Should you stay in a hotel or homestay? Which is best: getting to know the local community or to chill out and have everything delivered to you on a plate?
If you’d asked me that 25 years ago (this is Liz, by the way) I’d have said give me the best resort money can buy so I can do as little as possible all day long. Sun, beach, five star food, top cocktails and all served in chic and luxurious surroundings, with maybe a soupçon of history and nature thrown in. But then I was working 60 hour weeks in dusty London, only glimpsing daylight at the weekends in winter.
It’s the time that we have as we travel at a snails pace which is the true joy of this way of life. The chance to mingle with local people and get under the skin of different cultures. If we turn up somewhere we like we can stay for as long as we like: a day, a week, month or three years.
This was a quick trip to Mantanani island, 10 miles off the Sabah coast. The winds would soon make it untenable, so we decided to check it out for a future longer visit.
Billed as a “resort island”, Mantanani is still very much a working community. We landed the dinghy on the beach between fishermen, children, cows and laundry. Yes, there are some smart resorts at one end of the island which give employment to some of the island people, but the heart of the place is in the extensive kampong (village, settlement) with shops, homestays, restaurants and small boat-related businesses stretched along the beach.
Anyone who knows us also knows that we seldom get involved in sponsorships or promotions, but just occasionally we are approached by a company with a product that looks interesting.
Aleader Water Shoes got in touch with us to see if we’d like to try their shoes, so we agreed to take a couple of examples and give an honest review of them, without any payment or obligation. Click on the image to see their website.
Turns out these shoes are brilliant and just about perfect for boat life, specifically for going ashore in a dinghy. We’ve been wearing them since we first put them on.
You can see more in the video, where we give a 15% discount code for viewers. If you are an FTBMate or Patreon you can collect a 20% discount, the code is in the description of the early-bird viewing post.
Click on the link below for the video.
Thanks for popping along to our blog.
Peace and fair winds
Liz and Jamie
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