Best Place for Climbing Mount Kinabalu

I have less than a year until I reach the big FOUR-ZERO. Although many say that forty is the new thirty – after all, we are on a whole getting more health-conscious, spending countless hours at the gym getting toned and fit – the upcoming birthday is still a time for reflection. I watched a … Continue reading “Best Place for Climbing Mount Kinabalu”

I have less than a year until I reach the big FOUR-ZERO. Although many say that forty is the new thirty – after all, we are on a whole getting more health-conscious, spending countless hours at the gym getting toned and fit – the upcoming birthday is still a time for reflection. I watched a post on YouTube not so long ago about age and one’s career. According to the man being interviewed – a man born into a poor family in China whose net worth, at the age of 50, is into the billions (of US dollars) – one’s career should be set in stone and on a spiral upward by the time the age of forty comes along.

If I follow this rule, and with five months to go to my fortieth birthday, I think I may be in trouble where my career is concerned. But as I look back on my life, I realise I have many life experiences to be proud of. A unique one, particularly as a Sabahan, was the four years I spent roughing it in the African bush. Contrary to the notion many held that I was miles away from home playing with wild animals (this idea might have been encouraged by some of the photos I sent back of interesting animal encounters), I was putting my skills to use, co-managing safari camps in the largest National Park in Kenya.

Even earlier in my childhood, a fond memory I have is climbing Mount Kinabalu. I took on the challenge as a teenager twice, joining church and school youth groups to conquer what was then noted as the 4,101 meter tall mountain. The fun was in gathering together during our pre-climb exercise sessions. The joy was the comraderie with close friends. The aches and pains did not even come into question.

As a young adult, I climbed Mount Kinabalu twice more, this time paying more attention to the journey itself. This is a mountain that has attracted people from all over the world. While many retain the same attitude I had before – the sole goal is to reach the peak by sunrise, it is encouraging to note that interest in the surrounding flora and fauna is on the rise. The mountain that is embodied in many logos and letterheads, for tourism companies and otherwise, is a proud feature for us in the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo. Yet, more than 10 years after my last climb, I realise that my appreciation of this mountain has grown even more. A component I had not considered during my climbs is the cultural value of the mountain. I am grateful to have developed a deep understanding of this through my work with the Global Diversity Foundation, an NGO dedicated to promoting biocultural diversity. Mount Kinabalu is a sacred site for the indigenous Dusuns living in the area. Their deceased loved ones are buried facing the mountain so that their spirits can see the mountain as they begin their journey to the afterlife.

Five Reasons to Drive to the Airport

Summary: Help decide whether to drive to the airport or not with these handy tips.

Some people would claim you would have to be nuts driving your own car to the airport these days. On the contrary, we have put together five reasons why you should consider driving to the airport.

1. It’s easy. All you have to do when it’s time to head to the airport is throw your bags in the back and jump in your car, and be on your way. With public transport you have to navigate your way to the bus or train station, often with heavy bags to wheel or carry around. Taxis are not much better either, it can be difficult at the best of times trying to hail a taxi to pick you up.

2. Reliable. Granted, that nowadays it can be relatively easily to book a taxi through your phone app. You can even call up and look to book a taxi the night before. In our experience, they’re not always reliable though. Any number of things could go wrong. They might show up late, take the slow route to the airport or worst yet not show up at all! Catching your flight on time is stressful enough without having to worry about getting to the airport on time.

3. Parking. One of the biggest reasons that use to prevent people from wanting to drive their own car to the airport was that there was no parking. Of course in 2015 this is no longer the case. There are a multitude of different parking options, both short and long term. They even have shuttles that will pick you up from the carport and drop you off at the terminal. Parking is also a lot more affordable than it use to be. In a lot of cases it actually works out cheaper than catching taxi’s or public transport to the airport.

4. No queues. There can often by large queues at both bus and taxi ranks, that could well have you waiting hours and making you miss your flight.

5. Comfort of your own car when you land. By far one of the nicest things to come home to after a flight home is your own car. You may well have been in transit a long time and you definitely won’t regret choosing the comfort of your own car to drive home. Air-con, your own music, nice seats, no smell and going at your own pace are just a few of the benefits.

Five Benefits of Regular Car Service

The American auto fleet is in bad shape. A new report from the Car Care Council found that an incredible 84 percent of vehicles were in need of maintenance or repair. Low fluid levels, clogged air filters, and improperly inflated tires were the most common issues. Because all of those issues are checked during regular car service, it is reasonable to conclude that U.S. drivers are dropping the ball when it comes to vehicle maintenance. Here are just a few of the benefits of regular car service.

1. Prevention

Most of the parts in your vehicle will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. Batteries, fan belts, tires, and brake pads are just a few of the components that experience wear and tear at an accelerated rate. As such, they need to be inspected from time to time. Failure to do so not only increases the chances you will suffer a breakdown, it also puts other, related parts at risk. For example, a badly worn fan belt can cause your motor to overheat, resulting in possible engine damage. Addressing minor problems before they do major damage is one of the key benefits of regular car service. Always remember that when it comes to auto repair, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

2. Safety

According to recent statistics, mechanical failure is a factor in over ten percent of auto accidents. Often caused by improper maintenance, things like worn tires, bad brakes, and steering issues are common culprits. As a licensed driver, it is your responsibility to ensure that your car or truck is indeed roadworthy. Failing to perform regular maintenance can put your life, the lives of your passengers, and the lives of other drivers at risk.

3. Economy

Many motorists incorrectly assume that regular car service is a waste of money. They often take the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. What they do not realize is that neglecting minor maintenance jobs inevitably results in unexpected repairs and premature replacements. For example, if you were to rotate your tires regularly, they would not experience the uneven wear that forces you to purchase new tires ahead of schedule. At the end of the day, most drivers end up saving money when they pay more attention to their vehicles.

4. Performance

It should come as no surprise to any driver that a well-maintained vehicle generally performs better than one that is neglected. With all other things being held equal, the former should get better gas mileage, have more engine power, and handle better than the latter. It is also far less likely to stall or break down.

5. Value

Most drivers eventually resell or trade in their old automobile for a newer ride. Having a complete set of service records can go a long way to proving that you took good care of your vehicle. In other words, you are far more likely to get a good deal if you have your car serviced on a regular basis.

The Benefits of Vacation Homes for Disney and Other Theme Parks

Whether you’re traveling to Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you may be wondering about where you should stay. The choice of accommodations for these popular theme parks can include hotels, timeshares, vacations, and more. If you want to save money and see everything the parks offers in either location, vacation homes are a practical economical choice. Here are some of the best reasons why, and how you can experience the Disney magic in a whole new way for your family on a vacation home exchange.

Save significantly on your stay.

On the surface, a hotel price when you book it may look cheap, however, you soon have to add in fees, parking charges, and additional expenses. Food courts are available at all of the Disney hotels, however, these costs may be slightly higher than a trip to the local diner or store for breakfast foods. You can stay in a Disney vacation home for a flat price for a week or even longer.

Experience comforts of home.

If you want to relax on your vacation, a Disney vacation home lets you do so with all of the comforts of home. If you rent a home with a pool, you won’t have to share it with hundreds of other people, and you can enjoy the hot tubs and other amenities the same way. Don’t forget that vacation homes also come with equipped kitchens, linens, WiFi and other comforts of home that will make your vacation pleasant. You’ll be able to store your food and other items more easily than in a hotel, plus wash your clothes for free.

Stay comfortably even with a large group.

For groups of four people or more, a Disney vacation home is perfect, because most can sleep 6 to eight people, and have multiple beds. You’ll also see that you won’t feel as crammed as you would be if you stayed in a Disney hotel, as many don’t offer family suites. You’ll also not have long waits for the bathroom.

Be close to the magic in minutes

Disney touts its hotels as being minutes from the parks, but many vacation homes are also minutes from the Disney property. If you stay on a Disney property, you get free bus service, however, you have to wait for the bus to arrive, and then it may stop at other Disney hotels along the way for pickup and dropoff. This means you’re often waiting to go to the parks and may arrive an hour after you intended. With a vacation home near Disney property, you can just drive straight to the resort without waiting for others to board a bus. Vacation homes are also a good option if you want to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Legoland, or Universal Studios, because Disney doesn’t offer direct transportation to these attractions.

The best homes for vacations at a Disney theme park are minutes from the attractions’ gates. You’ll also find that staying at one of these properties is just like staying at a hotel in terms of convenience and many will come with pools and hot tubs. Consider this method as you plan your magical trip.