IslandHopping!

We decided on our holiday destination! Borneo! Yay! Now we get to decide where in Borneo to visit! So exciting ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ever since I was a kid, I lived and loved islands! I grew up in Alameda, a mainly man-made island beside Oakland and across from San Francisco. It was dredged in order to allow for ships to access the interior. It has an interesting history, like it used to be an active oyster farming area and once boasted an aquatic theme park!

When I was older, one of my first trips was with a friend to the isle of Hawaii! I was 16 and loved it! Her family was from there and I learned to speak pidgin and ate ็ดฐ้บต (thin noodles) saimin and spam with rice and Portuguese sausage with eggs for breakfast! I didn’t know how to surf yet, though!

I travelled to Hong Kong on my way to Beijing when I was 17 to study dance for the summer. I didn’t spend much time on HK island, however.

After college, and starting work, I went on a Scandinavian adventure to visit friends I met in art school! My first stop was Sweden, the land of islands and sailing and herring!

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I gained about 10lbs having daily doses of afternoon cake and yummy food.. Oops!

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Then to Iceland with its volcanic and dramatic geography, sulphur springs, and the beautifully relaxing “Blue Lagoon” with its hot pools of beautiful blue water! You MUST go here, even for a half day visit. Your skin will love the natural pumice mud everywhere slathers on their faces! You literally scoop it from the floor under your feet and create an instant mud mask!

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I moved to Hong Kong in 2001 and live in an apartment on a tiny outlying island called Lamma Island. Everyone spoke English. Brits, expats from everywhere, drummers from Senegal, French bohemians; Europeans and Americans, Middle Eastern and Japanese, mixed marriages and lots of kids and elders: Lamma was like a small version of the world. There was a ferry to and from work everyday but I loved it! I’d walk to the ferry, grab a South China Morning Post, grab a few pieces of dim-sum to eat and a coffee and enjoy the boat ride to work!

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Can you tell I love water??

Thailand’s southern islands near Krabi drew me in for weekend get aways when I lived in HK.

Similarly, but vastly different, I was drawn to Ireland, too! So much so I visited Ireland twice! I spent most of my time in the Liscannor area and County Kerry, Dingle, and did a few road trips along the coast to Galway and through the country to Dublin. Like many of the other countries I visited, I knew locals or people who used to live there or had families to stay with so my experiences were not normal tourist experiences.

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Remember cameras? This one was my college manual Canon-AE.. I had this “double exposure” obsession (top right)! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I loved Ireland: sitting in homes warmed by peat, drinking tea, singing along to Irish songs late in the night in closed taverns and searching for cockles and whelks on the shore and steaming them with seaweed dipping them in butter! I enjoyed the new and old culinary treats of Ireland; the bar snacks of pasties to the post drinking curry chips to fine dining! Click here for Ireland’s delicious seafood offerings!

Well, for me, I’d later visit the Filipine isles and explore the Batangas and White Beach on my own, and Bali on another trip. I almost never planned my solo trips, asking locals for a fun spot to visit and buying a travel guide in the airport. There’s nothing quite like independent travel and it’s eye opening in ways that traveling with others is not. I guess in my case, local people were more curious and talkative with me because I was alone, and most likely looked confused, sharing much more with me than if I was with someone else. Like in Bali, a waiter offered me the finest view at a restaurant and sat down to explain his tattoos to me and on White Beach in the Batangas, a woman taught me how to take the bus and not to be suckered into hiring a private taxi. ๐Ÿ˜‰ That beach was seriously beautiful!! Hard to get there, especially if you didn’t have any real plan to go anywhere! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This time, we have ample time to plan our big adventure!!

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