Om Swasti Astu. It means "Peace and greetings from God" in Balinese.
The Kayon Resort. A destination on its own. I sound like a loser but really, I booked this hotel and built the trip around it.
I checked Kayon out of a recommendation and I immediately fell in love with it. I just thought it has that tranquil charm anyone from the concrete jungle will be in awe.
It was supposed to be a solo trip. Read a book, perhaps a trip to the market, but really, the date of all dates was between me and Mother Nature. I booked Kayon in 2016 for a 2017 trip but had to rebook for this year. Then, late last year, I thought, how awesome will it be if Joseph come with me to this exquisite destination? He replied with the usual, “yes, sure why not” with the same enthusiasm as how one will answer the question, “do you want to have broccoli with your steak?”
Joseph gets excited with adventure trips, scuba diving, skiing, trekking, desert safari but not a photo of a serene looking hotel that offers quiet time for reflection. It’s not his thing but he will indulge me, coz he wuv me.
He knows, I MUST SEE THE WORLD. My obsession with traveling is as much as how strongly I feel towards munching KFC every other week if not every week. (Puh-leese, do not start me with the diet and health talk. You do you, I do me). Since I got bitten by the travel bug in 2014, I have not been able to not think of traveling.
My husband, is more than happy for me to see the world, with or without him. If he can, he tags along to keep me safe and happy. Our children love to travel too but they have school and one is much too young to be traveling to un-surveyed places. We have a once a year family travel, somewhere family-friendly or foodie-friendly
Life is hectic and complicated, even moreso when you have children and a full time career to take care of. Add in each individual dreams that are intertwined with the present, life becomes a full time exciting chaos.
We have to live in the present with one eye on the future, it is a constant balancing act.
Joseph and I met at a time when we had to be responsible individuals. We skipped the part of getting "to know you" and straight away had Alex. Naturally, we regressed to getting to know each other in bits and pieces throughout the years. So for us, we are not just living our present and preparing for the future, we are also looking back, way back to have a better understanding of each other's nooks and crannies.
It has always been one of my frustrations not being able to bring my skating shoes with me in my travels. I always like to try skating rinks in different countries but skating shoes are not particularly light nor small. Whether a solo traveler or with my family, suitcase space is important.
I once tried the skating rink of Rockefeller Center in New York under the watchful eyes of Prometheus and I badly wished I had my shoes with me. Wearing rentals is such a raffle draw, either the blade is too worn out, toe pick damaged or worst.... wet inside soles.
When I found out there is a trip to Kazakhstan for a skiing weekend and found out that they have the highest open skating rink in the world, or so it is claimed, I knew I have to bring them shoes. But perhaps will have to hide the fact from Joseph, he is such a practical traveler, I will earn a disapproving finger wag "no".
When I saw the post by Trekkup Dubai about Kazakhstan, I was sold! Not thinking that we have never been in a snowy place (other than man made Ski Dubai), let alone ski. Totally disregarding safety, I was sold.
It said in the weather forecast, it will possibly be -7 C. Brrrr! I can almost feel the pain my knees will have to endure. Every time I go to a cold place, my knees give up. It happened to me in London, Jebel Jais mountains, and Adams Peak in Sri Lanka. Those times were definitely not fun and they were nowhere near -7 C weather. The pain was murderous.
However, like a masochist, I was resolved to do it. Visiting one of the 'stans is in my bucket list and it is so going to be ticked off this year.
We used to flip through the pages of glossy magazines or colourful webpages, drool and gawk at gorgeous places we only dreamed of seeing. We used to daydream over the idea of food we might never get to taste. Wondered how each destination feels.