I got my stitches out, yay! So grateful for Uncle Jack, his compassion and generosity, and this view from the hospital parking lot. I arrived in Sabah almost one month ago and the abundance of sweeping mountain landscapes still mesmerizes me every single day. 🙏 Imagine living in one of those tiny mountainside villages and waking up to those views everyday... Heaven!
On Thanksgiving 2010 my life started going down a slippery slope of anorexia and bulimia, as a result of years of severe anxiety and depression and struggling to find ways to cope with this overwhelming thing we call life.
This photo was taken 2 years later on Thanksgiving 2012, three months after I finally decided that I either had to choose between life and death. By the grace of whatever is holding this Universe together, I chose life. I chose recovery. I chose a long, hard road to rediscovering myself and putting my life back together from the leftover ashes of what had gone up in flames just months prior.
In the beginning, I thought I could heal all the broken pieces of myself and put my life back in perfect order quickly. (I'm a recovering perfectionist too, ya know.) Oh, was I wrong! Here I am two years later, and I'm still traveling that long, hard road... I'm finally figuring out that there is no destination, there is no point of arrival. There will never be a time in my life when everything falls into place perfectly. Never, ever. Life isn't meant to be that way, and whoever says it is, well.. They're lying. Life is fucking messy. Imperfect. Always changing. Full of pleasure and pain, praise and blame, gain and loss. And that's what makes it so fascinating and wonderful.
I'll never forget how ecstatic, connected and grateful I felt the day this photo was taken. I spent the day with so many women who loved and supported me unconditionally during some of the darkest moments of my life. Women like Jazmine, who I could count on to keep me in a positive mindset and moving forward while I was in treatment. I had never experienced that kind of support before. Sometimes I look back and wonder if I took it all for granted, because I haven't experienced that kind of support since then either. (continued in comments)
This isn't the most aesthetically pleasing dish (I was hungry and couldn't be bothered making the plate look pretty), but it was sooo good! I love when I get these rare opportunities to cook a meal for myself while traveling. 😊 Cooking is a meditative experience for me. I always feel more calm and connected after spending time in the kitchen making meals I love. When we take the time to cook a meal for ourselves with love and mindfulness, the energy of the food is altered and the meals ALWAYS taste better. Don't believe me? Try it! (Ever wonder why grandma's cooking is the best? Because it's made with L♥️VE.) This is a feast of fresh from the market veggies — tofu, eggplant, bok choy, green beans, carrots, sprouts, onion, garlic and ginger stir fried in lots of chili peppers + olive oil. Oh, there's a big pile of brown rice under all those veggies as well for added nutrition and to keep me full. 😋 Who wants to share leftovers? I've got plenty!
That's the dog that bit me. He's 16 years old, missing an eye from dogfights, and still tough as nails. The few days before the bite, he was walking along with me as I ventured down side roads for different views of Mt. Kinabalu, the tallest peak in Southeast Asia. I felt safe and protected by him. Funny how life changes in an instant...
My weekend in the mountains was cut short, because yesterday I was bitten by a dog who sunk his teeth into my left thigh and wouldn't let go. Multiple wounds. Lots of blood. Lots of pain. A hospital visit. Stitches. Rabies shots. Etc.
Thankfully, I was totally taken care of by Jack, the owner of the hostel I was staying in. This wonderful man made me feel right at home as soon as I walked into his place last week. He kept a smile on my face with his constant jokes and laughter, and my belly full with lots of delicious local food. :) To top it off, he paid for the hospital visit and asked me to stay longer so he could look after me. Such a sweet man! I'm looking forward to visiting him again, whenever that may be.
To avoid feeling too uncomfortable while my leg is healing, I decided to come back to Kota Kinabalu to stay with a friend for the next week or so. I'm bummed the rest of my Sabah plans have been derailed and I won't get to see everything I wanted to see during this trip, like wild orangutans and elephants and fluorescent birds that can only be found in Borneo. 😔 But clearly life has other plans for me for the next few weeks, so I'm going to remain open to the opportunities that come my way!
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering its a feather bed.” — Terence McKenna
A weekend in the mountains with wonderful souls has my heart feeling so full. 💙 Nature loves. Nature heals. Nature brings us back to who we really are.
FOR SALE: Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera - Must sell ASAP!
Like new condition.
I purchased this camera about 9 months ago before moving to Bali, and have used it MAYBE a few days per month since then. Sometimes not for months at a time. I realized soon after buying the camera that it is simply too heavy and too much of an inconvenience to carry while traveling, so it has mostly stayed packed away in its case.
It takes incredible photos, but unfortunately I must let it go for something smaller and lighter.
If you've been wanting to get into photography, this is the perfect entry level DSLR. It's super easy to learn and navigate!
Although I'm in Malaysia, I am willing to ship to America and other countries.
The lenses + filters + cables, etc have not been used, some not even opened.
1 Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera - Black (Kit w/ AF-S VR 18-55mm Lens)
1 HDMI cable for TV
1 cable for computer/laptop
1 Precision Design 58 mm 0.45x wide angle Macro Lens
1 Precision Design 58 mm 2.5x Telephoto Lens
1 lens flare
1 replacement eye cap
1 American charger (can easily plug into Malaysian adapter)
1 Lowepro camera backpack
Similar packages are selling on Amazon for 550-675 USD.
Do your research and send me your best offer! I will only accept cash, bank transfer, or PayPal.
If you know someone who is in the market for a camera, please forward them this information. :) Thank you!
Happy Thanksgiving from Sabah, Borneo. :) Enjoy stuffing your bellies and spending precious time with those you love and cherish. I mean really ENJOY it. Do your best to stay in the present moment (because the present moment is all we ever have) and feel gratitude for all that has been provided for you today, and everyday. Because you are always, ALWAYS taken care of, no matter the circumstances!
Although I'm on the other side of the world and seriously missing my family (and my Granny's corn pudding), I've got a smile on my face because I have been tremendously taken care of since my arrival in Sabah. I'm feeling so much gratitude for the people I've met here. I'm talking to you @dewetopperman, @nianamnemosyne & Suchen - your friendship, hospitality, kindness, and generosity has made me feel right at home. This means so much to me, since I haven't been "home" in almost a year... Thank you so, so much for everything!
Now, a small update on where I am in the world... I'm currently staying in Jungle Jack's (the best hostel ever!) at the base of Gunung Kinabalu (the tallest peak in Southeast Asia - Gunung means "mountain" in bahasa Indonesia/Malay)... and I'm actually COLD for the first time since I arrived in Asia in March.
Toes and nose feeling like ice kinda cold!
I almost forgot what it's like to not have anything but 100 degree weather and hot hot hot sun every single day... So strange, but a nice relief from the intense heat I've been experiencing everydamnday for the last 9 months. :) Time for hot tea, playing cards, lots of food and lots of laughter. Love you all.
I finally found tempeh!!! With sambal (my favorite chili sauce)!!! In Borneo!!! I haven't had tempeh since leaving Indonesia. This dish was way overpriced (tempeh is SO cheap in Indo), but you have no idea how much I've missed it... 😋