Something you miss

I miss my overseas travels.

I still vividly remember the views of glistening aqua blue waters and picturesque limestone cliffs greeting me as I had an exhilarating ride on the speedboat in Krabi. I miss the moments of being hoisted up onto the back of an elephant in the middle of a jungle. I also remember feeling its pain as it bore the brunt of its handlers’ sticks and shouts.

I remember the fast beating of my heart as my family and I took the cable car up to one of the highest points in Langkawi. The gorgeous scenery as we reached the top were priceless.

My friends and I walking along the cobblestone streets in Lijiang, China as we braved the chilly temperatures of -5 degrees Celsius. Expressing delight and squealing at the sight of the mist as we exhaled air. I remember trying Ox meat and loving it.

Eating banana nutella crepes while walking along the busy streets in Bangkok. Walking cautiously along the narrow streets with our cute umbrellas as the heavy downpour tested our patience. Taking a tuk-tuk that found ourselves clutching for our dear lives as the driver weaved in and out of the busy traffic at dangerous speeds. Haggling with sellers over incredibly inexpensive items and having spicy, sumptous Thai meals.

Experiencing the most exhilarating Flying Fish experience in the waters in Bali! Hopping from one eatery to another, sampling foods and enjoying the laidback atmosphere. Having a seafood dinner by Jimbaran beach as the setting sun teased us with its rays and the gorgeous colour palette it was creating in the sky. Visiting Bali’s temples and immersing ourselves in their culture.

My cousin and I breaking away from the tour group to head to a cafe on our last day in Chiangmai, Northern Thailand. Feeling contented and happy with the food, the cafe ambience and each other’s company. My cousin and I deciding to head down to the night market near our hotel at 10.30pm and explore the area. Both of us marvelling at the beautiful Chiangmai White Temples and the hotsprings. Breaking away from the group once again to head to another cafe and sip really good iced coffee. Feeling light and happy while walking through the Flower Garden and taking in the sights of nature’s beauty. I remember empathising with the chained monkeys who were forced to perform tricks for us. The kind driver whom we made friends with.

Mentally preparing myself for the eight-hour flight to Sydney and getting by with a few hours of sleep. Waking up to a sumptuous breakfast that saw me devouring scrambled eggs, sausages, potatoes, roasted tomatoes, a muffin, a cup o coffee and some juice. Reaching our hotel and feeling a little let down by the rainy weather but still pumped at seeing the spirit of Sydney’s CBD; the fast-walking office crowds, the fashion on display, the architectures and hearing the OZ accent. Having the best tasting fish and chips at a restaurant overlooking Blue Mountains. Visiting Blue Mountains and simply standing their in awe of the Three Sisters Rock formation, the terrains and the gorgeous weather that accentuated the beauty of Blue Mountains. Checking into a cafe in the evening and having my very first churros with a piping hot mocha as it rained heavily outside. Walking along the streets at night as the temperature dropped to 5 degrees, embracing the moods of the city. Taking a double-decker tube for the first time ever! Feeling so excited at the sight of apparel shops! Savouring every bit of an extremely delectable hotel breakfast. Not liking the early call time of 7am to go sight-seeing with the tour group. Going on a mini boat ride and seeing the Sydney Harbour Bridge in all its splendour in the calming night sky. Getting upfront and close with the kangaroos and koalas and feeling my heart swell with happiness in those moments. Watching Whiplash and an Amanda Seyfried movie back to back on the way back to Singapore in the plane.

Feeling the warmth of the locals in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Loving every bit of the local food and how tasty every dish was. In awe of the calm vibes and moods of the streets and the mutual understanding drivers had with each other on the road. Enjoying the tuk-tuk ride that wasn’t quite like Bangkok’s and very much a pleasant one! Growing accustomed to the presence of crickets because it was cricket season in Siem Reap; swatting at them confidently even when one sat on my bag and hair. Listening intently to our guide who shared tons of stories about the war, history and culture of Siem Reap and Ang Kor’s temples. Travelling to a village in Siem Reap and witnessing first hand how the locals went about their daily lives and realising how little they got by and how much they were completely cut off from the modern world. Visiting Ang Kor Wat and marvelling at the rich history of the place and how much the people of Siem Reap had gone through.

My very first parasailing experience in Desaru! Those moments of being that high above the sea and looking down at my feet that was juxtaposed against the view of a large swathe of blue-green waters will forever be etched in my heart.

I miss travelling.