The truth is when I set out months ago on my journey through Southeast Asia I did not expect to be tramping and hitchhiking Langkawi let alone Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. What started out as walking down the road ended up with a ride to the next city, new friends and maybe some food for my travels. I literally drop where I stop most nights and the freedom could not be any more real.
Many people have this idea that homelessness is associated with the scum of the earth. Our ancestors all started out as nomads to form America. It’s in my blood to explore and the feeling of waking up in a field of rice, on the beach of an exotic island, or on top of a mountain is indescribable. I can do whatever I want. Maybe people help me or maybe they don’t. Either way it’s freedom in its purest form. Free of laws, losing your house, car or material possessions because you can not lose what you do not own.
I squatted in Langkawi for the past 9 days. (I actually wrote a detailed post but the WordPress plugin for android sucks). Sleeping in active construction sites, under a private beach dock, on a private dock, on a rock off the coastline, in a field next to cows, sneaking into a hostel with a German girl, and under an overpass on Mount Raya. The bright rays of the sun shining through the mosquito net of my bivy, beaming over my eyelids as I awake to the most beautiful scenery each and every day. Paradise really does exist and for a mere few bucks a day. I lived off “Nasi Lemak” and “Nasi Compur” along with peanuts, bread and tap water.
Despite squatting the island for a mere 9 days I learned my way around Langkawi quite fast. The western side of the island was extremely easy to hitchhike. I could just walk with my pack on and pull rides. I never flew a sign or threw a thumb anyway, but tramping on the eastern side took longer to get rides.
I walked around most of the island exploring abandoned marble factories and old complexes, Black Sand Beach, Cenang Beach, the private beach at Westin Resort, Pantai Kok, Gunung Raya, the infamous Cable Car and many other random paths off the road.
On average I walked about 15 kilometers a day. I saw everything from white eagles diving into the sunset to cows grazing on a pasture. One night I awakened to a silhouette shadow of horns feet from my face. It turned out it was a herd of cows eating next to me. Other mornings I awoke to vicious stray dogs nearly attacking me. But with much patience and standing my ground in a still fashion they ended up backing down. The road teaches you a lot about life and the freedoms it brings.
The ups and downs of travel aren’t always pleasant, but at the end of each road is a new day and new beginning.
One morning I walked down Gunung Raya after hitching a ride up it the previous day. I staked out under a bridge and eventually found an open window to climb a radio tower early in the morning. For 12 seconds on top of the tower I felt like king of the island standing at the tallest point in Langkawi.
I met people from all over the world and lived off $5.00 a day. Now to hitchhike on a deadline to Kuala Lumpur. I took the ferry earlier today to Kuala Perlis. I have roughly ten days to hitch 500 kilometers to the airport where I will spend the remainder of my trip in Southeast Asia in the Philippines. Hopefully hitchhiking the Philippines is as easy as hitchhiking Langkawi, Malaysia!