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After COVID-19 Left Her Stranded In Asia, Maltese Backpacker Sets Off On Second Journey Into The Unknown

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The first time Dora Falzon went backpacking was back in January 2020, when COVID-19 was just beginning to become a global issue – and it left her stranded abroad in Asia, making it really difficult to return back home.

However, the determined traveller and host of Lovin Malta’s foodie-travel show Taħlita Perfetta is not letting that stop her as she is about to embark on her next trip to parts unknown.

In an interview with Lovin Malta, Dora revealed her new travel plans, which start in Dubai.

“It is the perfect hub connecting Europe to the Far East, and spending New Year’s Eve in warm weather is a big plus,” she smiled.

From Dubai, she will then be heading to Thailand – and intends to carry on travelling until funds run out. She intends to hit up Bali, especially after having postponed her visit back in 2020.

“Other places on the list include Vietnam, Malaysia (I fell in love with the food there the first time I visited), Cambodia, Laos, but nothing is set in stone, and we’ll just go with the flow”.

Since COVID-19 could throw a spanner into her plans at any moment, she hasn’t mapped out her exact route, letting destiny decide her exact travel plans. 

“As Maltese citizens, our visa can only be extended to a maximum of 90 days, so I’m still unsure on when to leave. Travel restrictions in South East Asia are rapidly improving right now and that means hopefully we’ll be exploring more of the surrounding countries,” Dora explained.

The Taħlita Perfetta star moved on to explain how one must always be ready to improvise and go with the flow when backpacking.

She also expressed the beauty of travel by suggesting: “You never know who you will meet along the way; some friendships are just made for a day trip somewhere and you never hear of them again, while others last a lifetime”.

“I am a firm believer that life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

“Travel is the ideal place to put yourself to the test and push yourself to your limits. I believe that I have never learned about myself as much as I did while travelling. You discover how resourceful you are when you are exposed to new places, people and experiences”.

Dora spoke about the importance of travel and how it “also teaches you to be patient, especially when things do not go according to plan. While travelling you are no longer in control of everything!”

Curiosity is what sparked her to pack her bags and set off backpacking. Explaining how she was 17 when she stepped foot on a plane for the first time, travel wasn’t always a “reachable luxury” for her growing up.

While hearing other people’s travel stories, she got curious to head out for her own adventure.

“The first time I travelled I fell in love. It made me realise how little my problems were, what a small country I grew up in, and it expanded my perspective. Since then, I have solo travelled in Europe, the US, and SouthEast Asia. This time I’m going to be travelling with my boyfriend, who’s as keen as me for this adventure”.

“I believe that as humans we are all searching for one thing in life, happiness. It is that simple to me. We may look for it in different places and through different means, but we are all looking for happiness. And well, travelling fills me with incredible joy,” she said.

Dora is gearing up for season two of Taħlita Perfetta, which will remain in its traditional form, focusing on “eating food from across the globe once again at the table with migrants in their own homes eating traditional home-cooked food from their countries”.

However, she gave details about, how the next season will include a new twist where she will be eating dishes that are made and celebrated over in different cultures during different traditional holidays.

“Food is one of the best things about travelling! I will never forget the butter crab from a street vendor in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Or the incredible Pad Thai on a beach looking over the sunset in Koh Samui, Thailand. Or the delicious batchoy, when I wasn’t feeling too well in the Philippines! Food is one of the things I’m super excited about”.

Dora concluded by explaining how “committing to the dream of leaving behind everything I know, and travelling into the unknown is not as easy as it seems. It is incomprehensible to some people around me. I have also had to change some simple things around me to allow myself to achieve this dream, like changing my spending habits and choosing to be away from some very important people in my life. However, it all comes down to priorities, for this period of my life I’m choosing travel.”

“Travel is simply a learning experience. And I will never allow myself to stop learning. The smells, the sounds, the languages, the food are all new things that you will come across while travelling”.

Share this story if you are all about that backpacking life and can’t wait to see the next season of Taħlita Perfetta!

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