It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

There’s a saying attributed to many people, but has long been a mantra of mine when it comes to creative endeavours.

“It’s a marathon… not a sprint.”

If you expect anything to work overnight, you’ll be sadly disappointed.  If you try and move too fast, you’ll miss the bigger picture.

And despite having clung to this advice through much of my professional life, when it comes to my travels I seem to have forgotten everything I know about pacing myself.

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Beautiful Pulau Sapi.

My Sabah Five

My visit to Malaysian Borneo ended on Monday. Truthfully, I should have waited to book my flight onward so I could have stayed longer.  Sabah is beautiful, and really unique compared to the rest of Malaysia.  Despite my little accident on Saturday, I thoroughly enjoyed my time off the peninsula.

Rather than ramble on for paragraphs, I thought I’d try my hand at making a list about Sabah. A little more meat on the bones than a Buzzfeed list, but not so long that you’re sitting there thinking, “damn it, John – make it stop.”

So here they are… my “Sabah Five.”

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Episode 23 – The Tribe Has Spoken

Greetings from beautiful Kota Kinabalu  – the world’s gateway to Malaysian Borneo.

Today is my final day hanging out at Refarer Hostel – a brand new hostel in Kota Kinabalu’s central district.  I’ve said many times over the last few days that if a skateboard shop and a hostel mated, Refarer would be the result.  It’s a chill place with great beds, a big common room, delicious breakfast, and a fun vibe.  The staff are among the friendliest I’ve encountered so far on the trip.  I highly recommend this place.  You can book it on Hostelworld.

I love the vibe at Refarer.
I love the vibe at Refarer.

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Somewhere Like Home

After a 10 minute hike down the road from my hostel, I arrive at the AEON Shopping Mall in Johor Bahru’s Bukit Indah neighbourhood. I know cabbies will stop along the main roadway to pickup fares, but I didn’t feel like waiting and after four nights here, I know there will always be a throng of red and yellow cars here waiting to pick up visitors to JB who have otherwise given up on the city’s lacklustre public transit system. I need a ride to the airport, and I give thumbs up to the first taxi driver who courts me.

About 20 minutes in to the 40 minute ride to Senai International Airport, a news report comes on the cab radio. There are a lot of local news stories, but Sarah Palin endorsing Donald Trump’s presidential bid also makes the cut on the newscaster’s lineup. There are a bunch of trades in English Premier League football – which is followed in Malaysia like religion. As the report concludes, the music on “Red FM” (one of a number of national English-language radio stations here) starts up.

“Hello, it’s me…”

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