#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.


#17- Defining Yourself

“The more you know, the more you don’t know.”

The above encapsulates everything that I feel right now. After the 3 months of traveling, I thought I had a much better understanding of myself, and would be more than ready to face the world again. However, whilst traveling, I think I have changed so much that I am struggling to understand myself again. Certain things that I used to enjoy have become a burden to me.

Comparing myself to how I was before, I definitely love who I am now so much more, and I feel increasingly at ease with my identity. However, I have a problem trying to understand the way I analysed and behaved before the “enlightenment”. There are certain elements of me which I find ridiculous right now, and on hind sight, I cannot believe that I thought that was normal. Who was that person that I used to be?

To me, the process of finding yourself includes defining your identity, what you believe in, and what you care about. I guess I am still in the process of coming to terms with this new person residing inside of me, and I hope to enrich my life experiences so that I never forget to live everyday with counting my blessings.

Maybe life is never about finding an answer about who you are, because experiences will shape your worldview, which would in turn alter your understanding of yourself again. I am still struggling to come to terms with who that person was before, and one thing I am sure of is, I am never going back to that person. We can only work towards becoming better versions of ourselves, and growing stronger with each challenge that life throws at you. And that, is my goal for the year, not bowing to the challenges that life leaves me with.

Keep moving,for life will not stop surprising you!


#16- Disconnect to reconnect


We are all addicted to the internet, social media, and the whole notion of staying connected. For those of you living in cities, take a look around you, you will notice that everyone is using a smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc. The onset of the digital age has fundamentally hindered our ability to live in the moment. When traveling, the one thing we look for upon arrival is whether we can stay connected, and whether the airport has WIFI connection, etc.  This desire to be connected seems to be an addiction. I am guilty of it myself. When I got to Myanmar, my first purchase was on a SIM card. I told myself that I needed Wifi lest I got lost, but come on, who am I kidding? I obviously wanted to get data so I could connect with my friends on whatsapp, facebook, instagram, etc.

In the last 3 months, the only times I purchased data was Myanmar and Hong Kong. Ironically, I think I enjoyed myself so much more when I was disconnected. I could take the time to think about my own life, where I am at, and soak myself in the sights.I definitely enjoyed the interactions with the locals so much more too!

When I got to Myanmar, there were many times where I had to stop myself from looking at my phone, and refocus my attention on everything that was before me. It was the interactions with the locals that got me thinking about how addicted I was to the internet. Most of the locals did not have Smartphones, and they connected with one another via interaction at the marketplace, which was a boatride away for most people. This was the point where I decided to disconnect and refocused myself on my trip. It was at that point that I began seeing so much more, and captured more precious moments on my camera.


I doubt I will be getting data for my solo travels in the future. With a more stable schedule in place now, I think I need to #disconnect to reconnect when I travel, as these travels will now be the best time for me to be introspective. Moving away from narcissism and addiction to the social media, I hope to be someone with a bigger heart, focused on reconnecting with the people, the environment, and living in the moment.

#16- In love


I think I’m in love. Not with anyone in particular, but with this world. I think this world has way too much to offer. The nature, the people, the animals, the architecture, the history, the universe, everything comes together concurrently to create this world that we see before us. Ever since I got back, I find myself being able to appreciate the people around me better, being more aware of the things going on around me. I’m used to cruising through life here because it is so familiar that I take it for granted. Maybe it is time to start focusing and exploring home once again, with this sense of newfound awareness.

Thanks to those who shared my last post; I’m glad it meant something to some of you!


#15- Moving on and letting go


Had a discussion with a friend about moving on and letting go. In life, things rarely go exactly the way we want it to be.

Some words of wisdom from a really good friend that put things into perspective for me. People come into our lives for a reason, and every single person that you have met in your life was there for a reason. After you have been taught that lesson that you are supposed to learn, they leave, and you go on your separate paths. When that lesson is for a lifetime; they stay. The key is to focus on your path, rather than what could have been, might have been, because life is too short to focus on the negatives.

Also, what I realized is that it is not entirely bad when things don’t go your way; it is a stark reminder that you have taken things for granted. It might mean you have a chance to do something about it, or it might not. Either way, you learn a lesson about life.

With this said, I think I have finally found the door to continue my path on. I am going to take it, and make the best out of it.

Be kind to yourself, and live the life that you deserve, without the shackles of the past.


Uploaded more photos from my Myanmar trip !

#13- Because home makes me smile

DSC_0355-1Been back in Singapore for awhile now. I think I am slowly integrating “back” into my life. Much as I try to think that things will be the same as before, it will never be the case. I think I have grown on so many levels the last 8 months, having gone through many major changes which required a huge level of maturity and commitment. Time continues to move, people change, and things change so quickly these days that I find it really difficult to continue where I left off before I started my journey.

One big change upon returning here is the newfound sense of appreciation and gratefulness for my life in Singapore. Indeed, I think I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to grow up in Singapore. I’ve been checking out my own city skyline in the last week a couple of times as I’ve had friends visiting, and suddenly I realised how beautiful home is. The people, the sense of familiarity, food, and everything else is really amazing. I have to admit I have always taken all of these for granted.

Even though I still miss the simplicity of village life in Myanmar, coupled with the innocent laughter I hear each time I see kids there, I am still really happy to be back at home, with my family, friends, and everything else. Life is beautiful, and everyday, there is a reason for me to smile.


#12- Beginning of a new end


Its the beginning of a new end. I’m taking a break from traveling to return to some sort of stability. Reflecting on the last 3 months, I think I have grown a lot mentally. The world is so big, and there is so much out there, just waiting for me to discover it. I am very thankful for all the new friendships built across the world, and the new lessons that I’ve learnt from everyone I’ve met, regardless of how brief the encounter was.

The trip which left the biggest impact on me has got to be Myanmar. Interacting with the Burmese people just made me realize how futile it is to keep hanging on to the past, and hopefully, I can give back to them someday somehow. Taiwan was the one trip where self-discovery took flight, and where I started to really connect with the me deeper inside. USA made me realize that love exists everywhere in the world, despite the distance, and distance is never a factor to deter love. Hong Kong made me rediscover my own roots, and also gave me the best friendships I could ever ask for. Thailand reconnected me with my passion for history. Every footstep in the last 3 months has shaped me differently, and I am thankful to emerge a stronger and wiser person after these travels.

One of the biggest takeaway I’ve had was that you don’t need everything in the world to be happy. Sometimes, being content and grateful for things that you already have is enough on its own to fill your heart with happiness. I am immensely thankful for a supportive group of friends, both in Singapore and all across the world, my family, and everybody else I’ve met, even if I didn’t catch your name. The adventure hasn’t ended, and I don’t intend to end it because life is a process of constant discovery. Each day, I am still learning more about myself.

Can’t wait for the next series of adventures! smile emoticon 

If you are interested, here are the Myanmar Photos !

#11- Thoughts on Childhood


We met this little boy at one of the random pagodas we tried to climb up in Bagan. He was really curious, and yet behaved in a really warm way, sharing about the pagoda with us in whatever little English that he could speak. The bulk of the communication was done through pointing and gestures. At the end, we were thinking if we were supposed to tip him, as this was always the case in SEA. To our surprise, he simply said bye to us, and signaled for us to make our way down the pagoda.

I enjoyed the short encounter with this kid, as this reminded me of the innocence that children have. Circumstances, more often than not, take that right of childhood away from them, evident from the neighbouring countries we have traveled to.

Children should be allowed to enjoy their childhood, regardless of where and what sort of families they are born into, and this is definitely an area I hope to make a difference to, if given a chance to.

As I look at how the children in the city are spoilt rotten with the introduction of first world “necessities” such as Ipads, Iphones, tablets, I cannot help but think that I was lucky to be born into a time where I could enjoy my childhood in a tiny village back in Hong Kong in the 80s, where I lived in wooden houses. Even though we did not have any of the luxury that we enjoy today, I definitely think that we were all happier then. Much of it was filled with running around the tiny village with my neighbours, and getting screamed at by the adults as we ran around the neighbourhood. I think I miss that pure happiness, and am ever more so thankful that I had the opportunity to enjoy my childhood.

#10- Taking things for granted


I met this uncle whilst visiting one of the villages in Myanmar. The village had just started to have electricity just 2 months ago, and I could see that they were still trying adjust to the new lifestyle, with firewood placed everywhere around the village. This village had no locks, doors, but with the introduction of electricity, the wealthier families were beginning to build their own wells, so as to have a stake on clean water before everyone else. Seems that as society progresses, the notion of selflessness begins to diminish, and personal gains become prioritised.

Civilisation definitely drives the change in humanity, but I am not too sure if this is a good thing, as I look at how our houses these days have to be locked up, and so many measures have to put in place to ensure that others do not take advantage of another.

On another note, visiting the village was a humbling experience, as it got me thinking about how I should be grateful about the availability of electricity, clean water, which we very often take for granted. The flick of a switch, and the convenience of modern life drives one to take many things for granted. There is just so much in life to be grateful for.