Monday, January 25, 2016

New Year New Goals

I have not really blogged about any new year resolutions. I cannot deny last year, 2015 was one of the best years of my life. 2014 was a year of downs but I guess that didn't put my flame off, things really turned around last year and I am so blessed in countless ways for the opportunities I have taken and decisions I have made.

Making a recap on 2015, I feel really glad that what took place did happen because it is one year I would have lived the same way if I were to be given another option. 

  • In the beginning of 2015, I was newly single and it was truly tough to get through all the memories of the past. I was still in Singapore and many places reminded me of the relationship I had. I was so broken but I tried the best I could to gather my courage and strength to continue focusing on the other aspects and people in my life. I did become closer to my friends, live an even healthier life with evening jogs almost every day and super focused on my studies. 
  • In March, I was super busy with my examinations of my first year in Singapore. I spent many week days and weekends in the libraries around Singapore. My study buddies, Mika and JV really helped me through out these periods. We spent most of our days together and I saw Mika every other day until her boyfriend probably suspected that we're gay! Hahaha, good times nevertheless. We would mug in the library for about 8 hours and then treat ourselves to a good meal at the restaurants nearby the MRT stations.
  • In April, I was super busy with the exams period and obviously my routine of studying was even more rampant. I spent a lot of time with my roomie too because I knew I would be changing school by the end quarter of the year and I would miss her. I ran a lot still to Botanic Gardens even cos I love the nature and taking a walk/ stroll in a park helps relief my head. I love beaches, trees, greens, waterfalls, mountains, wtv. 
  • In May, exams were here and it was a battlefield. Of course the routine of studying can't stop but I also spent a lot of money re-fueling up with good food around Singapore. The food trips were super fun obviously! 
  • In June, I left for my volunteer and trip in the Europe. It was one of the best experiences in my life and I wouldn't trade that for anything else. It was tiring in many ways, unfamiliar and tough but as the saying goes, 'when the going gets tough, the tough gets going'. I became more alert and cautious travelling alone. I am so so grateful for the friendships, and life experiences I could tell my grandchildren next time. I also reached my target of travelling to 20 cities this year which 12 of them were in the Europe.
  • In Aug, I came back to Malaysia and was diagnosed with a growth in my chest. It was sudden, nerve-wrecking and negative altogether. But after getting tested, there wasn't a more relief person than me in the world. I was advised to remove the lump to prevent future complications. I had 4 months to prepare for the surgery mentally and I believe it did help. 
  • End of Aug, I flew to Hong Kong to begin another chapter of my life. This is one decision I made for myself and my education experience. I was not happy about the learning experience in SIM at all and made this change. It was a complicated decision in timing wise especially. The positive side is I haven't turned back since. I am super satisfied with my productivity in HK and I think the vast opportunities really pushed me beyond my comfort zone.
  • In Dec, I was thankful I survived university semester 1 in HK and cannot be more glad that it all ended on quite a bright note. In between, i received an award for my uni results in Singapore, tried out dragon boat team training, joined a council with other Malaysians in Hong Kong, explored many food places in Hong Kong, made some local friends who brought me to local events, received training from the case analysis team in school and some fun here and there. I think I made the best choice going to Hong Kong for university. 
  • Somewhere in the same year, I also began again with him. I am happy my loved ones who matters most to me supported me through this in different ways, especially my parents. I want the best for us and I know it will not be easy, because nothing is. 
I had a really productive year in 2015 and I want to make this another best! I have 5 resolutions this year and they are :
  1. Productive days - I should do something no matter what it is. I want to be literate in Mandarin because I am Chinese. 
  2. Healthier Lifestyle - I want to be eating more veggies and fruits in university and I wanna run at least 4 times a week no matter how hectic/ busy the schedule is.
  3. Do internships - Learn from scratch to pursue the ambitions I wish to achieve in a firm
  4. Maintain my relationships better by constantly keeping in touch, making time and going to visit.
  5. Travel even more and (hopefully) get my scuba diving license! 
Happy (belated) New Year, guys! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Macau Trip 2015

I made a trip down to Macau with my university hall buddies back in December when our tormenting finals finally ended. Having been to Hong Kong as a tourist for many times since I was little til now, it is really quite peculiar I have never been to Macau before. So this was my first trip ever to Macau spontaneously planned with my cutesie uni hall mates haha.

We planned it quite impromptu because it started with me wanting to bungee jump for my 21st birthday. Our plan was to go there to let me jump and then maybe explore a little bit of this entertainment city. I have honestly heard a lot about Macau, it actually feels like I have been there you know? but still curious as a child when I first arrived there.

We took the Turbojet down from Hong Kong and there, we're overseas after an hour of boat ride... really close to Hong Kong. Upon arrival, we headed to the city streets of Macau where most tourist attractions located at as well as the famous food outlets at the city square. We walked around exploring while trying to take hipster photos (which obviously failed), visited some really mainstream tourist places (which I get excited over because it is my first time) and tried some local delicacies. Eating is probably one of the most fav things I do.

After exploring the quaint city with several really congested touristy streets surrounded with really quiet ones, we headed to another tourist trap which is the Macau Tower for my bungee jumping plan which is postponed. We went to Macau tower and decided to do the Skywalk which seems like nothing at first cos what is walking compared to jumping off the tower? Nevertheless, it wasn't a useless experience at all. It was equally nerve wrecking because we were instructed to do tasks by the guide provided by AJ Hackett. The entire atmosphere on top of the tower was fun because the staff were really really accommodative. They made every stunt looks so easy and they demostrated them to one by one to us. I really liked the attitude and positive vibes of the staff members.

On top of Macau Tower, we walked around the circumference of the tower while doing crazy stunts like sliding with the harness, balancing on the edge of the tower and lying on the harness to portray heroic postures etc. Tons of photos were taken by the guide for us as a souvenir. The cold weather was not very kind because it made it very difficult for us to open our eyes due to strong winds. Other than that, I think the view was really breathtaking. The difference of seeing it inside and outside of the glass shield really spectacular. I am glad I did skywalk as a warm-up before bungee jump because it was like a teaser to prepare myself mentally. One Korean guy walking with our team who just jumped told us it was much harder to walk after jumping because he recognize the free fall feeling vividly.

Our 2 days trip ended with a really good karaoke and drinking game session with my girls. I really had so much fun eventhough ended up quite tired after the trip. That was a really good trip down to Macau and I look forward to going to Macau again in the near future.

Daytime view from Macau tower

Sunset at Macau Tower

Doge's Palace in Venice (replica)

Must try tarts from Lord Stow bakery

taileiloikei Pork chop bun

with the peak of the tower

Rachel was a brave soul, I'm proud of her.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Twenty 1

Twenty first, 
That was less scary than I thought it would have been. There seems to be no different becoming adult maybe because I have been adult since i started living alone la. Even though it didn't seem like a great deal to me turning 21, I guess I have done too much growing up this year. It's a good kind of different I think because I feel like I have achieved quite many things this year. Reflecting on the year, there are several things I am really glad i did and wish to further improve myself in those areas. This is only the beginning.

1. Finished my first year of degree in Singapore and left the school. Got  4.0 GPA which I kind of expected because I studied almost every day all the time HA-HA. I was awarded 100 pounds from the University of London for being a nerd for a year, hard work paid off? 

2. Embarked on an overseas volunteer experience alone where I was exposed to many different encounters and tested myself mentally in many ways. I have blogged about my teaching experience before but travelling alone was quite challenging given that I am quite forgetful at times (I lost count of the no of times I thought I lost something). I started realizing the importance of being cautious and learned that the being nice policy does not work all the time. I also learned other things like people politics in the most unexpected form and learned to plan trips all by myself. Despite the adventurous side of me, I really crashed at one point of time when I was tired and all I wanted was to go home. I never regret though, I think travelling and trying out new things are the best experiences anyone can ever have. There, I visited 12 cities and it was mesmerizing.

3. After being home for several weeks in Europe, I was to leave to Hong Kong Ust for my university journey. As I have mentioned before, the learning curve was super steep and I thoroughly enjoyed myself tho tough. It's disheartening because I got an 89 and it's a B (and obviously can't stop being sore about it). The intense competition really pushed me to the edge to perform. I didn't have a very stressful semester, in fact pretty relaxed. I guess I need to study harder in the coming ones. I made some new friends that spice up my university life and a handful of really awesome ones that make UST feel like a second home to me. 

4. I also visited Macau with my good friends from university. I will blog about the trip soon and conquered the Skywalk around the Macau tower. It was really cold and nerve-wrecking at first but I think the guide did a great job making it look easy. Nevertheless, bucket list checked.

I realized that experiences are the most valuable things we can ever get in life. I want to graduate university, secure a great job, travel first thing, have my own family, raise amazing children, start a meaningful business, and write a story. If everything goes according to my flow, I'll die happy LOLOL. Besides achieving great things, I really want to spend time with my family members and loved ones, they keep me going. 


Pictures from a surprise party mum has planned for me when I went back for reading week. The people I care about the most are all there besides my bestest friends. I was really thankful and happy because I truly enjoyed myself that night. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

End of Semester 1 in HKUST

As I am typing this away, it still hasn't really sank in that this is the last day of my first semester in HKUST and awaiting reading week that is starting tomorrow. Time passed too fast here, I barely had the time to breath or to blog haha what a comparison. But honestly, I guess I'm Asian enough, inside and out, to enjoy the hectic schedule and the super duper busy days. It just keeps me going and it makes the break much more valuable cos it's like finally-I-have-a-break kind of feeling.

Honestly, my first semester here has been way better than I would have expected it to be. I mentally prepared myself to not have expectations because of my past experience in Singapore. I really enjoyed each and every day here despite the fact that it can get extremely stressful. I don't know how my grades would turn out but I hope I get what I aim for. I have spent many days on campus in the library but I have also spent a fair share of time going out with my family and friends who visited me. I went out more than how much an average UST student 'should'. There is a bench mark as to how much we go out because of the stress in the school and the location of the school which is way too far from the city.

I have had my downs where I felt like everything was way too demanding. Like when I only slept 3 hours for the entire week because we were working on a case competition and on days when I had several deadlines in a row coupled with assessments which seemed like near death at that point in time. You know, when they say, "this too shall pass", I have to strongly agree because as hard as anything seemed, it eventually passes. (regardless the outcome).

I enjoy being in this competitive zone where everyone seems to be better than me, who is so all-rounded and capable and prepared for the real working world. It is intimidating but also, really contributes to my learning curve. I know I can start a conversation with a random stranger and I would learn something. I know I can ask my seniors for help and they would give me truthful advice. There is so many avenues I can obtain and so many opportunities offered here. I am happy to be in UST although it occasionally crosses my mind that I could have been studying in the UK now and travelling in Christmas and other breaks. Hmmm but I guess every country has its own pros and cons, and we will never be satisfied with what we have.

I don't regret a single bit transferring here and I am really happy I am saying this. I really appreciate the experience here, in the Dragon boat training team (for 3 months only), in the ICMS Hong Kong and in the school's Case Analysis Team. Everything has been really fulfilling so far. Apart from academics, I really enjoy going around Hong Kong exploring good food places with friends. It's expensive but really satisfying too. I spend almost all my money on food and I cannot deny that I don't really mind. (I am not supposed to sound like a brat here). I have tried really cute places and really shabby places and I have to say hong Kong indeed, is a paradise for food. I think it lacks spicy food but that's why Malaysia is the other food haven haha!

It has been a great semester overall and I'm thankful for everything and everyone.
Now it's time to slog hard for finals before going home (although I'm already going home for reading week hehe)

Thanks for the great semester, Ust! :)

Friday, November 13, 2015

EU Log 3 : Salzburg, Austria

I'm (very) slowly documenting my journey in the Europe so here's the second city we arrived at after Munich, Germany. This is Salzburg, Austria where music was claimed to have borne here. It's one of my most favourite cities of the 12 I have visited. It's a really tranquil town equipped with sufficient 'city things' like cinemas, some tourist attraction but not extremely saturated. What I really love about this city is how the people are so so cultured. Music and dances are appreciated and known by so many people and people here actually go to operas, musical shows and folk dances shows for dates/ entertainment. Life is just so much more meaningful because it's unlike Asia where most entertainment are created on visualizers, we lack live shows. Youths also play music by the river and sing together as a 'hang out' activity. I wish I had those chances while growing up. Different cities really have different identities and I love the one Salzburg had to offer.
Mozart statue because he was born in Salzburg. We also visited his apartment which was a stone's throwaway from this statue. The rest of this square is surrounded by museums, music shops, cafes and the Salzburg palace some 15 mins walk down from this monument. Kind of like the core of the city square.

While walking to take the cable car up the fortress, we walked into the most beautiful cemetery I have ever seen in my life. it is really the kind you wouldn't mind staying at, not even a slight feeling of eerieness. It was beautiful and peaceful. 

These horse carrying carts are really a common form of transportation in Salzburg (and several parts of EU) because they attract tourist. The carts are huge and can fit up to 5 people. However, they are extremely expensive, like 50 euros to get you from one place to another. It really rips your pockets off but of course looks beautiful. My friends and I didn't opt to sit on this because we;re poor and the horses were abused. Standing next to them, I could hear them panting. It was as if they were at the verge of collapse. It's pitiful but many tourists still ride on them.

How one side of the square looked like. 

The Salzburg museum view from above of the fortress. 

Does this resemble one of the 'villes' or the ones in the Sims?

A very failed picture taken because nothing can be seen besides the mist behind HAHA

I guess this is a really nice picture of us taken together.

Beautiful or what?

Salzburg put together in one picture.

the fortress we climbed up to

The iconic fountain in front of the government building. Crazy picturesque

Saving money from all the transportation and food, we splurged on the Sound of Music show because this musical started here. It was fun, the singers were talented but we only had the backseats because we were too stingy to spend on the dinner tickets.
Chicken fillet with potato cakes. (traditional Austrian)

Homes by the river.

This is my most favourite place to go of all the 12 cities I have visited. Untersberg. Although I did not have good shoes, I ripped my pair of Toms walking up the slopes but it was totally worth it. The scenery was like heaven. My friend described the layers of clouds as a bed of marshmallows and I agree. The view was indescribable and totally took our breathaway. My friends say to return in 5 years time. I honestly really look forward!!  To get up here, we travelled the cable car that went through 2 layers of clouds. It was close to heaven LOL

That is the Alps we're looking at

The view at the peak

The trail up to the peak took us almost 1 hour.

Tips for Austria :
- Take bus because it is really convenient
- Stay at the AirBnb opposite Rose Inn or there of because they have beautiful and super clean rooms even with a pantry for an extremely reasonable cost!
- Salzburg is better than Hallstatt
- Food wise, not very good but you can save by eating gyros/ pizza for some meals!

Salzburg, you were beautiful.