“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain
If you have already visited all the top U.S. travel spots and are experiencing a bit of wanderlust, don’t wait to start planning your next great adventure. When discussing traveling to southeast Asia, Thailand and Singapore are probably the countries that spring to mind first. But, you are doing yourself a disfavor if you do not consider the diverse and unique Malaysia.
So, Why Malaysia?
Malaysia is a very diverse country where you can spend the day in a lush rainforest and make it back to the city in time for a swanky dinner in town. In this sense, the country offers something for everyone and the relatively close proximity of nature and nightlife is excellent for those of us who do not want to have to choose between the two. There are a vast array of experiences to partake in including the Gunung Mulu National Park, the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, whitewater rafting down the Selangor River, touring the largest Islamic Arts Museum, or diving at the Perhentian Islands.
One of the most unique opportunities you can participate in is the Malaysian Homestay Program. This allows guests to stay with a local family and experience what a day is like for a citizen in Malaysia. You can help feed livestock, or go on a fishing excursion, or learn congkak— a local board game. This is one of the best ways to truly experience another culture.
How Do I Afford This?
Once you have decided that Malaysia is your next vacation destination, it’s time to start saving and planning how to come up with the funds for your trip. There are some interesting ways to do this that perhaps you have not heard or thought of before. When planning a big trip, its smart to check and see if there is a credit card that works to your advantage. Some offer airline miles or cash back when overseas. Putting all of your charges on one card can also help keep your finances organized so you do not lose track of how much you’ve spent. Also, you can save up your cash by adopting a unique strategy that will make putting that money aside feel more like a game than a challenge. A great plan is the 52-Week Money challenge. You set aside $1 the first week, and then increase by a dollar every week, so by the end of the year you are putting away $52 the final week which will bring the total to $1,378.
Mark Twain knew the value of traveling the world and experiencing new and different cultures. So if you are thinking of visiting the far east, don’t limit yourself to the typical tourist destinations. Malaysia has a wealth of beauty and many different experiences that are sure to entertain and provide lasting memories for years to come.