Posted: 19 Jul 2011 04:47 PM PDT
Henry Golding relives his childhood on the idyllic east coast of Terengganu in his travelogue Without Boundaries: Islands And Beaches.
IT was more than just a seaside respite for Henry Golding when he took a trip to some of the country's finest beaches. The English-Iban host, who spent his childhood on the idyllic east coast of Malaysia, said his travels on his latest TV programme, Without Boundaries: Islands And Beaches, has helped him rediscover his roots.
"The first part of my life was spent in Dungun in Terengganu, till my family moved to Surrey, England, when I was about nine," he explained.
The former-model would return to Malaysia only about 12 years later, when he would quickly find fame as a talkshow host in Kuala Lumpur.
Now at 24, Golding is one of the most recognisable faces on local television. To date, he has appeared on 8tv Quickie!, ESPN's Castrol Football Crazy and Welcome To The Rail World, a travel programme that documented his journey around the country by train.
He appears to be coping well with the attention, too, looking decidedly cheerful amid a bustling crowd at a promotional event at Full House Café in Sunway Giza, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Despite his long years abroad, Golding said his childhood home remained a familiar territory.
"A lot of westerners get a shock when they go to tropical beaches but I grew up in the jungle and I was used to it," he said.
"I had no qualms about coming back at all though I did not expect the amount of growth that KL had since I last saw it as a child. It surprised me."
His return to Dungun on the pilot was especially emotional. "This place will always be special to me. Going back was truly an eye-opening experience. It brought back so many old childhood memories that were watered down and it made them vivid again.
"I remember eating keropok lekor (fish sausage which is a speciality from Terengganu) on the beach and just being out there in the sun and the sea," he recalled fondly.
"I was allowed to roam freely as a child and I spent a lot of time by the sea. It instilled a huge sense of freedom in me and it just felt so safe out there."
Reliving the experience, he said, has allowed him to reunite with Mother Nature.
"The waves pretty much just wash all your worries and responsibilities away and you can just lie there in the sun, soak up happiness and become really peaceful..." he trailed off.
The exuberant host enjoys some real action, too. Besides revisiting his childhood home, he also tries his hand at scuba diving and fire-dancing, with comical results.
"My fire-dancing was poor, that's all I can say," he said with a laugh. "I have no arm coordination whatsoever. I kept hitting myself and it left me with a lot of bruises and singed leg hair."
The sunny host will also be taking viewers through his diving and surfing experiences, along with his sojourn with the Sea Gypsies, a tribe from Semporna in Sabah, throughout the 10-episode series.
For Golding, the thrill in travelling lies in being experimental.
"I like trying out new things and meeting people I might otherwise never have met," he said. "I had the best time in Semporna. It was my first time in Sabah and people there were just unbelievably friendly."
He hopes to draw attention to the many splendours of our tropical home with the show.
"A lot of people in Malaysia don't actually realise just how amazing and naturally beautiful this place is and I'm trying to expose them to that.
"You don't have to fly a million miles just to get to a nice beach. We have unbelievable beaches right here on our doorstep."
■ Without Boundaries: Islands And Beaches airs on Wednesdays at 9.30pm on 8TV. For more information, log on to 8tv.com.my/withoutboundaries.Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
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