Tag Archives: Travel

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

Road Trip

IMG_9897My brain has gone to hell lately. Every time I think about writing, I cannot be bothered to or I cannot figure out what to write. Quite frankly, I have been very distracted lately. There has been too much crap going on at home, school and just overall with me. So, I disappeared for a couple of days with a friend of mine.

We took a 1600 km drive to and from Virginia and Washington DC. There was no planned destination or attractions in mind. Matter of fact, there was no plan at all. I just wanted to drive for as long as we could, blast the music, smoke endless cigarettes, and have the windows down, forget about everyone and everything that was stressing me out and just be free.

It was a refreshing trip, helped clear my head. I realized I needed to get my priorities straightened out and focus on the most important things in my life right now: school and Nid. Everyone and everything else would have to be secondary to these two because they require my attention the most.

I have been messing around with school for a couple of months now and although my grades haven’t dropped, my attendance has become ridiculously poor. I haven’t been sleeping much lately; which ends up resulting in me staying home because my body and brain are so exhausted. The illnesses and clusterfuck that is going on in my head have had me all over the place.

If that wasn’t stupid enough, I realized during my trip that I have not been focusing on Nid as much as I used to before. Not to say that I’ve deprived her of anything or completely forgotten about her, but I have noticed that with my own struggle with myself, I may have neglected her a bit. Over the past few days, I have been concentrating on her and trying to spend a bit more time with her, focusing on the activities she enjoys doing. I have decided to set aside one hour every day where we enjoy each other’s company, play games, study, read a book or go for a walk together. It is mine and her time to do whatever her heart desires.

I’m glad that I was able to take a couple of days away to clear my head. It is very important to take a day or two away from all of your responsibilities to recuperate yourself. It is extremely important to take care of yourself first before you can take care of anyone else and I did exactly that.

Here are some shots from the gorgeous views we encountered on our road trip. I hope they will inspire you to take a road trip yourself or find a way to convalesce your mind.

Xoxo ~ Tamana

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It’s Been A Long Week

 On Monday my brakes failed as I was heading to work in the morning rush hour. My quick thinking saved my life as I pulled the emergency hand brake. I was minutes away from getting on one of the busiest highways in Toronto, the DVP or Don Vally Parkway for all of you that don’t know. Someone somewhere must really love me because had I gotten on the DVP and the brakes failed, I would have certainly been in a multi-vehicle crash. Thankfully, I am okay; a little shaken up but mostly okay. I got the car to the mechanics and he assessed and determined the brake fluid had completely leaked, resulting in my brakes giving out. In the process of braking, I blew a tire and caliber or whatever it’s called. The mechanics fixed everything and gave me a hefty bill. 

Within two weeks, I’ve paid over $1500 into this car. First the emissions issues and now this. I feel disgusted by it all but the car is okay and I didn’t get hurt; which is more valuable then all the costs. 

  Tuesday, I flew out to Dearborn, Michigan for a work summit for a couple of days. It was really nice being on the plane after so long. I don’t know what it is but I just love being in the plane. It’s this nostalgic feeling. The same feeling I get when I’m near water. The excitement of the takeoff and then flying above the clouds and cities. I love taking pictures of the ground. 

  My boss and the other chick with me were being a bit annoying. I mean, I like both of them but they were acting like a bunch of school girls, teasing and giggling. I felt a bit left out but whatever. After the other chick left, it was nice to spend some time with my boss and get to know her. We had a nice breakfast and dinner and drinks together. 

  Plus, I got to bond with our clients and colleagues from the Dearborn office; which was fantastic. I find it very important to have out-of-office time with your colleagues at least once, this allows you to see the person as a real person instead of just as a colleague and that makes a huge difference. 

Overall, it was a successful trip and I really enjoyed myself. The rest of the week was finished off with lots of catching up on work. Finally, yesterday Dev and I decided to list our car on Craigslist, Kijiji and Facebook Buy and Sell pages. We’ve also decided on a newer, used vehicle. We just need to sell our current vehicle and then we can move forward with the other vehicle. I’ll let you know how that goes.

I’m just happy that I’m safe and this week is over. Seems like, since November started its been quite bumpy, and as much as I love that it was my birthday month, I’m glad it’s almost over. 

Next weekend, I’m looking forward to start putting up Christmas and holiday decorations. I’ll share some ideas with you later in the week. Stay tuned for some frugal, DIY decorating tips!

Have yourself a wonderful Sunday and week ahead!

I’ll Be Back In Toronto Today

I’ll be back in Toronto by end of day today! There are many things I’ll have to tell you all about my trip. So be patient with me and give me a day or so to get rid of the jet-lag.

Oh and do tell me what you thought of my story up until now. I’d love to hear comments/thoughts. They’ll be more to come in the next couple of days. I know I know you’re by now anxious to find out about how I went from Nik to D and what all happened in between. So, stay tuned… I’ll be prepping the rest of the posts over the next couple of days.

Xoxox

Tamana~