A Nature Escapes Malaysia Journey
"From South Dakota To Southeast Asia"
The journey to Malaysia started in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where the ponderosa pine and blue spruce forests first scented my passion for the outdoors.
After a temperate forest education in the pine lands of east Texas and a few years in East Africa, tropical rainforests now rule my plant kingdom.
Having lived over twenty years in the hot tropics, I've primarily worked with environmental organizations involved in conservation projects, sustainability issues, timber certification and even responsible tourism initiatives.
I've been fortunate to visit many of the jungles and wild places of Malaysia with herpetologists, tiger researchers and other scientists.
Each jungle outing brings forth more natural wonders and more reasons to protect our environment, as told in nature articles written for Asian Geographic, Malaysian Naturalist, Wild Asia.org and GreenFudge.org.
Malaysia teems with fascinating plant and animal species that can amaze anyone from a primary student to a seasoned naturalist.
And so much of this grand biodiversity is accessible and on display, even from the suburbia of Kuala Lumpur.
Nature Escapes Goes Online
A One-Stop Website for Nature Destinations
Nature Escapes started as a book project.
I wanted to capture these wild destinations and share them with others seeking to avoid the routine of going to shopping malls, playing computer games and watching movies that only wear out your wallet.
The Internet is as awesome as a tropical rainforest biome. It's a massive habitat full of diverse topics that pull you into cyberspace like a great nature trail deep in the jungle. As an inter-related network, the Web is an ecosystem of its own.
So Nature Escapes naturally found its niche within this computer-oriented world.
Putting Nature Escapes on the Web offers many advantages to you.
The only disadvantage is that you can't put a computer in your car glovebox (not yet anyway!) and keep it as a handy travel reference.
Nature Escapes Keeps It Real
Providing Real Jungle Adventure
We always remember: It's a jungle out there!
Our intent is to arm you with enough facts to make the decision to go into the wilderness.
We also realize that time is valuable. The Escape Time Zones allow you to choose among an assortment of adventures within a four-hour radius of KL. You can hit a number of easy trails in minutes or be on the river or mountain in just a couple of hours.
So use Nature Escapes to plan weekend excursions and save those Malaysian holidays for longer journeys to Great PM Escapes and Borneo Escapes.
The jungle is full surprises. Some of them are unpleasant.
Nature Escapes tries to convey not only beautiful nature scenes and forest animals, it also strives to inform parents and travelers about the hazards or difficulties faced visiting some destinations.Nature is unpredictable and jungle safety, including weather, are primary concerns. Many of us have lost our sense of what wild means and forget to treat jungle habitats as real places, not zoos.
Nature Escapes Looks Out for Kids
Outdoor Action for All Ages
Nature Escapes attempts to reach out to kids and families.
It is disheartening to see so many urban kids miss out on exploring their surroundings. Most wildlife watching is done on Animal Planet not on the nearest forest trail.
The lack of on-site nature interpretation spoils most visits to waterfalls or jungle hikes. Opportunities are lost to instill invaluable ecological lessons and science facts for kids and adults.
We will continue - with your suggestions - to make Nature Escapes an outlet for families to plan outdoor adventure education trips and provide information to make your nature experience better.
My own dilemma begins with my son Jeren.
Living in Kuala Lumpur is challenging for kids. Playgrounds and parks are too few; and youth sports are almost non-existent. When do children get to exercise and how do you improve kid fitness levels?
Nature Escapes gives me an excuse to take him out for a waterfall swim, a visit to a wildlife rehab center or just a quick outing to snap rainforest pictures. You'll notice his appearance - and maybe his own photos - on some pages.
Nature Escapes Ripples Enthusiasm
Natural Learning Never Ends
Nothing beats the tranquillity of the rainforest, a tropical island or a wild river, once you take the first trip.
And nothing compares to the thrill of whitewater rafting, the excitement of running into a viper, or marveling at the elegance of a flying lemur.
My challenge for you is to set aside one weekend a month to venture on a Nature Escape.
Then come back and tell us about your newfound adventure ... and possibly a new passion.
We'll be waiting here to hear about what you discover in the wilds of Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo.
Have a Wild and Safe Escape.
P.S. From IBM keypunch machines to Internet entrepreneur ... my full cyber-story.
"Nature is made to conspire with spiritRalph Waldo Emerson
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