The Journey Counts

My friend and I were heading to the Tip of Borneo. The journey would take approximately three and a half hours. A small part of me did not exactly look forward to the long drive, especially when the day was dark and gloomy. I certainly did not have high hopes of seeing sunset that the Tip is well known for.

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“The sea is a desert of waves, a wilderness of water” (Langston Hughes). Photo courtesy of Jason Newholm.

As the journey continued, the weather condition gradually changed to one that was sunny and breezy. My view of what lay ahead also began to become more positive, and I was able to relax into the beauty and slow pace of my surroundings. At one point of the journey we were greeted by a vast expansion of lush green paddy fields with Mount Kinabalu in the background. The sight was incredibly beautiful and peaceful. I have always found such scenery to have a therapeutic effect on my weary soul and mind. As we hit the little village called Menggaris, we made a brief stop to savor the local delight of smoked corn on the cob, and buy some local fruits (rambutan and manggis). When we finally reached the crossroads between Kudat and Kota Marudu, time was very generous to us so we decided to stop by my hometown where I showed my friend the high school I attended, the market, and my parents’ place where we had some cake and hot tea. We promised ourselves that we would treat us to some delicious crispy fried chicken today. So before leaving Kota Marudu for the Tip of Borneo, we stopped at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant to get our reward of the day.

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Lush green paddy fields and the iconic landmark of Sabah, Mount Kinabalu. Photo courtesy of Jason Newholm.

Soon we were at the Tip. It was shortly before sunset. It was a most cherished moment to be sitting side-by-side with my beloved friend as the sky was slowly turning red/orange, with the sound of waves crashing upon the rocks below as the music to our ears. At a moment like this, we naturally understood and appreciated the comfortable silence between us. We then drove to the beach where we spent the rest of our day till darkness fell on us. The vibrant colors of sunset painted the sky allowing my friend to take some of the most beautiful sunset photos I have ever seen, and… creating a romantic atmosphere to enjoy our fingers-licking-good fried chicken!

It was a wonderful day, and a wonderful way to end the year 2017. Perhaps that day taught me that I should slow down and enjoy the journey as much as the destination of whatever that I will be embarking on in the coming year. Also, who could have known with certainty that an ordinary dark and gloomy day could conclude with an amazing sunset? Life is full of unpredictable turns, ups and downs but that’s what makes it a LIFE, yes?

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The sun slowly dipped below the horizon, marking the end of a day in parts of the world, and the start for the other parts. Photo courtesy of Jason Newholm.

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