About Me

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Hello, Ciao,안녕하세요, Hallo, Hola, Selamat tengahari! My name is Rachael and I am a travel enthusiast. Ever since I can remember, my parents have taken my brother, sister and I on good ol' American road trips. It's safe to say that was where my interest in new places, people and experiences was ignited. As my parents always encouraged my siblings and I to explore and ask questions, I developed a sincere curiosity for new adventures. In addition to seeing much of the United States with my favorite travel companions (my family), I had the opportunity to spend a semester in Rome, Italy, as well as a semester in Seoul, South Korea during my college career. Now, I am honored to be taking part in a Fulbright ETA Scholarship to Malaysia for a year! My family's favorite motto is "Life is all about the journey, not the destination." I invite you to join along in my journey of cultural exchange and mutual understanding in Malaysia! After all, the more, the merrier.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chesley's Malaysian Adventure: Kuala Lumpur & Kuala Gandah

Chesley family reunited at Kuala Lumpur International Airport!

Petaling Jaya!
 For my two- week school break, my favorite travel companions came to visit me in Malaysia! On June 3rd, my family flew into Kuala Lumpur. I was so excited, because it had been five months since I left the United States and thus, five months since I had seen my family. We spent the first week traveling throughout the Malaysia, and the second week in my village.

Despite their jet lag, we explored Petaling Jaya and Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur on our first day together. As we navigated through the congested, narrow streets, the vendors shouted, “Nice watch for the man? I give you good price!” During that first day, Hannah even bought an ukulele!

The next morning, Zaam, our tour guide and driver, came to pick us up. His big white van looked a bit sketchy, but Zaam wore what appeared to be a legit company polo, so we piled into the vehicle. Zaam sure was a hoot of a tour guide. During our ride towards Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, we were never short of American music, funny conversations and endless laughs. He even was kind enough to swerve to the side of the road and reverse the van, when he saw a dead cow on the side of the road. “And this… this is a dead cow,” he exclaimed. My family and I looked at one another in shock that soon became endless giggles.

Hanging out with the elephants at Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary!

Zaam, our driver, posed for a photo with us as well!
Hannah and dad rode the elephant!

Kuala Gandah Elephant Orphanage Sanctuary ensures the protection and management of the elephants and its habitats, as well supports the importance of elephant conservation and provides research and educational opportunities as a means to support that ecosystem and environment. While there, my family and I had the opportunity to feed the elephants, and my dad and Hannah were actually able to ride an elephant. As sweat dripped down our faces, we explored and enthusiastically took what became one of the pictures on our Christmas card! After hanging out with elephants for an afternoon, we were off to explore the rainforest of Malaysia in Taman Negara National Park!

While riding in the van, my family was amazed by what people carried on their motorbikes.
Here, two young boys are transporting a wheelbarrow.
Chinese architecture of China Town, Kuala Lumpur.

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