I’ve been in Penang for three weeks now.
Most of the people I meet passing through the hostel think that I’m crazy. “A few weeks?!” they repeat after me, incredulous. “What could you possibly do here for that long?!”
For me, it’s gone quickly. I’ve settled into a routine that revolves around working at the hostel, wandering the streets of Georgetown with my camera in hand and going out to dinner with friends. I explore whenever and wherever I want, and for the first time in seemingly forever, I make time to write everyday. Penang has been almost everything that I wanted after my last hectic couple of months in Australia.
Only one thing’s been missing: the beach.
This week, a few of us made a break for it, escaping the city for an overnight trip to paradise. Langkawi — the most popular island on this side of Malaysia — is only a three-hour ferry ride away. As beach-deprived as I’ve felt here after living in Melbourne and Broome, I knew that I couldn’t leave without at least checking it out.
During our short trip to Langkawi, the forecast was almost entirely cloudy. Every splash of sun was matched by a short drizzle. Our first impression of the beach was the annoying beeping and grinding of construction for a new resort, and within minutes of jumping into the ocean, sea lice were stinging us all over.
It wasn’t the island paradise I was picturing after weeks in the city, but you know what? It was kind of perfect.
We found a beautiful stretch of beach with only a handful of people, took advantage of the island’s duty-free fame to enjoy some mojitos and went for a night swim by the green light of the far-off squid boats. Mostly, we did nothing. For us, Langkawi was all lazy island bliss.
I returned to Penang refreshed, inspired and ready to hit the road again — although with a slight change of plans. Next up: Thailand!
I’m still slowly but surely working my way through Richard Flanagan’s Gould’s Book of Fish,, which is making Tasmania collide with Malaysia in my daydreams. I often try to read books related to where I’m traveling, but this book is too fascinating to not read, no matter how many worlds away it feels. (Has it really only been a month since I was in Tassie?!)
Ever since its release on Australia Day, I’ve been listening to a lot of Triple J’s Hottest 100 from 2015. It plays like a soundtrack to my year in Australia, which gives me all the feels. I love it!
& Feeling Inspired by…
I so love this postcard project from National Geographic. I’m usually the type who buys postcards, never gets around to sending them and eventually uses them as cards back home (sorry, friends!), but this has me feeling inspired to step up my postcard game.
I’m also seriously impressed by Caitlin from A Girl Abroad, who just wrapped up her trip cycling across the whole of Vietnam. Her posts about the journey have me dying to do something like this one day!