December Updates from That Backpacker

Happy 2017! How were the holidays for everyone? I spent Christmas Eve in Singapore, and Christmas Day and New Years in Malaysia. Celebrating in Southeast Asia always feels a little bit strange for me, because aside from the obvious lack of snow (how am I supposed to build a snowman?) it feels a little less festive and little more commercial. Sam and I tried to make the most of it by having a movie marathon (I watched A Christmas Story for the first time!), going out for dinner, and then skypeing with our families back home. Now here’s a quick look back at the month:

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Where I went

Hong Kong

Macau

Bangkok, Thailand

Singapore

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

December in review

READ: This month I read The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and I could hardly put it down! The book is set in Barcelona and it tells the story of a rare book with a mysterious history, and a man on a quest to destroy every single text written by the author. It’s part mystery, part thriller, part mournful love story, and all the characters are interconnected in this great web with so many twists and surprises. It was one of my favourite reads of the year. 

ATE: My favourite meal of the month was eating Nyonya Cuisine in Kuala Lumpur at a restaurant called Precious Old China inside the Central Market. Nyonya cuisine combines Malay and Chinese influences and my favourite dish has to be Nyonya Laksa, a spicy rice noodle soup in a rich and creamy coconut-enriched broth (oh how I love coconut!), with shrimp, tamarind, bean sprouts, egg, and more spices than I can name! This place is worth tracking down.

WATCHED: I’m really into interstellar space movies and/or movies set in post-apocalyptic societies these days, so Passengers kind of fit the bill. I went to see it over the holidays, and while the film itself was a bit different from what the trailer led me to believe (and also quite Hollywood-esque in the way it unfolds!), I did enjoy it.

BOUGHT: Christmas came early when we splurged on this pro lens. We’ve been loving filming with the 12-40mm F2.8 – sharp images, incredibly fast AF, and it gives you some pretty nice bokeh. 

REACHED: 50 countries! I was doing one of those virtual fill-in-the-map-everywhere-you’ve-travelled quizzes the other day, and I realized that this past year my country count crossed 50. I’ve never been much of a country counter, though I’m definitely a country repeater, so it was kind of cool to see that I somehow crossed this numeric milestone. That being said, I have a feeling it’s going to take me a lifetime to cross 100 countries.

Travel Inspiration

If you don’t already have Canada on the brain for 2017 you should! Here’s a little travel inspiration from my last visit to Quebec City in the wintertime. Don’t let the snow and sub-zero temperatures scare you:

10 Ways to Enjoy Quebec City in the Wintertime – It’s worth braving the cold for ice hotels, winter carnival madness, and maybe some ice canoeing!

Loving Winter at Carnival de Quebec – Because Quebec City knows how to throw a good party.

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What’s next?

THAILAND!

The last few months have been really fast-paced so we’re plopping ourselves down for the month to catch up on video editing, writing, and get a bit of rest before the next big trip kicks off. My plan is to indulge in mango-coconut-banana smoothies all month long!

How was your December?

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