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2018

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus since my last solo trip and it was tough to write on other things other than travels. But here I am recapping 2018 in non-chronological order.

1. Loss of two pets

Sigh

Lost my 9yo Grey (in August) and 4yo Fluffy (a week ago). They say

the love of a cat is immeasurable and so is the love left behind – Anon

Haven’t really moved on from Grey and then Fluffy happened.

2. My only indoor plant died ๐ŸŒฟ

Don’t know how this happened but it survived four months without water.

3. No luck with brown chocolate man

This hunk of a model left me. I have better luck with donuts and chocolate sprinkles.

4. Had one chocolate donut from the famous Camden Market ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง

when you have achievements less than ordinary, this is a valid achievement. not only was it not an ordinary sized donut but i was also on a low-sugar diet. ๐Ÿ˜Œ Yolo.

5. Got all crazy with Konmari and The Minimalist lifestyle

Got carried away and sold (and gaveaway) half of my wardrobe and also some of my possessions. I have a roomy room now but there’s still room for improvement in the organisation bit.

6. Visited three new countries

Celebrated Eid in Sri Lanka and Maldives in June 2018. Also prolly the highlight of the year. And London, Brighton and Bath in October 2018. I would probably do Bath again since i’m archaic and I enjoy history walks.

7. Yoga

Finally decided to take up yoga and work on my anger management. Committing to Jaime’s Janzfitness classes and hopefully master that handstand I’ve always wanted to do.

5:48 a.m. Need to get out of bed and feed Alex. My furry furmate. Cat.

How I travelled Sri Lanka solo

Sri Lanka is predominantly a Buddhist country and safe for women travelling alone. For me, I’ll always dress appropriately and conservatively while traveling cos you do not want unnecessary attention.

Most solo travelers will prefer hostels than hotels but since my trips are usually short (and quick) , I’ll usually book rooms in three star hotels.

1. Places to visit in Kandy

Bahirawakanda Temple

The Big Buddha statue on top of the scenic Kandy Hill is worth a visit. I’ve seen numerous Buddha temples and stupas but nothing quite like this.

Temple of The Tooth Relic
When you visit Sri Lanka you should definitely pay a visit to the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy. Its’ heritage listed buildings reflect in the Kandy Lake.

Ceylon Tea Museum

You wouldnt want to miss out on the tea plantations here in Kandy.

I learned so much about tea and James Taylor.

2. Accommodation in Kandy

You can find all types of accommodation in Sri Lanka from beach huts and tree houses to villas. As I wanted to stay in the centre, I picked the 160-year old Queen’s Hotel in Kandy ๐Ÿ˜…

The hotel ๐Ÿฉ gave me a room on the second floor and gave me a bunch of keys to choose from and that’s when I knew I was the only patron on that floor.

Didnt want to take a chance of waking up to someone else next to me in a 160-year old hotel and requested for a room on the first floor. They were reluctant at first but finally gave in. Thank you Queen’s Hotel ๐Ÿฉ

While you’re here, check out the Chinese restaurant buffet. (it was late and I didn’t feel like going out) and always, always check with the hotel reception for recommendations.

And don’t forget to take photos of the hotel from across the lake. Enjoy the view! ๐Ÿ˜˜

4. How to get to Kandy from Colombo Airport

Almost missed out on how to get there.

As my travel plans are always ad-hoc, I missed out the chance to get better seats on the Kandy train as it was the Ramzan New Year.

What I did manage to get was the second class seats (roughed this one out) and slept for four hours on the bumpy ride and bumped my head (and got bruises but hey, what doesnt kill you makes you stronger ๐Ÿ˜) So if youre planning to get to Kandy, please book your tickets early from https://www.visitsrilankatours.co.uk/train-tickets-1.html

How To Travel Maldives Solo

Maldives ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ป is definitely the place to be-solo!

Here’s how to go solo in Maldives ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ป :-

1. Hotel

There are a lot of hotels you can choose from. Spend some time browsing to get the best deals. I booked a room in a private resort inititally (which would have cost me a bomb!) but landed a deal 48 hours before my departure.

Kaani Grand Seaview in Maafushi offers rooms with a balcony and the bed is soo fluffy! Slept so much while I was here ๐Ÿ˜Š

When I was bored sleeping, I would then laze on the beach. There’s a no-bikini restriction on the island but the hotel and beachfront of the hotel is an exception.

2. Snorkeling excursion

As soon as you check in, you can start planning your daze in Maldives ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ป

The hotel will list down some recommendations couples usually go for ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„ but you’re solo so you get double the fun.

The water’s sooo blueeeeee

So I decided on the full day snorkeling excursion in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The sea ๐ŸŒŠ is sooo blueee.

Was on the boat most of the time as I got seasick and the drug store ran out of seasick pills ๐Ÿคข

And then we saw dolphins ๐Ÿฌ ๐Ÿฌ ๐Ÿฌ ๐Ÿฌ

Taken by this super nice couple ๐Ÿ‘ซ from Taiwan ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ

After two hours of snorkeling (which I did for ten mins), we landed on this pretty unnamed island ๐Ÿ for lunch ๐Ÿฅ˜

Lunch was sooo good, it was Maldivian sweet and sour-ish chicken (which tastes like Ayam Masak Merah) with cucumber salad served with rice. Didnt get to take food photos as my tummy worked faster than my Huawei 20Pro ๐Ÿ˜‹

Here’s a video of me gasping for air in the Indian Ocean with my trusted GoPro Hero 5 ๐Ÿ›ฅ๏ธ

And I passed out after an aspirin on the boat.

Maldives is one of the prettiest islands I’ve been to and the whole country is 1192 islands surrounded by beautiful beaches. I will definitely come again but only after I’ve done other Asian countries in my bucket lost list. โœ”๏ธ

If you’ve been wanting to go on a solo trip but you are clueless on what to do, how to do it, message me here and I will try my very best to help.

I’m also on Instagram @zalyazid

Go Solo like Han Solo!

My kinda date, Hakodate

Flew in to Japan on a redeye flight and slept. Woke up seven hours later and still sleepy. Four hours on the train from New Chitose Airport via the Hokkaido Rail and got off on the wrong station๐Ÿš‰ ๐Ÿ˜ด

Here’s 1/3 view from the train ride.

Looking forward to fresh seafood and tempura ๐Ÿค

Things to do in 2011/2012

Did some early spring cleaning today and found my travel journal from 2011.

I’ve been to 4/5. Challenge accepted travel journal of 2011, maybe Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น is not a bad idea after all. All I need is a trust fund and maybe a bank while we’re at it.

There were some notes I scribbled from the India trip. Emails from a group of boys; one of them took maybe a bit of a liking for me and followed me and the girls everywhere๐Ÿ™„ (He’s now married to a nice Indian Jaipurean chick so all good ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Some notes from Old Goa:

We went to Church of St. Francis of Assisi and Basilica of Bom Jesus ( God bless his Soul).

Maybe I should write a proper post of India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ 2011.

Dirt from all the travels