facing fears- one breath at a time

[Part 1]

There are moments in your life where you ask yourself- why am I doing this?  It was 5:35pm and I was planning on leaving my home at 5:30pm. I thought to myself, it’s not too late now. I could just call my friends and let them know that I couldn’t make it. Even though my bags were packed, I had a throbbing headache and this was my last opportunity to back out. Every inch of my brain was telling me to not go. Do the smart thing and stay home. I had to keep telling myself that I was not a quitter, even though that’s all I could think about doing.

There are different levels of fear. And honestly, I don’t think I’ve been so scared to do something as I was that weekend. Tell me to move to a country halfway around the world that you’ve never been to, run a half-marathon after completing 3 days of training teachers in Cambodia, or teach a classroom of  32 middle school students in a NYC public schools at the age of 22 and I wouldn’t think twice about it. Tell me to dive deep into the ocean and depend on a tank of air for 50 minutes and my brain goes into panic mode.

I managed to get myself out of my home and to the location of where we would depart for our scuba diving trip. As I was on the van to Tioman, Malaysia, there was no turning back. (Well technically I could have gotten out at the border at Woodlands and taken a taxi back home, but at this point, I might as well go to Malaysia.) Worst case scenario would be to get there and not dive. Luckily, I had friends by my side that kept encouraging me as they could see the anxiety and fear written all over my face.

After a very long drive to Malaysia, we took a two and half hour ferry ride to Tioman and made it to our island “resort” around 2:30am. We had to wake up around 6:30am for breakfast and our first dive. I think I slept, but I kept waking up every hour or so to check my watch. I woke up before my alarm went off and felt that nervous pit in my stomach. It wasn’t the nervous, but excited feeling before a first date, or the adrenaline, but nervous feeling before an important race. It was the oh crap, I’m really doing this feeling.

To be continued….



four days in langkawi

I managed to squeeze one more trip before my summer ended with a four day trip to Langkawi, Malaysia. We stayed in this boutique hotel called temple tree. It was only a 10 minute drive from the airport. We loved the unique furniture inside our villa, including a wooden bathtub right in the master bedroom. I would recommend this place, but you will definitely have to rent a car to make it easier to access all the places including the beach and other sites easily. Our trip started off with going parasailing on Cenang beach and getting the local rate to exploring the entire island in our cozy manual rental car by the end of our trip.

Another highlight of the trip was going on the sky tram and crossing the skybridge. It is apparently the longest free span and curve bridge in the world according to their website. The views from above were spectacular. We also hit up the night markets every night which meant incredibly delicious and cheap food (a few ringgits for each dish). My favorite food from the trip was definitely the pisang goreng (banana fritters) from the street stall on our second to last day. We just couldn’t get enough and made Dave keep going back to the stall for me .

In addition to eating really delicious malay food, exploring different beaches, and enjoying scenic rides in our car, it was the down time in our hotel that I enjoyed the best. Whether it was playing games, chilling by the pool, or putting on animal face masks, the company made it all worth it.

Photo cred to dave for taking the parasailing photos! 🙂 

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exploring the streets of penang

On day 2 of our Penang trip, we explored the streets of Georgetown. This cute area in Penang is full of unexpected street art. I thought it would be a few pieces of art, but I was pleasantly surprised by the plethora of art all around. It was like going on a scavenger hunt. I’m so glad that we found the Bruce Lee street art. What you don’t see in my Bruce Lee photo is that afterwards I completely fell onto the sand pile I was jumping from. A special thanks to all the photographers, photography directors, and models from our street art exploration adventure. 🙂

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