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‘I Couldn’t Hold Back My Tears As He Left…”- Filzah Affendie

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Filzah Affendie is such an inspiration for women travellers out there. She proves that age is just a number. Let’s get to know this very positive lady, all hail from Sarawak! She cooks fantastic Laksa Sarawak too. Miss E (the interviewer) can vouch for this!

“You must continue for both of us…”

A Husband Wish

T: A short bio about yourself,  a few lines that best describe you, what you do for a living and so on..

FA: My name is Filzah Affendie and I am from Kuching, Sarawak. I am 52 years old, a mother of 4 children whom I adore very much. Currently, I work as a Property Negotiator in a real estate firm. I love to read, swim, train aikido, hike and travel especially to those places ‘roads less travelled’ as they say. I have lived in a few towns or cities since young, namely Kuching, Limbang, Adelaide in Australia, Miri, Bintulu and currently, Shah Alam.

T: Where have you been?

FA:  In Malaysia, so far, we’ve been to every state except Perlis. Outside of Malaysia, I’ve been to Singapore, Brunei, Kalimantan, Saudi Arabia (for Haj & Umrah) Thailand, Maldives, India, Nepal & Australia.

T: Where have you been?

FA: I have a lot of favourite places because each place has its own unique attraction like the Taj Mahal, the beaches in the Maldives and the waters of the Laccadive Sea. So far, I think the hike up to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) in the Himalayas is the one that has the most profound impact on me!

One reason is that I’ve always been fascinated by mountains and the sheer majestic scale of them and how they make me feel small and vulnerable but at the same time exhilarates you when you reach your destination/peak. It makes you go gaga at the amazing views.

Trekking for 7 days taught me patience, perseverance, compassion, discipline and most of all being humbled in the presence of Allah’s creations in the form of the Himalayan mountains and its inhabitants – people & animals alike.

T: Where have you been?

FA: During our travels, most of the challenges we encountered were based on food, that is finding halal ones and on top of that my children are picky eaters except my youngest. Hence when we travel with the children, we tend to bring extra supplies of food and a mini stove & pot – which we usually use on our camping trips.

However, one challenge for me personally is that my body does not adjust well to cold weather and high altitudes even though I love both. During our ABC trip, we had to go slow after 3000 metres in altitude and stay overnight at Deurali to acclimatise our bodies. I also learnt that garlic soup helps in overcoming AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness).

T: One unforgettable travel experience or incident that sticks in your mind…?

FA: An unforgettable experience that I’ll always remember is when we received news that my father in law was admitted in ICU at the hospital in Taiping. His condition stabilised soon after so we continued till the end of our first day of trekking.

However, on the second day, his condition did not improve, and my husband decided to go back alone even though I had wanted to be with him too. His words were, “You must continue for both of us.” I couldn’t hold back my tears as he left because we have always been together in all our hikes and I have never felt so alone even though I was surrounded by friends.

I soldiered on without him and just before I reached ABC, I burst into tears at the sight of the Himalayan mountains at close range and wished my husband was there with me to share that view just like when we reached our first peak together – Mount Kinabalu.

It was such a poignant moment that left me speechless and I became somewhat subdued amidst the euphoria of reaching ABC.

T: Everyone has their own bucket list. What about yours?

FA: For now, the places that are on top of my bucket list are New Zealand and the Swiss Alps, primarily because of their mountains, of course.

Pulau Perhentian Kecil

T: One advice for travellers?

FA:  Advice to travellers – always do a bit of research on your destination first like visa requirements, immunisation, places to stay, types of food, transportation, weather and culture to name a few. For me personally, I normally do not go into too much detail as I love to learn as I travel and be surprised and the rest as they say – go with the flow. Prepare for the Worst and Hope for the Best.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Filzah. Welcome to our travel community, #tripfezroamers!