There is no best place in the world - 16th April 2015

The philosopher in me has been bubbling to the surface again. Many years ago my enquiring mind led me to the conclusion that most of life’s dissatisfactions come from unrealistic expectations not being met.

 

Erica has vetoed the next paragraph and asked me to delete it as she regards it as sexist and demeaning to women. I have left it in at great personal risk to myself as I believe it illustrates my point so well. Please accept my advance apologies if it offends.

Unrealistic expectations can start early in life, for instance when a young girl reads the fairy-tale about meeting Prince Charming, marrying him and “Living Happily Ever after”. We all know that the chances of a young girl meeting a Prince Charming (If any exist at all) are very slim and will only end up in disappointment as the fairy tales expectations are too great.

The same applies to travel. If one heads off to South East Asia with the expectation of eating an English breakfast every morning, one will be disappointed. If one expects crystal clear rivers (as found in country France), one will be disappointed. If one expects the same standard of hygiene as the western world, one will be disappointed. Many travellers especially in our age bracket set themselves up for disappointment from the moment they leave home and they are the ones who you hear saying “I can’t wait to get home”.

If the same people had left home to travel to South East Asia with the expectation to indulge their senses with the fabulous sights, sounds and smells of an exotic region of the world peopled by a melting pot of ethnicities they would enjoy it all as we do. If they decided to observe and immerse themselves in different way of life to theirs and to enjoy without comparison to home then their expectations would have been met and their horizons broadened.

Having travelled to so many places in the world we can say, “There is no best place in the world” as you commonly hear jingoistic travellers refer to their homeland. The world is full of remarkable and exciting places that one does not have enough time to visit in a lifetime. Why go home?

I think it is incumbent on ourselves and websites like Planet Boomer to alert and inform fellow retirees that a wonderful and different world is out there just waiting for them.

One of the reasons I write this blog is to try and make it easier for retirees to “Get off their couches” and “Seize the Day”. By detailing our daily experiences it is my hope that it will give some idea how easy it really all is if you are informed and your expectations are set at a realistic level. If just one retiree gets up and goes a result I will have achieved my goal.

Sorry about the above. I have now got the philosopher in me under control so on with today. Planning to take a Sampan across the river to an Ethnic Malay Kampong to see how they live.

Instead we took a River Cruise on a Sampan style boat for an hour and saw Kuching from the water which was a revelation.  We were the only passengers as it is off season here. Along the riverfront were many old Malay houses many of which were on stilts into the river. A large wooden boat fishing fleet was anchored downstream behind which rose some of Kuching’s high-rise. When Erica asked the Cruise man where the boat went he replied, “Up and Down”. Took a pic of Erica with him as he was quite a character.

We then ventured to a supermarket about 100 metres from our lodge in a shopping centre called Plaza Merdaka. Was very comprehensive carrying everything an expat retiree would need including the essential ingredient Red Wine!