31 March 2020

A true Malaysian ghost story

Most of us who are born - more so bred - in Asia will tell you how hard it is to completely detach ourselves from the supernatural.  In our culture where the belief in ghosts and ghouls is as prevalent as it is deep-rooted, any unusual incident that cannot be scientifically or plausibly explained is almost always attributed to the paranormal, regardless of faith or piety.

I was born into a reasonably well-read, church-going Malaysian family - so when it came to strange occurrences
, goosebumps and all else in-between, my father would always tell us to first seek a rational explanation.  While, more often than not, his stance would prove prudent, there have similarly been a handful of strange events that were as inexplicable as they were curious. 

18 March 2020

COVID-19: 5 things you can do while under quarantine

Let's be honest; none of us could have imagined that it would come to this.  This Covid-19 pandemic has blindsided us with such ferocity that, before we could say "novel coronavirus", many familiar things around us have become, well, unfamiliar.  In just a few short weeks, the world as we know it has seemingly gone from frenzied to snail-paced.  It's become so quiet.  Can you feel it?  The silence?  The change?

14 January 2020

Rethinking aging: The fine art of aging gracefully

"It's so hard to get old without a cause; I don't want to perish like a fading horse.  Youth is like diamonds in the sun, and diamonds are forever.  Forever young, I want to be forever young"; so claimed three German lads back in 1984.  They went on to ask, "Do you really want to live forever?".

I've always wondered why so many people resort to spending megabucks on Botox trying to look younger than they really are.  Or willingly go under the knife - with no recourse whatsoever against the surgeon - and risk looking like the caricature that is Donatella Versace after it's done.

19 October 2019

Aging gracefully is a lifelong experience

Close to home as it may be, aging - or rather, the process of - can seem strange the more I think about it, especially when I start to ponder about how to do it well.  Questions of whether there's a "right" or "wrong" way of aging instantly come to mind.  Or whether I have a choice in this respect.  What exactly is "aging gracefully"?  You mean there's a grace-less way of aging?

3 November 2018

Hostelling for older travellers: 5 common myths and misconceptions about youth hostels

Fact; as an alternative form of lodging, youth hostels today continue to come across as unappealing - even unsavoury - to many, if not most, travellers.  This is especially true for those in their 40s and beyond.  Whether this is due to pride, a fear of the unknown, having watched one too many Hollywood slashers or plain close-mindedness, numerous fallacies have been (unjustly) spoken of hostels.  Many still see them as dodgy dens for objectionable twenty-somethings who are perpetually either high on meth or inebriated from J├Ągerbombs.  In reality, this couldn't be further from the truth. In my 18 years of hostelling since 2000, not once have I had an unpleasant hostel experience.  Anywhere.  Oh, and did I mention I'm 54?

30 September 2018

Local advice for first-time visitors to Malaysia

So, you’ve decided on Malaysia as your next travel destination.  It’s a lovely country, it’s inexpensive and, above all, this'll be your first visit.  You can’t wait.  And, yes, October's perfect; you'll have a full month of fair weather before the onset of the annual monsoon.  For the shopaholics among you, did you know Kuala Lumpur is ranked amongst the world's 12 best shopping cities?

14 August 2018

Hostelling for older travellers: 5 ways to feel at home in a youth hostel

A while back, I wrote a blog post on some of the common misconceptions surrounding youth hostels.  In it, I encouraged travellers - especially those of my generation and older - to give hostelling a go.  If, after reading the article, you feel you're ready to find out for yourself what this fad called hostelling is all about, bravo; I've no doubt you'll find the whole experience immensely enriching, eye-opening and, above all, educational.

14 January 2018

Follow me on Instagram!

I'm a late starter, but since going on my 11-day cultural exchange to Argentina in the Big Blog Exchange a couple of years back, I've come to really appreciate Instagram as an alternative form of social media - so much so that it's now become my favoured way of sharing photographs taken on my travels as well as those shot every day.

So do follow me my Instagram profile and share it with your friends and family.  Here's the link: http://instagram.com/i.need.a.dslr/

Many thanks to all.

3 September 2017

3 must-see, must-visit places in New Zealand

I was recently revisiting some old photo albums containing pictures from my last two holidays to New Zealand when the thought of writing this post came to me.  Specifically, I'd like to tell you about three places in this majestic island nation which, in my opinion, truly warrant a visit.

Each is beautiful in its own right; each a gleaming jewel in the exquisite crown that is Aotearoa (or "Land of the Long White Cloud").  And while they're hardly regarded as some of NZ's best-kept secrets, all three places are, shall I say, "less visited" compared to her other more well-known attractions such as Milford Sound or Tongariro National Park.  Nonetheless, I personally see them as must-visit, must-see places in NZ.  Here are the three.

15 April 2017

Malaysia to the world: 6 popular rice dishes in Malaysia

Aaaaaah..... rice.  That little grain we Malaysians so love to consume (and are so consumed by).  That little swamp grass seed without which many of us would become like zombies - clumsy, dysfunctional, anti-social.  Like most Asians, we thrive on rice - or "nasi" (nah-see) as we say here.  Personally, I can go no more than two days without rice without becoming a walking dead myself - not a good thing especially when I travel to places where "real" rice is hard to come by (somehow risotto just doesn't do the job for me).