Adventures in Asia: Langkawi, Malaysia

As mentioned before, because of the lightning strike, Langkawi was an unexpected addition to the cruise itinerary. I remember when the captain first announced that we would be going to Langkawi, I was instantly puzzled and asked, “What’s that?” I had never heard of the island before and had no idea what there was to see and do there. Given how last-minute everything was, we decided to just minimize stress and book a tour with the ship, like we had done for every other port on this cruise so far. This is our first cruise in Asia and I’m finding that for many of the cruises, in order to reduce hassle, it’s easier to book a tour just because everything that you want to see is usually so far away from the port that the ship is docked out. For example, with Bali, many of the sights were an hour…

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Adventures in Asia: Penang, Malaysia

On what looked to be a sunny day, we arrived at our next port of call: Penang. We arrived after having spent three full days at sea on the cruise – something that was not in the original itinerary. Our second port of call after Bali should have been Kuala Lumpur; Penang was scheduled to be the third stop. But then came the unexpected: a thunderstorm at sea. On the second day at sea after having left the port of Benoa on the island of Bali, there was a huge thunderstorm at sea. I remember sitting indoors, on the ship’s 18th floor, watching it all unfold outside before me. The skies started to turn a darker shade of grey with each hour and then slowly, the rain came and all the people outside tanning and swimming retreated indoors. Then, with each passing interval of time, the storm picked up and…

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Adventures in Asia: Bali, Indonesia

This first post is coming much later than planned but if there is anything that exchange has taught me so far is that you can’t always expect everything to go according to plan. What you should plan for is room to be flexible and to adjust to new things given the circumstances. And so, here’s the first post to kick off the exchange series. A month late, but definitely one to mark a long series to come.             I’m currently a month into my 4-month long exchange in Singapore, which I’ve discovered is the perfect hub for Southeast Asia travel. The first month is always a period of transition – getting used to the public transit, making new friends, getting used to a new residence, and figuring out the lay of the land when it comes to a brand new campus and brand new classes. This transition – moving 15,000…

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Arrivederci, Roma! (Summer Sailing 2018)

And before we knew it, it was our last day in Rome. And our last day of this adventure abroad. For us, the ending of a trip abroad has always been bittersweet; we look forward to being back home and falling back into our old routine, but we’re always sad to leave behind whichever beautiful place we are in. We have photos and memories to last a lifetime, but we only wish we could stay longer to make more. Bittersweet.             We wanted to spend our last morning in Rome taking a nice walk in the Villa Borghese, which is Rome’s 3rd largest park. I read on a blog somewhere before leaving that they recommend doing a nice picnic in the park. There’s plenty of places to sit, and plenty to watch while you’re eating. It’s such a great way to spend a nice quiet morning.             At one of…

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Roman Holiday Day 3 (Summer Sailing 2018)

We woke up to a bright blue sky outside our window, and this was enough to get us out of bed and back onto the streets of Rome for another busy day of wandering, eating, photo taking, and sight-seeing.             From our hotel, we wandered down the Via Merulana to find ourselves standing in front of the Colosseum. Since we had already done a tour of the inside the last time we were in Rome, we chose to just take some photos outside to save time. There were an insane amount of people outside, waiting to go in or just lounging around, and it was all a bit overwhelming. But, that’s Rome I guess right?             What we did want to visit was the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, which was in the same vicinity as the Colosseum. There are always tons of workers selling tickets wandering around outside the…

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