#35 – Thoughts from a Weekend Hike

Climbing/Hiking is truly a humbling activity. You realise how helpless you are in face of nature and how you have no control Over the elements. Letting go of your ego and the competitiveness within you, that is the point where u reconnected with yourself. The intellectual banter that goes on in your mind just brings you so many insights as to how you can live your life as a better person.

There are things you should be grateful for, every single day you wake up. Even the most simple of gratifications makes you a better person. Learning not to take anything, anyone or any situation for granted, is a lesson that one should not forget.

Fear is there, always there. But you choose how you want to deal with it. Whether to give up, or keep pushing through it, it’s entirely up to you. You realise a lot of times, you are the greatest inhibitor. Fear comes from within, like happiness, is something that you have an option of viewing it from a different perspective.

You cannot control the environment, but you have absolute control over what you feel and what you want to do about it. Sometimes in life, you are better off on your own, and there are times where having people to help you does you so much good.

Learning to deal with and face the insecurities within yourself is the first step to finding that version of yourself where your heart, mind and soul are aligned. The answers are all within, and you just need to look inward for these answers. This is in fact, very challenging because we usually try to hide them as they represent weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The first step to dealing with them is awareness of the insecurities that are deep within. To start looking within, connecting with yourself is a really important step.

Random rambling on a Saturday morning before I head off to Bali to hike mount Agung in a couple more days.

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#34-Finding Gratitude Once Again

A wise man whom I met on one of my travels once shared this with me this quote from Mark Twain, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

I think I definitely have an answer for the former, and am very thankful to my parents for bringing me to this beautiful world. However, for the latter, I am still trying to figure that out, every single day. We tend to cruise through life without giving it much thought, and let the practicalities of life guide us through our decision making.

Humans have a tendency to take things for granted, and that can manifest itself in many ways. The fact that one lets the practicalities of life guide you is an indication of that. I am very guilty of that. I have been keeping myself really busy the last few months, but it still doesn’t amount to much. There isn’t much self-satisfaction. Ironically, there seems to be more satisfaction when I was unemployed. There is nothing wrong with my current life on the surface, but deep down, I feel that everything about it is wrong. By not chasing my dreams, there is a part of me that is always craving for the “what-ifs”. However, I am limited by the practicalities of life for now. I see my parents growing old, and their desire to see me tread the path that everyone is on no doubt holds me back. Is it their dream or is it my dream? Or is it just what society defines as the norm? Is there really something wrong when you don’t fall into the “norm”? Every individual is different, and I believe succumbing to social norms just isn’t the right thing to do.

Happiness comes from within, and this is something I am still striving for, every single day. Starting with being grateful and appreciating the little things in life, I think my goal for the rest of 2016 is to start being thankful for the little things that make me smile, however small they might be.

Perhaps, just maybe, it is time to get back on the road, and try to find those answers.

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#28-2015, The Most Amazing Year Ever

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Spent the entire day sorting out travel pictures and my thoughts, at the same time preparing for my next trip, which is in about 5 hours time.

2015 has been an amazing year. I have no idea where to start. The year started off with a major heartbreak. The agony and pain that I have had to deal with was way more intensive than I had imagined, but on the other hand, this also meant that I had loved. I am glad that I had the opportunity to do that. Being in love meant that I had to leave myself vulnerable, and I think I have not regretted doing that, not one bit, for I have learnt so much more and became a much better person.

Learning to deal with the pain exposed me to another form of love, i.e, self-love. To date, I am still not too sure what it really means, but by my definition it would be the state of being at ease spending time with the most awesome person on earth, me! Learning to find the path to happiness on my own was a different game altogether, and I embarked on this journey filled with doubts and uncertainties. Nonetheless, a life filled with uncertainty is one that is exciting, especially so for someone as inquisitive as I am.

Mid 2015, as I was picking myself up slowly from the heartbreak, I was dealt with another blow. Losing my job. The financial and emotional uncertainties plagued me for a couple of days, until one day, where I woke up and decided to take the chance to do something I’ve always wanted to do but never had the balls to, and that is solo travel. So there I was, booking my first one way ticket to another country, without any plans or return date. Ironically, it felt amazingly therapeutic. Not having to adhere to timelines, schedules, compromising to the needs of others, getting lost, being on random ferries to random offshore islands, experiencing all the firsts in my life etc, these adventures actually made me feel really at ease with myself. Traveling on my own made me learn so much more about myself, and gave me time away from the crazy city life in Singapore to rethink so many things.

In those months, I traveled to places I’ve always wanted to go to, and revisited places which I had avoided so as not to expose myself to the memories that I was trying so hard to bury. Gathering the strength to face up to these memories, and creating new ones on my own gave me a new resolute to live my life so that I do not regret at my deathbed, so that one day, I have stories to tell my children and grandchildren, and to inspire them to live their lives for all that it is worth in the future.

Traveling made me appreciate so many things in life that I have been taking for granted, especially the people. 2015 is really the year where I learn to be thankful from the bottom of my heart.

1. My Family – Thankful for an amazing family that has accommodated my sporadic trips, been there for me all the time, made me feel so much warmth in my heart even though I took you guys for granted for so many years prior.

2. My Friends – I do not even know where to start. Some of you joined me for parts of my journey, some of you sat through my grouses, some of you were there for me whenever I was down, some of you hosted me when I traveled to your city, some of you made the effort to meet me wherever I was traveling to, some of you became friends with me during my journeys, etc.  I am really thankful for each and every one of you. Believe me, every one of you made a difference to me.

3. My Colleagues – You guys made life so much more amazing and interesting for me. All the late night drinks, dinner, partying, heart to heart chats, I am so so thankful for you guys!

2015 has been the most amazing year ever. I am actually really thankful for everything that has happened to me this year, and yes, that includes the heartbreak. Life is actually really meaningful, and it largely depends on what you make of it.

Really looking forward to 2016, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me!

Have no expectations, and let life take you to happiness and awesomeness!

P.S. One of the most amazing experiences this year (in this lifetime), was watching the northern lights in all its glory in Iceland. Hence this photo! 🙂

#27-What happiness really means

Sometimes having absolutely no expectations works in amazing ways. I love the element of surprise, and because I have no expectations, I end up being pleasantly surprised. Letting go of all judgments allows us to see people or events before for what it really is. That is really the most amazing feeling,ever.

Just got back from the festivities from the Union of two really amazing people, who have made huge differences to me; and I have to say, it feels really amazing to see people around you basked in joy. It makes me really happy to see those around me happy.

Happiness is not an end state, it is a state that you choose to be in, there and then. Life is filled with constant ups and downs, and that constant moving between the emotional states actually account for the true meaning behind what life is. Learning to enjoy and appreciate these changes is an art that I’m still trying to grasp. I won’t say I like sadness, but I believe that the downs are there to remind you not to take things for granted, and that life is full of uncertainty.

Being the usually inquisitive me, I start questioning what happiness entails. Is it making that extra money? Or finding that special person? Or is it simply sharing the happiness with those around me? It seems that nobody has a definite answer, but for now, I choose to remain comfortably lost, sharing in the joy of those around me, and genuinely being happy because those around me are happy.

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#26- A Change in Perspective…

Life is a lot about perspective. A change of perspective goes a really long way. This principle can be applied in every aspect of your life, and more often than not, helps you get out of the rut or the dilemmas that you are facing.

If you choose to see events as positive, then it is something positive, because that is your perspective of it, and it is in effect a “unique relationship” between you and the event that nobody can take away from you.

Positivity takes you to better places. Negativity, on the other hand, drags you down into the deep abyss of the unknown, and with negativity, you just get increasingly negative, and not forgetting, you draw negative vibes towards you.

As we approach the end of 2015, I am now taking the time to reflect on how much I have grown in the last year, and what I am thankful for from the past year. Even though I still feel like I am searching for something in life which at this moment, I still haven’t gotten any clarity on what it exactly is. Until then, I guess I will have to just keep doing things that make me happy, and love life in a positive manner. Looking forward to more travels and learning more lessons in 2016.

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*Photo taken over sunset at the amazing glacial lagoon in Iceland.

Xoxo

#24 – Violence is NOT a means to an end

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Today I woke up to another wave of attacks across different entertainment spots in Paris. It seems to have become a norm, for people to use violence as a means to impose what they believe in, onto civilians who are deemed to be on the other side by their standards. It is also unimaginable for one to believe that by inflicting massive damage and destruction onto others, they can achieve what their version of the world means.
 
How is it that people can believe that they can achieve what they want by taking away the lives of innocent people? How is it that people can believe that they have the right to take away the lives of other people? Which “religion” would ever propagate that? There is just no reason for all this craziness. This has got to STOP.
 
Even if they feel offended by what others have done, does it give them the right to be offensive about being offended? This world needs to learn respect. Violence does not gain you any respect, at all. There is no reason, absolutely no justifiable cause for anyone to kill others. You do not prove anything at all, apart from the fact that you do not deserve any respect. We have had so many lessons across history from wars, revolutions, uprisings, and it appears mankind is actually moving backwards in terms of civilisation, as we increasingly revert to using violence to resolve any difference. Does the show of power really get you what you want?
 
I look forward to the day where mankind truly learns from history, and stop mindless acts like these ones. Maybe, we just never learn from history.
 
My deepest condolences to those who have lost their lives amidst this mindless and crazy series of attacks. #prayforparis

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