Upon arriving in Kuala Lumpur, I quickly realized that I had done absolutely no research on Malaysia. (This was actually not surprising, since I never do research on anywhere I go. I’m a true procrastinator.)
I knew, though, that I had been feeling a bit aimless during the previous couple of weeks. I was feeling a bit out of sorts. I needed a routine. I needed a project. After a bit of research, I decided to volunteer at the Juara Turtle Project, a sea turtle hatchery on Tioman. (More to come on my volunteering experience later.)
The project was located away from all of the popular tourist spots, a 30-minute ride away in the back of a truck through steep hills covered in jungle. The trip was worth it though. When I finally reached the project and walked out onto the beach, I felt like I was in a scene from a movie. I mean, no way could a place this beautiful be real.
I only expected to spend a week on Tioman Island. From there, I was supposed to go to more raved-about islands such as the Perhentians. But Tioman sucked me in and I ended up spending two weeks snorkeling, trekking through the jungle, and eating more vegetable curry than any human should consume.
In short–Tioman is my paradise.