Meet Hidayah and Jaz, Outdoors Camp Instructor and Special Needs Teacher respectively — one is an obsessive planner, the other more spontaneous, but both admitted to traveling to destinations that are perhaps little too well-known. Let’s not forget to mention that Jaz admits to being overly attached to her social media while Hidayah has less of an issue unplugging. Two personalities that complement one another or a travel horror story waiting to happen? Find out about their Destination X experience on finding fresh perspectives from the unknown!
Squeaky clean and everything(one) falling into place like cogs in a machine. This is home… right? To an increasingly daring, or fed up, number of people home is in the comfort and embrace of the unknown and in a life that’s a little rough around the edges.
Gym buddies before their trip, and not much more than that. The duo opted for a Getaway trip that would in their words “make or break” their friendship. Something we couldn’t help but agree with. Think someone is perfect? Travel with them.
“Where the hell is this place?!” the first thing that came to their minds when they opened their Anywhr envelope when they reached the airport at 3am. Just the sort of reaction we hope to elicit from all our travellers. “We had to take a propeller plane getting to Destination X!”, another first for Hidayah, and at this point Anywhr was helping her check all her boxes — the unknown and picking up new experiences along the way.
Welcome to Paradise… not the crystal clear water and fine powdery white sand and waterfront villa the gym buddies admitted to be hoping for. Instead they found themselves on a quiet tropical island, and guests at a quaint homestay right by the beach.
*Related Post: Destination X: On Culture, Coffee, And Chakra.
It takes some time to settle into a new place, especially one that doesn’t come with the full complement of modern amenities we’re guilty of being (too) used to. Hidayah and Jaz however, were home with their Anywhr homestay host, let’s call her “Mrs X”, making sure of it.
Without much persuasion the girls related how Mrs X and most of the people they met made Destination X so much more than just another idyllic tropical island “She got us a driver to take us around”, “helped us when we told her we had eight missions to complete” and “made sure we felt safe… being female travellers”.
On the topic of missions the girls proved they were game for what Anywhr suggested. Hike up a volcano to marvel at Mother Nature’s beauty, join the local kids for a swim in a river? The sporting duo completed 6/8 missions… missions that are meant to get travellers out and into all their destination has to offer.
But which moment did they enjoy the most?
“The whole experience — it’s opened my eyes to the joys of backpacking” said Jaz. While Hidayah recounted a particular moment “Lying down in front of the homestay, with a beach mat provided by Mrs X, snacks in hand and fresh coconuts to wash them down with, unplugged and spending time chatting with a friend”.
They got out and experienced travelled like they meant it, in the process they even pushed fellow backpackers at their homestay to experience Destination X a little more, you know the sort that somehow miss out on all the local food, a rant for another article.
*Read about other Travel Tips, Guides, and Experiences here at: PROJECT #GOANYWHR
Relationships are built… or destroyed through travel, and for Hidayah and Jaz their differing personalities seem to be what the other needed. Yin and Yang, YOLO and calculated, you get the idea.
“The whole trip changed my perspective on travel” said Jaz, the more calculated of the two, the planner, who’s now a backpacking convert learning that clothing can be worn multiple times before being washed. Even for Hidayah — used to the outdoors and perhaps more spontaneity in her life had travel presented to her from a new perspective “I’m so happy to know that there are so many places I haven’t discovered and heard of!”
As the short meet up ended, more travel stories were exchanged, while enthusiastically looking forward to future plans. If travel really makes or breaks a friendship, no prizes for guessing what this trip together did for the duo.
Anywhr's note: "A week after the interview, we got a message from Jaz already asking about the best time for her next surprise trip. Talk about the (surprise) travel bug, indeed!"