"Been gone almost 2 years" kazak's Profile
Just recently had my garden re-done. It was transformed from an out-of-control weed-based jungle to what you see now. I can finally invite people over for BBQs.
Well, it's almost been 2 years since I left Australia for sunny Riyadh. It's gone so quick I kinda think I should make a visit home to catch up on friends and family. That said, there's so much of the world to see it seems quite difficult to spend part of my precious holidays visiting the place I've spent most of my life. Hmmm.
Living in Saudi for so long with so many events happening here has definitely been an experience. I have actually settled in (scary thought) and hope to spend more time here. Still, it's quite unsettled here so who knows where things will lead.
My goal in the next 12 months is to start travelling around this region. I've been to Bahrain and Dubai which isn't exactly representative of the region. I hope to do Egypt (very touristy but fantastic all the same) but am also keen to ski Lebanon, visit Syria and if I'm lucky to maybe venture to Iran. It seems to be a very beautiful place but I'm not sure how safe it is.
Having discovered a liking for travelling in my mid-20s, I haven't looked back. I try to go somewhere and experience something different as often as I can. It's great to see different cultures, taste different foods and smell different smells.
Of all the places I've been, the tastes and smells of Asia win hands down. There's nothing quite like hopping off a plane in Asia and getting that first whiff of tropical air.
As for food, the curries in Thailand, the tom yum soup anywhere in Asia, and ALL the tropical fruits - especially mangasteen; forgive my spelling - do it for me. Still, the chocolate in Germany or Belgium yet - is something special. I remember bringing back over 1kg when I travelled Europe. Or the creme brulee in Paris. A taste bud sensation.
I bought so much stuff when I was Europe I could barely lift my backpack. I left Australia with 21kg - yes, I know, that's heaps. I made all the mistakes a first time traveller does re. the over packing - and came back with over 35kgs! The only way I could put on my backpack was to find a seat, sit on down, strap in, and do a single squat, hoping not to fall over backwards. Silly me.
One of my biggest passions, next to mountain biking (which I don't get to do anymore living in Riyadh) is snow skiing.
I first skiied in my early 20s but didn't take it up in earnest until I was around 30ish. I haven't looked back since.
I did all of my early skiing in the Victorian ski fields in Australia - mostly Hotham and Falls Creek - but also managed to ski Perisher in NSW and Bulla in Victoria (very crowded).
More recently I've been fortunate enought to ski Whistler/Blackcomb (simply awesome) twice and St Moritz last January, where I almost managed to fall through the not so frozen lake.
I will try and build some pages with my ski adventures.
My single greatest adventure was trekking through Nepal. It's a lasting memory that I hope to experience again one day ... if I can fit it in with all the other places I wanna go.
Apart from the awesome scenery and the hard trekking, I got to meet some wonderful people. It's was physically and mentally the hardest thing I've had to do, but the rewards at the end of the day made it more than worth it. I got to lose 6kgs in 3 weeks without even trying!
I booked through Peregrine on the Gokyo Peak and Everest Base Camp adventure during winter. Unfortunately, due to the weather and other delays, we didn't make it to base camp. We did, however, manage to make it to Ama Dablam Base camp - this was the first time I was warm in around 10 or 11 days - and got the chance to climb Tawoche Tower. I made it most of the way up before I started to cramp. It was the hardest decision I had to make to not continue and one I regret to this very day. I'm not sure whether I was mentally tired or just physically shot. I think a bit of both. Due to the altitude, I lost my appetite and I think my body was breaking down a bit. I kinda knew at the start if the day, when we started trudging up the first hill, a whopping 10 meters outside the lodge door, that I'd struggle. Still, I've been preparing myself mentally since, so next time I'll just push on through. Oh yeah, next time will either be Mera Peak in Nepal or Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa.
I was lucky enough to travel 4 weeks around Europe Nov/Dev 2003. I then followed this up with one week skiing St Moritz at the end of Jan 2004.
The highlights include:
- Eating an awesome seafood paella in Grand Platz in Brussels, Belgium.
- Visiting Brugge in Belgium and meeting some fantastic, friendly people.
- Eating fresh homemade pasta in St Moritz and eating fresh truffels at the Hotel Hauser.
- While the skiing is only for intermediates, the food is fantastic in St Moritz.
- Innsbruck Austria, simply a magical place with great Tirolean food.
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updated their Profile Page "Been gone almost 2 years"
- updated a Riyadh Travel Page "Riyadh, Saudi Arabia"
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