Langkawi… where to begin! It was only supposed to be our home for 10 days but that quickly turned into 2 weeks, then 3 – and now we’re reluctantly leaving, saying goodbye to our friends and feeling homesick to a place that isn’t even technically our home. It sure felt like it was though!
We had some ups and downs, as every traveler does. We went parasailing (see video). It was Francis’s first time but not mine and I was, perhaps, overly confident that this sketchy boat operation would show us a smooth ride.
“You just glide up. It’s not scary at all.” I told everyone on the boat before the first person went up into the air. Well, our turn came, and we were both happy and smiling, about to take flight. The moment of bliss ended quickly when the rope started jerking and my sunglasses went flying into the sea as a jolting nylon strap decked me in the face and the bicep, leaving me with a nice scab next to my eye and a bruise on my arm about the size of a tennis ball. As we got off the boat the driver shouted, “Sorry about your sunglaaaaass!”. Pretty funny, but I was more concerned about my arm than my 15 ringgit ($4) faux Raybans. However, at least the unanticipated violence made for a more exciting ride.
But to balance out the misfortune, Francis got his share as well. We were walking out to Skull Beach, which is not as ominous as it sounds, and Francis noticed some cute Dusky Leaf Monkeys in the trees. “Look! Right above us!” He looked and pointed up. I glanced and then kept moving. Then I hear shouting from behind me. The monkey peed straight down onto Francis’ face. Perhaps as a defense mechanism? Either way, I’m not sure which is worse. Getting a bruise or getting peed on.
Anyway, aside from that there was nothing too bad. We had a few people attempt and fail at ripping us off (mostly in the tourist-ridden areas) and we did have a little boy on a motorbike flip us off (much too young to be riding a motorbike I might add, but that’s pretty common around here). Everything else was pretty much smooth sailing once we got used to the giant bugs (like big, hairy spiders the size of my hand).
But all of the adventure and all of the things we saw couldn’t hold a candle to the amazing people we met. Two hilarious and chill Austrian travelers, a traveling Canadian family of 4 (traveling for 2 years with 2 young girls!), a wonderful family from Estonia who we had so much in common with and, our favorites, Alex and Nin, a couple from Germany that are probably the warmest, kindest people we’ve ever met. We had so much fun sharing our terrible American music with them and listening to their (way better) European music while laughing and talking about our travels.
Of course we can’t forget the lovely family that lives at the motel, Mie, Suriya and their daughter. Mie is Malay and Suriya is Thai. Amazing how we could stay up late into the night talking with them when they only speak a few words of English and we speak almost no Malay and definitely no Thai (yet, that is). It’s astounding how much you can communicate with just gestures and expressions… and a lot of laughter! They were even kind enough to take us with them to the beach on what seemed to be Mie’s only day off. Such generous, giving people and a very happy family! The love between them was so clear just by their actions and the big, genuine smiles on their faces. You just don’t see that everywhere you go.
So, in a nutshell: As you can see from the video, the places we’ve seen are incredible. Beautiful scenery, fun and sometimes sketchy experiences, great food… everything we wanted in a trip. But what we didn’t capture was all of the people we met, all the conversations we had with them, and all of the things we’ve learned from them – and that is what makes the trip truly memorable.
So enjoy the video, and remember, don’t travel unless you plan on never coming home because you WILL get addicted.