We are Matti (Matt-Eye) & Sara (Sair-rah). We are an adventure seeking, average looking, multi-racial couple from Toronto, Canada. We have an average amount of money and work average jobs.
Although we are quite average, we are now at this weird point in our lives where many of our friends are getting married, having kids, and settling down. We find this whole notion extremely unappealing. There’s a whole world out there with individuals and families living in entirely different and unique places, with customs and routines entirely separate from our own. There are people who hunt whales like badasses (literally free diving with spears) while we fork over small amounts of money for lattes.
There’s nothing wrong with this, of course. It’s just that through routine you lose perspective. You diminish empathy. You forget to humble yourself and accept your fallibility and reject your ego. Not that we are opposed to this way of life, it’s just not for us right now.
Our first trip together was quite a leap into traveling the path less taken, as well as a solid beginning for our relationship together. Matti, the more than avid cyclist (having completed a cycling trip across Canada, while raising over $3800 for SickKids), somehow, convinced me to join him on another cycling journey around the UK. Having realized I have no real reason NOT to go, so it began.
Cycling over 2000km, over 4 different countries, in weather from never-ending rain to heat wave, we traveled for 5 weeks starting in England and finishing in Ireland. You can read about those adventures at Avoiding Sheep on Bikes by Matti and at Cycling Uphill and Drinking Tea by Sara.
Our next adventure would follow that following summer. While I was doing an internship in New York City for 3 months, Matti had the luxury of coming to spend 3 weeks with me during my time there. We had a great time together exploring an even more amazing city.
So now we are looking for something bigger, more foreign, more exotic, less familiar. Conquering South East Asia seems like an ease into the backpacking life. Warm weather, cheap food and accommodation, what could go wrong?
Okay, it is not completely accurate to say we are complete n00bs to Asia. This trip is partly to visit my aging grandparents in Malaysia. My parents were born and raised in Malaysia (my dad’s family is from Kuala Lumpur and my mom’s family is from Kota Kinabalu) before the immigrated to Canada. So I actually have been back there a few times when I was younger. I also have visited Shanghai, China a few years ago. As for Matti’s Asian travel history, he was in Japan for a few weeks, but that story is for another time. But we both feel that these previous trips did not do our travel bugs justice at all and we must return.
So the plan you ask? Tickets are booked to fly into Singapore March 30, 2016. My mom’s brother, my uncle, lives in Singapore so at least that’s nice for someone to greet us and help us getting aquatinted. Singapore for a few days, Indonesia for about 3-4 weeks until May 5, when my family arrives in Malaysia. Hanging out there for 3 weeks, then part from there and off to Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), and possibly China, then Japan. Other than that, we are in the process of making more defined plans as well as just let the wind blow us in the direction that it shall. Must see and suggestions are always welcome of course. The best tour guide is other travelling stories.
So I guess this is it. This is the beginning. Everything begins with a decision. Advice? Just go. Be happy. And I’ll just leave this here:
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky”
– Michael Scott