06 March 2017

Some tips for the single lady traveler in 2016

Hi everyone 💜

Sorry for the long hiatus. A lot has happened since I came back from my trip in 2015. I have started working as a teacher (love it) and I am officially engaged! Best thing ever to happen to myself to be honest. There have been some challenges too, but this blog is my happy place. A place of healing and therapy. A place of hope for the young, and sweet reminiscing for the old. So let's fill it with some warm and positive words 😊

As you can see by the title, this post is dedicated to women, however, it can be used as a general rule of thumb. I will also include tips specifically for Muslim women too. 

1. Always have someone you can call at your point of destination 📞

During my "Euro trip" in the winter of 2015, I only visited countries where I had a friend or relative whom I knew staying there. With the exception of Prague, because it was the country where I was going to study, I had my former lecturer in Berlin, my senior from university (plus her husband) in Frankfurt, my university friend in Bursa, my cousin and her family in London, my brother in Kent, and finally my aunt in Vienna. Come to think of it, I actually got in touch with some Malaysian medic students in Prague through my sisters before I went to study. So I had them to help out a bit while I was there.

Having someone at your country of destination will not only keep you safer, but also give you a sense of structure in your traveling. When you have someone to meet, you organise your journey better instead of just 'winging it' and finding yourself wandering aimlessly at an airport. Also, you will obviously get a ton of tips in terms of transport, money, communication etc. since your family or friend has plenty of experience.

2. Get an honest, reliable source on the culture of the country you are travelling to 💭

Reading online can be helpful, but it is nothing compared to listening to your own friends' or family's experiences. Talk to them before you book your tickets, and trust your gut instinct about this place as you are listening to these experiences. If you feel like it would be too intimidating or challenging, skip it. Do not compromise your safety or security just to 'live in the moment' or to 'take a chance'. If you are dedicated to travelling that much, trust me your opportunity to visit this place will come in another time in the future. 

3. Have a travel buddy 👭

Alright, this is subjective, so I need to explain my own situation first before I move on to the reasons for this tip. 

I was on my own for most of my travels, and to be honest, I felt lonely most of the time. Being quite the reserved person that I am, I thought I would enjoy traveling alone more, especially with the freedom of time and movement. Unfortunately, after all was said and done, I did wish that I had someone with me throughout my travels. It's not to say I did not enjoy my trip. I saw some of the most amazing places I have ever seen in my life, and I did have a family or friend accompany me for short periods of time during my stay. But that said, if there was one thing I could change, I would have someone accompany me throughout my entire journey. 

Having someone with you is great because:

1) You have someone to bounce off thoughts, opinions and even worries with. Instead of arguing with yourself when you face a problem, you have someone else to help make the decision, or even take the wheel themselves. It's waay more convenient (ironic since I always thought it would be more of a hassle traveling with someone else).

2) You always have someone to watch your back. Look, you don't have the eyes, ears, energy or capacity to be on guard and protected 24/7. Doesn't matter your age or gender, there are always people with bad intentions around you, waiting to pounce on any opportunity they can get. When I was in Vienna, I was conned twice. Once by a 'beggar' and another by a lady pretending to sell roses (they approach you lovingly, call you a princess and hand you a flower, then suddenly ask for 5 euros for the whole show. Lol what). And that wasn't the worst that happened. I always wondered if things would have been different if I had someone with me. So remember to find a good travel buddy, or someone you know especially during your arrival or departure, to and from your destination. 
(Personally, I am looking forward to traveling with my future husband. He's way more seasoned than I am - not to mention way more organised haha. I love the guy 💓💓)

I hope this can be a source of inspiration for those young, eager travelers out there. Traveling is an amazing experience, but some things can make it less amazing. Be well-prepared and careful, then hopefully you will have that amazing experience you dreamed of 💛

Part two coming soon!


17 January 2016

Tikets Europe 1

Hai!

Saje nak share pengalaman beli tiket masa travel kat Europe. Tip: Lagi jimat kalau beli awal. *lagu sedih*

Tiket yg dlm post ni untuk travel dalam city (metro, tram, bus), and dari city ke city dalam negara sama.

Kalau nak tau camne nak beli tiket utk travel ke negara2 berlainan kat Europe, kena tunggu post lagi satu okey? ☺

Prague, Czech Republic


Tiket 24 jam
Tiket ni saya beli last day dekat Prague. Harga 55 crowns ni sebenarnya untuk senior citizen :P (tak guna pun tiket ni last2 haha). Tak biasa beli tiket kat machine pun, sebab diorg ada sistem SMS yg lagi senang nak guna. Tapi kena ada nombor Czech lah. eheh.

Tiket public transport ni boleh guna untuk metro, tram and bus. Nak beli, sila la ke mana2 metro station, semua ada tiket machine. Jangan lupa validate tiket sebelum naik mana2 public transport kat Europe ni! (Cucuk tiket ni dalam satu kotak kecik ni sebelum turun escalator) Kat Prague kalau kena tangkap takde tiket OR tak validate tiket, saman dia nak dekat 1000Kč. Tak kelakar.

Rates untuk tiket:
30 minutes - 24 crowns (RM 4.29)
90 minutes - 32 crowns (RM5.72)
24 hours - 110 crowns (RM19.67)
72 hours - 310 crowns (RM55.44)*
*exchange rate January 2016

Tiket 30 hari. Yang ni dapat sekali dengan pakej course masa sy belajar, so tak sure harga dia berapa


Vienna, Austria




Tiket yg kat atas tu tiket untuk naik public transport metro and tram kat Vienna. Sama macam kat Prague, boleh beli kat metro station mana2. Bus tak sure sebab tak perasan, and tak naik pun. Harga dia €7,60 untuk 24 jam. Jangan lupa nak validate, ok.

Tiket yg kat bawah tu (Vienna Airportlines) untuk shuttle bus dari airport ke city. Dia ada banyak bus utk ke tempat2 yg berbeza dekat city, jadi kita kena tau nak gi mane and bas nombor berapa boleh sampai situ. Saya ada cite pasal bas ni dalam post "Allo Vienna! Part 1". Harga one way €8 , return €13.


London to Kent, England, UK




Tiket ni (warna oren) beli masa travel dari London nak ke Kent. Sebab beli last minute dekat train station, harga pun mahal. Itu pun kira murah sebab dapat tiket balik flexible, and total £35.60, kalau tak nak dekat £50.

Ni first time naik train dekat St. Pancras International, station sama utk ambik train pergi France. Sebelum ni pernah ambik train dari Euston, untuk pergi Manchester.

Tiket yang sebelah kanan tu (Stagecoach) tiket untuk bus dekat Kent. Bus dia banyak tiket yg berlainan, Tak silap yang ni untuk 24 jam and sampai semua tempat dekat Kent (dari city ke countryside). Nama tiket ni Explorer. Harga £6.50.


Bursa to Istanbul, Turkey




Tiket ni untuk bus dari Bursa ke Turki. Sebelum sy cite panjang2, nak bgtau korg yg negara Turkey ni sangat lah mencabar. Bersedialah korg bila nak gi nanti, especially kalau travel sorang2. Nanti sy post full story kat post utk Turkey sahaja.


Okey. Company bas Metro ni nak cakap 100% selesa tak jugak. Kadang2 panas, kotor sket (kat dalam and luar). Tapi overall OK, dapat snacks, jus, air, and sebab ramai orang Turki recommend bas ni, sy ikut je and taknak pikir pun keadaan bus lain cmne.

Bas yg saya ambik dari Istanbul Bus Station (Otogar) ke Bursa Buyuk Terminal. Ada banyakk sgt ofis kat sana untuk company bus yg berlainan. Cari Metro, masuk and mintak tiket nak gi Bursa and tanya harga dulu. Harga standard dalam 30 Lira je. Dia ada bus setiap jam tak silap. Kadang2 diorg akan mintak passport dulu. Dah dapat tiket, kene keluar cari bus terminal, nombor plate OR nombor bas. Selalunye destination dia akan tampal kat depan bas tu.

Mcm senang kan? Ha... tak cite pasal journey lagi. Jangka masa dari Istanbul ke Bursa ni selalunya 3 jam je. Tapi disebabkan traffic jam, cube teka berapa jam sy duk atas bus tu?

6 JAM. Pergi, balik dua2 sama ;__;

Kalau nak ikutkan, sepatutnya bus diorg on time. Kawan2 sy semua pelik kenapa bus lambat sangat. Sorg kawan tu cite yg bus ni main transport kat sini, orang selalu ambik untuk catch flight dan sebagainya jadi tak patut la lambat. Kesian kat diorg jugak sebab kena tunggu 3-4 jam kat bus terminal semata2 nak jemput saya. Oh well. At least journey smooth, and pemandangan cantik.

Oh, bus ni siap naik feri lagi untuk cross Bosphorus River. Masa nak gi Bursa tu naik feri masa senja. SubhanAllah, view atas feri masa tu sangat cantik. One of the only times saya rasa macam nampak syurga atas bumi (first time rasa cmni masa kat Jepun).

Anyway, nak balik Istanbul tu sama je process, tapi bezanya bus terminal Bursa lagi besar, counter tiket semua kat dalam.

video


Belanja korang video masa naik feri on the way ke Bursa ;)

Ok guys, stay tuned for the next post! Tikets Europe part 2 ☺

Thanks for reading!

10 January 2016

Allo Vienna! Part 2

Second night in Vienna ♡

Day Two - Harini target nak pergi Belvedere Museum atas suggestion orang lain. Tram yang sampai Belvedere is Tram 1 - ingat ni sebab public transport lain susah sket nak sampai area ni. Malangnya tak kesampaian (troll lagi), tapi yang bestnya harini sempat tengok sunset dekat Vienna! ☺

Senja di Rathausplatz ♥

Camni ceritanya.. Sebelum pergi museum tu, ingat nak singgah metro station Erdberg dulu. Erdberg ni satu2 nye tempat yang ada bus station untuk travel ke luar Austria. Esok pagi nak ambik bas pergi Prague, jadi pergi lah cekidout dulu sebab takut esok sesat. Sampai situ senang, tapi nak cari bus station dia punya lah pusing. Dah la tak sure betul ke tak bus station tu sebab macam gelap and tersembunyi je :/ Lagi satu kakacewaan, sampai situ ingatkan boleh beli tiket bas terus, rupanya boleh beli online JE. *lagu sedih* Kalau nak tau lagi pasal beli tiket bus dari Austria, bace sampai hujung post ni, okey ☺


Masih dengan map kertas. Old school ☺

Anyway, lepas jumpa bus station, teringat nak shopping barang kat Christmas market untuk family kat Malaysia. Apa lagi, pergi la balik Rathaus (sebab best) and jalan2 cari barang untuk diorang. Sebab Christmas market ni banyak local produce a.k.a makanan buatan orang situ, saya ingat nak beli lah bende macam seasoning, herbs, honey or jam. Lupa nak tulis dalam part 1, masa first2 jalan2 kat Vienna, ada pergi Christmas market dekat Natural History Museum jugak. Market dia tak besar sangat and barang yang dijual sama je, tapi tak se-crowded Rathaus..

Christmas market dekat Natural History Museum
Monuments dekat area museum..

Dah nama pun wanita, bila start je shopping takleh nak stop. Dah tawaf market tu entah berapa kali dah semata2 nak compare harga and barang, last2 beli la flavoured sugar, seasoning dan jam. Ada satu stall yang jual semua benda yg saya beli ni. Korang boleh beli individually atau dalam combo (3 untuk €5 ,  €10 dan sebagainya)

Lupa nak ambik gambar stall yang jual benda2 ni. Uhu..

Punyalah lama duk kat Rathausplatz, tau2 dah senja. Saya pun decide nak stay sampai malam sket sebab nak tunggu lampu pasang kat tempat ni.......................

Sunset at Rathuasplatz!

Serious cakap kat korang, sangat. berbaloi. Pergi la christmas market kat Rathuas time malam sebab CANTIK SANGAT!

Giant cupcakes!

Christmas lights everywhere ♥
Christmas tree yang centre of the attention
So basically tu experience saya dekat Vienna. Tak duk lama pun, and most of the time saya sorang2 jadi sightseeing dengan santai je kat sana..

Untuk korang yang plan nak pergi Vienna, saya ada a few tips and interesting info tentang Vienna yang maybe berguna untuk korang:

☆ First and most important, make sure korang dah target mana nak pergi sebab terlampau banyak historical buildings, museums, parks yang menarik kat sini. Kalau jalan2 je tanpa hala tuju, takut korang rasa rugi masa balik nanti sebab tak masuk mana2 museum, art gallery etc. Yang aunty saya recommend is Belvedere Museum and Schonbrunn Palace.

☆ Vienna ni tempat famous shooting movie, yang saya ingat mostly dekat Vienna State Opera. Kat situ ada scene dalam Mission Impossible 3, and The Illusionist. Yang minat cerita Before Sunset lagi best sebab the whole movie punya setting kat sini

☆ Public transport dekat Vienna senang je, tapi ada certain tempat susah sket nak pergi and maybe limited public transport sampai kat situ. Buat research dulu

☆ Sebab Vienna ni cantik sangat , travel la dengan kawan atau bawak selfie stick sebab banyak sangat tempat cantik nak ambik gambar. Rugi kalau tak bergambar kat city ni (macam saya yang travel sensorang :,( )

Makanan halal yang saya tau kat Vienna ni satu je. Kat tepi Vienna State Opera ada Hotel Bristol, and depan tu ada a few stall kebab. Satu stall yang warna biru tu halal. Stall lain tak sure kalau halal ke tak

☆ Kalau boleh, try lah makan Sacher Torte ☺ Kek ni banyak tempat lain jual tapi ada certain je yang supposedly authentic, contoh kat Sacher Hotel cafe. Diorang punya kek tak berapa manis, tapi kek dia sangat lembut, ala2 kek kukus camtu. Kalau nak bawak satu kek pun boleh, diorang akan pack dalam kotak kayu. Authentic tak authentic? Ahaa..

Okey, next post saya sepatutnya pasal London (location before Austria), tapi since London tak pergi sightseeing sangat (shopping je kerja), saya akan post destination sebelum tu.....Turkey!☺

Thanks for reading! ☺

Sunset at the Vienna State Opera ♥

**Oh, tip berguna, kalau nak beli tiket bus pergi Prague via station VIB dekat Erdburg, download app FLIXBUS, masukkan info credit or debit card korang, pastu dah setel. Beli la tiket nak gi mana2. Saya beli tiket last minute dapat dalam €22,53. Masa nak naik tu cuak sebab takde bus yang menghala ke Prague, tapi ada yang nak ke Berlin. Check ticket balik, rupanya ada tulis "Connection 060 direction Berlin ZOB", so bus yang ke Berlin tu lah sebenarnye bus yang akan ke Prague. Lagi satu, orang bus tu sangat tak membantu nak masukkan luggage :( Mamat tu 3 kali ganda lagi besar dari saya kot, tapi dia still suruh saya angkat luggage 20kg tu sendiri (tempat letak luggage dia tinggi sikit dalam 4 kaki atas lantai. Pengsan aku nak angkat beg tu woii). Dah nampak saya struggle baru lah nak tolong... **

Separuh dari tiket electronic yg dia bagi. Lagi separuh ada map dengan price summary.

03 January 2016

Allo Vienna! Part 1

"Allo!" 
- cara orang Vienna cakap hello

Parlamentsgebäude atau Parliament Building di Ringstraße

Welcome to my travel blog :) Ni first blog post dalam bahasa Melayu, so hopefully lebih ramai orang akan baca. Selama ni post dalam English macam takde sape bace je... *lagu sedih*

Vienna ni ibu negara Austria, and dia satu-satunya negara Eropah yang landlocked, meaning negara ni tak berpantai atau takde coastline, meaning bersedialah korang untuk suasana yang sejukkk-sesejuk-sejuknya-kalah-fridge-hang...

Natural History Museum Vienna 

Haha. Takdelah. Sebenarnye time saya pergi takde lah sejuk sangat, which is awal bulan Disember 2015. Masih lagi considered autumn (ye ke) or at least belum betul2 winter lagi. Suhu sekitar 10 Celcius ke atas and cuaca sangat sunny pada pagi hari, tapi time malam hujan renyai2..

Austria sangat terkenal dengan gunung alps, seperti yang dipopularkan dalam cerita The Sound of Music.. tapi kat Vienna ni takde alps, sebab dia city. Kalau nak visit alps, orang selalu pergi Salzburg (haha troll jap).

Kat Vienna ni saya stay 4 hari 3 malam dengan aunty yang bertugas di Malaysian embassy. Selalunya kalau travel memang pergi tempat yang ada family or friends sebab jimat , nombor satu for safety reasons - saya masih tak berani nak travel sorang2 - and nombor dua sebab senang kalau ada orang yang dah kenal tempat. Nak cari makanan halal senang, nak tengok tourist attraction senang, and best of all, kita dapat semua tempat2 best yang orang lain tatau. Haha! Orang sini cakap bahasa German dengan dialect Austria, jadi prepare la dengan basic phrases German sebelum nak ke sini.. 

Masa sampai Vienna time tu dah malam - flight dari London, transit kat Brussels. Kat airport Vienna ni ada ala2 shuttle bus berbayar untuk ke city. Harga tiket bus yang saya ambik dalam €8 one way (bus nombor 8).

Bus 8 ke Morzinplatz

Bus dia on time, so jangan lengah2!
Kebetulan aunty saya ada guests lain kat rumah dia, so kitorang semua pakat gi cafe malam tu. Pergi lah Hotel Sacher. Pergh.. lawa dia memang tak boleh kalah la. Terus teringat Plaza Hotel yang kat New York. Aunty saya recommend makan kek Sacher-Torte and apple strudel, dua2 dessert yang famous dari Austria, and minum coffee Wiener Melange.

Balik tido nyenyak

Day One - First day kat Vienna tak pergi mana2 specific pun, sebab nak explore city dia and nak biasakan diri dengan public transport kat sana. Saya beli tiket 24 jam dalam €7 dekat station U-bahn Schottenring, tapi kat mana2 station pun boleh beli sebenanye *thumbs up* Tiket ni boleh guna untuk bus, metro and tram.

Time jalan2 tu kebetulan lalu Rathausplatz, which is office datuk bandar dan dewan bandaraya Vienna (sori DBKL, bangunan korg tak boleh lawan langsung). Satu2 nye kelebihan travel hujung tahun kat Eropah ni semestinya Christmas Market, and kebetulan yang kat Rathaus ni market terbesar dan ter-meriah kat Vienna. Yey!

Satu2 nya entrance Christmas market kat Rathausplatz
Christmas market kat sini sama dengan yang kat negara Eropah lain. Orang banyak jual makanan local, decoration untuk christmas tree diorang dan juga souvenirs. Masa sampai market ni dah time lunch, jadi perut pun dah berkeroncang. Tengah jalan2 cari makan, terjumpa satu gerai ni....

TENGOK

Uishh kalau tak singgah ni, balik Malaysia nanti mesti menyesal! Diorang ni jual makanan manis je, macam kek and biskut tapi semua GIANT2 belaka..

*Gedebak gedebuk*

Boom boom pow
*Gedebooom*
Mari kakak, mari abang, semuanya murah2 belaka (ye ke)

Uuu tergodanyehh. Jadi saya pun belilah bukan satu, tapi DUA benda which is Maroni Röllchen, basically macam biskut love letter gergasi dengan hazelnut cream filling, and lagi satu Brandteig Ringe, macam glazed donut gergasi dengan custard filling. Yang bestnya stall ni ada list ingredients yang diorang guna untuk buat kek2 diorang ni, so kita tau mana satu boleh makan and mana yang tak boleh ☺ Dah puas cari makan, cari air pulak. Kat Christmas market ni memang banyak sangat gerai minuman punsch which is warm fruit punch yang mostly diorang campur dengan arak. Tapi jangan risau, ada je yang non-alcoholic untuk kanak2 yang kita boleh minum which is called Kinderpunsch 

Manih meleting

Lepas makan, saya pun jalan2 lah lagi kat area sama sambil ambik gambar bangunan2 yang ada kat sini. Negara Austria ni sebenanya sangat rich in history - diorang terlibat dalam perang since 1600-an sampai lah ke World War II, tapi kebanggaan negara ni pada classical music sebab ramai composer famous asalnya dari Austria, contohnya Mozart.

Wiener Opernball atau Vienna State Opera ♥

Disebabkan time ni cepat gelap, jadi tak lama lepas tu dah kena balik. Malam tu ada plan nak makan ribs kat satu kedai halal ni. Tempat tu agak jauh dari city dekat area suburbs, jadi kena ambik U-bahn dengan tram sekali. Nak pendekkan cerita, malam tu memang perut kenyang tidur tak ingat dunia... Tapi subuh on time ok. *riak* 


RIBSSS

Tybah tertipu. HAHAHAHA k

Hari kedua saya akan post dalam part 2! Stay tuned!

01 January 2016

New Goal!

I'm in a dilemma. 

This blog was made specifically for my experiences before my 25th birthday, but I have so much more to share even especially now that I'm older.

So this is the plan -  I'm starting a new tumblr blog to share all my future travel experiences after 2015. It's going to be simpler, to the point and with more pictures. But for now, I'm gonna try and blog every single trip I went up to now, AND to write in both English and Malay so that more people can read about them :) I'll start with my most recent trip around Europe - it was amazing - and work backwards from there. 

Maybe this should be my new year's resolution - to finish blogging all of my experiences within this year. 

Here we go!

25 July 2015

Hiatus

It's been a long time since I posted anything on this blog. Even with the "Schedule" option, I still can't get a decent post up at least once a month.

Will this blog meet its demise, just as the many thousands, as a result of neglect? 

Not if I can help it! 
I'm geared to carry on writing, and to improve myself at that.


YASSS

I must admit though, the only part of this blog that really, truly cuts deep into me is the description I so cleverly came up with when I created this space- 
" Sharing my humble travel experiences, dreams and tips before the age of 25"

I am 25 and 5 months now. And counting. 

LOL OOPS

But worry not! As I said, I am unfazed and will continue to write! 

Let this post be a testament of my determination to share my experiences - good and bad - with the world, and let it be my motivation to always look forward to the future.

YATAA!

Image credits

30 November 2014

Four memorable experiences with people I met while travelling

4. Location: London
Me, my brother and friend were going to Pret-a-Manger near Portobello when the door got stuck. I was pushing and pulling back and forth (with all my might OK) when some foreign guy came behind me and rudely said "It says PULL", then yanked the door open. The only thing I regret was that I could only manage an awkward laugh at the time  and could not voice the trail of curses running through my mind.  (҂⌣̀_⌣́)

Source
3. Location: Japan
During my visit to Fukuoka in Autumn this year, my sister and I were at Hakata Mall waiting for a bus when an old lady passing us just suddenly started talking. Turns out she was asking whether it was hot under our hijab, and that we could take it off if we wanted to. I had mixed feelings about her but we just smiled and politely answered no, to which she remarked that we did look kind of cute. Naww (♥ó㉨ò)ノ♡

Source
2. Location: Flight
I met a guy on my flight to Taiwan while on the way to Japan. I was trying to be friendly since the flight was long and I was travelling alone (ugh), but he was kind of smug. Booo.... Anyway, I fell asleep even before we took off, and when I woke up accidentally started a conversation with him in a state of drowsiness... 

..and he ended up becoming so friendly through the entire flight. 

Moral of the story: looking dumb breaks the ice better than you think.

Source

1. Location: Flight
Number one experience - I met Laura from Dublin on the flight to Dubai, heading to Manchester. If I say this once, I've said this a thousand times -  travelling alone sucks, so I was so glad to have someone I clicked with so well. Unfortunately, there was a little-too-friendly Irish expat across our row who wouldn't stop talking to us. So I ended up minding my own business (not to mention not talking to Laura for most of the flight :( ) because he kept interrupting us and was SO IRRITATING. After that flight they left together with Laura's friend since they were all headed to Dublin.... and I left for Manchester with a heavy heart. .・゜゜・(/。\)・゜゜・.

Source

Moral of the story: Never miss out on a chance to talk to people while you travel. 

(Also, if anyone knows of Laura from Dublin who used to stay in Australia in 2011 and worked in a pharmacy, please bring her to this blog!)