Friday, July 29, 2011

Fidelia's Friday - Route to Kuantan

I am a small woman born in a city called Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak. Sarawak is situated on Borneo and it is a multiracial state. So, I am so used to being around a lot of races. I come from an Iban family, which is the biggest race in Sarawak. To learn more of the Iban people click here.

I grew up with four of my other siblings. We are all girls. I am the second one and the one who always gave my dad a big headache when I was a teenager. I was a tomboy for a good couple of years during my teenage years. I played football with my neighbours (not that I was good at it) and most of my friends were boys. I never missed watching live football when my state team called the "Bujang Senang" (otherwise known as Sarawak) played at the stadium. Back then they were good with a few  foreigners playing but now they are quite rubbish. Sorry to say! I am more interested in Manchester United now after I got married. My husband got me into English football and taught me everything he knows about his favourite team. To my surprise, I was a fast learner! So, I have been supporting Manchester United for more than 5 years now!

Anyway, after I finished high school at the age of 17, I continued my studies to pre-university. There I was learning foundation in Science. I spent a year on an island called Labuan. This beautiful but small island is not far from a state called Sabah, which is also on Borneo island. I loved my time there! The only memory that I don't want to conjure up is the frequent shortage of water! I had to get up at 5am to fill up a bucket of water from another hostel. We had to walk down our stairs and up the stairs of another hostel. One good exercise after we filled up our buckets! 

After I finished my pre-university, we were given 8 choices of universities we wanted to apply for. So, one of my choices was University Malaysia Pahang which is here in Kuantan. I got that offer and I studied here for 2 years before I met Duncan in Kuching during my semester break. We got married during my 3rd year of university and he came to Kuantan to be here with me! After 6 years of hard work and ups and downs with my studies, I finally graduated. 

After graduation, I don't feel like being a chemical engineer because it is a very demanding job. It has tight schedules as well. I chose that career before I was married because I didn't think I was going to get married at the age of 21. Things changed along the way. I have other commitments now. My highest priority is being with my children and taking care of them. I want them to have the memories of me being with them when they were young. Something they can tell their friends when they are older and say "my mother was always there for me whenever I needed her!"

So, here we have been living in Kuantan for more than 5 years already. I thought we would be moving out after I completed my studies but no, we didn't. Kuantan is our home now. The home to both our children because they were born here.

So, have you ever thought about moving out of your hometown to settle somewhere else? I never thought about it but here I am! Born in Kuching, settled in Kuantan!


  1. I often think about moving to a new location, but I think I missed my time. I'm someone who doesn't like a lot of change once I get adjusted and have a set routine. I should have considered the option after graduating college; it's the ideal time to make that kind of change. But I played it safe and moved back home. I wish I had explored other options. Still, I don't think I'll be here forever. I'm open to the opportunities life may present.

  2. Judging from the pictures I've seen on this blog, Kuantan looks like a beautiful place to live and raise a family.

  3. Hi Fidelia. I admire you tremendously for deciding to stay at home and look after your two lovely little girls. My youngest daughter is doing the same (she has one just three and another one 19 months). She says that what is the point of having children, only to leave them early to go back to work! They don't have very much money, but to her it is the children that are important at this stage in her life. It was really interesting to read those things about you today.

  4. I grew up with plans to work and live in the same town I grew up in. Now I have a life 700 miles away from my family. It's amazing how life takes us to new places. I enjoyed reading about your journey to Kuantan and respect your decision to stay home with your children. I found that each time I "went out to work" I felt a deep longing to be home with my children. So now I work from my home and things are better. We struggle financially but the benefit of being home is a good trade. I wish you all the best!

  5. I have not only thought about moving but have moved!
    I'm from Croatia, you see, and here, if you want a decent degree of some sort, you have to attend a college in Zagreb, our capital city.
    And so I moved. :D

  6. Why did you choose the uni in Kuantan? Have you thought of returning to Sarawak one day? Kuantan is a nice place though.

  7. Paul Joseph: Thanks for sharing your opinion. Some people prefer to play it safe and there is nothing wrong with that.One day when u find the right opportunity to move somewhere else, u should go for it! :D

    Missed Periods: It is a beautiful place. Just love the peaceful life here.

    Thisisme & kneesandpaws: It is good to have some people understand my decision and why I am doing it. That makes me feel so good. It is not all about have lots of money sometimes. We can find money but we can't rewind our children's childhood. Once u miss it, you can't bring it back!

    my day in a sentence: I'm glad you have the courage to do so!!

    ordinary malaysian: Well, i chose universities that offer the course I love. Something to do with chemistry. One of them is University Malaysia Pahang. So, the Education Department offered me the course I love and chose UMP as my university. I could have gone somewhere else but UMP chose me! I thought of returning to Sarawak but it is not easy. We have lots of furniture here and our children are still young. Moving all the way from Kuantan to Sarawak is not very near. Maybe next time.

  8. What a lovely post. I enjoyed the story and the link to the history was very interesting. 100% with you, why pack kids off to daycare and work? you would only see them at night and weekends.

    Malaysia looks not only beautiful and serene, but I'll bet the local cookery is interesting as well.

    By the way, a few blogs back are photos of the girls, re-look at them and you know you made best decision to raise them yourself.

  9. I was born in China and was adopted by mom who lived in the USA; and we've moved several times since, so I've definitely settled in places other than my hometown. :)

    Great post!

  10. i'e thought about moving, and would love to live in europe! just found your blog and love it! xoxo

  11. anthony stemke: Thank u! Glad u enjoyed reading it. Yes, what's the point having children just to leave them at daycare?! Yes, Malaysian food is lovely! We love our curry, roti canai, nasi lemak..etc u should google them.

    The Golden Eagle: Thank u! I don't know if I would like to move around so much. So much hassle for me!

    Melissa Blake: Thank u and glad u love it!

  12. Lovely to read more about you Fidelia. Sometimes our original plans have to change.
    I move from France to Ireland. I knew I would not stay in my city, I would move to another place in France but I could not have imagines I would make my life in another country. Now I am married and I am going with the flow, knowing that maybe one day we will move to my husband country, Egypt.

    I think deciding to stay with your girls is the best of decision. Childhood memories are the greatest you can offer to your children.

    Looking forward next Friday. Take care

  13. MarieHarmony: Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate it! I strongly agree with you that childhood memories are the greatest gift I can offer to my children!

  14. Hi Fidella,
    I have always wanted to try living outside from Malaysia for few years just to get the feel of the four seasons.Unfortunately my husband is not as adventourous as me so nothing much that I can do about it.


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