⋘We arrived in Malaysia at the perfect time.
We are really only here as a stop-over. We were originally going to stay in Kuala Lumpur a few days, but in the spirit of saving money found that our flight would be cut by a significant amount if we stayed a few extra days. So we did.
We left Thailand with heavy hearts. We never imagined that leaving Safari Park Zoo would be as difficult as it was. I missed my new friends, I missed feeling helpful & productive, I missed the animals and I was in an all-around 10-day slump from that. I wanted to go back & wanted to move forward, but I was stuck in the middle. In Surat Thani, we finally moved forward. We got our train tickets to Malaysia. Crossing the border was effortless, catching our bus was pain free and as I looked out my window listening to music I felt refreshed looking at the sunset. I could tell my groove was back. Moving forward was the right, although tough, move.
It felt really good to be having adventures. Our days in Koh Tao & Surat Thani were lazy days, and left us feeling lethargic. We went to the Hindu Temples in and around Batu Caves, I had my first visit to a mosque, sat in the orchid garden, and so much more!
I quelled two of the major factors to my homesickness: flowers & craft beer- two big parts of my two homes. This is my very first season not spending the spring in my parents’ beautiful greenhouse & drinking craft beer is one of my favorite Asheville activities. (Obviously Matt and my family are the things I miss most, but there’s no replacement for that.) I got my craft beer fix at this amazing place my dear best friend found called Taps Beer Bar where I very happily drank a Double IPA.
I wrote a post two weeks ago about how traveling wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but yesterday I dealt with the toughest hurdle I think I will ever face while traveling. Something I never want to experience again. My amazing great-grandma passed away yesterday, and it has been so unbelievably tough on me to experience this in general and you add the distance and it is almost unbearable. I hate that I didn’t get to say goodbye, that I didn’t get to tell her how much she meant to me and that I don’t get to mourn her with the rest of my family. They have all be amazing and encouraging, saying that my grandma would want me to keep traveling. My fiancé has been perfect: he sat up with me (via FaceTime) while I cried until I fell asleep, he was patient through my bad mood this morning and has blown me away with his emotional support.
I won’t be able to fly home for her funeral, so today I went to the Hindu Temple near our hostel and sat. It was surprisingly peaceful to hear the loud drums, the horn and the chanting. I felt like I wasn’t alone, even though I was and no one else knew why I was there. I remembered moments with my grandma, I laughed to myself thinking of her laughing while telling me about the first time she ever honked her horn (at 92), picturing her little mis-matched outfit picking geranium blooms at my parents’ greenhouse, thinking of her putting her little birthday tiara on at her 87th birthday when she thought no one was looking. These moments made me think of a quote:
“Look to this day, for it is life, it is the very
breath of life. In its brief course lie all the
realities of your existence; the bliss of growth,
the glory of action, the splendor of beauty. For
yesterday is a dream, and tomorrow is a vision.
But today, well loved, makes yesterday a dream
of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of
hope. Look well, therefore, to this day.”
As I was sitting there, in this moment of missing my grandma so much, I realized that yesterday was a dream of happiness. Her life & love made my yesterday a dream of happiness. My family was right, she would want me to live today for today. This was my own personal memorial for my grandma. Sitting at a Hindu Temple in Kuala Lumpur feeling her love and hoping that she felt how much love I have for her.
Today was the end of our visit to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and tomorrow we’re off to a new country, and I’m so excited to see what tomorrow brings for my vision of new hope.
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