By the time you’re reading this, I may already be wandering and getting lost in the streets of Penang.
In a few days, I’ll be blowing my birthday candles many miles away from home, like I’ve always done since four years ago. However, aside from being a birthday trip, this journey is a rite of passage.
I am quite far from home, on my own in a foreign land.
While I have already been to Penang once for a few days, this trip is a whole new ball game since it’s my first time to go on a solo trip. The idea of being my own navigator and travel planner was intimidating at first, and I almost didn’t push through with this trip. I eventually realized that sometimes, you have to just dive head-first to make things happen.
Not too long ago, I had a serious case of wanderlusting over Penang, so it may not come as a surprise that I decided to mark another year with another milestone in this quaint city in Malaysia. By now, I’m sure I’ve also gotten started ticking off one or two items off my analogue bucket list while roaming around its charming streets.
I’m sure I’ve already had — or will soon have — a taste of getting lost and panicky on my own in a foreign land, but it’s a baptism of fire I won’t trade for an ordinary birthday celebration. “No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow,” Lin Yutang once said.
Meanwhile, much has been said about getting wandering about and getting lost, but I guess my favorites would be:
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
“Getting lost is just another way of saying ‘going exploring.’”
- Justina Chen, North of Beautiful
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
- Martin Buber