#36: On to 2018!

2017, you’ve been… interesting, filled with numerous ups and downs, but the experiences and opportunities I’ve had made me grow exponentially both at a professional and personal level.

I’ve had to experience death on two occasions this year, and these serve to remind me of the inevitability aspects of life. You really never know what could or might happen, and the best thing you can do for yourself is to live life to the fullest. Got that city you haven’t visited? Go! Got that person you haven’t met in ages? Pick up the phone and reach out.

This year, I’ve traveled to new places, and had “adventures” which made me realise that there are just too many things that you cant control in life. Learning to let go and accept things for what it is would be the best thing you can do for yourself. That is also the only way that you can grow.

My favourite trip of 2017, was my trip to Eastern Europe. Really missing the me time and those introspective conversations I had with myself when I went hiking. Learning more about different people, and how they are made up by their history was definitely a very fascinating moment.

The world is too beautiful. Being obsessed with what you don’t like or hate about life would only hinder your full ability to appreciate the things around you. This is one thing I am definitely going to work on for 2018! Looking forward to 2018 and the surprises that will be coming!

 

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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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#29- Great Start to a New Year

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Concluding my first trip this year. I got to admit that this was a fantastic way to start off a new year. Going forward, maybe this is how each year should begin.

Nature always helps me to put things into perspective. We are only small specks in this great thing called the universe. Every encounter, whether by chance or not, happened for a reason. Whether pleasant or not, I believe that everything is causal, one thing leads to another. Everything that happens stands for every little piece of puzzle which pieces together to form the story of your life.

Life is still a big mystery to me. I have no idea how I ended up where I am today, be it the personal or professional aspect of life, but what I’m sure of is that I am definitely enjoying every single moment of this.

3 things I’m grateful for today :
-serendipitous friendships
-amazing opportunities in life
-lessons from 2015 that shaped me into who I am today

I believe in serendipity, and it has happened so many times in 2015 that I think it is an integral part of my life already. Looking forward to more serendipity for 2016!

Xoxo

#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! 🙂

#25- My Photobook- “Wanderlust”

Back in 2013, I made a photobook based off my travels up to that point in time, where I was in an entirely different state of mind. This was when I first started traveling in my bid to do some soul-searching as I entered into a phase in life where I was completely confused and direction-less. I did the bulk of these with friends. I was more focused on checking places off the list, rather than being introspective.

In 2015, I have had the opportunity to travel to so many more places, and meet so many more new people, solo. Almost all of my trips were solo, and it really gave me heaps of insights into the biggest mystery of all time, me.

With the new insights, I am inspired to create another version for 2015!

Meanwhile, sharing this version from 2013. 🙂

My Book -wanderlust

#18- Thoughts on why we go through unhappiness

Queenstown, NZ-1We are all shaped by the experiences that we go through, or the people we meet. You can never erase the impact that people leave on you when they come into your life, both positive and negative.

Maybe there are life experiences that you think were too painful, and you think it would have been great if you didnt have to go through it. However, without those periods of pain and agony, would you be who you are today?

We all emerge stronger after going through difficult times, and that is all part of being human. Without going through the pain, would you be able to fully appreciate the moments of happiness? If you were always happy, would you take happiness for granted, and stop growing as a person?

Everything happens for a reason, and all of it contributes to making you a better person. As you work towards a better version of yourself, you will also start appreciating life so much more.

“The more you know, the more you don’t know”, this quote encapsulates everything that I feel right now. After the last few months of soul searching, I find myself a really different person, but I am definitely loving this new version of me so much more, even though I am still trying to find out more of this new person residing inside of me.

Xoxo