A Malaysian tour guide looks forward to the new year with confidence

International tourism to Malaysia has been suspended for more than 20 months due to the coronavirus. Even though Malaysians are now allowed to travel abroad and Langkawi’s international travel bubble started about a month ago, the industry is still not actively operating as many people are generally reluctant to travel.

However, many of us in the business believe that everything will reopen and restart one day, hopefully soon.

While waiting for this miracle, let’s just remember our good memories of past trips and maybe plan some future trips.

I’m actually curious how you feel about traveling today and if you’re ready for the reopening of borders.

In the past, some people traveled to express their moods or feelings. Some follow the same routes that other travelers have taken before them, while others travel without knowing where the roads will take them. What is more important to them is that they enjoy the experience.

Urban Malaysian travelers who found their ‘wabi-sabi’ momentum on an ecotourism trip to Sabah.

There are also people who view travel as a way to spend precious time with family and friends, create new memories, and cherish every moment with them along the way.

Of course, when you work in tourism, you will always come across people who constantly grumble during a trip and always find fault with everything. Once in a while, they’ll say something nice about the food they eat or when they find a place they like.

Very, very rarely will they praise the tour guide.

Everyone has their own travel personality. For me, I think traveling gives us a chance to explore the future and the unknown.

Usually, before leaving on a trip, we may already have an idea of ​​what awaits us. But like everything in life, the trip may not go exactly as planned, even if you plan it carefully.

Wouldn’t things be monotonous and uneventful if everything went according to plan, with no surprises in between anyway?

We only learned to appreciate everything we used to encounter on our past travels – the things we saw, the people we met, the stories shared with us, and even our fellow travelers – that when our travel privileges were taken away from us due to Covid -19.

After the pandemic, we really should do our best to appreciate our travel opportunities more. Maybe some of us are even praying for another chance to rectify all the bad things we’ve done and the little complaints we’ve had on our previous trips!

There’s a quote I love from late 19th century British philosopher GK Chesterton who says, “The traveler sees what he sees; the tourist sees what he came to see. It’s a very simple and straightforward quote, but it reflects the attitude required of a traveler in real life.

One of the columnist's favorite quotes.One of the columnist’s favorite quotes.Another quote I like is from the famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin who once said, “Beauty is everywhere. It is not that it is lacking in our eyes, but in our eyes which do not perceive it.

I think these quotes remind us what kind of attitude and respect we should have while traveling. I would like to add that you also need to have a magnanimous heart when traveling.

I believe that if we have a broad outlook and a generous heart, we should be able to experience many good things in life.

The true value of wagyu meat lies in what we cannot see with our eyes: All the special care and attention given to the cattle by the herder, and the creativity of the talented chef who prepares your food. The mystery of the pyramids is derived from the committed belief of the pharaohs and their craftsmen. The visual and mental impact of the Roman Colosseum is the symbol of a great bygone era. The love story behind the majestic Taj Mahal touches our hearts, while the resilience of Oshin from northeastern Japan is a powerful motivational story for modern people.

All this constitutes the aesthetics of the building, a precious cultural heritage and unique culinary characteristics that we have learned from people around the world. They not only enriched our travels, but also helped shape our distinctive worldviews.

Traveling offers a lifetime journey of endless explorations.

In Japanese, the wabi-sabi aesthetic is a simple and practical Zen philosophy that everything in this world has its imperfect aspect, and we must learn to look at them with an accommodating heart and accept them as they are.

Considering this, every time we go on a journey, consider it a chance to practice the wabi-sabi philosophy, as we try to visualize the beauty of a world full of imperfections, experiencing strange things and unusual places and spending time with strangers who have a lot of stories to tell.

Along the way, we can achieve all the little things in life and maybe even “better” ourselves.

Let’s appreciate all we have now, face a world of new normal, and value the philosophy of life with a genuine heart. If we can do just that, then our future life as a traveler will become fully fulfilled.

Let’s approach the new year together with true confidence!

The opinions expressed are entirely those of the author.

Leesan, the founder of Apple Vacations, has traveled to 132 countries, six continents and enjoys sharing his travel stories and insights. He is also the author of five books.