Friday, October 20, 2006

Christmas in Borneo!

I finally booked my Christmas vacation this week. Two weeks trekking through the steaming jungles of Borneo! Exciting! And a little scary too (there are giant cockroaches, poisonous centipedes, blood-thirsty leeches and malaria-carrying mosquitoes in Borneo).

I spent the past month poring over a map of Asia, trying to figure out where to go during the Christmas break.

The possibilities were endless. I could lay on a beach in Thailand or go biking in Bali. I could walk along the Great Wall of China or soak up South Korea’s nightlife. I could ride the rails in Vietnam or visit the temples in Cambodia.

I couldn’t decide. I was torn between Vietnam and Bali. But every time I’d study the map, my eyes would drift down to Borneo. Of all the places in Southeast Asia, Borneo seemed the most exotic. But I realized the only reason I felt that way was because I knew almost nothing about Borneo. So I googled it. One website led to another and before I knew it, I had spent fours hours glued to the computer screen, utterly captivated by Borneo.

I suddenly realized that Borneo was exactly where I wanted to go. It sounded like a nature-lover’s paradise. We’re talking thousands upon thousands of different species of trees, plants, animals and insects. (There are 1,200 different species of wild orchids alone!)

There are elephants, rhinos, leopards, monkeys, orangutans, bearded pigs, giant flying squirrels and monster bats (some with a wingspan of more than four feet!). Oh, yes, and HUGE cockroaches. Did you know Borneo is home to the biggest cockroaches in the world? Fascinating! And terrifying!

I was drunk on the idea spending a couple of weeks in the jungles of Borneo. So I bought a plane ticket and booked a spot with a reputable ecotourism company the very next day. The tour takes us into national parks, up untamed rivers, through deep canyons, into massive caves and to the tops of mountains. I am so excited!

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