Kuala Lumpur Adventures

This week I have ventured to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I’m staying at a mediocre hotel in the heart of the city in Bukit Bintang. My hotel isn’t the greatest but the location is perfect. It’s situated in the middle of a food street and close enough to many central attractions.

In walking distance I have the option to try all types of cuisines; from authentic Malaysian to Arabic and even Indian, Pakistani, Bengali, Italian and Chinese. Or I can stick to the basics and eat from famous western food chains and even grab street food. There are tons of street vendors and large retailers nearby. There’s also a mall nearby but we all know I hate malls, so I’m not even trying to venture into there. But it does consist of all the top designers and brands.

As for the weather, well let’s just say October is not a traveller’s month to venture into Asia. It rained uncontrollably in Phuket the whole week that I was there and now in Kuala Lumpur. Thankfully, I’m in the center of the city and can easily get around even if it’s raining.

A couple of days ago, I ordered a Grab car (similar to Uber in North America) and went to see the Petronas Towers and Suria KLCC mall. The towers are absolutely spectacular and the surrounding buzz of the city is everything you would expect from a metropolitan city. But behind the towers lies a beautiful park and water fountain. The towers are surrounded by all the big hotels and have tons of great restaurants in near walking distance.

Then I ventured into the Suria KLCC mall. It felt like I was in the Eaton’s Center in downtown Toronto with all the designer brands and crowd. Of course I didn’t go shopping but it was nice to walk around. But I did have one of the best Affogato’s of my life. For those of you that don’t know what an Affogato is, it’s a double espresso shot with ice cream. I added a rich dark chocolate ice cream to mine and as the ice cream melted in the hot espresso it was a taste to die for!

Well, lovelies, my trip is over and I am flying to Phuket, Thailand tomorrow because that was my original destination from Toronto, so I have to flight out to of there to get home. From Phuket I’ll be flying to Shanghai, China and then finally back home to Toronto. I’m looking at a hell of a journey back, almost 30 hours of fly time and layovers before I make it home. Sigh! But the trip was worth it, my writers block is now unblocked, I have penned out the chapters of my book in good detail and gave myself a lot of time to clear my emotions and mind; which was extremely necessary considering the craziness that has been this year.

Now on to finish packing and getting a goodnight’s sleep before the crazy journey home. I’ll try to write again soon, especially about all the amazing food I tried on this trip! Until then, stay bless and check out my Instagram page for highlight stories and images from my trip (@ziddi)! Xoxo

~Tamana

Phuket To Kuala Lumpur; The Adventure Continues

I stayed at a beautiful retreat in Phuket, Thailand for a few days. Got much needed sleep, relaxation and my writers block unblocked. But it rained uncontrollably and so I never left the retreat except to pick up food and supplies. Quite unfortunate being in a beautiful city surrounded by beaches and culture and not being able to see it.

Fortunately, as I was driving to the airport yesterday morning my wandering eyes caught a glimpse of the Big Buddha statue. High up on a mountain, in all its glory, I was blessed to see the one thing I had my heart so eagerly set on. Although it wasn’t a close up view, I’m still glad and thankful that I got to see it and take a photo of it.

For those of you that don’t know, the Big Buddha statue is one of the most important landmarks in Phuket. It is beautifully constructed of white marble and is a 45 meters tall statue; which cost over 30 million Baht to make. It can be seen from as far away as Phuket town and Karon Beach. Here’s a close up picture of the statue from www.phuket101.com since I wasn’t able to get close enough myself.

If that wasn’t enough, I also managed to get a passerby glimpse of Wat Chalong temple, my other must-see sight. Again, not the view I wanted, regardless, I still got to see it and take a picture. The Wat Chalong temple, built in 1837, is one of the largest, most visited and important Buddhist temples in Phuket. According to www.ithaka.travel, it was built and funded by a large group of monks. Two monks known for their healing powers, Luang Pho Cham and Luang Pho Chuang were part of those monks. It is said that even today, the temple is known for its healing power.

Aside from the historical information, the temple is beautifully architected, the grand pagoda is about 200 feet tall and houses a part of Lord Buddha’s bone. The walls, ceilings and pillars are painted with beautiful paintings retracing Buddha’s steps.

So, this trip to Phuket wasn’t completely a waste no thanks to the horrible weather. At least I got my writing groove back, straightened out my emotions and head and got much needed sleep.

Now I’m in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the next 10 days. I arrived early this afternoon and the weather was perfect, except it started raining as soon as I got settled into my hotel room. Sigh! Just my friggin luck. Thankfully, I’m in the heart of the city, Bukit Bintang and surrounded by a foodie’s paradise. I’ll tell you more about Kuala Lumpur once I start venturing out tomorrow. For now, I need some sleep. Stay blessed and stay tuned for more details, or better yet, go follow me on Instagram (@ziddi) and see the awesome pictures of my trip. Xoxo

~Tamana

Good Morning From Paradise

I made it to made to Nai Harn, Phuket late last night, took a much needed shower and fell asleep. It was one heck of a journey to get here but I finally made it!

I woke up early this morning and arranged my clothes and belongings. Then headed to the front desk to figure out food and how to get around locally. The owner is an Italian gentleman who moves to Thailand ten years ago with a friend and ended up getting married and staying here for good. He was really nice and drove me on his scooter to the nearby 7-11 to pick up some food and drinks. Apparently, it’s off season so, the hotel doesn’t have a bar or breakfast as anticipated. But just down the street are numerous restaurants and bars. So, maybe tomorrow I’ll venture out and go check out the local market.

This is definitely a relaxation retreat. It’s low key, up on a mountain away from all the crazy city life. I am hoping this will unblock my mind and inspire me to start writing again. I am really hoping to begin planning out the chapters of my book and get some writing done.

For now, however, I am going to take a nap and try to get over the exhaustion from my flights and travel here. Until I post again, stay blessed and keep an eye out on my Instagram account for photos from my journey and my surroundings. Xoxox much needed shower and fell asleep. It was one heck of a journey to get here but I finally made it!

I woke up early this morning and arranged my clothes and belongings. Then headed to the front desk to figure out food and how to get around locally.

The owner is an Italian gentleman who moved to Thailand ten years ago with a friend and ended up getting married and staying here for good. He was really nice and drove me on his scooter to the nearby 7-11 to pick up some food and drinks. Apparently, it’s off season so, the hotel doesn’t have a bar or breakfast as anticipated. But just down the street are numerous restaurants, thankfully. So, maybe tomorrow I’ll venture out and go check out the local market.

This is definitely a relaxation retreat. It’s low key, up on a mountain away from all the crazy city life. I am hoping this will unblock my mind and inspire me to start writing again. I am really hoping to begin planning out the chapters of my book and get some writing done.

For now, however, I am going to take a nap and try to get over the exhaustion from my flights and travel here. Until I post again, stay blessed and keep an eye out on my Instagram account for photos from my journey and my surroundings. Xoxo

~Tamana

Layover Nightmare

I am currently in Shanghai, China at the Pudong International Airport and it’s been quite the experience. Although, the airport is clean, is beautifully designed (I love the ceiling) and is convenient and most staff are polite and helpful, this layover has been an absolute nightmare. I originally knew I would have a 22 hour layover here, however the plan was to be sitting in a VIP lounge eating and drinking freely and getting some sleep. That didn’t turn out to be the case because both VIP lounges are past security check-points and you need to be checked in to get there; which you can only do 4 to 5 hours prior to your flight’s departure. What a clusterfuck!

So, I have spent the last 14+ hours in the terminal bouncing from one seat to the next trying to get comfortable. My ass hurts, my back hurts, I am sleep deprived, dirty, stink and need a hot shower and comfy bed. However, I have met a couple of awesome people while waiting that have shared their experiences and my misery with me as they are going through similar wait times.

A gentleman named, Sui Kuan has been my lounging and phone charging companion for the past few hours. He’s Chinese but lives in the Netherlands and happened to miss his flight and got stuck in Shanghai airport for 24 hours. We’ve been sharing stories about travel and our kids and have been watching each other’s bags while the other one uses the restroom or grabs a bite to eat. Quite the polite and friendly gentleman.

Along with him, I met a fellow Torontonion; Fifi, who also took the cheap ticket option and has a 22+ hour layover in Shanghai before catching her flight to Indonesia. Fifi and I have been chatting with each other since we boarded our flight from Toronto Pearson airport. She’s going back home to visit her family and has been an absolute delight to chill and chat with.

You always hear of those travel stories of meeting random people at the airport and sharing your experiences and here I am living it. Thankfully though, I only have a couple more hours before I can check-in and get some rest and food in the VIP lounge. But I will caution anyone that’s planning to use VIP or priority lounges for layovers to research the timings and location of the lounges before planning a ridiculous number of hours in an airport to save money on a trip. Totally not worth the exhaustion but definitely was worth the experience.

Well, my darlings, thats how this trip is going so far. I’ll write more once I arrive in Phuket. Visit my Instagram page to see all the pictures I’m posting and stay tuned for more. Xoxo

~Tamana

Eat. Pray. Love.

Today I am leaving for my 17-day, solo trip to Phuket, Thailand. I know I said I would tell all of you about this trip a while ago, however, it’s taken me a lot of courage to pull this trip into reality. It’s been months of talking about, planning and finally working up the guts to put it into action. I literally cried the day I finally booked the ticket and paid for the hotel.

Originally, what was just a random idea, a thought that began over friends making never-to-happen plans, developed into a need that had to be fulfilled.

I have always dreamt of taking a trip by myself, venturing out in a new city alone and discovering beauty in a different culture and lifestyle. However, I never thought I would be able to fulfill that dream due to my responsibilities and family life. But here I am, sitting at the airport shaking with nervousness and anticipation.

My Medical Office Administrator course is complete. I am graduating on October 24 with honours. My name has been put into the name of eligible students to become a valedictorian. I have done exceptionally well with this phase of my life and I am proud of myself for taking on another venture and succeeding beyond my own expectations.

I have been a decent mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend to my circle. However, with the requirements of fulfilling those relationships, I have stopped being a good me. I have lost myself. I have forgotten who I was and who I wanted to be. I have let myself run towards life without actually knowing where I was heading or wanted to end up.

Every time I catch myself running, I stop dead in my tracks and realize that I don’t know where I want to go. I have been questioning my motives and desires. I have been resenting my relationships because they have taken so much of me away from me. I have started to become destructive and careless with how I treat myself.

I am tired of dieting and trying to lose weight. I am tired of questioning my deen and faith in Allah. I am tired of loving everyone unconditionally and giving my all. I am tired of being everything to everyone and nothing to myself.

I am exhausted.

This trip is a journey for me to find myself. To eat and of course, drink guilt-free without putting myself down or worry about how I’ll look after gaining yet another 10 pounds. It’s a trip for me to find peace through prayer and devotion. To sleep in without worrying of responsibilities and staying up late without caring about the dark circles under my eyes. It’s a trip for me to find love within myself, to assess and analyze my relationships and friendships and understand them. It’s a trip for me to find me, again and come back stronger, wiser and more determined than ever to make my goals happen!

This trip is also an opportunity for me write that book I’ve been writing for the past 5+ years. Yes, I’m referring to my autobiography; which isn’t an autobiography anymore and has become a story. A story about unconditional and incomplete love. A story about devotion and belief in another soul. A story about endless tests passed and lessons learned. It is a story about a million wishes and desires and how life can happen but what is meant to be will always find its way back to you.

It has taken me many years to come to terms with the fact that this is what my reality is and this is the life I have chosen. Now that I have realized so many truths about myself, it has become important to write the story. I strongly believe that when you can tell your story without crying or breaking down, then and only then have you healed by what you went through. Today, I am ready to tell my story; which is why I have begun writing again. I’m hoping to spend time on this trip and plan out the chapters and continue writing from where I left off five years ago.

Anyway, back to the trip, I’m about to board my first flight. I am flying from Toronto to Shanghai and then to Phuket. Unfortunately, I have a 20+ hour layover in Shanghai before my flight to Phuket. Thankfully, my CIBC Gold Adventura Visa gives me access to 1000+ VIP lounges across the world. Free food, drinks, showers, Wi-Fi and possible sleeper chairs are only some of the perks of the lounge and card. So, I’ll definitely be uploading photos on Instagram while I’m waiting for the connecting flight to Phuket and I’ll try my best to post when I can.

Wish me luck and send positive energy and prayers my way. I hope I find myself again, come to terms with the decisions I need to make, find my path and of course, get over this writers block. Until then, stay blessed, connect with me on Instagram (@ziddi) to see my adventures and come back to read all about my travel through Phuket! Xoxo

~Tamana

I’m Done Externship!

I am done externship and my course! Woohoo! It’s been one heck of a journey to get to this day but it’s finally here and I couldn’t be happier. So many sleepless nights and mood swings due to excessive studying. However, I made it through and succeeded beyond my expectations.

Tomorrow I have my exit interview at the college and graduation on the 24 of October and that’s it, I can begin working as a Medical Office Administrator and Transcriber.

On Friday, I am leaving for a much needed vacation. This is the trip I’ve mentioned in previous posts, details to come soon. When I return from my trip, on to looking for jobs.

That’s all for now. Have a blessed week and stay tuned for details on the trip. Xoxo

~Tamana

Shut-Up and Deal With It

Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn. So many things happen to us on a daily basis. Sometimes they happen right in front of our eyes; where it’s obvious that we’re going through this and sometimes we realize what has happened after the fact.

Lately, I’ve been realizing so many things that have happened in the past while that I have been oblivious to. Light only shedding on them after it’s too late for me to react. It’s probably because psychologically I have been unavailable to everything and everyone around me. I have been putting so much effort into the stuff going through my heart that I haven’t paid much attention to the things that have been right in front of me the whole time.

Now, after realizing what has been happening, I have become upset, irrational at times and even irate at times. There are days when I don’t want to get out of bed and face the world. There are times when I want to take my child and run as far away as I can from everyone else. There are times when I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs and ask the universe what the fuck it’s doing.

But the older I get, the more I realize that as an adult, as a person, as a mother, you just have to shut the hell up and deal with whatever you’re dealt with. You can’t fight everyone and everything that causes you anxiety or stress. You can’t give up and run away from your miseries. If I was alone, single, not responsible for a mini-me then I’d probably be gone by now. That’s just not reasonable or an option because I do have a little me to look out for and make sure she doesn’t go through the emotional and psychological distress I have gone through for so many years. I have to make sure that she grows up to be a decent human being and gains all the things I wasn’t able to. But along with her, I have to make sure that she has a happy, healthy mother to look up to.

So, right now, I just have to shut up and deal with whatever the universe is throwing at me and make the changes that have to be made in order for both of us to succeed.

~Tamana

a stubborn desire…

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