How ya going mate, allright?

Hi all!

It’s after reading Dieter’s latest blog post on “Dieter Down Under – Cultural Learnings of Australia for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Belgium” and with some inspiration out of “They’re a Weird Mob – by Nino Culotta” that I finally know how I want to share my latest happenings.. I’ve been chewing on my pen for a while, but didn’t have the positive energy I usually have to type it down.

After a storm, Port Philip Bay looks the most stunning..

After a storm, Port Philip Bay looks the most stunning..

It’s been a very rainy day today, after a long drought effecting the farmers, so, even though sad and miserable, rain is more then welcome. It’s also ok weather for being sick watching movies and trying out colouring for adults. Reading blogs is another “being-sick-occupation” and in my favourite one, my friend Dieter confirmed his big decision: to not fly back to Australia just yet, but more importantly to give up on his dream of becoming a lifeguard down under. A couple of reasons but one that I would like to quote: “First and foremost, I’m tired of being on the road constantly, of not having a place of my own, and of having to adapt to new circumstances every few weeks. I desperately need some rest.”.

I had a dream too: to achieve a marketing and sales career down under, while balancing work and life the Aussie way. When I went home for a month in August, I was so proud and happy about this challenge, having an exciting job to fly back to, including a 457 Work Visa. I told my friends it might be 4 years now that I would be away from home, gathering overseas business experience and  being able to obtain Permanent Residency in that timeframe, so that I might have been able to retire on the ‘kangaroo island’ (yes, I know it’s scary how I sometimes want to foresee long term future plans). Many asked if I was going to live there for good, but I’ve never been able to give a firm YES on that. I noticed in August that I also still love Belgium and that I missed my friends and family!!

As I tried to explain in an earlier post, the overseas career challenge was very important to me. I could have found a way to stay longer, but giving up my job ambitions for a ticket down under did not feel like the right thing to do. I suppose I’ve learnt or changed a lot, entering Australia not wanting to do any kind of office job at all and open-minded to do any kind of challenge to stay around those lovely Aussies. Something that I recognise in Nino Culotta, the Italian guy that comes off the boat in Sydney to write for his publisher, but quickly ends up one of the Aussies in construction, rather then doing the touristy bits and pieces. He, like myself, became a “matey”, a friend not a tourist, being part of the real Aussie life..  I like how he describes: “..And I thought about the others, and how I would like to take them all home to Italy to show my people how strange were these Australians. Strangely profane and cynical and abusive, but basically such good men, delighting in simple pleasures.”

So yes, I decided to end the pursuit of one dream, and just like Dieter: I desperately need some rest. It was after a lot of insisting from my behalf that I finally got a detailed update on the Sponsorship Application. From the initial agreement conversation with Think Fencing on the 16th of June – understanding about my visa status and what they had to commit for – it took the company nearly 4 months to reconsider and to not employ me after all (via email!). The reasons are completely understandable (eg:  “There is a significant percentage of unemployed eligible workers in the Geelong region that the Government is offering subsidies for companies that will employ them.  So this goes against what we are trying to do.”) , but it was a hard pill for me to swallow, since they could have thought about this in June, which would have given me the opportunity to go ahead with BJS Insurance in Melbourne instead.. These are offcourse things you cannot foresee. You make a decision with the factors you know at the time and yes, maybe I gambled a bit because for sure the Melbourne company was bigger and more professional , but who would not say yes to a job 10 minutes from my dream location home near Port Philip Bay..  I am sure that Think Fencing would have thought sponsoring was much easier and shame for them to have to let go an eager Belgian professional, still this event caused a lot of grief..

Finally reunited 52 weeks per year 🙂

When I finally had clearness about Think Fencing, I contacted BJS. Unfortunately the position was not available anymore: in the mean time BJS had restructured their Marketing. It was nice to not just have an email saying this, a lovely apologising phone call and a coffee catch up on top of that shows how people can interact with tact and decency.. I applied for one more job with Shell, but honestly I think my chances are little. Plus by the time they would have gone through the first selection round, my tourist visa would be expired..

My best horsy buddies: Harvey and Katie

So that’s me: a house, a horse, friends, basically a life, but no valid work visa.. Eureka, I knew what to do: make the most out of it! After endless friend therapy sessions, winging about this ‘horrible situation’, having to find a solution for Mr Darcy, considering a student visa ($ 11 000 for a 1 year Diploma in Accounting), I got sick and tired of the unknown, so I decided on my next chapter:

4 December flying out of the country to New Zealand!! Catching up with dad who is visiting a friend of his up near Christchurch. After that, 16 December, I’m getting back up to Auckland to catch up with my cousin, who had booked a trip to NZ in combination with Australia to come and visit me. So VOILA, here we go, equipped with a campervan and 2 surf boards (thanks to Benoit!), I reckon this will be a hell lot of fun!! And because my cousin had already booked a Melbourne / Australia visit, I’m going to stay 10 more days in the land down under between the 7th and the 17th of January, so Australia, hold on for a short but final return!! After doing this addition before flying home, I won’t be able to regret a thing and I will be so ready to kick-start my career again!

Champion friends helping me out with the house on their holiday!!

To finish up, I must admit the last couple of months haven’t been the most easy ones. Still I have been such a lucky girl! Having Ilke and Mauwrijn over on a visit between the 4th and 23th of October was AWESOME! The time spend with my Aussie mates has been great and I’m sure we’ll do some more memorable things the upcoming month, such as a scuba dive experience:). Also getting to know the ocean better with Joel, has been unforgettable : paragliding over the beginning of the Great Ocean Road, supping near Torquay, learning to ride a wave at Anglesea beach,  not to forget the thrill of a little wing to catch the wind near the water and letting me borrow a great board  and wetsuits! I’ve been privileged in lots of ways the last 2 years and I am super grateful for that.

So how I’m going? Mate, I’m all right, but I will bloody miss this country and my beautiful Aussie buddies big time!! Trying not to mention Mr Darcy, for who I have to find a new home, the hardest GOODBYE in this whole Aussie story..

Day 1 with 2 lovelies in Melbourne botanic garden

PS: The day before yesterday, history was written: Michelle Payne becomes the first female jockey to win the Melbourne cup with Prince of Penzance and inspires women by stating: “For those who  say women aren’t strong enough – get stuffed!”.

Surprise Surprise or a travel to the known – Belgium

Flying out Australia

Australian West Coast

airport life

Frequent Airport Visitor instead of Cabin Crew 🙂

The last 3 years have been a pretty big adventure, starting with moving to Ghent end of October 2012.

Visiting my sister and her partner in Dubai was an eye opener on how a job overseas would be a good change, having the flexibility of being single. First I thought about cabin crew. Brought word and thought into action, I applied and drove  to Paris for an job application with Emirates, after which I flew out the same day for a group application in Rabat Morocco for Etihad cabin crew. Out of 150 something, I made it to the last stage, but in the end I wasn’t selected. Emirates contacted me again for a second round, but I think I kind of also started to see the down sides of a life in the air. I also strongly believe in faith, and apparently “Elien the air hostess” wasn’t meant to be.

vlaanderenstraat gent

Vlaanderenstraat – Ghent

Next Australia “knocked on the door”. My dream horsey country being parked on the bucket list until one day… After I got myself installed in the heart of Ghent in my cozy studio in Vlaanderstraat above the best chocolatier Joost Arijs, it was only half a year later that I made the big decision to quit my job as a project leader for Colruyt, Halle, Brussels and go …

The plan was to go out and about in Australia for a year tops. Being there 8 months, I knew a year wouldn’t be enough, so I did what I had to do to extend my visa. As you might have read, I meanly did hospitality jobs in WA and Victoria, combined with voluntary horse work. Had a lot of fun and good experiences, but finally in March this year I decided not to stay in Australia unless I got employed again in my old field: Marketing and Business Management. A big time challenge chasing the right job having a visa about to expire!

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Belgian summer – Blankenberge

While applying for 2 job opportunities, 1 in Melbourne city and 1 locally (Portarlington), I figured out that my new visa might take some time. So why not leaving the country when I have to and explore New Zealand?

I figured out that I preferred going to NZ in summer, as well as going with some pocket money to play around, rather then staying at 1 spot to do voluntary work. On the other hand… Exploring a new country in winter and then maybe one day in summer, why not just do it…

19th of June I finally got started, not just the job position I desired, it is just 10 minutes from home! A biggie for a Belgian being used to commuting 3 hours every day… This change made it logical not to go to NZ but to travel home, la petite Belgique.. Since I couldn’t have Christmas off, I didn’t see the point not to go now, in Belgian summer, enjoying the longer days, spending time with friends and family. So with only a couple of people informed about my visit, the surprise was quiet big, mainly for mum and dad who couldn’t figure it out why I was suddenly at my sisters place. Aeeik, a ghost :)!

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Now I’m here for 4 weeks, Belgium or let’s say, Flanders, whilst the process for my 457 Work Visa is finally ongoing! The 3rd of September I fly back in, on the Monday I’m back at work, something I look forward to! I love having travel, family, friends and pleasure time, but secretly I also love my time being at work. Balance is definitely my way! And also without hard work, there would be no room or money on the account to play (harder)!

 

 

Groetjes, xx Elien

Another look at Hong Kong – 3 day solo stop over

Hi! Below I tried to summarize my 3 day stopover in Hong Kong end of July. I’m late with the post and I failed in summing up just the highlights. The details are important to me though, and hope that by sharing I can make you keen on visiting new places, with a friend, with your partner, on your own, and also important: even on a budget! In the mean time a lot is happening Down Under. I’ll keep you posted! x Elien

PS: posts in English: sorry for my lovelies back home, but it upgrades my English written skills x

NEIH hóu!  from The Peak

NEIH hóu!  from The Peak

Tuesday 28 July 2015 – Arrival – 1st ½ DAY

Although both Chinese and English are acknowledged as Hong Kong’s official languages, day 1 I learn a basic word in Cantonese, spoken by almost 90 % of the “Hongkongers”: Neih Hou meaning Hello! Knowing only European languages, I must admit it’s difficult to get it right. I would recommend a lovely local, a Tsingtao beer plus “write it down phonetically and repeat, repeat, repeat” and MAYBE you will master 1 word :).

Photo from in Metro going from Airport to Cental

Photo from in Metro going from Airport to Cental

As a solo traveler, it is always nice to know at least 1 local person. It’s also the best way to experience the “real life”.. During my Red Centre trip with Groovy Grape July 2014, I’ve met 4 lovely ‘Chinese’, as at that stage, I was culturally unaware, that there is a big difference between someone from China and someone from Hong Kong. Hong Kong as it is known today, was born when China’s Qing dynasty government was defeated by the Brits in 1842. Having this British influence, becoming a capitalist economy where China stayed (partially) socialist, having better wages, better life-style, more freedom then China in general, it kind of irritates the Hongkongers being called Chinese. It makes sense to menow. I guess it’s a cultural thing like with the Belgians: me from the North, I’m more proud to be called Flemish rather then Belgian ;).

Meet Mavis

Meet Mavis

In 1997 however, Hong Kong became Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. Mavis explains to me that since then she feels that Hong Kong becomes more and more restraint. For example the Chinese are not allowed to have Facebook, whereas the Hongkongers still have that luck, but until when…

Minihotel

Minihotel

Mavis Cheng is my best local guide ever. After arriving in Hong Kong’s very welcoming airport (I get this enveloppe with vouchers and a Hong Kong duck, magnets and other goodies – promoting their ‘Summer fun’), I take the metro from Chek Lap Kok Island to Central, the business district on Hong Kong Island. That’s where I booked 3 nights in “Minihotel Central” – Ice House st, combining my Qantas-points and some dollars, which made it a good deal. If you pay full price, you have to count 700 HKD (80 euro or 125 AUD), which is cheap in that area.. It’s a very compact room, with all the nice, clean commodities, even a phone which you can use during your stay, having data and credit to call locally. Handy for a sole traveller, if you get lost and you happen to not see anyone around to ask for help (cause they will all help you!), you always have Google Maps only a click away.

After a refresh in my mini room, I have 4 hours before I catch up with Mavis, feeling like some fresh light food. Just a doorstep away, I found the perfect spot: Fringe Club, on the second floor on 2 Albert road: enjoying their salads and soup buffet plus a coffee for 98 HKD (11 euro or 17.50 AUD) sitting outside in the alfresco area, looking out over Hong Kongs skyscrapers but also over some lush green trees. I decide to follow that green path until after 10 minutes I realize I must have arrived at a famous tourist attraction. Rows and rows of people, just to get a ticket to go up Hong Kong’s hills with the old Peak Tram. I observe and ask how long it would take me to get a ticket: “Aprox 1.5 hours…” Right.. I come closer to a German or Swiss family awaiting a taxi. They decide to take the taxi up and then book a single ticket to get back with the tram. Unfortunately their cap is full. I notice another fellow, observing and wandering around.

The Peak

The Peak

Then I just speak up, suggesting to share a cap, and “voila”, off we go : a German that just arrived about a week ago to do a 1 year Finance Master degree and a Belgian, saving a dollar on sharing a cap, and having a companion to wander around up Victoria Peak, a 552 m Mountain also know as the Peak, a stunning spot that offers spectacular views of the city and its harbors. FYI: a taxi to go up is about 45 HKD which is about the same price (if you share one) as a one way Tram fare without the wait to get to the top (Tram Fare is 25 HKD per person).

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Victoria Peak Garden

Victoria Peak Garden

Time flies as I realize I have to get back to the Minihotel (due to this time lack, taxi back instead of the Tram Fare) as Mavis picks me up from my lobby at 18:00 PM to go eat traditional food and go sightseeing.

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IMG_0545 Since the Hongkongers from the Red Centre trip were still Down Under, they brought me in contact with this beautiful energetic Barista, who happens to have an Australian boyfriend and hopes to go over there again at some stage. Ideally Mavis wants to take me out for traditional lunch, to have dim sum or also known as going to “drink tea” (yum cha), as dim sum is typically served with tea. Instead it’s dinner and 162 Wellington street is our destination, where I’m the only Western person: PERFECT! We indulge lots of yammies such as duck, and I have my first TsingtaoIMG_0548 beer, a Hong Kong delight. “O how baaauw” – I’m full from all the yammies :). To digest the meal, we go for a walk through the highest building of Hong Kong, to then go to the harbour, taking the Star Farry, one of National Geographic’s 50 “Places of a Lifetime”. A fun and cheap way to travel between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, a ride – existing since 1898 – where you can enjoy an up-close look at the world-famous Victoria Harbour.

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In Kowloon we are lucky to watch Hong Kong’s free Pulse 3d Light Show with exciting audiovisual effects at the iconic buildings of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and the Clock Tower at Tsim Sha Tsui. After enjoying the light show, we stroll along the Avenue of Stars, located along the Victoria Harbour waterfront, honoring celebrities of the Hong Kong film industry.

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

Even though it’s a Tuesday night, the city seems to not go to sleep. And although I would have loved to stay longer, my mind, as well as Mavis having to work the day after, brings me back to my hotel bed for a peaceful sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 29 July 2015 – full DAY 1

I suppose it is the adrenaline that gives you the energy, and with that energy today’s plan is to go hike the Dragons Back, voted the “Best Urban Hiking Trial in Asia”. With a short metro ride from Central to Sai Wan Ho (10 HKD) you then take bus 9 to Dragons Back (7 HKD). Going on that bus, you realize you’re in more “remote” Hong Kong, when you sense that the bus driver can’t really understand you if you ask him: “Is this the right bus to go to Dragon’s Back?”. Luckily I spot 2 friendly-looking men in hiking shoes, and a hello and double check with them, makes it a relaxed trip, since they know exactly where to get off the bus. IMG_0592When we arrive, it’s the 2 men, a Spanish couple and me that are about to start the hike. I start latest, considering spreading out a bit, so we don’t walk on each others heels. I’m surprised that I don’t cross more people, imagining that a lot of city people would like to come here for an outdoors activity.. The trial, connecting 2 mountain tops shaping it a dragon’s backbone, becomes a mix of me-time and socialising with the 2 “friendly-looking men”. James came over from the UK to Hong Kong as an expat, and has lived in HK for 10 years now, shortly moving to a new life in Canada with his wife and 2 children. The other man is his father Dave, an unbelievably fit 70-something man that travels the world visiting his children and grand-children. The 8.5 km trial ends after 2 hours (Discover Hong Kong says its approx 6 hours) at

Big Wave Bay

Big Wave Bay

Big Wave Bay, a stunning beach including changing rooms with showers, lifeguards and shark nets. James tells me (after our swim) that although sharks are now rare thanks to over-exploitation, there were several attacks during the 1990’s, some fatal.

After a short taxi drive from Big Wave Bay, we have lunch in Shek O, a slightly bigger coastal town, enjoying fresh coconut-water and a Thai seafood dish.

Thai

Thai

I’ve been really lucky meeting these 2 lovely people, sharing our stories, jokes and travels. But then time comes to say good bye to James and Dave, when I head off to Central, and while they guys hurry up to be on time for Dave’s tennis game (YES! After a hike, that’s his plan! Really inspiring to stay so fit:)!)

I’m back to Minihotel and ready for a little shopping experiment, since my budget doesn’t really allow me to do “shop till you drop”. Hong Kong, known as one of worlds best shopping places, is not only good for electrical appliances, but definitely a must for the fashionistas like my mum and my sister, and ok, myself.. While I try to stick with window shopping, I suddenly remember that I ripped open my only long jeans while I was having a nap at Singapore stop-over. So I MUST go inside a store, just to do a good bargain, to not be cold in the air plane with a dress or short pants;). Topshop (UK multinational fashion retailer) is perfect for that, and since I have a pretty big shoe-size for HK-standards, I find lots of nice things in my size, ending up with buying 3 pieces on sale (including the needed pants, pink sneakers and a high waste short) for just 550 HKD (65 AUD or about 50 euros). To finish up being the girly girl, I cannot resist to go into COS. The brand under the H & M Group launched in 2007 has stores world-wide that are known for applying an architectural design concept that preserves buildings’ original features whilst creating a modern, welcoming space. So I go in, to “enjoy the store layout”, but soon I find myself trying on some clothes. Ending up with buying a basic T-shirt, considering that it will last me very long as COS always creates pieces that are made to last beyond the season. Ok, that’s what their brand stands for, and for me more an excuse to buy the T-shirt, cause I usually don’t shop much just for the brand, more just for what I like. And I haven’t shopped much at all the last 2 years, so “voila”. Enough about this little shopping fever. Maybe a boring bit for some of you, but an important side of HK. Plus (Whitney Houston): “I like being a woman, even in a mans world. After all, men can’t wear dresses, but we can wear the pants.”.

On the way out of the shopping area, I pass by many bars, all full of vibes and ambiance, something that I do miss now and then being in a quiet coastal town in Australia. So it’s decided: since I read about the famous bars and cocktails in HK, I have to experience it! Plus it’s been ages that I danced, probably since my knee-cap dislocation on the grassy dance floor in Ozone street..

I get changed into my new clothes with the pink sneakers, most comfy for some serious dancing moves ;)! When I pass by the bars again, I get a bit nervous where to go in, cause everyone is in their social group and it suddenly is very clear that it’s just me. I keep walking trying to find “my” bar and suddenly I realize that I’m bit lost. Since I left my free smart phone in the hotel, I can’t Google-map my way back, plus it happens to suddenly be a dead quiet road with no people to ask the way back to the night-life district. I grab a taxi and a bit disappointed I have to admit that I might have to skip my night out plan, pretty tired now from all the walking today. But then, in the taxi, I drive past this place that I saw before, and I change my mind. I ask the taxi driver to drop me off in front of the bar, but he friendly offers me to drive me to my hotel “Just so you know the way back from the bar to your hotel cause you’re nearly there.” That’s nice! And indeed: I am 5 minutes walking distance of Solas, where I suddenly feel confident enough to get a Bombay Gin (94 HKD) and blend in smoothly on the dance floor.

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An hour and an “impressive-‘Don’t believe me just watch’-demanding-the-whole-dance-floor-for-us”-dance later, I’m asked by an other lovely Brit Steven, to go next doors together with 4 more Brits. Yep, Brits still LOVE “their” Hong Kong. Next doors, in Dragon-I, the music was probably even more commercial, but still made it a perfect night out, ending at a reasonable 2 AM. As a goodbye, I take a “risky” pose on 1 of the 20 fancy motorbikes opposite the club: as you can see on the pic, I had a ball.. Thanks guys, for the boogies! For your information: they are not just Brits, they are from London: explaining me that’s why they know how to party :).

 

Thursday 30 July – DAY 3

Big Buddha

The Big Buddha is a large bronze statue completed in 1993 (cost 60 million HKD !!)

8 AM I finish a big McDonalds breakfast, ready for a day trip on another Hong Kong Island. James gave me some touristy advice, and his idea was to take the whole day to go visit Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Budha. With several options to get there, I chose to take the ferry from Central Pier (nr 6) to Mui Wo on Lantau Island. The ferry is 30 HKD single journey (about 40 mins) after which I take the bus (17 HKD) to Ngong Ping. Most tourists choose to go there with the Cable car (Ngong Ping 360). My intention was to take the Cable car on the way back, but that didn’t work out cause of a storm.

The statue is part of the Po Lin Monastry.

The statue is part of the Po Lin Monastry.

The Buddha symbolizes the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and faith.

The Buddha symbolizes the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and faith.

2 hours is enough time to have a look around, whereas for the Buddhists, drawn here from all over Asia, much more time is spend with prayers and burning rituals.

After the Buddha visit, most people combine their trip with a visit to Tai O, a community of fisher folk who’ve build their houses on stilts. The storm makes me decide to get the bus back to Mui Wo. I just miss the ferry, so to kill time wisely I have a walk followed by  a Thai Massage : a 1 hour one for 220 HKD, loosing up those stiff muscles from hiking and dancing the day before, so I would be comfortable on another 2 flights heading to Belgium the day after.

Time Square

Time Square

Back in the city by 6ish, I enjoy the last sunset in Hong Kong on one of the iconic old trams (2.30 HKD). The destination is Time Square, so you have to take either North Point or Happy Valley direction. Time Square is pretty impressive, but on the other hand just another big shopping mall, with the addition of the big shiny billboards outside, similar to the look of some NY streets. For me, the tram ride itself was pretty nice. A specially on the way back, sitting in the front on the top of the double deck, as if I was steering the wheels through a city that is always busy busy busy.

Friday 31 July – last ½ DAY

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Hong Kong Park

Today I have to leave Hong Kong, taking off for Brussels at 19:45 PM (Jet Airways via Mumbai). Since the last days were full-on, I do some research on where to go for breakfast with a view. It’s harder to find then I thought, but I finally read a review and google the address of Cafe Gray Deluxe: 49/F, Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway Admiralty. I see it is nearby Hong Kong Park, so I add that on the way up, which is definitely worth the extra steps. The park opened in 1991 covers 8 hectares and features amongst others: an aviary, fountains, lily ponds, but for me mainly a great vantage point to take some snaps of the surrounding skyscrapers.

For the foodies among us: I had the best breakfast ever.. IMG_0743Including the best view (the pictures don’t justify the reality) and best service (and how nice is it, when they come offer you a magazine or paper being in there on your own )!
Most people at Cafe Gray are hotel guests of the Upper House, but if you don’t have a room number and there’s tables available, you can order breakfast until 10:30 AM.  Since I don’t often go out for breakfast on my own so “fancy”, I have to add the details on what I eat.

Quinoa porridge

Quinoa yoghurt porridge

Breakfast course 1: Quinoa-yoghurt porridge, pears and raspberries with almond milk agave syrup (95 HKD). Breakfast course

Dutch pancakes

Dutch pancakes

2: Blueberry Dutch pancake with amber maple syrup and Devonshire cream (145 HKD). On top of that a Latte coffee offcourse and I felt like a queen, staying in there for over 2 hours. After leaving I think I spent another hour in one of the outside lobbies, going through my pictures and feeling truly lucky :).

I realize Asia, the worlds largest and most populous continent, has so many different cultures and experiences to offer. My visit in 2012 to the Unit Arab Emirates was the first one, a total difference if I compare it to my second Asian holiday which was in Bali, Indonesia..

Had some fans being tall and European :)

Had some fans being tall and European 🙂

You can’t see the whole world, but what I know is that a stopover is definitely a nice way to see just a bit more. Places like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) or even Dehli or Mumbai flying with Jet Airways. Not only I believe a stopover trip gives you a grasp of the culture, it is also good to settle down in the next time zone, preparing your body for more flying and different sleep and eat routines.

The world is for sure your oyster. With this post I did not just want to share a story, but also encourage to do a solo travel trip!  If you are a happy, open person, you’re never alone and you’ll meet so many new faces which you might not meet if you travel in group or with your partner or friend. I must admit: I like a bit of both: me-time exploring I love, but give me a friend or person I love, I will be even more adventurous with probably even less money needed to spend cause you have each other.  To end this chapter: MHgoi to Mavis, James, Dave, Steven and all the other characters that shaped this little Asian travel trip:) ! x

PS: I’ll post more pictures on Flickr