How not to be a good traveler

Even a traveler who is constantly on the road makes mistakes sometimes. Mistakes are avoidable if you know exactly what not to do. Note that #2 is definitely unforgiving, so don’t ever try to.

We can never be perfect, but we definitely can try not to pick wrong choices.

1. Underestimating what you are getting into and what you actually are prepared for

In my case, I had underestimated Yosemite National Park, when I thought I can just go there without planning on which part of the park I should go, to see places I wanted to see. I had no idea that all those things are so far away from where we started. It was already 2pm on that day and we made our move from a place that was 4 hours away from all the attractions in Yosemite which is in the valley. On the map, those places look so near, I even underestimated that. Improper planning leads to unnecessary drive and exhaustion. I totaled an excruciating 8 hours of tiresome drive, for 3 minutes of just this photo, and putting my partner’s life at risk.

As a result, I only got to see this spot for 3 minutes because the sun was going down. Was it worthy? We still had 3 hours on the road to our final destination that day, including driving in the dark on dangerous, winding road. I got nothing but this photo and yes I was so mad at myself. I definitely learnt my lessons.

As a result, I only got to see this spot for 3 minutes because the sun was going down. Was it worthy? We still had 3 hours on the road to our final destination that day, including driving in the dark on dangerous, winding road. I got nothing but this photo and yes I was so mad at myself. I admit, I definitely learnt my lessons.

Other things you might be doing while traveling, like going to the zoo, museum, souvenirs shopping or going for a stroll on a beach don’t necessarily require concrete planning. Never ever venture out there not having any idea of what you are getting into. It might costs you your life.

2. Offending everyone by not respecting rules, customs and traditions

In the light of recent earthquake in Sabah, my home state that kills at least 16 climbers, just weeks after a group of tourist climbers posing naked on top of the mountain, also 2 tourists who got arrested and later deported for showing their rears at Angkor Wat, Cambodia, everyone of us here wants or at least thought of being THAT cool traveler, doing things differently than the others, competing to become trendsetters thus becoming popular without realizing that you are dragging unassuming people along with you. There’s nothing wrong in being different but what you do is a reflection of who you are. It is true that earthquakes in Sabah or Nepal weren’t caused by those irresponsible acts. No matter what the reasons are, locals in Sabah are angry because these supposed more-civilized nations & experienced travelers should’ve forehandedly studied cultures of the places they’re going to and that most definitely include thoroughly understanding traditions, respecting the differences in rules and not hesitating to follow the customs. Not a second you are allowed to think that the rules of one foreign place aren’t applied to you just because you’re just visiting. Just visiting is also not an excuse to misbehave. You may get naked in your own backyard because that’s your space, then what makes you think that you should get naked in other’s backyard? Oh, it’s just a mountain and that’s just another temple, no big deal, right? If you think it is okay to just get naked, showing parts of your body that you aren’t supposed to and offending millions of people, you are definitely on your way to become a NOT good traveler. You should see that coming, people do really get what they deserve, especially if they’ve done something offensive and punishable by law.

NAKED TOURISM IS NOT FOR ALL PLACES IN THE WORLD. -Photo courtesy of The Star

NAKED TOURISM IS NOT FOR ALL PLACES IN THE WORLD. What seems cool to you might be offensive to others.
-Photo courtesy of The Star

3. Relying too much on online resources

Not all itineraries made by others will suit you and your travel needs. That is why it is important to construct your own. One’s experience at one place might be different than another. This would actually leads to disappointment, when you didn’t get what you expected to get at first place. Before spending my summer 2 years ago in Venice, Italy, I’ve read lots of wonderful things about Venice and so I just went there, winging it, thinking I too will be having great times like others but in the end, I was disappointed. I didn’t get the experience that I wanted in Venice, because I was relying too much on whatever information I read online without further research. Laziness cannot be forgiven. If you put extra efforts into it, you’ll get more of good things, not only for you but also beneficial to others.

4. Being a complainer that you are

Bad habits are hard to break. Sometimes when you travel, you have to leave them at home, whether you like it or not. Home means all the comforts you can get. Outside home, you forgot that foreign places aren’t designed for you. Then you started complaining about non-existing restaurants that serve rice and why that city must have at least one restaurant that serves your favorite food otherwise you won’t survive. You complain about the sidewalks that aren’t comfortable enough to walk on but locals seem to be walking fine on those. These, and tonnes of other complaints that you sometimes listed for your own amusement, later passing it to friends, simply making your own conclusions of how bad that particular country is and why your friends too, shouldn’t go there. Next time you travel, try not to complain. The purpose of traveling to foreign places is to experience different kind of living situations of others. If you just want the comfort, stay at home. Don’t even bother discovering new places.

So what do you think you did wrong during your last travel?

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People walking backwards in Tokyo, Japan!

This is the famous Shibuya Crossing in Shibuya, It will be a shame not to see Shibuya while visiting Tokyo. When the light turns green, people will be walking to every direction and the sight is pretty amazing! But my favorite place in Tokyo is definitely Asakusa which is in the north of Tokyo. I love the ancient vibe it gave me!

I used to say “I’ll never want to visit Japan!” And you should never say never!

The famous Shibuya Crossing!

The famous Shibuya Crossing!

The area near Senso-ji Temple.

The area near Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa.

The beautiful entrance of Senso-ji Temple with huge lantern behind me.

The beautiful entrance of Senso-ji Temple with huge lanterns behind me.

With status of legendary loyal dog in 20th century, Hachiko, near Shibuya subway entrance/exit, Hachiko.

With status of legendary loyal dog in 20th century, Hachiko, near Shibuya subway entrance/exit, Hachiko.

How to take on Tokyo in 15 hours is a little guide based on my recent layover in Tokyo en route to Los Angeles from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I can suggest other places to see in Tokyo while transiting if you are interested. Just hit me up!

What’s your favorite place in Japan?

What do I use to take my travel photos?

Answer:

My iPhone 5s and GoPro Hero 4 Black.

It will be a waste if you have a nice phone in your hands but you use them only to take selfies. Selfie-wise, I am not a fan, only sometimes when I have an awesome view behind me that I want to include in my selfie, which in that case, I usually use my GoPro.

I love traveling light, that includes not having to carry heavy SLR. Couple of years ago I have got my hands on it, but I never grow fond of it. Over the years with smartphones, I can now call myself an iPhone expert photographer.

Have you looked at what is in your hands right now? That expensive phone can finally do you good, you know.

Is this really from iPhone? Yes it is.

Is this really from iPhone? Yes it is.


Monument Valley

Monument Valley; The Mitten Buttes, with my iPhone.


Lipe.

Sunset in Koh Lipe, also with my iPhone.

Do good, and share it with friends and I am not talking about selfies.

“Yo, you gone for so long, you never miss home ah?”

Celebrated I turning perfect cube 23 weeks ago on the road in Texas, with beautiful cotton field. Can't get any cooler than this!

Celebrated I turning perfect cube 23 weeks ago on the road in Texas, with beautiful cotton field. Can’t get any cooler than this!

No. I don’t miss home. To be not fair, I only miss the foods and the warm water of pristine South East Asia’s beaches. Nowadays, friends and family back home are just one video call away. Sure you can always call or text them, but you can never text or call the foods! I just made perfect sense!

“But… why? And how come?”

You know, I treat every place I went to as my home. Therefore, I am at home everywhere. That explains the fact that I am selfishly don’t miss Malaysia. I am so comfortable living out here. You know it when you are also living a nomadic life. I was born a traveler, and confidently, when I was a kid, I grew up having my bags ready all the time. I sure had lived out of my backpack for months in Thailand and that was the most encouraging thing I’ve ever done for myself.

“How about Hari Raya? You also don’t go back?”

Yes, that one too. For so many years after the passings of my late grandpas+grandmas, my family celebrate Eid outside Malaysia. It is fun like that. You know, I once celebrated Raya in Germany, eating “nasi lemak sambal udang dan petai” and that was like the sweetest Raya ever? Exactly. I celebrated Raya overseas for so many years now, it is way funner than in Malaysia, to be honest.

I love being a traveler. Even now when I am permanently living in the USA, we are always on the move.

Life’s good.

A recap for year 2011 and 2012

I started traveling around my neighborhood of beautiful South East Asia in year 2011. It was a week trip in wonderful, hot, summery April with my former partner and at that time I just got my first passport, just for my supposed-to-be first trip ever outside Malaysia, which was to Indonesia, with my family. I ended up going to Thailand first and it was great nonetheless

the border gate; northern West Malaysia, Bukit Kayu Hitam and Southern Thailand, Sadao

the border gate; northern West Malaysia, Bukit Kayu Hitam and Southern Thailand, Sadao. I took a gruesome 17 hours bus ride from south to north.

I went to the 2004 tsunami town in Thailand, Ko Lanta

I went to the 2004 tsunami town in Thailand, Ko Lanta

distracted, psyched and all smile on my first tuk-tuk ride in Krabi, Thailand

my first time riding the moped and...

my first time riding the moped and…
...I crashed my moped. …I crashed my moped.

bugs are delicious in Krabi

famous Mr Blowfish in fishing village near Krabi.

my very own secluded beach in Ao Poh, Ko Phi Phi

this basic but beautiful bungalow facing the secluded beach in Ao Poh was my pad in Ko Phi Phi, costed me a good 800 baht.

this basic but beautiful bungalow facing the secluded beach in Ao Poh was my pad in Ko Phi Phi, costed me a good 800 baht.

the first part of island in Ko Phi Phi that got the first tsunami wave back in 2004, I am talking about this pier.