Well, I have been in Malaysia now for about almost 4 weeks. And decided to do something different than just tell you where I’ve been and how it was.. Next blog item I will tell you what I’ve been up to and how life is so far here in Penang. After walking back home from dinner I felt real happy, so I am just going to share some of my reasons with you. Hopefully able to convince you to give a proper thought to long term travel abroad.
With a title as “Why the hell would you go abroad for 4 months?” Let’s first go over some interesting things which make you think; why the hell did I leave home in the first place. And than I will set everything right by giving you my reasons for loving travel and being on the other side of the world.
So let’s start off with the con’s:
- Food poisoning and getting sick; sucks! Where in the Netherlands pretty much the worst you will get is a common cold, abroad many more dangers lie ahead. I spend 1 full in bed feeling crappy as hell, spend 2 days trying to walk properly and it took about 5 days to feel good again. Whilst in the Netherlands you might have friends and familiy to comfort you, abroad if you forgot to buy groceries because you did not expect to be in bed for 2 days, you are pretty much screwed.
- Every local sees you as a walking wallet. Well not everyone, but most of them will try to rip you off, because “well, just stupid tourist, does not know better”. So taking taxies, buying food from local shops. Just make sure you check first. 1 tip for getting food outside; check for two the 2 P’s; Pictures and Prices. If you don’t know what you will get you will probably paying more than triple the amount (yes own experience). Also, if a car honks at you, don’t turn around and wave back….(yes, I know very Dutch) Because the taxi driver will stop, and will also be very pissed off at you for waving to him, as if you would need a cab. (so far for being nice to people)
- Locals are (when not working) either scared of you or way too interested. In a packed foodcourt it seems like people try to avoid sitting with you at all costs. And when they do come and sit with you out of free will, they will ask you a thousand questions. And be prepared, because somewhere in the first 3 minutes after “where are you from?”, there will be “are you single?” Because everyone here thinks that “white tourist” are only here to go crazy… So if you don’t want advise on where to find the best local red light district, just make sure you “have a girlfriend”.
But then all these things make you experience worthwhile as well. You come to a countries to experience it, not to re-do your European lifestyle. So here is my top 5 of why being abroad is amazing:
- The best thing when you are used to Dutch weather is the fact that every single day you can stay outside until 12 at night, in a t-shirt and just relax outside without having to get a sweater or freeze to death. Also dinner is served here starting from 17.30 up to 23.30 at night (awesome!)
- Being surrounded by culture. I have not seen another white person at the food courts where I usually eat. Just locals, who live their everyday life.
- Living abroad can be very cheap. You will need to buy some stuff, but if you have the basics, living in Asia and Malaysia is quite cheap. Dinner and a drink is about 4 euro here for example.
- Meeting friends (from your home country) is an amazing experience which allows you to show off all the amazing places it took you 2 months to discover all in 1 day..
- And last but not least. You have freedom. You can do whatever you want. No responsibilities, no time to be home at, and you can leave to go to another place at any time of the day. Who cares, do what you like.
So that is it. In my opinion the Pro’s outweigh the Con’s by.. I don’t know how much. But what I do know is that it is currently 5 to 7 degrees in the Netherlands with a “big chance of heavy rain”, and I am having dinner here at a Hawker stall. Eating amazing Chinese Hokkien Mee Malaysia at 22.15 in around 25 degrees.
So I invite you to think about what you still want to do in your life; if travel is one of them, please go within the next 6 months. Hope to see you somewhere around the world.