What happened next is hard to explain.
- I did not travel as a tourist. I was visiting my Malaysian friends, staying in their homes and living alongside of them.
- Although we had been great Facebook friends for several years, I had never met any of these people in person.
- While I knew that my friends understood and accepted me for who I am, I also knew that I was stepping into a radically different culture, and my assimilation would be an interesting process.
- I traveled on a one-way ticket. Though I was certainly planning to return home within a few months, a friend advised me to luxuriate in the freedom of an open-ended trip for at least a few weeks before I locked in a return date. Great advice.
But on the second evening of my visit, I didn't understand any of that yet. I only knew that I was taking photos with my newly adopted family at the base of the iconic Petronas Towers, breathing in the sweet Malaysian night air and basking in the heady glow of dreams that are coming true.
* * * * *
In honor of the first anniversary of my amazing trip, I'm gathering up all my stories from my travels and publishing them in a new feature called Me in Malaysia. To find these tales of my amazing adventures, go here: