World Challenge Borneo & Malaysia | Week 4

So this is my last post about my World Challenge journey! It's the final week and this means REST & RELAXATION!!

We started off our week by visiting a hospice for disabled and abandoned children and adults in the Taman Negara area. We knew that this would be an overwhelming experience as most of us had never been in an environment as full on as this. However, we knew that the people in the hospice were just the same as us and we ended up having THE best time with everyone there! We even learnt how to Bollywood dance and spent most of the second day dancing!

The photo above is me with some amazing girls I met, I feel terrible that I can't remember their names but they were such lovely girls, with incredible ambitions; they both wanted to become amazing things like a Doctor and an English Teacher. This really inspired me in my own life because these girls were working hard to achieve their dreams despite their backgrounds and circumstances.
From Taman Negara, we then went to Khota Baru; to get there we went on a sleeper train! It was a new experience for me as I'd never slept over night on a train - I can still truthfully say I haven't because the noise and bumpyness of the train meant that I was awake....all night long. However, I still had a good time because I had bought Vogue with Beyonce in it, a new book (Tigers In Red Weather - absolutely incredible!!), Diet Coke and loads of various other treats!

When we got to Khota Baru, we made our way in taxis that had to leave the boot open to fit our bags in, to our next accommodation. After the initial shock of one horrible loo, we got to our rooms and realised that the place was actually really nice! Jenny and I happened to get an amazing room with incredible views of the city and lovely beds! 

On the first day, we were left to explore Khota Baru, most of us decided to hit the town and see what cultural shops were there. There were some really lovely things there and I managed to buy my family some presents. Tom and Will bought blowpipe/dart shooters and were shooting them in the corridor when we got back!

We also went to the Khota Baru beach on one of these days, but I can't remember which. We weren't allowed to swim in the sea because of the tides and girls weren't allowed to show their torsos, so we couldn't tan...but the views were really lovely so that's something! 

That night everybody went to an Indian restaurant, but seeing as I can't handle hot food and am not a fan of curry, I split off with my some of my friends and ended up ordering a Black Pepper Steak & Pineapple (top left) - it was so so good although, insanely peppery!

The next day, all of us wanted to go and see the more modern shops to see if we could buy some clothes to wear on the Perhentian Islands later on! There was a bit of a crazy start to the trip- we went in 3 taxis as groups of about 4 and 4 of us managed to take an unlicensed taxi to the KB Mall and 2 of the last group got stuck in the hotel room for half an hour!! But we all made it in the end, phew! The KB Mall was really disappointing and I actually got denied the privilege to buy a waffle! It was the weirdest experience!
So we all walked to another mall singing Shaggy's 'It wasn't me' all the way and yelling in the road. People must have thought we were absolutely crazy!

This mall was so much better, especially because I bought myself a whole new outfit (including brand new white converse!)and was allowed to buy a waffle, Peanut Butter and Chocolate, it was amazing! I also found an Ice Drink/Smoothie place called 'Cool Blog', it was so exciting! I bought an Apple and Kiwi 'blog' which was incredible! I Wish we had a Cool Blog Smoothie bar in the UK! 

After another nights stay at the Khota Baru accommodation, we were able to secure a night on the Perhentian Islands! This got us all really excited as it meant tanning 24/7, swimming and relaxing all day! To get to the islands we took a coach to the jetty and a speed boat to the islands!! It was an amazing ride and I finally felt our rest and relaxation had begun!

When we arrived at the islands, I couldn't even deal with how amazing and beautiful it was...

We arrived in 2 groups because the boat wasn't big enough for 20; we waited around for the second group and found accommodation & places to eat for lunch.
We ate at Amelia's Cafe and all went straight in the sea. It was so clear and incredibly warm! We swam out to a pontoon and all started tanning and jumping off into the sea! I'd never done that before but it was so fun; although diving doesn't really agree with a bikini top and we had a few accidents after we came up...! A few people hired snorkels as well so we had a few underwater photos too.

Some people didn't quite master the dive....

We went to Amelia's for tea and I shared a bed with Poppy & Jenny, it was such a funny night!
 But when we got to our beds we realised that all of us were super burnt and could barely move and it hurt to lie down, so it was definitely a long night!

The next morning we all woke up really early and made our way down to Amelias for breakfast, as it didn't open until 8 we all sat down and listened to the music channel, which was kind of strange seeing as we hadn't heard much new music for about a month! This was also the first time I ever heard Katy Perry's song Roar and it got me so excited!

We all decided to go snorkelling with the guys from Amelia's and this was incredible as I'd never been snorkelling before!

It was such an amazing experience and would totally recommend it! We also got the chance to swim with turtles at Turtle Bay! They were so big and incredible, some people got pictures right at the bottom of the sea but I couldn't get down there so I waited for a turtle to come up to the surface and I swam right beside it!

When we got back to the islands, we ordered our BBQ for that night, I chose Barracuda, and then chilled out sunbathing, sleeping and basking in the beauty of the islands.
The BBQ at Amelias was amazing and I loved chatting to everyone and having so much fun that night! we were all such close friends by this point and it was such an amazing feeling knowing we'd always have this memory together.
Before we went to the BBQ we spelt out the word Malaysia using our bodies; I am the left side of the first A! This is one of my absolute favourite photos from the trip.
The next morning we swam and chilled the whole day. We also got the opportunity to do some Yoga on the beach! This was an incredible experience and even though loads of us couldn't do many of the moves, I found it so relaxing and incredible to watch the sunset as we were doing it! I did feel a bit out of my depth when I looked over and there was a guy doing the extreme version of the basic yoga move we were doing and actually ended up in a headstand!!

For our last real meal together as a teams, we decided to go all out and go to a nice restaurant.

We went to a restaurant, I can't remember the name of it, and it was so nice. I had something along the lines of fish and chips or something similar. The photo above is a photo of me and my M&M shake! I had never had one of these before but I can honestly say it was THE best drink of the trip (aside from the fruit ice drinks on the island. There was also little bits of M&Ms in the middle of the drink!
 I also had amazing experience that night... I found out, through the free wifi from the restaurant, that I had got into sixth form at my school!! This was a huge relief for me as I thought I had messed up my GCSEs terribly! However, I got in and was able to take up all the subjects I wanted.

The next day was our last morning on the islands and everybody was really sad to go. Most of us spent the morning packing or going for a final swim. It was so sad to soak in the last moments of the islands, but I was so incredibly appreciative of the work and kindness of the people that let me have this experience.

The bottom photo was taken by a friend and I think it's such an amazing photo of the islands. Absolute Paradise...
This is a photo of me before we left to go back to Khota Baru. I still can't believe I went to these islands and had such a good time, it was such an incredible opportunity.

We made our way back to Khota Baru and were packing our stuff ready to go back to the sleeper train as our first step homeward bound. About an hour before we had to leave for the train station, the Travel team (that I was part of for the whole trip) realised that between Will and I we had lost everybody's return tickets. This stressed us all out so much because if we missed this train, we'd miss the flight the next morning and our flight home! I felt sick to my stomach that we'd jeopardized our whole team's journey home!

In the end we made it to the train station just on time to hold back the train, print new tickets and get on. The only flaw was that George didn't get a bed for the whole journey and had to move around all night according to the other passangers! Aside from that it was a great journey to Kuala Lumpa! 

In the morning, we made it to Kuala Lumpa train station and took taxis back to Hotel Paradisio, where we stayed earlier in the trip. As we had a few hours to kill we were all allowed to go into the city and explore! All of us did different things, some of us went shopping and others went to the KL Tower.

We ate some really yummy chocolate and cinnoman Pretzels at the mall! The bottom right is the view from the KL Tower, I didn't go but my friends got an amazing photo of the view!

While my group were out shopping it started raining and my totally white Converse got a huge soaking! Tom bought an umbrella for 10 ringitts just to walk across a road...

Once we were all back at the hotel, it was time to take our last Malaysian Minibus to the Kuala Lumpar International Airport for our second stage home and our first flight back.
Gate 9 and then home to London...
KL International Airport.

We spent our evening at the Airport, trying to survive the long journey back.
 I didn't sleep on the planes and although I was tired I was so excited to finally see my family after an incredible month. On the second and final plane home, I ended up vibing to Beyonce's album 4 about a million times and also watched her Documentary, so it wasn't that bad!

After touching down on English soil...or tarmac in our case, I was totally overcome with excitement and I could barely stand silently and wait for our bags to come off of the carousel. I didn't have to carry a trolley through the gates so I was totally free to run to my family. 
I didn't expect to be this emotional about coming home, but just seeing everyone's parents waiting and then seeing my family was the most overwhelming feeling. The Goodbyes in our team were odd and I felt like I didn't get to say goodbye to everyone but I knew I'd see most of them at school in a week or so! 

I just want to end this blogpost by saying how incredibly appreciative of the support of everyone that helped me get to go on the trip! I haven't properly thanked everyone yet so:

People have been helping me for about 2 years to raise the £4000 we had to pay and to everyone who gave me any donation or came to the events I held I owe you a HUGE thank you!
 To everyone who motivated me to keep going and push myself during the 2 years I wanted to say thank you because I probably wouldn't have this unbelievable experience under my belt at the age of 16.
 Friends and Family thank you so much for the constant support, I couldn't have gone without you and I missed you all so much.
Finally, I know this sounds a bit like a Bafta speech, but I just wanted to say thank you to my team. I've made so many new friends and you're all like family now. You made this trip wonderful and an experience I'll never forget! 

Anybody up for another 9,121 mile roadtrip...?

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