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Upon returning to England from my 2-year volunteer service, I went through a short period of depression.
Such was the extent to which I had fallen in love with Malaysia and Singapore and its people, that I just couldn't live without it.
I remember stepping off the small propeller plane which had carried me from Frankfurt to Birmingham, and feeling the sheer and utter cold in stark contrast to the warm, tropical conditions of Asia I had become so accustomed to.
It was horrible.
And it was NOT good to be "back."
I sat at home doing nothing. Constantly thinking of my friends in Malaysia, of the myriad great experiences, of the emptiness I now felt in England.
I feel sorry for my mum. She missed me immensely for 2 years, but during that time I had changed to a different person and found a completely new home.
From that moment on, England was just never going to be enough for me.
So in July 2004 I swiftly returned to Malaysia and Singapore and brought my whole family along with me. Seeing my beautiful friends again so soon, and introducing them to my family was a wonderful time!
At Sunway Pyramid, Subang Jaya, West Malaysia
On the skybridge at Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur
Meeting friends in Kuala Lumpur
Friends in Ipoh, West Malaysia
At the Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching, East Malaysia
At my favourite restaurant, Fu Bin Seafood Restaurant, with the staff, in Kuching
With Florianna and Florina, who would later become my sisters-in-law!
Between September 2004 and May 2005 I began working in England. This was a welcome relief because it kept me busy and I was able to earn some money.
I also spent time hanging out with my friends whenever I could.
Met with a fellow volunteer in Malaysia who served with me. Took my best friend with me to Manchester to meet her
Meeting people became interesting as conversations always turned to Malaysia and Singapore and my adventures there.
Met some new friends on a trip to London. It was cold!!
In May 2005 I stopped working and embarked on a second holiday 'back home' to Malaysia, this time for 3 months.
The truth is, I never stopped missing the Far East...
And that's where the most vital part of my journey to Kuantan occurs!
Stay tuned to find out tomorrow!