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Travel With Bender

Uncovering the best family holidays

Blog Archive

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  • Our Foray into the

    Our Foray into the "Real" Penang

    Penang, Malaysia

    It gets me when people say you haven’t seen the “real” ____. Whether it’s the “real” Disneyland, or the “real” Penang. Where I live and what I experience is real. So what makes my “real” Penang any less real then someone else’s? What makes our perception any more real than someone else’s? I’m pretty sure I’m not living in “fake” Penang. Today we were honoured to have a local give us an insider’s look at Penang. It didn’t change my mind about my “real” Penang, but it certainly was a different side of Penang - one that we thoroughly enjoyed.

  • Penang Butterfly Farm Not As Bad As I Thought

    Penang Butterfly Farm Not As Bad As I Thought

    Penang, Malaysia

    I don’t really “do” butterfly parks. Butterflies are pretty, sure, but a whole park on them, sounds like a 100 yawns a minute. We had managed to skip them in every country we had been to, but at the guests request we must acquiesce.

  • Strangers Partying in Penang

    Strangers Partying in Penang

    Penang, Malaysia

    A group of 8 travelling families converge on Penang to enjoy & share their nomadic lifestyles with each other. Suddenly strangers become friends and friends become family.

  • A Tropical Birthday on Monkey Beach

    A Tropical Birthday on Monkey Beach

    Penang, Malaysia

    That was an absolutely amazing day. 3 boats, 30 people all headed to Monkey Beach. We had a 5 year old’s bday party there with fairy bread (Americans never heard of it!), we swam, we fed monkeys, and we talked for hours. You ever have one of those days that are just so perfect and so unique and so unbelievably mind-blowing you can hardly believe it's real. I am in that moment!

  • Breaking the Ice at the Hard Rock Hotel Penang Foam Party

    Breaking the Ice at the Hard Rock Hotel Penang Foam Party

    Penang, Malaysia

    As the cloud of white foam closed over my head, I felt a moment of panic. My nose was blocked and I gasped. Big mistake. The soapy white bubbles slipped down my throat and I was gagging. I couldn’t get a breath in. Every breath existed of more bubbles. I tried to breath through my nose and was snorting foam. I ran to the shower and got hosed off by a staff member, spitting and gagging and dry reaching.

  • Meltdown @ Tropical Spice Garden, Penang

    Meltdown @ Tropical Spice Garden, Penang

    Penang, Malaysia

    I try never to listen to the labels people place on each other especially the labels they give children. Terrible Twos is a horrible term in which I am constantly refusing to believe, but there are those moments when you are in a lush garden surrounded by beauty and birds singing, water trickling, monkeys jumping, lizards crawling… that can be ruined within seconds with the defiant cries of a my two year old son. Our journey to the Tropical Spice Garden started off with good intentions...

  • Close Encounter at Thailand’s Tiger Temple

    Close Encounter at Thailand’s Tiger Temple


    I recognize this post may be a bit controversial due to the negative media coverage of tiger sanctuaries in Thailand, however here is our close encounter with the 100+ tigers at Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua in Kanchanaburi.

  • 3 days in Penang With My Best Friend

    3 days in Penang With My Best Friend

    Penang, Malaysia

    You know when you just know someone. You met them and already you are talking 100 miles an hour, laughing and there’s that connection that while you may have just met, it had to have been destiny, ordained, planned, because that person completes you. I’m not talking about my soul mate, although my husband completes me in most ways and I love him to pieces. I’m talking about the moment you meet your best friend. Discover what we did with only 3 days in Penang.

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