A Birthday Reflection

Another year under the belt, and unlike the last 26 years of my life, I mulled over this day. What makes this year any different from the past, or the future for that matter? Why do we celebrate the day we’re born? How different am I today versus the person I was yesterday?

For reasons unknown, this mind was hell bent on being reflective. I’ll spare you the topsy-turvy, tail-spin type journey through my mind.

The point of crystallisation is two words – THANK YOU.

Thank you for reminding me that I am remembered and loved. I am so happy and grateful for every path that has crossed mine, each interaction imprinted – a moment in time, a conversation, a picture, a lesson, a still evolving story…

YOU. You, have made a difference in my life and I thank you.

Take a tag, you've made a difference

Take a tag, you’ve made a difference

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My Love Affair

Couple of things you need to know about me.

I am visual, I view the world through my eyes and if I were to lose my sight, that darkness will be something I can never overcome. That is also why I take pictures, to capture moments that will remind me of memories and stories when I need something to fall back on. My personal safety net of adventures to spur me on in my darkest times.

I lose interest in the snap of a finger and once a decision has been made, there’s no looking back. So, fascinate me, teach me something new everyday. Feed my curiosity, quench my thirst for knowledge and you’ll have me wrapped around your little finger.

The easiest way to win my heart – feed me. Literally. A hungry man is an angry man and the same applies for me. Always ask if I’d like some chow aka food, offer me a variety and always eat with me… because sharing is caring.

So, the question is – who has won my heart?

Well, its not so much a who, really, but a what. And since the first encounter, the very first experience, I was smitten. Head over heels, electrifying sparks, you name it, I felt it. So when did it all begin? 2008. Close to home, a bus ride away. I took my first trip without my folks to Genting and thus began my Love Affair with Travel.

Genting may not seem like much to the well-travelled but back in 2008, taking my first trip out of the country, passport in hand, without the parents, I felt empowered and charged. The weather up in the Highlands unlike the heat and humidity of Singapore, I felt as if I had been teleported to a far-off land. For the next 3 days, I held a foreign currency, gambled in the casinos, ate all the junk food I could lay my hands on, rode the rides in the theme park and played dress up. The smile on those pictures clearly exemplifies the sheer state of joy I was in.

And then, in the later part of 2008, upon graduation, I took a larger leap. Korea for a month. This was huge for me. Absolutely foreign land, did not speak the native tongue and in the bitter cold of winter. I was at once excited and scared. The day of lift off, it was one of teary farewells as we took off to the land of kimchi and hanboks. PS. Even back then I was a social media addict.

The travel distance was excruciating long because as students and with no part of the trip funded, we logically chose some of the cheapest tickets which meant long-ish transits [SG-BKK-HK-KR] but we did arrive in Korea safe and sound in the dead of the night. Which, if you ask me, is pretty daunting as there’s nothing worse than arriving in a foreign land, with no knowledge of local tongue in the dead of night. Evidently, we survived, or I wouldn’t be able to share my experience now.

A month long stay in Seoul saw us coping with the winter cold with our tropical bodies, visiting all the museums, galleries, palaces, shopping districts and even working with an agency to test a potential Visit Seoul advertisement for the Singapore market! We got paid USD100 just to watch 3 adverts and the one we taught would work best for our markets. Now, how many people can say they had an experience quite like that?

Since then, I’ve visited many more countries, exposed myself to various new cultures and made many new friends. This love affair for travel is one that has fed my visual eye, curiosity and gut. I’ve also made a commitment to make time and money to travel every year. You see, commitments work like that. You need to invest in it and never, ever regret. That is how I’ve learnt to live my life since 2008. In 2010, as a further investment to the self, I started this blog to document my travels, eats and adventures so that one day if I ever do lose my memory, I hope that this blog will help me regain that consciousness.

Now, that is my Love! for travel expressed as part of my entry for the Love! Tasmania campaign where YOU, YES YOU! can also enter to stand a chance to win an 8 Days 6 Nights trip to Tasmania for 2!

How to participate?

In 100 words or less Express Your Love for what you love in life

  • It could be in the form of a poem, a passage, a song or video – Be as creative as you like.
  • If you can include Tasmania it would help!
  • Entries can include a photo* or video* (30 seconds to 1 minute in length)
  • Note: Image should be sent in jpeg format with less than 1MB. Video should be uploaded to youtube and limit to 30 second to one minute. Please submit your video link only but not the actual video. Please ensure the copyright is solely owned by submitted participant, or copyright is cleared. All images and videos submitted are automatically giving Tourism Tasmania free rights to use for their own marketing purposes.

Entries will be loaded from 13 to 23 February 2012

After approval by Tourism Tasmania administrator the entry will be loaded onto Tourism Tasmania’s DiscoverTasmania facebook page.

Get your friends and family to ‘like’ your entry from 14 to 27 February 2012.

Judging will be undertaken by the following criteria

    * 30% Number of ‘Likes’ received

    * 30% Creativeness of entry

    * 40% Overall Presentation

There will be four sets of winners – one each from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China and the winners will be announced on 29 February 2012.

Who’s Down for some Trippin’?

Trippin’ [defined] – taking a trip/ break/ holiday outside of one’s home country. If you thought I meant getting heady and losing your mind, you’re mistaken and I’ve clarified.

That said, I don’t know a single soul who would shy away from an offer like that, unless, of course, that person suffers from Pteromerhanophobia. Big word. No fear. It actually just means the fear of being on an airplane or other flying vehicle.

What if I tell you that all you need to do to win yourself such a trip is to write? Better yet, write about anything under the sun, write about the things you love. You’re sitting up in your chair now aren’t you? I mean how difficult is that? The things you love, you could gush on and on about it and your pals will probably have to shut your trap for over sharing.  So now that you’re interested, take a good hard look at the picture below. Whistling yet?

That, my friends, is Wineglass Bay, Tasmania, Australia [picture from Fancy]. If you’re not mesmerized yet, I really don’t know what to say. When I first saw this image, I was already picturing myself buried in the soft white sand with the cool surf crashing against my body, the sea spray a relief from the white hot sun beating on my face. If you’re having the same visual of yourself in that setting, boy do I have news for you.

In conjunction with Valentine’s Day, Tourism Tasmania is running a contest for you, yes YOU, to submit your words on things you love. On the theme of ‘Express Your Love,’ tell the folks at TourismTasmania about the object of your affection and move them. If you make them laugh, or shed a few tears, you may be well on your way toTasmania for, wait for it, a whopping 8 days and 6 nights! Better yet, you get to bring that special someone or a pal with you. Aren’t you glad you read this post now? Lucky you.

I know you want the full down low now and I shall not keep you waiting any further. Head over to the LOVE! Tasmania microsite now to get all the details you need and start writing and sharing TODAY!

PS. The banner on the right or pictured below [yep, just roll your eyes over a tad rightwards] also takes you to the microsite. Good luck folks!!!

Commit-whaaaaat?

commitaphobe. someone who is afraid to commit to a relationship.

Recently it seems, I’ve been placed in a position of reflection. Every incident, every question, every action, seems to point that-a-way and I can’t say I know the answer myself. This is not a post that will present an answer. This is not a post that will lead to an answer. This is a post that will serve as a marker, for the day that I will arrive at the answers.

Incidents. Let’s just do 5. I started with 10 and that’s just too much to share. Too personal.:

1 encounter with a girl.

2 incidents of infidelity which will be taken to the grave.

3 direct queries on whether I have issues with commitment.

4 closing years of singlehood.

more than 5 queries on singlehood status since the start of 2012. All of ’em guys, all of ’em with the same leading question and comment. Why? I don’t believe it. Well believe it.

Questions so tough I had no words for:

#1: What would you do to express interest in your target? In my head: Nothing. I’ve never had to do anything.

#2: What would you do if you fell in love and really wanted to keep your interest interested? In my head: Nothing. Do I really need to do anything? If you have to try, its over right?

You have never been in love – First of the Gang to Die, Morrissey

It almost seems like the universe is conspiring to make me dig deep and reflect. Every incident, every question, a probe for me to answer to no one but myself but I’ve been flirting with it. A light step here, a balancing act there and the tight rope walk remains intact. Now, that tight rope is threatening to unravel, the challenge immense but I haven’t a solution, an alternative nor an answer. I admit, I may not be ready to face the symphony just yet and when I chanced upon this post by someone I once had an encounter with, I wonder, when I’ll be ready to face my orchestra.

I lift and give in full credit to the author whom I can’t link here.

Let’s Play A Game

I heard you’re a player.

So let’s play a game.

Let’s sweet talk. Let’s play fight. Let’s talk 24/7.

Let’s tell each other good morning & good night every day.

Let’s take walks together.

Let’s give each other nicknames.

Let’s hang out with each other’s friends.

Let’s go on dates.

Let’s talk on the phone all night long.

Let’s hold each other.

Let’s kiss & hug.

And whoever falls in love first?
Loses.

Beautiful. Poignant. Real. Have you chanced upon a piece not penned by your hand but speaks to your very soul? I found it in this piece of writing. Better yet, it pays tribute to my all time favorite flick – Saw. What can I say. It’s time for some reflection.

Got Belly?

Its been a long hiatus and its totally my fault. In the new year, I’ve signed a new gym membership, something I’ve never done in my life. I may actually pen a post on gym shopping in Singapore and how I arrived at my selection – Pure Fitness. In this new year, I’ve also inked a new contract, will be taking on a new role, resigning from another and aiming to be a better version of me. Think vs 2.0, as with software updates and such.

This CNY, I’ve eaten one pineapple tart too many and reconnect with relatives I thought I’d never give another shot. How much did you consume and burn this CNY, I sure am hoping you didn’t grow a belly like mine.

PS. I’m not pregnant. Not even close. I promise to keep writing and keep exercising so I can continue stuffing my face.

Ho Ho Ho, Under the Mistletoe

Christmas has and will always be my favorite holiday. That sentimental value attached to a day of celebration and thanks. This blog is my home and I promised I’d be home for Christmas. So if you’ve been reading, thank you for being a part of my life. I’ve had a blessed 2011, may 2012 bring with it greater blessings.

Here’s wishing one and all a joyful Christmas filled with warmth and laughter, may the new year bring you happiness.

I promise the hiatus will be over soon. The explorations have continued and the need to record is greater than ever. With love.