Immigration Scare 2021: Are We Done, Malaysia?

As you might know, Jonas and I have been in Malaysia for nearly a year. But we aren’t expats, nay, we’re ‘Tourists stranded in Malaysia‘ (TSIMY). The Malaysian government basically granted us amnesty to stay in the country during the COVID-19 crisis. They call the special rules ‘the MCO’, which have an end date that has been extended by weeks or months every time the deadline approaches. This is stuff I’ve detailed in my pandemic diaries. Every time they extend the MCO rules for the pandemic, we might hear the news that we have to leave. Thus far, the government’sContinue reading

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Johor Bahru: The Best Vegetarian + Vegan Restaurants

Johor Bahru (JB) is a great place to hang out for vegetarians and – to a lesser extent – vegans. During this pandemic, we tried out many veggie places in person and by delivery. These are our recommendations. Click here to scroll down to the map of Johor Bahru with all the vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Click the + below to learn more about the meaning of the emojis, dietary restrictions and intolerances, and a disclaimer. Note that we stayed in Johor Bahru during the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants aren’t ranked in a specific order. Life Ricette 🥬🛵🚶‍♀️ Click here to order LifeContinue reading

Hitchhiking Bucket List: #5 The Dakar Rally

Yes, this is another stretch. But I’d love to ride along in one of the rally cars of the annual Dakar Rally. It doesn’t have to be in the desert on a heavy sand dune. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be with one of the rally drivers. It could be with the maintenance on the way to Lima or Riyadh. I don’t care. The Dakar Rally used to be organized in Africa, known as the Paris–Dakar Rally. The route used to travel overland from France to Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, and Senegal’s capital Dakar, though sometimes theContinue reading

2021 Is Coming, Kayak+Work Danube Part 2 (The Sequel) is Canceled

Planning ahead is canceled. That has been the case since March-ish 2020 and doesn’t seem to stop in 2021. Jonas and I already knew back in July that continuing our Kayak+Work trip down the Danube in our trusty Zucchini would probably not happen. Now I’m ready to call it. And oof, last year’s happy 2020 post aged so badly. I’m keeping it just to remind myself how happy and positive I was at the start of it all. This year hasn’t been full of suffering for me – thank goodness – but it has been thoroughly mind-numbing Although I did accomplish the thingsContinue reading

Traveling in Malaysia during the Pandemic (Another Heckin’ Diary)

This little diary is a continuation of the ‘Pandemic in Penang’ diary I’ve kept during Malaysia’s harder lockdown. Long story short: we were traveling in Malaysia and other Asian countries when the coronavirus lockdowns caught us in George Town, Penang. We stayed there during the various phases of lockdown, from MCO to CMCO and RMCO (“Recovery Movement Control Order”). When interstate travel opened up, we planned our departure from Penang to travel within Malaysia’s borders. “SOP” stands for “Standard Operating Procedure”. Days since we entered Malaysia: Days since the start of the Movement Control Order (MCO): Travel days since we finallyContinue reading

Melaka Desert – Sauntering About the Shifting Sand Dunes at Sunset

I was casually scrolling the map around Melaka when something caught my eye: Melaka Desert and Klebang Deserr. A typo, cute! It wasn’t far from our home in Atlantis Residences. I googled where exactly to go. It turned out it was in a different place on some artificial peninsula. Whichever rich coastal city you travel to in Malaysia, you’ll always find a land reclamation project. This one had been canceled, which let the winds shift the sands and shape up into dunes. The pictures looked very nice. But we didn’t know what it was; satellite data from Google Maps brokeContinue reading

The Tastiest Vegetarian+Vegan Delivery Restaurants in Penang

During the lockdown in Penang, Jonas and I have become somewhat vegetarian delivery food connoisseurs in our area of George Town. Our kitchen is slightly underequipped and we tried to limit our supermarket visits during the height of the pandemic in Penang. That’s why we ordered most of our meals (twice a day) online. Over the course of 121 days in Penang, we’ve ordered from 31 different restaurants. We only included our favorites on this list. Most of our food came through Foodpanda and Grab, although we also used Folo. We were happy to support local restaurants and delivery drivers,Continue reading

Pandemic in Penang: A Play-by-Play from Two Digital Nomads in Malaysia

Before you judge our decision to stay in Malaysia and not ‘repatriate’ ourselves, scroll to the bottom to read our motivations for riding out the pandemic in Penang/George Town. If coronavirus statistics trigger your anxiety, this journal might not be for you. Also, I wrote this, so not everything here reflects Jonas’ views. My sources for Malaysia come from the trilingual news website Malaysia Kini, which has an excellent COVID-19 tracker which adds new functionality almost twice a week, and our elevator. My world stats come from the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard, which unfortunately keeps butchering country names. TheContinue reading

Kayaking to Pulau Tikus: a Sacred Island near George Town, Penang

We kayaked to Pulau Tikus on the 10th of July, 2020. If you want to know where and how to rent a kayak in Penang, click here. To get tips on what to bring, click here or visit my extensive kayak gear guide if you’re very, very serious. The Idea One boring afternoon in lockdown I was scrolling on the map on my phone. Looking nearby my location in George Town, I spotted a small island not far from Penang Island. On my OSM map, it was a nameless rock, but it had a building. Perhaps a lighthouse? Google Maps showedContinue reading