Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hello World,

this is gonna be a quick Kuala Lumpur Update, since I have to admit that I do not really have a real „KL-Travel-Guide“ for you. To be honest, I am often too lazy to bring my Reflex Camera, consequently my KL pictures are not the best.

Anyway, I booked a „Nice Bus“ for 44RM to KL on Easybook, the company is seriously called „Nice Busses“. However, these busses are really cool, since you have a huge seat with a tablet where you can watch movies and TV shows. I really enjoyed the ride.
Additionally, I can highly recommend taking busses, as you will be able to see some nice forests and plantations.

I arrived at 4:00pm and took a Grab to my hostel Reggae Mansion. The hostel is really nice, is has a rooftop bar, a good restaurant, a cinema, nice bedrooms and you can do your laundry in 3 hours for only 15RM.
After I had checked in, I walked around KL and later went to the restaurant, where I met four very nice girls from the UK.
Later in the evening I went up to the rooftop bar and met Roger, a guy from Holland and we planned to explore KL together.

KL-1

I woke up quite early the next morning because one of the staff members came into the room and started to sing. I was slightly confused and thought it was my roommate.
I slept in a 16 bed room and shard the room with only one girl the first night, her name is Charlotte.
We met Roger for breakfast and went to a local food court where we had Nasi Goreng for only 5RM. I love the food courts in Malaysia, they offer amazing and fresh dishes!
Later we decided to walk to the Petronas Towers, which takes approximately 30-40minutes from Reggae Mansion.
There is a huge mall inside the towers which is called Suria KLCC. I had to buy two shirts and a pair of shorts there, since the laundry turned my white T-Shirts yellow/brown.

FullSizeRender

Around the Petronas Towers you will find a nice park surrounded by many business buildings. There is even a swimming pool near the towers, but only children are allowed to use it.

KL-3

The next day Charlotte and I went to the Batu Caves together, I will write a separate post about it, since I finally brought my camera!!

KL-4

Furthermore, we had to buy sneakers and explored China Town while looking for a nice pair of shoes. It is really impressive how many different markets, people and cultures they have in Kuala Lumpur.

KL-5

In the evening we went up to the rooftop bar again, where we met other nice people from all over the world. Our little group of six people decided to go to the main road for food in Malaysia and I can just encourage you to do this!

KL-7

There are so many different stands and restaurants where you can get every type of asian food and also western food. I ordered Nasi Goreng and it was delicious! Unfortunately there are many Salesman who want you to buy little accessories while you are having dinner, which really got on my nerves after a whie.

KL-8

I only spent two days in KL and then took a bus to the airport because I promised my friend Lina to pick her up from the airport. So far so good, we booked an accommodation near the airport which was also really good. Although taking the flight to Bali was a little complicated, we finally made it!!

Stay tuned

Batu Ferringhi, Penang – and what I’ve learned in two weeks of Solo Traveling

As you know from my Solo Traveling Post, I planned to go to Malaysia on my own. My first stop was Langkawi, two days later I went to Georgetown, Penang.
Although Georgetown is a really nice city with great food an amazing street art, I was not able to enjoy it as much as I wanted to.
Why? Because I did not give myself the time to settle in, to deal with my culture shock and to calm down.
I have always been very enthusiastic when I came to another country.
When I arrived in Langkawi I wanted to do everything at once and totally forgot to care for myself and to listen to my body.
Please do not get me wrong, I really enjoyed my time, but there were two days in Penang where I felt really lost, lonely and overwhelmed. Even though I have never suffered from homesickness before, I started to miss the people around me.
I met really nice people in Penang, but it just makes a big difference if you are traveling alone or with a friend.
These two days I was afraid to walk around alone.
Many people will talk to you in Malaysia, since they are really friendly. But it also happened to me that groups of men were asking me where I was staying and if I was traveling alone, which made me feel quite uncomfortable. I always answered that I am traveling with my boyfriend and smiled. Fortunately they just smiled back and said „Okay, good bye!“.

Do not get me wrong, I do not think that every stranger might be dangerous, but it is still very important to be cautious and do not take to many risks when you are alone.

The next thing that caused a little bit of trouble was transportation.
Personally I feel that it is so much easier to take busses, planes, taxis or an Uber with a friend. At the beginning it really scared me to do all these things on my own but you know what? I got out of my comfort zone and now I know that you can also just walk to a hostel and ask if they have a bed for you, I can take busses, planes, ferries and Ubers on my own because I got used to it.
You will learn to deal with new situations every day! The moment when you realize that you have spent a certain time completely on your own, that you met new people and went out with them and that nobody but you makes the decisions is simply amazing.
After a while you know how to negotiate and how to deal with weird taxi drivers. It is an adventure and you are doing this challenge completely on your own.
If you go on a trip on your own, you will not regret it! Embrace the moment, be aware what you are doing and what you have accomplished.

Additionally, traveling alone does not mean that you will be alone. I recently talked to a friend from the UK about this. People are not the same when they are traveling. They make friends within minutes and behave like they already know each other for years.
When I was in Penang at the beach, Anna from Langkawi texted me and gave me the number of a girl from Holland. We met in Penang and had a great time. She showed me that I do not have to me the highly organized girl from Germany, but that I should be more spontaneous and enjoy the moment. While I planned my whole trip, she just decides from day to day what she wants to do and where she wants to go, which is really cool.
Now I slightly regret that all my flights are already booked and that I will probably not be able to go to Vietnam or Myanmar this year, even though I would love to go there!
On my next trip to Asia, I will just book my long distance flights from Germany to Asia and back. This can save money and you can actually go wherever you want.

Anyway, after having explored Georgetown, I went to Batu Ferringhi, which is located at the beach. The beach in Penang is nice in general, but it also depends on the weather.
I can highly recommend watching the sunset there!
Hope you enjoy the pictures, my next post about Penang will be published very soon!

xx, Sophie

 

FullSizeRender 2FullSizeRenderIMG_9678IMG_9686IMG_9702IMG_9644IMG_9615IMG_9735IMG_9653IMG_9875

Airplane Thoughts

After five months of working and waiting, I am finally on my way to Kuala Lumpur, where I will start my little Solo Travel journey and later meet my friend in KL.
We will go surfing in Bali, exploring Thailand and later do some Work and Travel in Australia. As you can probably imagine, I am excited as hell. This blogpost is about my „Airplane Thoughts“ and my flight to Langkawi, an island in the north of Malaysia.

Airplane-1

Monday, 6:30am

I set my alarm last night in order to get up early because I want to say good bye to my brother. We have breakfast together, I am not hungry at all. He leaves at 7:00am we both cry but when he has to leave he just wipes his tears from his face smiles at me and takes the bus to school. He is such a tough cookie. I have a shower and go back to bed afterwards.

Monday, 9:30am

My mother wakes me up again and I am awfully tired. My muscles are sore and I could sleep for days. I finish my packing, we get in the car and drive to the Frankfurt Airport.
I slowly start to feel very sick. My head is aching, I feel queasy and my stomach hurts. My mother is laughing at me and tells me that this is just the excitement and that everything is going to be fine. To be honest, I was not excited at all the past few days. It all came very spontaneously.

Airplane-3

Monday, 12:45am

After we finally arrived at the airport I check in and say good bye to my parents. I also pass the security and wait at the gate for my flight.

Monday, 4:00pm

I finally get out of the plane, my flight had over 30minutes delay. I walk down the long hallways of London Heathrow and successfully pass the security. I have to admit that I am always worried when I go through the security zone, since I always forget electronic devices in my hand luggage. Very awkward. When I went to Texas I forgot my e-reader in my backpack and I had to empty my whole bag and they did various tests with my e-reader, that takes some time…
Another story, when I went to NYC, I accidentally wore a sweatshirt with small metal accessories on it. They treated my like a criminal.
Anyway, this is the reason why I am very happy that everything went right.
Additionally, I find out that they offer free non-sparkling water at the airport, so you do not have to buy expensive water and pay high money exchange fees.
I order a Starbucks but they do not have the size I want anymore, so they give me the larger size and charge me nothing for it. I wait at the seating area for my gate information and realise that I forgot to bring a travel adapter, very smart.

Airplane-4

Monday, 6:45pm

Still waiting for my gate to be published, I go to the Travel shop in the airport. I will definitely need a adapter for my chargers so I pick a worldwide adapter and pay 29,99£ (!!!!!) for it. Not cheap at all. My gate is still not published and I am looking for a shop to buy a bottle of water. I run down the hallway and wonder if one of these wheelchair assistants would let me sit in one of these chairs and bring me to my gate 😄

Furthermore, I feel a little uncomfortable in my sports pants, my running shoes and my huge sweater next to all these business people in their suits. However, I get to the point that I am a backpacker now and I decide that I have the right to wear sports clothes rather than business clothes, at least seven month in my life.

Monday, 7:00pm

Gate A10 c. I take the elevator to my gate and sit down. A flight attendant gives me a little feedback card with a link on it, she says everyone who gives feedback has the chance to win a special flight ticket. I kindly thank her and wonder how likely it is to win.

Airplane-5

Monday night

I can’t sleep. Fortunately there is a free seat next to me and I can put my stuff there.<<<<
r a couple of hours I finally fall asleep.<<<<
light was not that bad but I am very happy when we arrive at the airport. There is some trouble with the baggage, everything is different here and I have to take a train to get to the other part of the airport to grab my backpack.

Kuala Lumpur, 5:00pm

I have to take my next flight which is more difficult than expected. First of all I realise that I am at the wrong airport, luckily I find a french guy who has the same problem and we take the train to the other terminal. Then checking in, passing the security, waiting much longer than expected for my airplane, then I finally make it to Langkawi.

Well, it took me 28 hours to get to Langkawi, the flight was exhausting.<<<<
ictures were taken in Germany, my brother took some photos of me again.

Stay tuned

xx, Sophie<<<<
gt;

Surf Camp Preparation & Travel related DIYs #2

When I was 7, I watched a movie about surfing. Since then, I always wanted to learn to surf. I already got my Wind-Surfing-License and went surfing in Turkey for two weeks twice. The header picture was taken in 2015 when I went to Turkey during the summer holidays.
However, my main goal was and still is to learn Surfriding without any sails or kites. Just me my board and the wave. This dream will come true in October, since I will spend a month in Indonesia, a three week Surf Camp will be included.

Today, I would like to talk about my Surf Camp preparation and also share with you my second Travel related DIY.
First of all, I pondered over a plan where every muscle will be trained effectively, in order to be in great shape when I will start surfing.
No, it is not about getting that „perfectly shaped bikini body“, it is about strength and endurance.
Consequently, I combined outdoor cardio with strength training at the gym.
I decided to give myself the opportunity to choose between swimming and running and I also split the training at the gym into „leg day“ and „upper body.“
Very simple but I got the most out of it.

Surf Camp Prep-2

Since it is commonly known that anticipation is half the fun, I also followed this workout plan because it made me feel like I am already travelling at some point.
Of course the weight and the repetitions always depend on my physical condition but I always tell myself: „You already made it to the gym, now don’t waste the time – ROCK THIS WORKOUT!“

One week plan may look like this:

Workout

This plan is my personal plan so you can adjust the weight and the reps. What I love about this plan that I do not have to go to the gym too often and do the same things. I also love switching between different types of cardio. Additionally, I can highly recommend to go swimming the day after an intense workout. Swimming relaxes my muscles and simply feels good!

SurfCampPrep-3

Anyway, you may have noticed that I included „Balance Board Training“ which leads me to my second Travel related DIY: A Balance Board for -you won’t believe it- balance training. Many surfers use this tool to be able to improve their balance and buy expensive Balance Boards. I really wanted to try this type of training but I did not want to spend over 100€ for it so I bought some stuff to craft my own board.

For the DIY Balance Board you need:

  • a piece of (birch-)wood 90x60x2,5-3cm (I prefer birchwood since it is solid wood)
  • two pieces of to support the board and to edge the area where the pipe rolls
  • a robust pipe with a diameter of ca. 10,5cm
  • an over-knee sock where you can put in the pipe in order to prevent the pipe from slipping
  • wood glue
  • a jigsaw
  • a normal saw
  • 10 screws that are not longer than 4,5cm (if your wood is 2,5cm thick)
  • a drill
  • a pencil
  • a tape measure
  • a yoga mat (optional)

SurfCampPrep-9

1. Decide what shape your board shall have and paint it on the wooden panel. I chose a fish board shape.

2. Use the jigsaw (CAREFULLY!! And read the instructions first!) to cut out the board. You can also use a normal saw but a jigsaw will save you a lot of time

SurfCampPrep-4

3. Measure the width of your board, is 50cm wide. Now you cut your pipe with a normal saw, it should be as long as the width of your board.

4. You can now put the pipe into your over-knee sock.

SurfCampPrep-8

5. Now you want to make sure that the board does not slip away when you step on the complete balance board. Consequently, we now cut two 5-7cm pieces of wood that are as long as the width of our board. (I hope you know what I mean, just scroll down to see what I mean)

SurfCampPrep-7

6. If you are happy with your wood pieces and your board you can use wood glue to glue the wood pieces to the underneath of your board. This step will make your construction more secure and robust.

SurfCampPrep-6

7. After the glue is dry, you can use a drill to fix your little „pipe barriers“. Make sure that the length of your screws is not longer than the thickness of your barriers and the board.

SurfCampPrep-5

If you want to, you can sandpaper the edges of your board in order to prevent scratches etc.. I would also recommend using a yoga mat and a bare or a chair to support yourself if you step on your board the first time. Please make sure that your muscles are warmed up to prevent injuries.
I am not a professional, I do not take any responsibility for your Balance Boards if you try this.
This DIY works for me, I am just sharing my ideas here. Please be careful if you try this, sine it can be very dangerous if you do not pay attention.

Although it may be a little hard at the beginning, Balance Board Training is very effective and you really get a surf feeling at some point.
It is also easy to use because at first it is just about standing on the board and preventing it from touching he ground, which is harder than it may seem.

Hopefully, you like this post and maybe you can incorporate parts of the workout into your workout routine. Please let me know what you think about this DIY and tell me if you have ever taken part in a Surf Camp.

Have a wonderful week,
Sophie

 

 

Pin it and don’t forget it!SurfCampPrep-Pinterest

Into The Woods, „As I began to love myself…“

Charlie Chaplin, English actor and filmmaker, once said:

“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

IntoTheWoods-2

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

IntoTheWoods-3

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

IntoTheWoods-7

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!”

 

Today, people are constantly striving for perfection. People build up huge egos in order to hide their lacking self-confidence. But what happens when we forget our mental health and keep focusing on our work instead of taking care of ourselves? Many people are overwhelmed by loads of work they have to do, they do not have a work-life balance and one day, they may fall over.
I have to admit, that I am often too ambitious and too much of a perfectionist.
Although ambition is quite helpful if you want to achieve something, it can be overwhelming. I am sure, many of you know exactly what I mean.
I used to not taking care of myself. I did everything at once, being elected representative of the pupils at my school, doing three different language certificates within 10 weeks, singing in our school choir and being a member of our movie club at school.
In addition to the extracurricular work at school, I went to the gym three times a week, I had Ballet classes one to two times per week and I went running.
For some people this may be „nothing“, but that time was quite busy for me.
Although everything went right, I realised that I had not listened to my body carefully.
Generally, I love working and I like to keep myself busy.
However, there are times when my body shows me that I took it too far.
After having worked seven days a week the past six weeks, I ended up being really tired. I set my alarm clock because I had a meeting at 10 and I planned to get up at 8 in order to go running. Well, I overslept and woke up at 9:59. Quite unfortunate.
Instead of being angry, I realised that I have put my body under a lot of pressure recently and that the oversleeping was just a sign that my body works properly and protects me.
Consequently, I decided to just do what I wanted that day. I was lying in bed the whole day, watching 8 (!!) episodes of Twin Peaks and later got up and went on a longboard tour with my little brother.
It is okay if we are not that productive occasionally. Sometimes our minds and bodies just need a little rest. It is highly important that we listen to our bodies and love them because if not, we will never achieve a healthy work-life balance. Maybe this is the most significant and also difficult challenge we have to cope with in our lives.
Being able to work efficiently and still spend enough time with family, friends and also alone.

 

The human body is a marvel. It protects us, it does everything possible to maintain our health, it can stand severe pressure for a long time and if we listen to our bodies, they tell us what they need. Unfortunately, this is the tough part, since most people do not understand their bodies. I guess understanding our them and knowing what they need is something which can be achieved by taking care of ourselves and loving ourselves.
Sometimes I feel that I have to take three deep breaths, close my eyes and figure out what I actually want. After having done that, I usually know if I am able to move on or if I need some rest.
I highly recommend creating a personal guide on what you can to in order to feel better again. My list would look like this:

  1. Taking a nap! 26 minutes are perfect for me, since I will not be very tired afterwards. Naps that are longer than 30 minutes may have the opposite effect and you might feel more groggy than before.
  2. Running! I often say that running saved me because it compensated all the stress I had and all the pressure I put myself under the past few years. I love to go on a run in the woods because I often see deers, foxes and sometimes even boars (although these encounters can be VERY dangerous). When I go running in the forest, I am highly alert of my surroundings, this clears my mind and fuels my body.
  3. Taking online latin dance classes – I love latin music and I love latin dances. I occasionally find myself locked up in my room, curtains closed, music turned on and enjoying taking latin dance classes on youtube. It releases the tension in my body and I feel great afterwards.
  4. Playing and instrument – Although I am definitely not a musician, I love to play the ukulele. The chords are simple and you can play almost every song on this little guitar with four strings.
  5. Decluttering! Maybe you have already read my blogpost My thoughts on MINIMALISM – happiness, a state of being or a state of having? and My personal guide on how to become a Minimalist – if not, check it out if you are interested in Minimalism. However, I often find myself messed up in a messy room. When my mind is messed up, my room is messed up as well. Then it is high time to declutter and get rid of old stuff I do not need anymore. Personally, I can only work efficiently when my space is neat and clean.
  6. Spending time with my family – There is nothing more relaxing than going for a walk with my little brother. We are fooling around, talking about random things and I just feel calm and happy.
  7. Lift weights – When nothing is working properly anymore and I am completely overwhelmed, I head to the gym and lift heavy weights. Lifting weights is a part of my workout routine, but really getting to that point that my muscles are sore and I really feel the burn frees my mind. Even though it may not be that healthy for my muscles if they are still aching two days later, I have to feel my power and really push myself to the limit. My mind becomes creative, it increases my physical endurance as well as my mental endurance. For a moment, it feels like I could conquer every single challenge in life.

 

My brother took these pictures, he is twelve and it was the first time that he used a reflex camera. I think he did a pretty good job.
Furthermore, if you are interested in how to be good at work, make sure to read my article Reconsidering – How to survive the 21st century and tell me if you are interested in these kind of personal posts.
Additionally, I hope that you like this quote by Charlie Chaplin as much as I do.
A very wise and clever woman gave it to me and I love to read it over and over again because I think that Chaplin hit the nail on the head. It gives me strength and hope.

Love yourself, because if you don’t love yourself, how should anybody else do it?
Love yourself, because you will have to live in your body your whole life.
Love yourself, because you deserve to be loved.

 

I hope you are all well and I send you so much strength for the next week.
xx, Sophie