THE THREE ALPHA TRAVEL

… Africa, Australia (+ New Zealand) and Asia

Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts

Years after…

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… I see this blog and I think of things changed, of things uchanged and things to come. It was definetely one of the best things I have done in my life and in retrospect it has shaped me to be the man I am today. Will there be more?

Written by csm2mk

March 17, 2017 at 1:09 PM

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Going back to what you have chosen to be your normal life (in some other life)

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So I am back to Spain now.

I feel comfortably numb about it.

But I guess a break from the streak is always good.

I have to take it easy and see what’s the next step.

I will let you know how it goes.

For now, jet-lag be my witness, I just want to rest and worry later about the rest.

Thanks for following me. I’ll be back to you soon 😉

Written by csm2mk

November 4, 2009 at 12:34 AM

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In transit…

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Flying from Singapore to Bangkok I would have to wait for about 12 hours at the Changi airport. I booked my Bangkok flight to be the next day so I coincide with the arrival of a friend from Spain in the same city but as well so I can experience what everybody is saying about Changi; the best airport in the world to pass a night if you have to.

It is so true as well… Where do I start? Free Internet, 24-hour super market, 24-hour food gallery and so much more in a specific transit part of the airport. There is even a transit hotel with its budget option – a bed with a room and shared toilets / bathroom – at about 20 Euro. Feel like home, if you have the money that is – if you find yourself without money well… you are the odd one out.

I was lucky to have had some RM from Malaysia and exchanging them for Singapore Dollars I payed for my overnight stay in the airport (food, drinks & bed). I do recommend Changi airport when you travel in Southeast Asia and you want to stay overnight between flights. The prices are expensive and the security can be tight so have your ticket printed out as the police might ask you – to be honest they are not too bad.

Around 04:00 I woke up checked out and went for my backpack. Went outside customs and straight back in again. The customs lady was laughing… Checked in for the flight to Bangkok, flew there and here I am, in the Baan Dinso Hotel for two nights, a bit southern than the dreaded Kao Sahn. Remember where Leonardo Di Caprio sleeps the first night in the movie “The Beach”? That’s where Kao Sahn Road is. Anyway I hope not to have his luck which reminds me that I have to read the book too… they tell me it is ages away from the movie (makes sense as well).

Write to you soon!

Written by csm2mk

June 6, 2009 at 5:40 AM

Malaysia, My

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One thing is for sure for Malaysia – as it is for most of the places of the world that are running to catch the modernization train; don’t read old books about it before you go. You know it. It is not going to be like that. But in the same time the hidden hope is there. A pocket of resistance? Some good luck that will bring you closer to something authentic? Difficult. I had ruled out peninsular Malaysia knowing that it only has one national park. I did not want to visit Kuala Lumpur neither. Now they both seem reasons why I should have gone and not the opposite. Also I ruled out a friend’s invitation at Tioman island offering free accomodation for some days and of course if I had gone I would have enjoyed first-class diving. Instead I followed my instinct (or was it my knowledge?) and yelled out; Borneo here I come! Did I do good? Yes, I reckon… I always thought that all the places are worth visiting. The world is full of people that pay money for visiting a place and demand from this place to meet their expectations or else they complain. This is maybe exactly why Borneo has a limited future…

Now in Borneo I saw great difference between Sabah and Sarawak. I can now say that Sarawak is more to my liking. Kuching is a city with character. And with its Kelabit Highlands, Bario and the longhouse treks (of which I have done none) it still has some places untouched of the typical tourist hand. In Miri I sacrificed Mulu National Park for a sailing experience. I do not regret it. What I would have changed maybe would be the visit to Sabah. There I understood why they are separate states! They take their tourism industry very seriously – that much that they treat both travelers, tourists and anybody else the same. I did not like that. Overall if you want to visit Borneo (and you should) do yourself a favor and do it ASAP. The people are great and it is one of the safest places to be too. But I would suggest one thing. Do not support the big companies with your money – even if you have lots of it. Most of them are linked to “evil” organizations like logging and petrol companies. Borneo needs everything BUT those. I might be a dreamer, but traveling is a responsible thing. Borneo people are used to the bad type of tourist so try and be a good one 😉

Written by csm2mk

June 5, 2009 at 2:45 PM

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Singapore, My (???)

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Well, well, well… Singapore – or else the “city of lions”. Four days I think are enough for anybody to decide if they like it or not. But then maybe it is not such an easy decision. The truth be told, it is one of the only cities or countries  not touched by the recession or crisis or whatever you want to call it – which is a positive if you are looking for a job. Also is safe, clean and well… over-controlled.

Block of flats in Singapore

Block of flats in Singapore

Here I met Amit, an ex-colleague of mine from Autodesk and so my first night was to become the only night in the city full of Tiger beer and insights on its night life (I hadn’t had a beer in the last two weeks before this). I had met him before in Switzerland and we pretty much did the same thing back then. To me the visit was helpful in that it made me adopt a more positive side of what I though of Singapore – I did not have the best image for it by the way…

The two favorite pastimes of the Singaporeans are shopping and eating. The shopping part can be easily explained. The whole country is a big shopping mall! The further I was getting into the malls the dizzier I was getting out of them. And then the streets – with traffic but clean as I have never seen in a big city! Eating obviously is good because of so many cultures having to live on each others’ diets. The people seem to be overworked and underpaid (but that’s only me seeing what I saw in 4 days so apologies if it’s not the case) and obviously retail therapy is the only therapy. The only other similar capitalistic city I have seen so far is Shanghai…

All in all, I do not think I would like to go back to Singapore for just visiting. I do not rule out that given the need I could go there in search for a job – a big city is always a big city with all its bads and goods.

Written by csm2mk

May 21, 2009 at 4:48 AM

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Indonesia, My

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I never expected that Indonesia would be so captivating. Looking at the map and reading about it, I knew that in my 30 days the visa was allowing me to spend I had to choose between its islands. So I chose Bali and Java but the choice was not an easy one. Bali sounded too touristy, its south beaches being crowded with week enders from Australia and other places. Java had too many big cities and seemed like the industry centre of Indonesia. In the beginning, Sulawesi, Sumatra and Lombok or the Gili Islands were the first candidates but the problem of moving from one of those places to the other would have taken up some time. I reckon that finally I chose well and the two islands were the best introduction to Indonesia and thus to Southeast Asia. This does not mean I do not want to go back to the rest of them – I hope one day I do.

Indonesia Map

Indonesia Map

Choosing a low season and my destinations carefully I was able to avoid crowds of Westerners. To be more precise since Kuta I only met more than 2-3 Westerners at a time in Yogyakarta – which is pretty good for the distance. I guess it is like the Ramblas in Barcelona, everybody follows one road but many are afraid to turn down the corner, which works perfect for the rest of us wanting to do so.

Bali and Java, Java and Bali… its people and the nature, the people I have met travelling will definitely make it an experience to remember… but as it happens 30 days are just enough to get the country under your skin and then you have to go… the curse of the traveller, the visa dilemma. In any case, with Indonesia I had my first Zen travelling experience (I think). There was no good that was good enough and there was no bad that was bad enough. So easygoing… and even the hustles and the price bargaining are completely understandable – I much prefer a society that you can talk your way into and out of places and situations to this cold-blood credit card system we Westerners have. The simple pleasures of life are still alive there. Next time you say you are bored because “there is nothing to do” just think again. Is doing nothing really a waste of time?

Terima Kasih Indonesia!

Written by csm2mk

May 13, 2009 at 6:05 PM

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Australia, My

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Uluru shadows

Uluru shadows

Where to begin with Australia… So many things I loved about it and so many things I have my reservations for; always accepting the fact that I only spent a bit more than two months in the country… My reason for visiting from the beginning was my good friend Timmy that we had studied together in England. I would see him after many years. While at it of course I wanted to see as much as possible – as much more things Australian possible to be exact.

The East Coast of Australia had its ups and downs for me expectation-wise. It sometimes reminded me the Costa Brava of Spain. Places like Surfers’ Paradise or Gold Coast should really be avoided by independent travellers. The cost of moving around Australia is big enough as it is… but even if that was not the case, I guess there is nothing Australian about it – except the Australian dollars made waterproof for the surfing community 😉 Byron Bay is a special place but all the community around it state the same; it is changing. Cairns… well I guess the diving of the Great Barrier Reef just about saves it.

Melbourne has a special place in my heart, for it could be a city I would move in to live and work. Its people are just amazing but like all cultural and multiracial centers of other countries (Barcelona, Berlin, Cape Town etc.) it does not represent the country on its whole.

Arriving in Adelaide and beginning the journey through the outback, I felt I was seeing something authentic and ancient. The walk by the Uluru rock was a lifetime experience. Thanks to our guide we got where no other people were. Everybody is starting from the sunrise point, we did not. Words cannot describe the feeling – something really mystical. Arriving in Darwin I was both trying to grasp whatever meaning Australia had for me and both plan the journey to Southeast Asia.

All and all, Australia is a great place and the visitor can see everywhere the huge gap that’s created when you put a new man on an old land. The aborigines are a great examples of how the so called “integration” is a white man’s polite way of saying “be like us”. But they can never be in my opinion. Not when this white man lives under so many rules and laws and considers correct to be babysat by his government. I wondered so many times; why can’t Australia do without British or American influences? I guess it is a mark that the John Howard administration left. They have the land, they have the sources and Australia can be a country of its own if its people wanted it. All and all I thank them for their hospitality and I wish I sometime could go back and live more of its wilderness and natural beauty – which is a difficult beauty to catch by tourist-brochure standards but when you catch it it follows you forever…

Written by csm2mk

April 14, 2009 at 3:18 AM

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