I am a perplexing kind of traveler. When I was younger I had no desire to go to Europe, like most of my friends dreamed of doing. I wanted to go to Africa and travel by bus Dark Star Safari style (great book, by the way!) I wanted to make a jungle hut, or even a slum, my home. Yes, I can honestly say I thought that at one point in my life and no, I don't have the same feelings now. I did the whole "living in the bush" experience and it was hard! Really hard, but better off because of it!

At the same time, I've always liked visiting the fanciest and most expensive hotels a place has to offer. And while I'm not staying there, having white skin makes you welcome almost anywhere (Four Seasons in Langkawi, I'm still bitter you wouldn't let me peek). I remember going to the Sheraton while in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It's probably the most luxurious place I've ever seen in my life. The contrast between this and the poverty on the street (literally, just across the street) just about made me sick. When we were in Bangkok last week, we paid a visit to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. And who can go to Singapore without seeing the Raffles Hotel? Holy cow!

And so, when it comes to Penang, I go no further than the Rasa Sayang Resort. It's just about 5km from our house. Our place can get so noisy sometimes and I miss the quiet. I like to make an occasional trip here when I want to veg out on a beach chair or hammock, wear a dress, or just feel fancy.

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© Reuben + ErinMaira Gall