Thursday, June 1, 2023

Homecoming Trip 2023 ✈ Malaysia

For the third consecutive year, I've traveled home around this time of the year for an extended period of time, all thanks to my company's generous leave of absence policy which enabled me to take a month off work (paid) to travel home and help take care of dad. This trip also coincided with when our family's helper traveled home as my mom needed a helping hand to manage dad. 

23 Apr 2023 (Sun): Tokyo - KL - Penang

After spending a week touring around Japan with hubby, we split ways in Osaka, where he flew back to the US, and I continued traveling to Malaysia. I actually booked my flight from US to Malaysia, with a  week-long stopover in Japan last July, without knowing about the family's helper situation, so I'm glad the timing worked out perfectly. I was also lucky to book this flight with 40,000 Alaska miles + $45.20 before Alaska airlines devalued their JAL redemptions in March this year.

The flight from Narita to KL was probably 60% full and I managed to get a row of 3 all to myself for this 7.5 hours flight. As usual, making myself comfortable in my economy lie-flat seat. =)

Arrived KL on time at 5.40pm and was welcomed by staffs dressed up in Malay traditional outfit as it was Hari Raya. Disappointed that the airtrain wasn't working so everyone had to take the shuttle bus to go to the main terminal. The automated passport counters were empty so I got through immigration quickly and was at the baggage carousel area even before the bags were out. Had to recheck my bags for the last leg from KL - Penang on MAS as I booked this flight as a separate ticket with 6,800 Enrich miles+RM 38.60. I bought 35kg baggage and was accurate with my estimation. =P

Was hoping to get on the earlier flight but the staff said that the flight was already full. That means I had about 2 hours to wait before my 9.05pm flight. Thankfully, I was able to get into the Domestic Golden Lounge with my Oneworld Emerald status. I was very spoilt with this status on this trip. 

Food options in the lounge were decent but I opted to have porridge.

Finally made it back to Penang at 9.55pm. Thanks bro and SIL for picking me up at the airport!

24 Apr 2023 (Mon) - 19 May 2023 (Fri) : Penang

The main purpose of this trip is to help mom take care of dad. A bit of background, Dad had a 2nd stroke in 2019, which also led to his dementia. The combination of both stroke and dementia resulted in memory loss, cognitive decline, loss of speech, and he is currently fully dependent, requiring assistance with day-to-day living. My mom has been his main caregiver for the past 4 years.

I documented these clips not only to preserve these moments with dad, but also to bring light to the challenges of being a caregiver (i.e. my mom), as it certainly weighed down a lot on her these past few years. 

Stayed home mostly apart from going for doctor's appointments and haircut for dad.

As always, many mahjong rounds with the ladies. =)

Thanks aunt for coming by to visit dad and giving us a McD treat!

And the tiger aunt was back to spend time with the!! Their mandarin level has certainly improved this time.

Thankful to be able to celebrate Mother's Day at home for the 3rd consecutive year.

Time to say goodbye again. 

19 May 2023 (Fri): Penang - KL - Doha

Thanks mom for waking up early and took me to the airport at 4.30am for my 6.35am flight. Check-in was quick and I got access to Plaza Premium Lounge with my biz class ticket. I would have gotten access to the lounge wih my Capital One Venture X credit card as well..

First time flying biz class on a domestic flight. Surprised breakfast was served for this short flight.

Received the pass to visit the Plaza Premium First lounge in KLIA at the Qatar transit counter in KLIA.

This lounge just opened in March so it's pretty new. The food options are all ala carte but since my transit in KLIA was only for 2 hours, I opted for something light and didn't order from the app.

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