken really paid me well. Besides enriching my intellect, I also learned to develop my survival skills. It could never be more intriguing than trying to survive on a few bucks for a couple of days; or making friends with good Samaritans to enable you to spend an exhaustive night at a nice comfortable cushion, instead of the bush beside the road after a plan went south.

The adventure was really a life transformation process. Moving away from the bondage of comfort, the five adventurous years of my time in Peninsula Malaysia enabled me to call everywhere as my home. Now, no places are alien to me anymore. How can they be, when I can comfortably call them home?

Tags: #2011Writing, Travel Writing Scholarship 2011

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