3 Year ago this week we were on the island of Penang, Malaysia. I now this because Facebook tells me, it does have it’s uses! So were we having a fabulous time living our wonderful lives in exotic Malaysia? No. We were having a truly horrible time and I was about to have some sort of nervous breakdown. Nomadic family travel isn’t all a bed of roses, particularly not when you really don’t gel with a destination, you’re in the midst of an environmental catastrophe, you have horrible food, horrible accommodation, you are robbed and ripped off and you’re a mum on her own with a 6 year old and an 8 year old. Chef was still in Australia at this point.
Things did pick up, by some miracle we hooked up with another travelling family staying in Batu Ferringhi. They very kindly gave us a room in their house for a week. Without them I really don’t know what we would have done. The boys had a little playmate and I had 2 great adult ladies to chat to. I’d love to see them again one day if we ever make it to Seattle.
With them we had lots of fun visiting indoor kids playgrounds (in the video below) and the glorious pool at the Hard Rock Hotel, Battu Ferringhi. We visited Kek Lok Si temple, which the kids really enjoyed and the Penang butterfly and Bug Park, which was obviously a winner.
If you’d like to read more about our time in Malaysia you can visit our Malaysia section by clicking through. I think we’ve visited 3 times now, including Legoland Malaysia ( which in our estimation is better than both Legoland London and Legoland Florida) How lucky are these children of mine to be able to make comparisons like that?
We’ve also stayed in beautiful Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru. We’ve also visited Langkawi briefly. Air Asia is forever pulling us back to KL, as a city we like it a lot, you can step from ancient to modern within a few streets.
The boys are too old for Legoland, the rides aren’t thrilling enough any more, but it was wonderful to be able to take them when they were the right age. If you’re wondering how we’re affording all these theme park admissions, they were free, I can get a press pass for most places. I don’t want you thinking we’re rich.
D has been busy putting more video together and, coincidentally, he unearthed some old clips from Penang. We read all your responses from our last post and took them on board. Facebookers want video, lots of video. Subscibers want words. We can do both but we’ve got a lot of learning to do, making videos isn’t as simple as it looks.
So here’s D’s 2nd ever attempt at travel blog video making. Yes, I’m paying him, the boy has a job! He’s educating himself as he goes and that’s fine by me.
You get to glimpse into our lives in Romania too, hanging out at home, messing with computers, just doing our thing.
If you want more video Chef is in charge of Snapchat, he was leaping around the garden last night filming one of the bunnies free-ranging. Our Snapchat handle is WorldTravelFam.
Win a $50 Amazon Voucher
How do you feel about gaming? I was a gamer in my late 20s and 30s. Every night after work I’d be getting Sonic the Hedgehog around his platform world in greased-lightning speed. That’s all very retro now and the gaming world has changed completely. I’m actually fairly pro-gaming. There are certain games that I love them to use, like the endlessly creative and mathematically challenging Minecraft. Both boys take Minecraft Homeschool courses regularly now, it’s an amazing collision of game and education. Other educational games I’ve encouraged over the years include Seterra, a geography game and Miamiopia, an über-educational kids gaming world.
But of course the kids don’t just want mum-approved games. Boo is currently playing some shark game where he evolves his creature from dogfish to great white and D is heavily involved in Ark (dinosaurs), Spore (evolution) and Besieged (engineering). All the games they play, I think, are pretty cool. They certainly helped them along with their literacy, numeracy and computer skills.
We have a family rule, no games outside the front door. If we’re out, in a car , on a plane, on a bus, the only electronic device they have is their Kindles. If I didn’t have that rule ( we’ve had it since they were old enough to hold a phone) they’d read a lot less. As I talked about in our Greece post they both learn an incredible amount from their reading. The rule applies to adults too, no phone fiddling helps us stay in the moment.
For those of you who allow gaming, I’d like to introduce you to Poki games, a kids gaming site that comes stocked with high quality, trustworthy games and yes, some are educational! The boys and I have checked it out, it gets our thumbs up. They want you to win $50 in Amazon vouchers and it’s up to me to pick a winner. So, how to do that?
Well, I could make it a raffle, but that’s pretty dull. How about I ask you to leave a comment. You tell me what’s the weirdest thing you can buy on Amazon for $50. I’ll pick a winner when we get to London.
And lets remember that computer games don’t have to be just educational, there’s nothing wrong with playing a game just for fun. It bugs me when old folks like me go on about how life was much better way back when before computers, when kids were kids and played out in the muck. Kids still ARE kids, they still do all those things and they get to use computers too. They’re the lucky ones. As a child I could never educate myself on any topic at the click of a button, make, create, paint and design electronically, start a business, learn photography and videography with incredible ease, connect with friends all over the world or just have fun zapping aliens. As a kid I watched as much TV as I could get away with, heck, I’d even watch the test card, it would have been great if I could have searched for video I actually wanted to watch, rather than watching whatever came next. I was in my 30s when I first bought myself a computer and I’ve taught myself to the fairly advanced level you see today. Imagine how technology savvy these kids will be, imagine the new ideas and innovations they’ll come up with. Today’s kids don’t zone out passively in front of the box nearly as much as we old folks did, computer use is active and engages their brains.
We love computers.
So go ahead and leave a comment if you’d like a little Amazon treat.
This is what I’d by myself with $50.
Thanks as always, Alyson and the boys.
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