Tag Archives: backpackers

This week, This Past Weekend, and in 90 Days.

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Wow! It’s been an incredibly busy week over here and it’s only Tuesday. The good news is that we have a 3 day work week this week which means 4 days off to travel Korea. I am super excited to hike/camp this weekend, but I have hardly had a second to think about it as my “to-do” list continues to grow and grow. Do you have weeks or days when you feel like you can hardly keep up? I love being busy, and I love the chaos (I know I am crazy for loving it, right?!) BUT I am really looking forward to 4 days of hiking/camping with my partner n’ crime along with our friend Pat starting tomorrow when we will make the trek a few hours away for some awesome hiking and camping.

This week:

Featured Expat

I’m now officially a “featured blog” on the Expat Blog website (a website with TONS of amazing blogs from expats living abroad!!!) Which I am pretty pumped about. Take a gander over to my new blog listing here and leave me some love in the comment section at the bottom of the page. To my fellow travel lovers out there: take a look at their “country listing section” where you can check out over 1,977 blogs sorted by country of interest. I have said hello to hours of awesome blog reading while planning my dream trips/ must see countries!!! Our “must see” travel list just keeps growing.

This past weekend:

WE explored yet another gorgeous island which you can read all about HERE where my awesome husband documented our entire day trip/ hike. He’s pretty darn cool. I am glad we are married.

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In exactly 90 days:

We are going to Mexico. YUP MEXICO! For my dear friend’s destination wedding that I am in. EEP! I am so beyond excited. Tom and I didn’t plan on traveling from South Korea to Mexico since it is quite the hike, but we are so excited to be spending time with them in Mexico AND I am thrilled to stand next to such an amazing friend on her wedding day. We will spend 5 days in Mexico for the wedding with an (extremely) quick pit stop back in Wisconsin, USA to see our family for just 5 short days.

Katie and I in back when we both lived in Fiji in 2009. SO thrilled to be in this gals wedding on her big day in January.

Tom and I both have to be back in Korea to teach English winter camp right after the wedding so it will be a whirlwind of a trip (not to mention the insane jet lag I am sure we will have!!) but we are really blessed to be able to take the opportunity to spend time with our family even if it’s just a quick few days.

Lastly, after the quick 5 days in the USA as well as 5 days in Mexico we will have around 10 days left of vacation to use come end of January/ Early February after we teach winter camps. Right now the top 3 countries in the running to visit in February are as follows in no particular order:

Indonesia

photo from 123rf.com

Philippines  

photo from squidoo.com

photo from squidoo.com

OR

Thailand 

taken from iasaglobal.com

Which one would you choose? All of them are new to Tom and I so maybe we will just roll the dice?!? How do you decide when they all look equally amazing?

Lastly, travelin friends n’ family: Any tips on overcoming jet lag fast? I’ll probably ask this question again as we near the big trip to Mexico/ Wisconsin. We need all of the tips that we can get.

Love to all you from South Korea.

-e

Kota Kinabalu- The Gateway to Malaysia’s Rainforests.

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Kota Kinabalu- The Gateway to Malaysia’s Rainforests.

We arrived after a day of travel from South Korea to the quaint little city of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Admittedly we had no idea that Malaysia is separated into two regions (two islands) BUT the part we mainly visited is known to tourists as “Sabah” or “Borneo” and to locals as “East Malaysia” and to Midwestern U.S folk: the boonies, the sticks, or middle of no where. We found ourselves loving the Malaysian rainforest!

Our last two days were spent in Peninsular Malaysia at the country’s capital: Kuala Lumpur. First things first though.

There is so much to say and so much to share, but I thought I would try to first keep it simple, and secondly keep it short. (Both extremely difficult after so many incredible adventures.) To say we had the trip of the life time is definitely an understatement. From the people we met from all around the world who had incredible travel stories where they are making travel a way of life, to the food, and the beautiful islands, wild life, and rain forests… I can’t tell you how many times I would just sit back in awe of where we were, what we were doing, and how we got to the place (path) that led us to cross paths with Malaysia. The trip just kept getting better and better.   Kota Kinabalu was where we spent two days and two nights eating REAL Italian food with a table for two in the bay, getting in 3 AWESOME scuba dives in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park with a cool little company called Scuba Junkie, taking a boat with locals over to Manukan island for a day at the beach,  and visiting Kota Kinabalu’s famous Gaya Street market where you could buy everything from an animal to souvenirs! Kota Kinabalu was where our journey in Malaysia all began. You’ll also see pictures of the places we stayed at…where almost all of the places were either eco friendly, or had amazingly helpful staff, and most of the time they had both. Tom has been quite inspired by a man named Rob Greenfield who’s blog he has been following, and reading. Rob’s blog has begun to in small ways positively affect the way we travel, and live life.

We always tried to do two things:

1. Keep it affordable!

2. Seek adventure.

I’d say we achieved them both, but maybe pictures will tell it better than I can. Most of the photo credit certainly goes to my awesome husband Tom…and now without further ado I bring you my very favorite photos of our first two days before we climbed Mt. Kinabalu, and the explored the rainforests! I give you Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia through our eyes…

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We devoured our meal so quickly that we forgot to take pics! It had been so long since we had Italian food. Eating at Gusto on the bay.

We devoured our meal so quickly that we forgot to take pics! It had been so long since we had Italian food. Eating at Gusto on the bay.

Our digs for 2 nights in KK. We loved staying here because of the incredible staff!

Our digs for 2 nights in KK. We loved staying here because of the incredible staff and the bang for our buck! We had our own cozy little room.

Getting ready to scuba dive off the boat!

Getting ready to scuba dive off the boat!

Tunku abdul rahman marine park for some diving.

Tunku abdul rahman marine park for some diving.

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Stop between dives on Sapi island!

Stop between dives on Sapi island!

This guy wanted to hang with us for lunch!!!

This guy wanted to hang with us for lunch!!!

Heading out for more diving.

Heading out for more diving.

Gaya Street Market

Gaya Street Market

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Rambutan- SO amazingly delicious once the skin is peeled off. Inside tastes and sort of looks like a grape 🙂

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We bought a big bag of Durian- known in Southeast Asia as the “King of Fruits.” It has a thorny outside and is known to smell like onions (we didn’t smell it) but it tasted like custard and almonds to me. Pretty delicious! Tom loved this one.

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Dragon fruit or Pitaya was pretty delicious as well. We had a great time buying fruit and tasting it. All of which we had never had before in the States. It was really this bright neon pink!! It didn’t stain the hands/ mouth as much as I thought it might.

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This cutie was working the market stall all by herself! She was tiny!

Island exploration to Manukan Island

Island exploration to Manukan Island

Saw another one of these guys... looked like a dragon!

Saw another one of these guys… looked like a dragon!

Beach bummin for the day.

Beach bummin for the day.

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A storms a brewin' just as we caught our little boat back to the mainland.

A storms a brewin’ just as we caught our little boat back to the mainland.

Up next more pictures of  exploring Gaya Street Market as well as the night market in Kota Kinabalu, and the continued journey through Malaysia as we headed East to climb a mountain, hang with the orangutans, and even manage to get in 3 river safaris to check out the rainforest wildlife.

In the meantime I’ll just be here pretending we are still travelin’ and trekkin’ through Malaysia 😉