This is a short break from my Thailand series to give you an update on my status on the road.
I was in Kota Kinabalu on the first two weeks of October and I did enjoy my stay there although at the same time I encountered so many roadblocks that could put this journey on a halt.
First Challenge: Big Shock with Price of Accommodation
I was so pampered with cheap accommodations in mainland Southeast Asia especially with Siem Reap and the cost of hostels in Kota Kinabalu were a big shock to me.
We got a family room (good for 4 pax) in Jalan Gaya (where you’ll find a lot of hostels) and we paid 64RM for an A/C room (shared bathroom) in Xplorers Backpackers after bargaining with the receptionists. It’s decent deal considering they offered free breakfast (bread, jam and coffee) and considering that we’re splitting the cost with four people.
But after a week, our friends flew back to Manila to take care of some errands so we decided to walk around to check for the price of a double room.
Most hostels quoted us an average of RM58 for a double room with shared bathroom. RM58 was around $19 (or $9.5/pax) that time which was a big dent to my budget considering that we have to stay for 2.5 weeks in KK before we take our flight to Jakarta.
Second Challenge: Paypal Account Limitation
To make things more challenging, Paypal decided to put my account on hold when I was about to transfer some funds to my Unionbank account. I have not transferred anything on my first week because I still have a few cash left from my last withdrawal during that time.
I went thru all the security measures of Paypal and updated my credit card number which meant it took almost a week to get resolved because I waited for the pin to appear on my bank statement.
The entire week and a half left in KK had to be on a tighter budget. I was just so happy that cup noodles exist in supermarket (LOL). I was never hungry even if I had almost no money during that time.
Third Challenge: Cancelling Wildlife Tours
We planned to see some Proboscis Monkeys in Klias or other wetland parks and we had to cancel it. It sucks but I had to make that hard decision. I could always use my credit card but I opted not to and vowed to only use it for emergency purposes. I could always borrow money from friends but then again one of the things I wanted to achieve on this trip is to be debt-free. I don’t want to travel under debt to anyone.
Fourth challenge: Google PR Fluctuation
It was like a movie when you’re least expecting and least wanting something bad to happen again, it surely happens. Google PR dropped to 2 and all my scheduled advertisers for that week cancelled. I call it perfect timing (LOL)!
Expensive accommodations, money on hold, cancelled trips, PR drop what else could happen?
Fifth challenge: Mom texted, they need some money
My mom texted and asked if I could send money again on a monthly basis just like before (aside from my brother’s tuition that I volunteered to take care of). And of course I said “Yes!” even if don’t have a clear plan yet on how to do it.
The need for employment is now looming again on my horizon.
Reality and Reflection
The things that happened made me feel so down while I was there. But I allotted only a day to wallow and sulk and pulled myself together on the next day. I told myself, “Sure, the money was on hold, but it would be fixed, sure the trips were cancelled, I could always fly back and sure PR dropped a notch lower, I still have a chance to regain it next quarter, that is if I’m still on the road.”
The challenges that I need to face now are bigger than a couple of months ago. Instead of wallowing, I spent a lot of time figuring things out and trying to map out a plan. I need to be bigger than these challenges to resolve them.
Realistically, my current funds could still last me up to my eighth month. I keep telling myself that eight months on the road in eight countries would not be that bad, although I honestly want to hit my one year mark on March 2012.
“I don’t know what the future holds for me. My trip might end anytime soon, so I’ll just try to make the most of this trip and live each day as if it’s my last day on the road.”
“I love this picture! It reminds me that everything will be fine. On my last backpacking trip last 2009, our bus almost fell off the cliff. Read more about it here“