13th January, 2018
Today is the day, it is happening and it has not quite hit me. I am going to Malaysia. I can not believe it. I have gone over and over in my mind all the things that I have needed to pack to ensure that I have everything.
I have only ever travelled overseas once before to Thailand for a personal trip about four years ago for 10 days and this time I will be away for three weeks. I am feeling ready to go and have everything I need. I have to go to Brisbane on a Virgin flight and then meet everyone from Mackay at the Brisbane International Airport.
I got to chance to hang with my daughter before leaving at the airport with my mum and dad which was nice, before departing and heading off the Brisbane International Airport. I can not quite explain what I am feeling, is it nerves, anxiousness, possibly a little emotional as I will miss my little girl while overseas for three weeks and probably a tad excited to be apart of this amazing opportunity to travel with CQUniversity for a unit I am completing with my degree.
So after a few hours I found my way through past the check in counter, customs, the duty free shop, I wanted to just stop for a sec and catch my breath. I decided to grab a drink and something to eat before I meet everyone. So I hid in a little cafe, opened my laptop up, connected it to my hotspot on my phone and decided to get some of the social media work going for the M1K-A-D-O which included a Facebook and Instagram post.
We had at least several hours until the flight departed.
Lauren called to say she was on her way through customs, so I had arranged to meet her so we could meet the rest of the crew together. Her and I were the only two who were not in Mackay with the rest of the team, as well as travel buddies and room mates. Also, we were apart of the Digital Media crew who are documenting the entire trip.
Once I met Lauren, we went on a search to meet Nicole who is the Tour Manager for M1K-A-D-O Malaysia and then met everyone else.
Before we knew it, we were on the plane and ready to depart Brisbane International Airport with Singapore Airlines.
Still this moment did not really sink in, it was a bit surreal the experience. It was a surprise to be seated next to the Australian lead actress Lauren who plays Yum Yum in the M1K-A-D-O.
With not knowing anyone at all from the Australian cast, I was not familiar with who was play what role and even their names. I feel very much in the dark about the project and only know of it from what has been circulated via email and on the private Facebook page prior to leaving for the trip, so I am looking forward to learning about it all.
I was very tired. The night before I had only a couple of hours sleep then I got up at 6:30 am this morning to get all the last minute things done before departing. With the bad turbulence on the plane I did attempt to have a nap on the plane but that only probably lasted for 10 minutes. It was a lovely airline though. They gave us blankets and socks to keep warm from the cool air conditioning, little tooth brush sets and delicious meals through out the night. As well as the latest movies and entertainment to watch. The staff were awesome, very professional with great customer service.
14th January, 2018
We soon landed in Singapore. Everyone was very happy to be getting off the plane after what seemed a really long flight without sleep. At Singapore, we had a couple of hours to spare and were given a 20 Singapore dollar gift voucher to spend. This was at 4:40 am in the morning before the sun woke up.
Our fight was departing for Kuala Lumpur at 7:30 am with SinAir. I took full advantage to close my eyes and have a nap on the plane. No sooner did we get up in the air, the travel hosts were preparing the cabin for landing. Out the window on our arrival landing in KL, we saw lots of Palm tree plantations. Palm oil is a major export for the country. It was just very different the scenery to what I have ever seen before.
The group, well definitely I was happy to be finally in Kuala Lumpur. Traveling for 15 hours on three flights in 24 hours is very exhausting, we were almost there. We walked to where we needed to go through customs and lined up for an hour or so, then collected our baggage. We were warmly greeted by Kevin Fields on the other side of customs after collecting out baggage, before heading to the bus.
I tried to capture any photos and video footage on my iPhone, I could while we were traveling to check into our hotel at our KL destination to use for posting on social media.
By this point, I was thrilled to be checking into the hotel. It is called the Royal Chulan, The Curve, it is a very beautiful hotel and am feeling very grateful to be staying here for the next just under three weeks.
Before we checked in, we had a brief tour of the area. I have never seen so many food outlets before in one area, so many delicious food options to try in the next 18 days, oh my.
Lauren and I were hungry, so we got a bite to eat from the sushi place close to the hotel. I ordered tuna and avocado which was delicious. Lauren ordered some sushumi which is raw fish which was very fresh and melted in your mouth.
We met up with the rest of the tour group and went for a short walk down to the Bentley Music Academy where we will be spending a lot of time at over the next few weeks. When we arrived back to the hotel, our rooms were ready thankfully so we took our bags up and had some time out.
One of the first things I did was have a shower and have a sleep to refresh. It did not take long to get to sleep, basically I laid down on the comfy hotel bed and pillows and I was out almost instantaneously.
So much has already happened in the last 24 hours, it really feels like we have been already here for a week. It feels overwhelming. After a couple of hours sleep, next on our to do list, Lauren and I were feeling pretty hungry. We decided to check out the incredible hotel buffet for dinner. All I can say was wow. Malaysian’s really know how to do food. They are so passionate about delivering good food. The traditional Malaysian noodles were cooked fresh right in front of you and were yummo.
After an amazing first dinner in Malaysia, we briefly checked out the markets and saw if there were any gifts we could buy for our families, before heading to bed for some much needed zzzz’s.
15th January, 2018
Today was the day to have a play on the camera gear to check out the capability and what was required to do the job during rehearsals at the new venue. It was also the first time I had seen this version of the M1K-A-D-O. I really like the energy of the show, the acting, the singing talent is amazing and I like the way director Peter Cousens has refreshed the original Mikado it into a new contemporary musical.