Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

Sleepless in Sabah

A few years ago I took a solo trip to Borneo – my main mission being to climb Mt Kinabalu, appreciate the orangutans, and get muddy in the jungle. This is the continuation of that journey as I re-share my emails home. Kris

Flying over Borneo to the beach side capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu revealed itself during sunrise, the vast sea like a mirror of aquamarine almost sang to me – inviting and immense.

It feels so good to be in a foreign place again with three solid weeks to explore. I love the tangible freedom of being transported to another culture that’s busy with everyday life and the feeling of total anonymity among new faces. I’ve been aimlessly wandering amongst the local markets, appreciating the inevitable eye contact with others that are also watching life go by from their front step.

Borneo also smells funky. I forgot how quickly ‘eau de Asia‘ seeps into your senses; the familiar essence of sweaty heat, a dash of spicy coconut, clove tobacco and salty air – what’s not to love?

My little sister sent me a great birthday card before departure. The words on the front are: ‘Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder’.

My Dad also says that happiness is knowing when you get there, not spending life looking forward but in the moment, for to live life looking backwards with regret is like walking with an unnecessarily heavy backpack. Today I feel light.

My holiday has started off with some great highlights; spicy street noodles, super friendly people and a massage by a tiny man with the strength of Goliath. For only $13 an hour I’ll be back to see him tomorrow!

I have tasted as much as I can fit in – a vegetarian buffet, spicy fresh corn, deep fried vegetables and killer coffee. I force fed myself happily in recent months, putting on 4 kilos; thinking I would come away and lose weight easily as I tend to do in Asia, but I could have wildly misjudged the situation. At first glance this is a vegetarian paradise.

It always spins me out how much you can experience in one day when it’s all new and different. How wide your eyes can be opened by just getting amongst it. Borneo is certainly delivering the fresh environment I’ve been craving and it’s only day one.


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