For many years, the Petronas Twin Towers that dominate the skyline of Malaysia‘s capital city of Kuala Lumpur were the world’s tallest buildings. It maintained that title from 1998 to 2004, standing at 451.9 m/1483 ft. Although the title has been passed to another skyscraper, the two structures retain the title of being the world’s tallest twin towers. These towering spires first caught my attention in the 1999 movie “Entrapment” starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. When I saw the magnificent photography surrounding them I knew I wanted to visit it myself (not to mention that Malaysian food is incredible). They have, along with Malaysia itself, have been near the top of my travel to-do list.

Kuala Lumpur skyline with the Petronas Towers shining on the right.

Kuala Lumpur skyline with the Petronas Towers shining on the right.


Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – Author: Guyfrombronx

**Note: I want to express my heartfelt sadness for the tragedy of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. My thoughts are with the families and friends of the all the passengers and crew. May peace find all of us.

RTW Trip Packing List Update

Some of my RTW gear, ready and waiting


Long ago, I posted a packing list here. I wrote it whilst dreaming and planning, not being entirely certain when I would go on my RTW trip (let’s face it, I have been much more of a talker than doer in this regard). Much has happened since and now I am more determined than ever to do this. I even have a time frame in mind (end of this year). To keep up the momentum I decided to update my packing list. Additionally, I am open to tips from you, my

My trusty pack

My trusty pack

readers, as to what has worked for you. Finally, a HUGE thank you to my big sis Mar. Over the years she has provided much of my gear in the form of birthday and Christmas gifts. Mar has had more faith in me following through with this trip than I have even had. That has spurred me on! Thanks Mar!! Love you!

Onto the list. Items in red I already have and * means it was a gift from my sister

Eeva’s (revised) RTW Packing List:

  • Asolo Navigator 60 Elle Travel Backpack with detachable day pack*
    • Gift from my sister. I had it sized at M.E.C. and it fits
  •  Silk Sleeping Bag Liner
    • a bit of luxury and beg bugs can not burrow through the silk
  • Sleeping bag – is this necessary as I plan to stay in hostels and Couch Surf
  • Mosquito netting
  • Compression sacks x 2 (15L and 12L)
  • Ultra absorbent travel towel
    • Full size and face size
  • Pac-Safe mesh pack lock for entire pack*
  • Clothing (which to bring and which to buy will be closer to departure date)
    •  Shorts x 2
    • Tank tops x 2
    • T-shirts x 3
    • Long-sleeved shirt in Merino wool* (though it is a little itchy)
    • Light sweater or sweatshirt
    • Pants x 3
      • 1 pair of yoga pants/leggings
    • PJ’s
    • Light jacket* (my rain gear jacket can double as light jacket)
    • swimsuit
    • Hiking boots or running shoes (I have both but not sure which to take or take both)
    • flip-flops or Keen’s sandals for use in hostel showers and beach
    • Pashmina (in case I’m in a country where head/shoulders need to be covered)
    • Sunglasses
    • Hat with brim or multi-use buff
    • Underwear
      • 2 travel undies (quick drying, wicks away moisture, odor repelling)
      • 2 regular undies
      • Bra and sports bra
    • Socks x 4
      • at least 1 pair Merino wool socks*
  • Rain/Cold Weather Gear
    • Rain cover for backpack (my pack came with one!)*
    • Long underwear (Merino wool)
    • Rain jacket and pants with carrying case*
    • winter gloves, hat
  • First Aid Kit (soft sided with compartments)*
    • Tensor, gauze roll, gauze pads, bandages, adhesive tape, cotton pads and swabs
    • Polysporin, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
    • 2 pairs of vinyl gloves
    • small folding scissors, tweezers,
    • Aspirin, water purification tablets*, oral rehydration salts, bug dope with DEET, allergy pills, Solarcaine (for sunburns)
  • Toiletries (have some with me but can buy more as needed)
    • contact lenses and solution (include a travel size for carry-on during flights)
    • enough prescription medication
    • eye glasses and hard-sided case
    • eyeglass cleaner (good for camera lens too)
    • toothpaste, toothbrush and floss (include travel size for carry-on during flights)
    • deodorant
    • nail clippers with file
    • disposable razor(s)
    • Soap and travel dish
    • shampoo and conditioner (mid-size bottles)
    • moisturizer (same for face and body)
    • sunscreen
    • comb, hair elastic, clips
    • Minimal makeup (for those days I want to feel pretty)
      • pressed powder
      • lip balm and a lip gloss
      • tinted moisturizer
      • small mascara
      • neutral eyeshadow
  • Electronics
    • iPod and charger
    • camera, charger and several memory cards
    • tablet w/ cover, charger, USB stick
    • voltage converter and adaptor
    • cell phoneshould I bring my iPhone or buy a cheap one and buy sim cards??
  • Miscellaneous
    • Canada patches for backpack*
    • Guardian Microfilter water purifier*
    • small utility knife
    • deck of cards
    • carabiners*
    • locks for backpack
    • small notepad/journal and pen
    • duct tape
    • small sewing kit
    • small flashlight and batteries
    • crossword puzzles (I always have these on flights)
    • water bottle*
    • separate travel journal
    • super glue
    • twine and small bungee cords
  • Documentation and papers (also have electronic copies)
    • Valid passport
    • Immunization record
    • copy of prescriptions (eyeglasses, medications)
    • List of embassies worldwide
    • List of bank and credit card numbers
    • contacts of friends that I may visit
    • copy of documents to give to family members

There it is. I think it is quite extensive. I hope I can manage all of it. Any tips or suggestions are welcome. A trip of this duration and caliber is new to me. Previous backpacking trips have always been in the summer months and for shorter durations. Your input would be appreciated. Thanks!


Sunday’s Special Spot – Beachy Head

The south of England, near the town of Eastbourne is the remarkable chalk cliff of Beachy Head. Standing at 162 m/531 ft, it is the highest chalk cliff in Britain. The beautiful rock walls of chalk were formed almost 100 million years ago when the area was completely immersed in seawater. Land shifts and the end of the Ice Age resulted in the unusual white walls with amazing views of the English Channel.  The rough waves and misty air made the area a danger for seafarers. Demands for a lighthouse date back to the 1600s and in 1831 the Belle Tout Lighthouse was erected on the cliff itself. The thick mist resulted in poor visibility and it was eventually moved to the base of the Beachy Head cliff.

Beachy Head and Belle Tout Lighthouse, England

A number of trails and hiking paths are available in the area. Cycling trails abound as well.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – User Donar Reiskoffer

The Importance of Gratitude

Thirty-two days ago I posted that I was starting 100 Days of Gratitude. I wrote that my first day on this challenge was a “bad day” in which I did not have a warm and fuzzy feeling. It took some reflection for me to take a lesson from that first day. I believe I have made some further progress. Although I have not had that joyous feeling of being on cloud nine everyday I have noticed that when I am tired, disappointed, appalled, angry, bored, etc that I think “something good has to be here somewhere”. It does not happen immediately, though it does make its way to my head. I am nowhere near bursting out in song to celebrate the many good things in my life, however, I am more AWARE. To me that is what is the root of being thankful. I can remind myself that I have it really well. My life, as all lives, has ups and downs, good times and bad, however I am seeing more and more how well I have it. And I am on my way to living my heart’s dream – to travel around the world. With all the tragedy and pain in this world, locally and globally it is easy to lose sight of so much. Many emotions come along it is important to hold on to the ones that can make positive changes in our lives and the world. Gratitude is one of them. It’s an important one.