In her search for a place to call ‘home’, Angela Koblitz, a 23-year-old Vietnamese-born young lady, has been travelling around the world for the past five years. In 2016 alone, her journey has taken her from Munich, Germany to Cuba, Tanzania, Vietnam and now Malaysia.
Koblitz said, “I do not consider ‘home’ to be where my family is but it is about settling in a place that would fit me the best. So far, I have not found this place yet.”
The digital nomad is currently based in Kuala Lumpur for a month to take a breather from travelling after a gruelling four-month tour in Vietnam from the north to the south on a motorcycle.
She added, “Having visited Malaysia twice previously, I decided that Kuala Lumpur would be a good city to take a break from the intense Asian culture that is Vietnamese. Kuala Lumpur, on the other hand, is a cultural melting pot that offers both Eastern and Western cultures, similar to my own international background. I was born in Vietnam and raised in Germany and The Netherlands.”
In Kuala Lumpur, Koblitz volunteers her expertise to a start-up enterprise that deals in Malaysian batik. She is their model, photographer, marketer, as well as brand ambassador. She believes that working with this business along with staying with a local Malay family would deepen her knowledge in Malaysian culture.
“The first time I visited Malaysia was ten years ago during Summer camp. I had yet to develop an eye for culture then but had another opportunity to explore the east coast state of Terengganu in 2014. I spent the most memorable week there. Terengganu is simply different from what I had experienced in Kuala Lumpur. At this point in my life, I find that it is the right time to explore Malaysia’s many cultures deeper. Indeed, one month is insufficient to learn everything about Malaysian culture but I would definitely be able to pick up from where I have left off. Also, I would like to take this chance to interact more with the locals because it is the people who make the culture. Moreover, I hope to be able to take away the positive values that would enhance my self-development. It is only through personal experiences that would help me to learn and be more open minded,” she said.
Having been a solo traveller for nearly three years now, Koblitz believes that travelling alone is not as dangerous as many people perceived. She opined, “It is not so much about the danger, as it could be anywhere, especially for female solo travellers, but it is about how one handles each and every situation. Therefore, it is a great way to develop oneself. In any case, I always trust my sixth sense.”
Travelling alone has given Koblitz the meaning of freedom to do whatever she wants and whenever she likes. The disadvantage, according to her, is not being able to share experiences with others. “I do feel sad sometimes when I witness such a beauty or do something so exciting but I am not able to share it with anyone,” she said. That was how her personal online journal soon turned into a travel blog, AngesVoyage (www.angelakoblitz.com), where her prolific writings are accompanied by vivid photographs of her travels, with the aim to share her travel stories that would inspire people to pull up the courage to break the eggshells to see the world.
When asked about her future plans, Koblitz could only say that she would be moving to Sydney, Australia one day. “But first, I would like to go to Bangkok and travel in Thailand for awhile, to explore further the Thai culture as how I am doing with Malaysia. Also, it could be a different experience due to the recent event of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s passing. I do not plan to stop travelling – my heart to explore the world is too big and I am still not ready to settle down. However, I will be moving to Australia at one point to be closer with my family as I have not been around my mother for the past eight years.”
At this moment, Koblitz is excited for the plans she has in Malaysia. “I cannot wait to learn more about the metropolitan life in Kuala Lumpur and the hidden Malaysian traditions in different states of the country, such as Melaka, Perak and Penang,” Koblitz shared. “Let’s not forget about the food. I am dying to taste all the flavours of Malaysia. Do you know that food is a huge factor that creates culture, too?”
Note: An edited version of this article [Sweet wanderlust] was published on 24th December, 2016 in the now-defunct The Malay Mail.