Saturday, November 4, 2017

Around-the-World 2017 ✈ Penang

I've always been fascinated by the idea of traveling around the world, and I'm thankful to be able to fulfill a realistic version of this bucket list item for my 30th birthday. =) Our Round-the-World adventure brought us to 5 countries, 4 continents, covering 36,000 miles in 20 days. It was a great trip and I'll chronologically share about our adventures in the next few posts, so follow along!

Day 13-15 and 18-20
KL & Penang, Malaysia

A trip around-the-world certainly wouldn't be complete without making a stop back HOME! When I left 3 years ago, I set a goal to make a trip home at least once a year and I'm glad that I've been able to do so. Even though I didn't get to stay as long as I'd like to during this trip, I was glad to be able to spend the final week of this RTW trip with my family. Unfortunately, hubby didn't have enough vacation days to take another week off work so we parted in Tokyo and I flew this final leg solo.

21 Aug 2017 (Mon): Tokyo - KL

Used 22,500 Enrich miles + $27 taxes to redeem my flights from Narita - KL - Penang on MAS and 'strategically' added a free layover for a few hours in KL to run some errands. Lost count of the number of red-eye flights we took during this RTW trip. Even though it's not the most comfortable way to travel but at least it's efficient. Gotta make the most of our limited vacation days and do crazy things like this while our body still allow us to. =P

Landed at KLIA at 4am, took shower at the airport lounge, stored my backpack at the luggage storage, then took a free cab (Citi Premier Miles complimentary free ride home) to the US Embassy. One of the most important 'mission' for this trip is to get my work visa renewed within 5 days, which explained why this was the first thing on the agenda as soon as I touched down in Malaysia. Made it to the embassy ahead of my 8.30am appointment and fortunately everything went smoothly and I was done by 9.30am.

Headed back to KLIA to continue my journey back to Penang. Grandma and grandaunt didn't know that I was going back so it was a good surprise when they saw me at the door. =)

22, 23,26 Aug 2017 (Tues, Wed, Sat): Penang

Home is all about...

Family (celebrated big bro's birthday in advance)...

Friends (glad to be able to meet up with some friends despite my short trip home)...

...and Food! Yumsss!!

Finally had the chance to check out my apartment that was completed since last Oct.

27 Aug 2017 (Sun): Penang - KL

Thanks to bro and sis-in-law for driving back from KL over the weekend and drove me down to KL catch my flight. I paid my 'Uber' fee by helping to replace their tire on the way. =P

28 Aug 2017 (Mon): KL - Tokyo - Chicago - Huntsville

The week went by really fast and it was time to say goodbye again. =( Thanks to mom and dad for waking up super early to send me off at the airport! I was surprised to be able to get into the Plaza Premium Lounge (printed on my boarding pass), probably because of my UA Gold (temporary) status.

Had some extra time before my 7am flight so decided to lounge-hop to the SIA lounge next door using my United Club membership. This lounge is much smaller and quieter.

Glad to get front row seat again for the flight from KL to Narita. ANA's service is ichiban!

Spent my 2-hours transit at Tokyo Narita airport at the United Club lounge, making full use of my United Club membership. =P Got myself some sushi and played with the automatic beer machine. There were a lot of people at the lounge but the lounge was spacious with plenty of seating areas so it wasn't too bad.

Was happily chilling at the lounge and mistaken my boarding gate (thanks United for also having a flight to Chicago at the same time) so I ended up running to my boarding gate. My final long-haul 12 hour flight for this RTW trip was rather uneventful. ANA service was good and I loved that they had self-service snacks and beverages at the galley throughout the night. =)

Arrived Chicago at 3pm and spent my 4-hour transit at the United Club at Concourse B (near Gate B18). Including the 2 United Club that we visited on our way to London, I successfully visited all 3 United Club that I had access to in Chicago airport. =P 

It's a wrap for this Round-the-World series! Glad to finally complete all 6 posts after 2 months, slowly but surely. =D 

✈ Around-the-World 2017 ✈

As mentioned on my header, I'm extremely thankful to have had the opportunity to embark on this crazy adventure right before turning 30. Of course, doing all these for almost free made this trip even more awesome! From Europe, to South Africa, to Asia, we've seen and experienced a wide variety of sights, scenery, and cultures. So where shall we go next? Well, gotta get back to work and save more money, points, and miles first. =P At the meantime, I'll have to catch up on editing our GoPro clips from this trip.

No comments: