( Written by @haralhaj– a contribution to curiostraveller.com)
I first came to Sabah in May 1989. I came for a good reason, to spread knowledge among youngsters. Never have I imagined that I will simply fall in love with this Land Below The Wind, Sabah. May, 1994, I returned home. Back to my own state, Johor Darul Ta’Zim in Peninsular Malaysia.
5 years in Sabah was not that long in comparison to the total years I have been working as a teacher. It has been a wonderful 26 years now, spreading out all those educational contents and good values to my students. I spent only 5 years in Sabah. There are times when I actually regretted the decision to leave Sabah and came back to Johor. However, I am grateful to ALLAH for all the blessings and fate.
I just want to share something from my inner soul, the love to Sabah and how I dearly miss Sabah. Between 1994 till now, I came back to Sabah, once. Yes, only once for a vacation. That was in 2010. I took the opportunity to visit all friends in Keningau Town and Kota Kinabalu City. I brought along the entire family members and we visited the places that I love so much-Keningau, Tenom, Tambunan, Kundasang, Ranau and Kota Kinabalu.
I can’t wait any longer. I miss Sabah so much. I will be back in May 2016. This time around I am coming with my friends, teachers from the same school of mine. Why do I miss Sabah so much? Too much, that at times, I keep dreaming about Sabah. I tried to find the answer to as why I miss Sabah, but I failed. All that I know, I honestly miss Sabah.
Sabah is a beautiful state. It has beautiful Mount Kinabalu, hills, caves, beaches, amazing tropical jungle and those uniqueness shall never fade from my thoughts. The delicious and cheap seafood plus variety of local food makes me want to keep coming back for more. I keep thinking about my ex colleagues, students and neighbors in Sabah. I miss them so much. When I see things or people that are related to Sabah, be it in TV, Internet or even meeting with Sabahans in Johor, I will certainly become homesick for a state I wasn’t born in. I miss everything in Sabah.
I am not that good in describing the beauty of Sabah, the people, food and everything about it probably because writing is not my passion. The only thing that I can say is, if you want to experience something different in your life, you have to get yourself to Sabah. Get yourself involved in the amazing and wonderful life of Sabahan. See the place for yourself. Indulge in the uniqueness that Sabah has to offer. You will never regret it and who knows that you are going to find something good, far from your own expectation. I can’t wait and I am super super excited about my trip to Sabah in May 2016. The trip that will take me ‘home’.
Pontian, Johor Darul Ta’Zim, Malaysia
Note by curios traveller:
@haralhaj is currently teaching at SMK Seri Bandar Pontian. He served as a teacher in Keningau, Sabah from May 1989 to May 1994. He will be travelling to Sabah in May 2016 (for a short vacation) and we are excited to meet this dedicated teacher. He wrote to curiostraveller.com about his ‘homesick’ and without any hesitation, we gladly accepted him as one of our many guest posts. Thank you and see you soon Sir @haralhaj