I just spent 2 weeks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and though it has been 7 years since I’ve been back, it felt like no time had passed. My mother is Chinese…born in Singapore and raised in Kuala Lumpur. I feel so lucky to have these exotic roots! To have grown up with such a unique culture. The culture in Malaysia is extremely diverse, but also very Western. You get the absolute best of both worlds in Malaysia compared to any other country in Southeast Asia. It is truly a magical place. But to me, the most important thing is getting to go back and see my family. My mother has so many brothers and sisters…I have so many cousins…and many of my cousins have already had children! It’s insane how fast our family has grown and expanded, but it’s so beautiful. They’ve moved into homes in all different parts of Kuala Lumpur, and though I haven’t seen them in a while, we still feel very connected. They said I hadn’t changed a bit. I’m still the spunky little dweeb they remember 7 years ago. I don’t think they have changed at all either. It’s like we just had dinner a day ago. We covered so much on this trip but also re-visited a lot of the same spots I fell in love with years ago. The outdoor markets. The perfect breakfast: nasi lemak, roti canai, and tehtarik. The afternoon hike up to the Batu Caves. The late night ice kacang craving for dessert. But this was a very special trip. I wasn’t in any hurry to run to the next meeting. I didn’t have any so-called fashion obligations that I normally have when I’m traveling. I didn’t have to check my emails every five seconds like I normally do. This trip was to purely spend time with family. It was such a freeing trip, and so eye-opening. Visiting Malaysia as an adult, and connecting with my family members now, rather than when I was a child is really amazing. I noticed things about my culture that I may not have noticed when I was younger. But there is so much that is the same. Kuala Lumpur appeals to all the senses. The scents. The food. The heat. All of that came back to me in waves. I grew up eating curry, noodles, and delicious Indian food. I love the smell of spices sizzling on a hot wok. Kuala Lumpur is like heaven to me when it comes to food. And forget the 5 star restaurants, everything you can get on the street are amazing. The flavors of Malaysia are rich, colorful, and delicious. Pulling over on the side of the road in your car to pick up a few curry puffs is the best part of the day! But the heat. I really, really love the heat. It hits you right when you step outside the airport. It makes you feel a bit more zen…a bit sleepy. You tend to want to move at a little slower pace. But it’s totally fine. I wasn’t in any hurry. I was just savoring every bit of this amazing country, spending time with my grandma, and totally reconnecting with my roots. There is no way to do a better vacation.
// Free People dress //