Before we talk about what is yet to come, I think it is best to describe what has already been. As has been so deftly established in my previous rant, I am no longer a first time traveler. This honour was bestowed upon the resort island of Langkawi, Malaysia in July of 2009.
Known as the Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi (henceforth known as Langkawawi to Kate, our wonderful travel agent Lou Lou and I) saw me riding elephants through the jungle, sipping piña Coladas by the pool, jet skiing in tropical oceans and navigating through night markets in the city centre. My Uni friend Kate and I enthusiastically jumped into the watered down resort culture of the island with gusto! Spending our Ringit on as much batik, massage, ear candling (I know, right?!) sugar water and Thai food (yes Thai food) that we could. We followed this up with a long layover in Kuala Lumpur that saw me continue to shop and I came home in substantial debt as a consequence.
The view over Langkawi from the Gunung Mat Cincang Cable Car, One of the lovely hotel bar staff delivering our Piña Coladas, Sweaty Shanwah sipping sugar syrup at the Kuah night markets.
My second jaunt was substantially more involved. After realising just how easy it was to travel, I decided that I could save, plan and explore the world on my own. I spent just over 2 months in the European winter of 2010 to 2011, I navigated a plethora of cities in Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, Monaco, Ireland, Scotland and England. I was accompanied on this voyage by one of my best friends (the undeniably honest, trustworthy and hilarious Ms Jade) and later on, with my partner Ross (tall, Scottish and full of information). We threw money into every fountain we saw, touched every lucky statue, and got involved in almost every tourist trap we could find (except for the Moulin Rouge... It was sold out).
The Eiffel Tower all a-glitter, A sparkly Christmas tree in front of the Duomo in Florence, The bright neon for one of our shows in London's West End.
Upon returning to Australia ruined for the country (don't worry I do still call Australia home), I hastily (possibly a little too hastily) agreed to participate in a pacific island cruise... I know, I know... A cruise?! Really Shannon?! I was holiday bluesing with the best of them and it was cheap okay! My long time high school bestie Michelle, her sister Janet and Janet's work friend Christine (later referred to a my holiday wife) graciously allowed me to join their cabin and as soon as it hit June in 2011 we set sail for the pacific Islands of New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji. After two days of vomiting we arrived into calmer waters and the shore excursions began. Whilst the beginning of the trip was an unmitigated disaster, The rest of the holiday was an absolute blast! We spent our days swimming, sun baking and exploring the islands, while at night we lounged (with cocktails of course), danced, quizzed and went to the theatre.
Cruisers sunning themselves on a sea day, the Pacific Jewel moored at port in Suva, Fiji, the most amazing Fijian beach on Dravuni Island (my happy place).
The cruise was last June for crying out loud! Stop living in the past Shanwah!