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July 17, 2013

Traveling With a 2 Year Old

Tom McLaughlin

Kuching Malaysian Borneo – Before Dzul, my wife and I loved to travel. We had backpacks at the ready and whenever a sale was announced on an airline to a destination, we didn’t care where, we were off.


Very cheap hotels in rugged areas did not make a difference. We were usually up at the crack of dawn and exploring – sometimes dangerously – the local area. Jungles, mountains and rivers didn’t stop us. When we were tired, we just flop anywhere and snooze for a bit, brushing off critters that used us for lunch.


Now there is my whirlwind two year old Dzul. We now search for a hotel where the possibility of finding a snake in the bathroom is remote. We don’t want monkeys challenging us for the food. Dzul would make friends of them. We also would like a swimming pool, electricity, air conditioning and a free breakfast. These amenities didn’t matter to us before, but trying to entertain a terrible two is of paramount importance because Suriani and I are not longer in our 20s. She is double that and I am triple.


When leaving our home on Borneo Island, we must fly to either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore for connecting flights to wherever. Before, transit time made no difference. Suriani and I would chat with other passengers, sharing travel adventures, catch 40 winks, read or otherwise entertain ourselves. Now, Dzul runs around the lounge, pulls holy men’s beards, races through the gift shops scattering souvenir key chains displays and any other mischief including wanting to board a plane traveling in the opposite direction of our destination.


There are also other hassles. The cheap airline we fly is point to point which means our luggage is not forwarded on to our next destination. I have to retrieve the suitcase, proceed to check in, give them the bag with most of Dzul’s stuff, walk through security, then to immigration with our passports and finally into the transit lounge. All while carrying a heavy backpack with the rest of Dzul’s stuff. Hopefully, you understand now why we want a hotel with a pool instead of a river where we have to keep one eye out for crocs. I also want oxygen.


Suriani is a bit miffed at me because I could not take her to the states on my last trip, so I promised her a journey someplace. I selected Chaing Mai, in the mountainous regions of north Thailand because it is cooler than the steamy tropics where we live and is a relatively easy journey with only one transit. She has never been to Thailand and is very excited to go as I am to take her there. They also have good hotels at bargain prices.


This compares with where I really want to go and that’s to Komodo Island to see the dragons. (I am not going into the life history of these lizards. If interested please Google them) The trip entails flying from Kuching to Singapore, then Singapore to Denpasar, then Denpasar to Lombok, then overnight by boat to Komodo Island. While on the island we have to keep strict control of Dzul so he will not become an appetizer for these creatures.


I foresee a longer journey with overnights (except Singapore which is waaaaay too expensive) in each of these locations as opposed to one massive woooooosh! However, we will travel to Chaing Mai sometime after the Raya holidays in mid-August as a trial for the dragon journey.


I will keep you posted.


. . . . .Life is good. . .


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