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I get asked a lot as to where I find the money to travel. Firstly, you might not see it but I work hard and save wisely. Secondly, I think it is a matter of life priorities. Everyone can travel, but not everyone puts it as an actual life priority. I do.

To me, our 20′s is the time to truly live. Instead of being tied down by a mortgage, for now – I’d rather spend my savings to enrich my life with experiences and memories. After all, once we hit Big 30, whether we like it or not, we are entering the next stage in life.

A whole new chapter where marriage, kids and responsibilities await to stick around you for a lifetime. I never EVER want to be there; looking back, feeling trapped, and regretting that I never did everything in my ability to taste the myriad of hidden flavors life has to offer when I still could. That would be so darn sad!

Some tell me I’m weird. Some try to (indirectly) stop me. I secretly wonder if it’s because they would if they could but they just can’t; not now, not before?

One day, I was given a day to decide if I wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride. Now of course no one would say no, but the problem was that it costs close to a thousand goddamn ringgit. In the end, no one in the van opted to go so I was left to anticipate the abundance of excitement all night by myself.

I don’t know if I slept at all because I was too afraid to miss the most precious flight in my life. I woke up at 3 a.m. and was ready to board the van at 4-ridiculous-a.m. Timing is very crucial here as you want to catch the sunrise. That said, no one was late.

Almost 90% were couple. 60% were old people. 20% were Asians. 3% solo, including me. I didn’t feel special. In fact, I felt a bit lonely, especially during breakfast when everyone chatted away with their travel buddies and steaming black coffee.

I paced around the field where sleepy balloons rested lazily. As it was chilly, I wished I could cuddle with them too. When it came the time to climb up the balloon and soar, it was just me and the world, 100%.

Nothing occupied my mind – it was filled with only beautiful things. My heart was brimming with amazement and wonder; I felt nothing but radiating happiness. My soul, closely intact within me yet light as a feather. I felt new.

We went 600 meters high at 5 km/hour for 1.10 hours, where caves sprawled as far as our eyes could take us to some wonderland or tomorrowland; some fantasy of that sort. We spun around 360 degrees to feel the sun kiss every inch of our skin. We laughed as a group of strangers. Descended as balloon gang members.

You don’t land where you launch. Each balloon will land on a truck, followed by cheery claps once it successfully lands. On ground, champagne awaits together with a certificate that makes the best souvenir for yourself.

Was the thousand bucks worth it?

You bet.

I wish to share as much of my travel stories as I can with you in my blog, but seriously? The day you get on that plane and your ass in the air, is the day you truly feel embraced by the world and vice versa.

Nothing can make you feel that, but going away. We only live once. This is our chance.

If you happen to be single but sad, not pregnant but very trying, wishing to buy the latest X-Class but can’t save enough in your 20′s, perhaps it’s okay. It’s okay because there are some things you can plan in life and some things you can’t. Traveling is one thing you can, while the rest will happen at the right time with some faith and patience.

Embrace yourself by embracing the world . . .

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There is something special and romantic about hot air balloon rides and I’m all crazy for it. If you happen to be too, the annual festival in Putrajaya is happening this weekend. While I won’t be attending (after a rather lousy experience last year), it got me reminiscing about my first ride at one of the most beautiful places in the world for this specific activity: Cappadocia. I reserve this entry for the end of the week to be more in sync with what’s happening locally. And also because this experience absolutely deserves an entry of its own.

 

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