I’m sitting writing this at my sister’s kitchen table in Cowfold, wearing fingerless gloves, (almost) the entire contents of my suitcase and a nice warm fleece top (Christmas present from my lovely mum). It’s taken some adjustment to be back in the frosty cold of England, but great to receive a warm festive welcome from my lovely family. On my last morning in Malaysia I was sweating as I packed my bag in the 30 degree heat and humidity. Twenty-one hours of travelling later I found myself shivering and jetlagged in my thin clothes at Stansted airport in the middle of the night, remembering what –2 degrees feels like. I felt like an alien that had just been beamed down from Mars.
My two days stop-off in Kuala Lumpur was a pleasant way to say goodbye to Asia. It was nice to be back at the wonderful ‘Backhome KL’ hostel – I got the same smiley greeting, cozy dorm room and friendliness I so enjoyed on my first visit in September, plus they’d decorated a little Christmas tree and stuck it in the lobby as a reminder that it was December (an easy fact to forget here in the heat).
I took a long walk around town this time (avoiding the malls… the travel budget has been stretched enough) to grab some last hours of Asian sunshine, birdsong and greenery. I ended up at the butterfly house and bird park, making friends with some colourful creatures, then popped into the National Mosque (they’d only let me in if I put on a synthetic, bright purple, full-length hooded gown – how muslim women don’t sweat to death is beyond me!). But before I knew it I woke on morning 103 and I had to face up to facts…. back to reality….
…. On Christmas Day I got the best present / welcome home gift ever. My new niece, little Alice, was delivered safe and sound and perfect by my twin sister Claire. Some things are worth travelling half the way around the world for!
So that’s me signing out for the moment. Thanks to all of you who have been reading my entries and writing such lovely comments. It’s been great to know you’ve been with me along the way! It really has been the most amazing adventure and I’ve had the time of my life. Now I just have to start planning for the next trip. Something tells me it won’t be too far away…