It’s that time of the year again!!
Yeah, the last month of the year in which I usually glance back at my life: places I’ve visited, things I’ve done, personal goals I’ve achieved or still in progress. After reflection, I’ll usually decide to either bring forward some unfinished tasks or killed them altogether and begin the new year with fresh goals and of course with new travel itinerary! ^_^
Best new year resolution: NOT to make any resolution at all and just put my plan into action (click here for the full post)
For this post, I’m gonna bring back the nostalgic feelings to the places I’ve visited since 2007 and asking myself this ultimate question: so after all these years, am I a beach person or a mountain person?
Just like if you ask me whether I’m a cat person or a dog person. I’ll say NO to both. I don’t have any pet at home. So for me, it doesn’t matter. However, whether someone is a beach person or a mountain person kind of matter more to me. Travel compatibility with your life partner or travel buddy really matters if you’re the kind of person who can’t travel and visit new places alone. No one’s there to help you see the map, no one’s holding the camera and taking picture of you, no one’s looking out for you. You just have to do everything on your own. It can be really boring and lonely if you’re not used to traveling alone. So if your travel buddy prefers going to the hot sunny beach to hiking the steep cold mountain, how do you compromise? I’d say: “just look for another travel buddy” *just kidding, you can do that only if you’re single and free:p*. If you really can’t change your partner, just go to the city where there’s no beach or mountain; gobble on the delicacies, aim for city sightseeing and go shopping ’til you drop. Everyone has different travel preference, we just have to find the middle ground in everything.
Okay, back to my own preference. From my own observation these past few years, I realized the most fun trips that I’ve had involve: good companion (for sure:p, love my bff and travel buddies), relaxation by the beach, some adventure trips near or at the mountain (vacation and exercise while enjoying the nature, hiking and cycling are my favorite) and delicious gourmet food. This fact got me thinking on my preference, do I enjoy relaxing at the beach more than hiking at the mountain or the other way around?
- I love the feeling of sand on my feet.
- Playing beach volleyball, running around at the beach.
- Watching sunrise and sunset at the beach.
- Romantic walk along the coast with breezy wind and rhythm of the waves *okay, I’m a sucker for this rom-com cliché*
- I’m not a very good swimmer. I can only do breast stroke and that’s about it. Need more training?
- Need to have more confidence, tone tummy and good Brazilian wax to wear teeny weeny bikini :P. Otherwise, I’ll stick to my short pants and tank top.
- Gotta apply loads of sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. Hot weather. Burnt skin. Not good for my complexion.
- Would really love to try surfing or diving or snorkeling or swim in the deep ocean.
- After all the sweat and hard work, there’s nothing more exhilarating than the feeling of being on the mountain top.
- Sun rise at the peak. Breathing fresh air.
- Feeling of accomplishment.
- Awesome views of the blue sky and surrounding clouds.
- Gotta have a good stamina. Would really love to try skiing or snowboarding *Geez…there are so many things I haven’t tried yet…hemmm*
- Freaking cold and hard to breathe once you’re high up there.
- Nasty blisters after mountain hike.
- Need to invest in good-quality mountain climbing shoes.
My purpose of travel (in order of preference):
1) Relaxing or adventure trips – beach and hiking/cycling, jet boating, para-sailing, flying fox
2) Food – delicious delicacies. I love my trips to Japan, Penang, Bali and Bangkok. Lots of yummy food.
3) Sightseeing (nature and wildlife) – I love my trips to Taiwan, Hokkaido, Gold Coast, Auckland. Looking at autumn foliage, hitting the road with great views along the way, strolling at beaches and ziplining across beautiful vineyards.
4) Museums, city sightseeing, shopping malls -> bottom of my list. I found that I don’t really fancy going to the museums or historical ruins and stuff. Although, I don’t mind if there’s someone who can explain the history behind all the places. Hail to the Walking Encyclopedia! Unless I need to buy specific things and see interesting objects during my trip, I think aimlessly wandering around the shopping malls or random places is a waste of time. Or maybe that’s what vacation is for? Having your own sweet time, relaxing, wandering around and discovering things outside of your plan?? What do you think? Please enlighten me.
Here are some of the photos to help me decide:
Sunset/sunrise at BEACH or MOUNTAIN?
Sunrise off the coast of Lovina Beach, Bali (22 July 2012)
Sunset at Jimbaran, Bali (20 July 2012)
Sunrise at Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan (4 May 2013) and at Low’s Peak, Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia (19 Aug 2012)
Sunset at Laban Rata, Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia (18 Aug 2012)
Happier at the BEACH?
Tioman island (11 Jul 2009)
Sanur, Jimbaran, and Dreamland Beach, Bali, Indonesia (9 May 2011; 21&23 Jul 2012)
Surfer’s Paradise and Coolangatta Beach, Gold Coast, Australia (12-13 May 2013)
Sounkyo, Daisetsuzan National Park, Kamikawa, Hokkaido, Japan (19 Oct 2010)
Low’s Peak, Mount Kinabalu (4095.2M above sea level), Sabah, Malaysia (18-19 Aug 2012)
We were descending from the peak and our mountain guide took these amazing views from below.
Sun Moon Lake, Nantou, Taiwan (4 May 2013)
Oh well, I can’t decide whether I love the beach or the mountain more. Maybe I’ll just choose BOTH ^_^. There you go. Everyone’s happy. I can go traveling with anyone, a beach person or a mountain person.
I’ve been a city girl all my life. I was born in a city which has no beach or mountain nearby. And I eventually spend most of my adult life in a city, study and work to make ends meet while occasionally travel abroad. I’ve only started my exploration into the great outdoors around 2007. Summer study in France for 1 month and additional 10-day trip to Rome, Venice, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Vienna. I fell in love with the view of The Alps while I was cycling from Innsbruck to Wattens. Since then, I enjoy the outdoors more than shopping malls.
Cycling trips along The Alps, Innsbruck, Austria (19 Jul 2007)
East Coast Park to Changi Beach Park (26 Nov 2012)
Pulau Ubin, Singapore (20 May 2012)
Skywalk at Sydney SkyTower, Jet Boating at Gold Coast, Australia (9, 12 May 2013)
Parasailing at Tanjung Benoa and White Water Rafting at Ayung River, Bali, Indonesia (7 May 2011, 20 Jul 2012)
Zipline (Flying Fox) at Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand (30 Nov 2013)
My other favorite pastime
Volleyball (indoor court)
Singing at KTV (karaoke buddies)
So enough with the nostalgia, what about the new travel itinerary?
I guess for next year 2014, it has to depend on
1) whether I can find that travel buddy, a beach person or a mountain person or better if he/she loves BOTH.
2) whether my travel fund is on track or not ($$), balancing with my other expenses (gotta huge one flowing out of my pocket soon, oh la la:S).
Occasional getaway trips to relax and go for an adventure are great way to refresh our body and mind! Life is not just about work and responsibility and study and responsibility…gotta enjoy it to the fullest eh?
On a side note, I’ve never been to these beaches and hiking trails nearby. Hope one day I could go to all/some of them:
Pulau Perhentian/Pulau Rawa/Redang/Langkawi/Nikoi Island/Krabi/Phuket/Koh Samui/Huahin/Koh Tao/Halong Bay/Saigon/Gili/Manado/Coron/Boracay/Cebu/Davao/Tampines Bike Park/Kent Ridge Park/Mount Rinjani, Lombok/Mount Bromo/Mount Batur/Cameron Highlands/Gunung Gading National Park/Lambir Hills National Park, Sarawak/13Best Hiking Trails in the World/World’s 100 Best Beaches.
So folks, happy traveling!:)Cheers, Sien