3 things I should have done differently in my travels

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Revisionist History.”

Travelling is sometimes about making choices, and there is very little I regret about my travels. OK there have been a few fails, and there were a few things I did not manage to do because of travelling off season, but I have always been happy with the choices I made after all.

All the choices? Well, maybe there are three little things I wish I could have done differently…

1. Little time on Borneo? Stick to one place!

I went to the Malaysian part of Borneo in November 2009, and I loved it.This is a journey I planned a little bit as it included domestic flights and a tight budget, so I tried to book a bit in advance.

When travelling, you cannot see everything and need to make choices, and I did praise myself for making choices in this case: between the Sabah province in the North and the Sarawak province in the South, I chose to stick to the latter.

borneo orang kiss
Semi-wild orang utans in Borneo. In Malay language, “orang utan” means “a person of the forest”.

But I made a mistake, visiting two places in Sarawak: Miri and Kuching. And what happened: they were both incredible, and I had to leave craving for more.

borneo beach
Me on a desert jungle beach in Borneo. Wow!

In the hindsight, I should probably have skipped Miri and stayed longer in Kuching – there I could have stayed two more days in Bako National Park, plus a couple more kayaking in the jungle.

borneo mangrove]
Incredible jungle landscape (here a mangrove) in Bako National Park.

Although potentially, skipping Kuching and spending more time with Miri as base would have left me more time to go deeper in the jungle…

Ah, choices!

2. Bypassing Hamburg: what was I thinking?

Travelling on an Interrail pass ticket modifies the way you handle your travel. It is an unlimited ticket that you can buy to use as many trains as you want in a geography during a certain period of time. And it is how I travelled in Germany in the summer 2002.

Arriving somewhere, having a glance around, deciding: should I stay longer? Or should I just carry on?

No travel guide, no tourist map, just my instinct.

My instinct was not at its best that morning, when I arrived in Hamburg, started to walk a bit (but in the wrong direction, it now seems) and ended up in an ugly, characterless area. I was not inspired. Who cares? I thought. I just jumped on the next train.

hamburg_header_0
As a result of course, I don’t have any photos of Hamburg, Germany. A quick Google Search is enough to tell me what I have missed!

Years later, I have been told how fantastic Hamburg is. And I still have not found the opportunity to return. I can say “I’ve been there!“, fifteen minutes…

3. That curry on the Goan beach…

… I don’t think you need more details, do you?

343 - goa - baga - beach
Baga beach in Goa, India, May 2006.

Goa, India, May 2006. The driest season, a desert beach, a prawn curry. Oh! it was spicy. Oh! it was delicious. Oh! it was such a mistake!

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