Don’t Travel unless you can Travel Responsibly

When I was in secondary school, teachers would often reprimand us for littering or allowing dirt and dust to settle in our classroom.

“Would you throw this candy wrapper on the floor at home?”
“Your classroom is your home at school!”

Most of the times it gets shrugged off, because guess what? We’re not at home. And we were kids.

But that’s the kind of thing that follows you into adulthood. If you never learn to treasure your surroundings, you end up treating the whole world as a trash can.

It’s far worse for tourists and travelers to have that mentality though, imagine going to a new country and forgetting that what is a novelty to you, is a home to others.

How do you travel responsibly?


And here are a few simple tips:

1. WHAT’S THEIR CULTURE? RESPECT THEIR LAWS & CUSTOMS Before going to a new country or even booking that ticket, do your research. Watch a movie to learn their habits and study their colloquialisms.

Our world is filled with a colorful tapestry of customs and traditions. It’s always good to be prepared.

In other words, you can choose to be a person who does fine dining like a barbarian or as a refined human being with the proper etiquette. That choice is clearly yours, but it would be nice if we can extend respectful courtesy to our international brothers and sisters, which, in turn, makes the world a more welcoming place.

2. RESPONSIBLE WILDLIFE TOURISM – YES, IT’S A THING I never knew about this until I starting working for Project Orangutan and I was a self proclaimed animal lover.

Zoos used to be a favorite of mine. Then I discovered that zoos are the worst place you could possibly go to see any animal. It’s up there with circuses, elephant rides, tiger selfies and other exploitative industries including wildlife trade.

If you’re paying money to interact with an exotic creature, it’s generally a warning sign. This is because wildlife should remain wild, feeding them or getting too close might alter its natural behavior and we don’t want that.

3. YOU’RE NOT A SPOILT CHILD, SO PLEASE DON’T ACT LIKE ONE You’ve seen the news reports and you’ve turned your nose up in disgust. From the ‘ugly Americans’ syndrome in the 60s to the rise of its Chinese counterpart in recent years have people scrambling over themselves to draw a thick black line to distinguish travelers from tourists.

The truth is, everyone has a natural tendency to be self-centered. It is only human. But this may lead to a sense of entitlement; wanting what you want when you want it, kicking up a fuss to get your way.

  • I have been on the receiving end of senior citizens who expect youths to treat them like the kings that they are and allow them to cut queues, amongst other things.
  • I have seen an elegant man quibble condescendingly with his waiter over his meal and I’ve learnt to watch how I treat the waitstaff, for it shows the kind of person you really are.
  • I have also witnessed parents watch as their children desecrate public areas without batting an eye.

No, the world does not belong to you.

Tread gently and live lightly. Our time is borrowed and this planet shared. Let us leave the world as we found it and don’t, for goodness’ sake, be a hindrance to others.

Have any other tips to add? Please don’t keep it to yourself, share it below! 😊


Cove55 – white like Santorini, chill like Malibu

I celebrated Valentines at a paradise filled with hidden wonders, just 20 odd minutes away from town. Turning off Jalan Sultan Tengah and driving past the gates of Cove55 transported us into a magical world of pristine whites and striking decor.

They boast a TV-free environment, which forces you to connect with one another like normal human beings and it was something I really adored. The imaginatively bankrupt might find it challenging or boring but it can be nice to take a break from the constant chatter that surrounds us. Aside from taking a couple of photos, my phone was largely left forgotten. A reprieve from a noisy world.

Take the opportunity to reconnect with your present and appreciate the finer details of life. Or take a dip in one of their two pools – the saltwater infinity pool overlooking the ocean has got to be everyone’s favorite.

We were upgraded to the Corner Suite (RM800) and didn’t even know! It has an airy, open concept. There was a coffee machine and the minibar came stocked with wine!

He couldn’t wait for dinner to roll around. It’s one thing to look pretty, it’s quite another to have quality meals.

Gillian, the lovely hotelier, recommended the umai and steak sandwich which comes with triple cooked chips. He ordered the pork belly and we waited with bated breath.

I found the umai much too fishy for my tastes. He liked it a lot though and kept raving about the freshness of the ingredients.

When his pork belly arrived, I couldn’t take my eyes off its garnishing. I ended up finishing the baby bok choy but I didn’t particularly enjoy the meat. I found it a bit too fat and it got a bit overwhelming after a few bites. Some people enjoy that porky flavor though, I’m just not one of them. I imagine it would’ve been great braised. Deep frying it didn’t give the fats a chance to turn gelatinous, which is how I like my pork.

I was super excited to try the steak sandwich and true to Gill’s word, it was good. The beef in the sandwich was cooked to perfection and my preference is medium well, something that is seldom done right. I hate the chewy consistency of medium or anything less than and if it’s well done, it’s ruined.

The triple cooked chips sounded better than they tasted, unfortunately. After all that hassle (boiled, fried, frozen, fried), you’d imagine that they’d pack extra ooomph but they’re still just potatoes that could do with a little bit more salt.

The next day at breakfast, Andrew (the chef) blew us out of the water with something as simple as an English breakfast.

I damn near cried when I put the mushrooms in my mouth. Who knew that so much flavor could be packed into an oyster mushroom? I immediately made Adam promise to bring me back for my birthday, just for the breakfast.

It’s open to the public every weekend from 8AM – 10:30AM at RM75 per person. A main’s included, so you can order anything you like off their breakfast menu, but I strongly suggest you go with the Cove55 Breakfast. Then, help yourself to the buffet table filled with nuts and cheese, freshly baked goods (oh, the croissant’s the best) and cereal.

It really is the perfect place for a quick getaway. It was regretful that we had to cut our stay short due to responsibilities. Adulting sucks 😞 Although, it’s nice to know that this little slice of heaven is only a short car ride away. The people there are great as well, ever ready with a smile and willing to go the extra mile, making our stay an unforgettable experience filled with good vibes.

Hopefully we’ll be able to enjoy the spa on our next visit. It’s currently under construction but when it opens, we can have massages on the beach, relax in the sauna and even burn some calories.

Gillian gave me a tour of the place and showed me the rest of the rooms. Her dedication shines through and I wish I could have her brand of passion. She’s inspiring and really brings to mind the quote: whatever you do, do it well.

Balcony Room (RM560) Our original room, also featuring an open concept but much smaller than the one we were set up in. Feels like a studio apartment.

Garden Room (RM620) These rooms draw inspiration from Bali and is situated by the pool.

Villa (RM900) A walk in closet, a king sized bed and a free standing bathtub – it’s every girl’s dream room. There is a sofabed as well as a patio and the room has a max occupancy of five (two adults & three kids). The bottom right corner is the view you get from the tub 😉

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