Travel inspiration: Why I’m happy no matter where I am


“Good friends, good food, and good laughs. I’m happy. I’m satisfied. I’m content.”

~ Maria Sharapova


Flashback to November 2013, to that time we went to a totally out-of-the-way night market somewhere in the vicinity of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:

Two friends and I were just walking along, minding our own business, when a random vendor guy started shouting. He was pointing at us, saying, “White people, white people, white people!!!” Fortunately, he was merely excited and not hostile toward us.

Oh, but the story gets better. It all started when we ordered some juice.

Friend One ordered coconut juice. Friend Two ordered watermelon juice. As for me, I had the bright idea to order a milky green substance I had never heard of. I just wanted to try something new.

Later, in the car:


Friend One: “Really?! Let me try it!” *Tastes it.* “Oh my gosh, that’s so gross!” *Holds out the cup to Friend Two.* “Try it.”

Friend Two: “No!”

Me: “You’ve GOT to try it.”

Friend One: “You’ve got to try it!”

Friend Two: “No! You always do this! I just finished my watermelon juice so now there’s nothing to get the bad taste out of my mouth! You’re always doing this!!”

Finally, we convinced him to try it. After one sip, he said to me, “Melissa, that is the most DISGUSTING thing I have ever tasted.”

In retrospect, I should have taken a picture of that awful beverage just to remember that hilarious night in Kuala Lumpur.

That drink, though, wasn’t the only good/bad event I experienced in Malaysia. Check out the slideshow above, to learn about my hungry fish pedicure or when a cute monkey could have ripped my face off.

But, did I like Malaysia? I LOVED MALAYSIA! You see, I’m pretty easygoing. I like to make the best of a bad situation. What’s more, it doesn’t matter where I am. As long as I have good food and great friends, I’m happy.

There are places I’ve been where foreigners don’t often enjoy their visit. Granted, it’s all about the experience. I understand if not everything is smooth sailing. Realistically, though, when you travel, when is there EVER 100% smooth sailing?

I’m going to step off my high, very-opinionated horse here and admit that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Even about food and culture. Different things appeal to different people…differently.

But there is always the CHOICE to TRY things. Don’t say you hate the local food when you’ve never even tasted what the locals eat. Don’t shrink back from reaching out to people despite culture shock or language barriers. Try the food! Make friends!

You won’t regret it. Even when you make a mistake or something bad happens. Isn’t there that saying…”The worst experiences make for the best stories“?

You may enjoy:

You may have already noticed that quote quietly sitting there in the sidebar. I’ll be changing the quote of the month–you guessed it–monthly. My aim is to inspire travel–so please comment below about what this quote means to you, whether your story is related to travel or anything else.

Edit: No longer displaying a quote of the month! Should I put it back up? Please let me know!

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