Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sutera Sanctuary Lodge at Kinabalu National Park

I'm happy to see that the charm of the little town Kundasang has resonated with SO many over the years. With the majestic Mt Kinabalu as its setting, Kundasang enjoys it vigorous economy among the locals and tourists. I always suggest Kundasang to everyone because it's a cross between the highlands and the nature, and Mt Kinabalu Park is Malaysia's first UNESCO Heritage Site. With so much richness, history and charm, it's almost impossible for a small town like Kundasang not to find its way to the hearts of repeat tourists and locals alike.

My favourite thing about the journey up to Kundasang?

These local vendors along the way that sell delicious local fruits or foods and this breathtaking view of the valleys and the hills! Whenever we locals visit Kundasang, we always buy their fresh produce like fresh vegetables, chillies, flowers.


I had to visit Kundasang/ national park over one weekend in September for work and were lucky to have been given the opportunity to stay in one of the more luxurious resort in Kundasang - under the Sutera Sanctuary Lodge. These quaint resorts / villas were built so beautifully and each has its own uniqueness.

The view has a full frontal view of the Mt Kinabalu and it's peak, and is done up with its own heater, separate seating area, coffee tea facilities, heater, and just the most comfortable bedding.

They even have a fire place! Charlene and I got so excited over the fire place that we eventually asked the guys to light it up while we were chilling at Bevern's place. It was so magical, like Christmas we could only imagine!

Because it was only between Charlene and I we each took one room. I had the queen bed all to myself while she decided on one of the bunk bed. AH. I already imagined having kids around the house enjoying themselves. The rooms were delightful, they had bath robes, their coffee tea facilities, bathrooms were heated, they had the complete toiletries, a dining table facing Mt Kinabalu - OMAGAD everything was spectacular!

I was informed this beautiful place cost about MYR 600 - MYR 800 per night, but if you could share this with a few more, I'm pretty sure you could save so much more!

It was so misty during our stay, so completely different from being in mainland KK!

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Earnest Life

Ever since I moved back to KK a few years ago, my life has changed in many little ways that I personally felt... have saved me. The ideal life of a fresh communications Bachelors' graduate from Australia is to work with the fanciest, biggest in the industry with quirky perks like meeting celebrities, making big friends from the industry, with money-cant-buy social experiences.

In fact, I had them.

Fast forward 2.5 years later, the reality was, I had a 50% paycut, demoted one level, thrown into an industry I know nothing about, zero friends to hangout with (my high school friends were all over the world too and had now developed their own cliques) and to top it all - I had to stay with my mum. The reality was incomprehensible at that time, but I was busy adapting to the new life that I forgot time had helped me a lot more than I had credit it for.

And at that point in my life, I saw what people meant by - "give it some time".

I worked diligently in that new industry job I got. With the 50% paycut, I dropped the fancy lifestyle, I started working hard in networking all over again, I stopped big travels because of the money I DON'T have, and developed interests in new places. I picked up on all the reading I had left behind when I was in a busier life in KL.

I was doing everything I could to simply, survive.

Time and earnest work granted me the opportunities to meet interesting people like I used to again. Upon meeting all these interesting people in the industry in KK, there were times when I stepped up the game by personally messaging them on the side projects that I was very interested in. I loved writing, and I knew that I could furnish myself with more projects had I been more involved in more writing projects. Sometimes, I get these big breaks, sometimes, no one calls me for a good 6 months -- there were long hiatus, people don't remember to include me in their projects anymore. The most important thing in the entire world for a kid like me is and has always been networking. I hold the idea so close to my heart that when my bosses shifted jobs, I remained the friendship. When people invited me to parties I know NO ONE of, I went ahead. There were awkward times, there were friendships that I made that never lasted, there were people who tried their luck on me.

Today (four years later), I earned more on a monthly basis than I was back in KL when I left it. I have a lot of beautiful friends who have been colouring my life in good and in bad times, I have a lot more side projects on my plate. I have been harnessing my writing hobby so much more. I own an apartment at my own expense. I could welcomed friends from all over the world to this part of the world. I TRAVEL SO MUCH MORE! I have more disposable income than I had EVER before and I could still give my mum some and treat friends from time to time. When I listed down the amazing things that I have gathered living in an average earnest life... I could have never imagined that an average earnest life like this could be so.... rewarding.

And the single most important thing that I have more now is, Time.

And because of that, I felt that greatness is everywhere.  Greatness is in the lines of the books you read, greatness is in the extra hours you have at night catching America's Next Top Model, greatness is in your mother's smile, greatness is in your pet's purr, greatness is in your photo ops, greatness is in your friends' updates, greatness is in the long distance relationships that you hold dear, greatness is your attitude.

The move I made was initially uncertain, but thanks to time and my sincere intention of looking out for the best for myself has made me understood, that life will treat you greatness and earnest if you are to it.

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Newly Reimagined Volvo Xc60 is Now Available in Sabah!

My plan next year is to lookout for a new ride, partly because my 9 year old Gen 2 is already giving way and maybe, just maybe I could finally afford one. When I was invited to the launch of the new Volvo XC60 my first impression was - oh man! There goes my money!

Look at its sweet sweet interior.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Cost of self-planned 9 Days 8 Nights to Paris - Amsterdam - Istanbul

After the FunnyMalaysia article circulated around and went viral on my newsfeed, I was inspired to calculate my own Nine Days Eight Nights self-planned Paris - Amsterdam - Istanbul trip and log down how much exactly it cost me here.

I love the fact that some of us are really exemplary when it comes to budget traveling and are still able to enjoy every little thing during their trip. Which goes to show that really, you could go wherever you want so long as you plan it carefully and with a bit of a discipline, IT CAN HAPPEN! (without breaking your bank).

First of all, you must register into yourself that a euro trip (anywhere for that matter) is not impossible and is not as far as you thought. 

Mum infront of Rijksmuseum. I LOVE THIS ART MUSEUM! 

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Cafe Culture in Europe

One of the many thing that I missed and loved the most about Europe (Paris + Amsterdam) was its Cafe culture. Although I've only been to Paris and Amsterdam, I see the consistency in appreciating their coffees and that culture in these two cities.

Minus the fact that I don't really "drink coffees", I really love how you could catch up with your friends and families while enjoying the chill breeze of spring overlooking or having that adorable dandelions sprouting out around you as the backdrop, of course with french and dutch languages filling the air and buzz of the ever busy streets of Europe no matter how big or small. And that "see passersby" culture in Europe is so distinct to me I love telling everyone about it! What about the range of patisseries to choose from? Meringue? With cream or without? Green tea based teas or coffees? Light coffees? Eclairs? Chili sprinkles on top? The choices were endless. They have everything you could imagine!

My first breakfast in Paris