what a great place we all go to share in this world.
Being in Scotland,
Two days after my graduation day from The University of West of England, I have proven myself that I am not a fully grown person yet by just being a bachelor degree holder, because I missed a flight to Edinburgh from Bristol.
Well, some people do miss their flights, but, who would ever drive 10 hours from Bristol to Inverness? Gosh, you got to believe me, the drive was awesome! Never been on my list before, but now, I would do it somedays.
Scotland was undeniably beautiful. Everything was touched by the light gently. It feels like, God had taken sometimes to place one thing next to another carefully to look just simply delightful.
I was not driving on the way to Inverness, dad did his job really well. Beyond the car's window, all of it makes me think what a great place we all go to share in this world.
Yes we all have that wish lists, that favourite places to be, that we rush to fulfil, or speed up to get to. However, sometimes, it is just nice to take thing slow. See thing by its edges, not by bigger pictures. Relax and take a drive.
Some people said, the most memorable moment is not when you arrived at the destination, but on the road. Could not agree more, really. All the pitstops for fuel, for snacks, for beautiful views, for just sitting an staring at the horizon, and for the talks.
Same goes to life, relax, do not sprint to your destination. We might begin to reevaluate who is driving ourselves? We or the society? What might fit ourselves best? Take some times out of your routines with your best buddies, call your siblings, read your favourite books, celebrate more birthdays. All that helps us decide what we choose in the end of the road.
Location: Urquhart Castle Inverness, Loch Ness, Nairn Inverness, Arthur's Seat Edinburgh, and some pitstops on the way to Scotland.
Batik Dress: Mango
I don't want to be the bravest in the small cage, but one of the happiest under the sun.
Being in England,
England, oh England. My head had been filled by so many words about England from some friends. They said people would be colder, clubs are crazy, Summer would be like another warmer winter, you would learn the manner, Europe is an inch away, can't recall of those.
However, I came to have the most of my college years. At a second, I forgot about those words and started to take in everything new. Take it all in from the way I see it. Those days, Young, intrigued, and carefree. Did I like it? Maybe, maybe a little more than loving it!
Well, my life is always on the move. As I am standing on a different timezone, I have realised that part of me craves those colder nights, rainy mornings, windy and gloomy England.
Then I carried my backpack, the bigger luggages, and myself. Staring beyond the plane's window, blankly, thinking about how things have changed. Of how being in England has changed me.
1. Sorry, Excuse me, Thank you.
Been spending my life in South East Asia, we were taught about manners since we were born, and we were taught really well. Do we practice it? Sometimes. Then, England happens, and turned all the southeasterns to be really really polite, right guys?
British people say sorry for everything, but we got to agree, those three words work just like magic to make other's day a bit better. Now in China, I have become so awkward saying "对不起". Oh well, different place works differently, and those three words are still dear to me.
2. Becoming 'Place of Origin Liar'
"Great, and where about you're from?" One day I could say Thailand, the other, Philippines, could be Vietnamese. Please don't judge me, or is it a crime?
England, especially London, much or less could be consider as the centre of the world. I lived in Bristol, which is one of the media city in England, which makes it possible to meet and make friends with people from around the globe.
I have spent some times sitting at the coffee shop, observing the differences that are visible to your eyes. Nothing, just would like know how each countries would treat you if you are from the country that you pick to act to be.
3. Visit Museum, everywhere I go.
Most of museum in Asia requires entrance fee, but not for most in Europe. Even so, I would never miss a 'tour du Musée'. It is form of respect and understanding when visiting another country. It would be useful when you hook up with locals later on, thank me later! ;)
4. Walk, near and far, here and there.
I always love walking, even if it's hot, raining, whatever. If you live in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor area, you would notice the distance from Asia Cafe to Suriamas, or Taylor's University to Suriamas. North Jakartans would know what would be the best way to get to PRJ from Danau Sunter, well, walk for me.
Londoners would know the distance from South Kensington to Hyde Park. Well, in short, I love those hours spent for walking, and I fell in love even more when I lived in Bristol. Walking habit has grown stronger in me.
5. I would not mind being poor.
I know, I am sorry dad, I am sorry mom, and my bros, I would be okay, to be the only poor Asian. But, I would repeat, I would not mind being poor as long as I am well traveled and learning languages each and everyday.
I have met lots of people from the extreme climates, from the places where famous landmarks stand, from where dances originated from, and those from places I have never heard before. Those people I have met along the way made me think how I am lacking in self fulfilment.
That itch to be in different places, or to visit acquaintances. Then I ask myself, and got the answer, being rich would never fulfil me. I don't want to be the bravest in the small cage, but one of the happiest under the sun.
So that is how such a short time changed me. Hope everyone have life changing experience like I did too :)
P.S: Thank you Alberto TePe, I have visited Liverpool for you. The video would be uploaded for you to see it, and wish to see you soon wise friend of mine :)
Location: Moors National Park York, Cayton Bay York, Robin Hood's Bay York, Whitby Abbey York, York Minster, Albert Dock Liverpool, Royal Liver Building Liverpool
Long Dress: New Look UK, Black Cardigan: Zara UK, Black Mini Dress: Zara TRF, Green Sweater: Ralph Laurent France, Blue Bag: Pedro
Here, life itself, is privilege, every single day.
Being in Guangzhou,
Today is the official day I have been 1 month in China, I have been to Beijing and Shanghai before, and so I did visit Shenzhen, and quite numbers of places in China as well. China is inarguably beautiful, diverse landscape, with touch of traditional approach. It must be one of your wish-lists, at least top 10.
This time, I am taking a mandarin course, have not decided for how long is it going to be, but, language, why not? (: I would never know how long I could carry on so far.
I have been told about 4 capitals that hold the power in China, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Thus that makes everyone from each and every part of China cramping the city for a little luck.
Not so many people know that I tend to get nervous in the middle of the crowds, and thinking about the Metro, the Restaurant, well, basically every spot in China, would be a nightmare for me. We've been made to realise of how life would be hard here.
The ugly truth I was told was China would not allow second child to be born in the family, except, if the father and the mother were also the only child in their own family. Therefore, the second child born would not have the privilege to go to school, and would not be given an ID. Unless, the family could pay for those birthrights.
I used to take life as what it is, and to be honest, we all like to claim our rights. However, here, life itself, is privilege, every single day. It brings my eyes to tears. Moreover, you could feel the competition occurs from 5 to 6. Dawn to Dusk.
Ariel and me have been wandering Guangzhou pretty much every day, and there was not even one spot without the crowds. We visited, Beijing lu for culinary, Cycled to Shamian Island, great place for coffee and teatime.
Then we visited everywhere else by accident, because only us who try so hard to practice our limited mandarin to approach passerby and ask for direction. And yes. We will keep doing that!
Guangzhou is steamy hot now, and filled with so many people. But then, when we found places with less people. All that, Moment of relieved. You know, when you are tired after a long day and took a hot shower. That happen to us everyday here. Feels like the best joy. Really looking forward for more adventure to come in China.
My portraits are taken by: Ariel Ezra Bezaliel (www.arielbezaliel.com)
Location: Shamian Island, Sunyat Sen University, Cathedral of Sacred Heart (Yi De Lu), Market beside the Cathedral, Canton Tower, Tai Koo Hui Mall
Red Dress: L.K Bennet London, White and purple striped top: Zara, Black Skirt: Zara, Black Top: Zara, Red and White Checker dress: Monki, Blue bag: Pedro
and in the end, we prefer to spend summer unlike any other 'first timer Greece'.
Being in Greece,
Too many words to describe how I am fond of this place. It has left me regret to buy two ways ticket, have always been hoping for 'One Stop Greece'.
One afternoon, I was overwhelmed by the heat of Greek Summer, the other night had me flying high, stayed up to see the sunrise, and another second, I am in Ios. Ios, yes, tiny island which my best friend, Justin, and I agree, life would be perfect to be spent here.
Ios was really something. We only had 5 days to make the best of our summer. We insisted on going to Santorini at first, and in the end, we prefer to spend summer unlike any other 'first timer Greece'. Uncle Makis (coolest Uncle and Professor ever) suggested Ios, and bless be with us, to had listened to the local. Efcharisto, Thank you so much Uncle DR Makis! You are the best.
Justin and I, we are two minds never sleep. That what makes us best friend and Bros after all. We consider so many things, that sometimes other thinks that it would not be necessary to worry about. Every tiny detail of words spoken, and behaviour, and predict of what is coming next after one another. Scary isn't it?
However, being in Ios, everything just stumbled apart. We were not once we were. I know what you're thinking, no, we do not do drugs.
It was amazing how things works. How do you feel when you are some kind of given a new life? Would you relive your old life? or just carry on with the new one, seeing new faces and looking for new goals? That was exactly what we felt, is it the same with you Justin?
7 Hours on the deck of the ship, talking about everything, sun was slowly setting. Dance the whole night through. Tongue tied with strangers. Stay up again till sunrise. Swim on the beach, climb the hill for longest walk for sunset again. Everyday, repeat. It feels so real, body never aches, minds never tires, soul never gets old.
Moreover, seems like everybody knows everyone in these island, how to not feel like you are belong here when everyone treats you like their neighbour?
It was crazy how moment could change the way you were, or maybe how you could decide when are you going to leave it all behind. Things work in ways that we do not know, while we are counting the unseen. Let go, never choose otherwise, and have a little fun.
My portraits are taken by: Justin Ong Jia Jin ( https://instagram.com/justinojj/ )
Location: Athens (Akropolis, Plaka, Parthenon), Ios (Chora, Mylopotas Beach, Uncle DR Makis Villa)
Black Cutout Top: Zara, Blue Dress: Zara, Blue and White Stripes Tanktop: Primark, Black Skirt: Zara
Seems like there is at least an hour where one soul belong
To be in Portugal,
Crazy little corner in the other part of the world. Seems like there is at least an hour where one soul belong. Festa, Fado, vinho, celebrando a vida. Eyes were wide open, and suddenly every corner has a story to be told, that we would not want to miss.
I only had a chance to visit Lisbon and Cascais, the nearest beach town from Lisbon. Walking uphill and downhill blown away by the view from the peaks of the seven hills, face dusted by the wind from the atlantic ocean.
Something beautiful everyday makes us happy, isn't it? It is like you find yourself waking up and smiling, so effortless to be contented. Why can they enjoy life so much? Then, it got me thinking. Why can't we carry on being happy? Even if the vacation's over and now we are back on our 10 to 5 stuffs back home?
We've always been jealous on the pictures on social media feeds, whining about needing a break. Well, yes, I do too. Admiring all the places I have never been, wishing I could be lucky enough to switch life. All that 'iIFs' stuffs you can think of too. No, there's nothing wrong with it.
However, to be completely happy, we got to discover a place that makes us happy the most. It could be the town you grew up, could be the your graduation day, anything. A little daydream won't hurt. Close your eyes for seconds, and that, would give you, and me, strength to lift ourselves up.
P.S: Thank you so much Prildy Neo, you have been an awesome guide for a careless and unplanned person like me. Good luck on your study always, and we got to travel again.
Location: Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Torre de Belem, Alfama, Arco de Rua Augusta, Cascais, Boca do Inferno
Denim Jacket: H&M Malaysia, Black Skirt & Black Top: Zara UK, White Dress: Primark UK
I gave up so many things that are not necessary, not because I am not strong enough.
Hey Everybody, I am back from the lazy couch I called 'no inspiration weeks'. Here is my post from The Netherlands. More are coming from my Solo in Europe.
There are few things that makes you smiles, you keep in your mind, playing on repeat. The cure of any kind of sickness you feel. That loved ones, so far away, but they will always be the first ones who are real when you closes your eyes before the 'a.m' hours. Then, there comes few things that you are grateful of but you might have never spoken of them.
Yes, I love my dad. We are two identical souls live in separate bodies. I never want to win anything over you dad, nor I would like to be less wiser than you. You are the one that I look up to. You forgive more people than I do. Thus, that makes you a better person than I am. Sorry that I do solo again, I could not help it, wondering by myself is somewhat a drug for me. I want to see, experience, and learn more things before I can call a city as my final destination to settle down.
Anyway, I decided to pack 6 tops, 3 pants, and 2 dresses, and wandered solo again, for 2 weeks. To the Netherlands, to meet a lovely cousin of mine. Next to Lisbon, because of the charm of the city, and met a new amazing friend. Then, final stop, Greece, to meet my best friend.
First stop in the Netherlands was Eindhoven, that is where my cousin lives. Next, day trip to Antwerp, Belgium, and Amsterdam, Den Haag, and Zaan Dam. We have spent amazing times and catch ups. Thank you so much ce Finnie to show me the best of the Netherlands and Belgium, and for those afternoon we exchanged stories of how we are grateful of our moments and of those people in our lives.
Solo, You find yourself silent, because you are the observer. Your eyes stare to every directions, not because you are confused. You carry your loads (not only luggages) everywhere, and find that it was not such a trouble, instead, it gets lighter and lighter.
Honestly, when I walk solo, I began to realise of how much loads that I carried, and are not even essential to my life. I gave up so many things that are not necessary, not because I am not strong enough. But hey, giving up things do not always mean that you are losing. the act itself simplifies your life and broader your mind.
Why don't we too? Complement our globe's neighbours like those puzzles we'd like to play when we were kids?
Honestly I used to dedicate thirty minutes of my time to stare at the world map on the wall. Each and everyday I slowly memorise the shapes and the borders of the countries. It is funny how those shapes are formed, just like pieces of a giant puzzle being placed along one another.
However, puzzles meant to complement each other, to be solved, not just to please one's eyes. Why don't we too? Complement our globe's neighbours like those puzzles we'd like to play when we were kids?
Travellers out there, I have not walked more miles, have not heard more languages, and have not shook more hands than most of you. And again, we are young at hearts, and brave in souls. We cross borders. To see beauty, to learn language, to reach fulfilment.
For me, the best thing I have learned as a solo traveler, beside than being fully responsible of yourself, is understanding. It is not how much you want others to understand what you say, but about how much you want to understand every single person you speak to, despite how foreign they are to you.
We are not that different after all, aren't we?
There is no language barriers if we listen more.
Maybe I am the luckiest person to have met great people and photographers in Istanbul. I have been brought to places and been introduced to ways that open my eyes. To explore the city with diverse minds brings out certain feeling I have never experienced before.
Perhaps, If we never listen, we could never understand, and life would be just a plain boring we and complaints.
My Portrait pictures are taken by Süleyman Alantug , Halide Ekşioğlu , and Hamditatar
Location: Galata Kulesi, Beyoğlu, Istiklal Caddesi, Port Eminönü.
Stripped Dress: Zara TRF, Jacket: Zara Boys, Boots: River Island
It is petrifying to think that, someday, things might strike you, take the things that you are really proud of, and change it with fear.
Before the time comes, 20 something out there, fulfil your teenage desire lists.
There is always that thing that scares you the most. Failure, put to shame, dying, you name it. There are also things that you hold dear, those that make you believe you are fulfilled. We all have that hunger to fulfilment, we will never rest and aim less. More is always better, isn't it?
I was told last year, that day would come to anyone. The day when you find yourself sitting all alone staring at your feet with your brunch getting cold, thinking about what's next? It is petrifying to think that, someday, things might strike you, take the things that you are really proud of, and change it with fear. By then, we are nothing but a baby trying to make his first step. Painfully start clean.
Maybe all you can hear is that battle inside your mind, or maybe you are hopelessly wondering if you could have undone some decision in the past, things might go the other way around. Yes, it might, but unfortunately, trials will eventually strike, maybe in different level.
20 something out there, here comes our first battle.
to choose whom to listen,
to be wise to start from the bottom.
Before the time comes, 20 something out there, fulfil your teenage desire lists.
Knowing that most of the things are temporary anyway, fulfil your desire.
Experience is forever while other things come and go.
I have fulfil one of my teenage dream.
To see some part of the world only by my eyes.
How was it? I LOVE IT!
Excitement, Frightened, Astonishment, Friendship, and most of all,
You are being introduced to sincerely true version of you.
My Portrait pictures are taken by Süleyman Alantug ( Instagram: @salantug )
Location: Ortaköy Mosque, Galata Bridge, Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet, Port Eminönü, Suleymaniye Mosque
Dress: Zara TRF, Jacket: Zara Boys, Boots: River Island
For me, if I love someone, I would take them everywhere, the place I stood before. Likewise, I will follow them to those places the always wanted to be.
I literally screamed when the flight touched down London, took me back from Morocco, those days thrilled me beyond words could tell of. They asked me how was Morocco, thousand words came out from my mouth trying to get them clicked with my description of how the whole journey was, (caution, I'm still doing it now) yet, I can't find the right words.
Yes, this place has soul. But no, beyond that. Yes this place is kind of sacred, but no, I would not choose that word. It is crazy, being in Morocco left me a really deep impression.
No one would ever made understood how it feels like to sip berber whisky (Moroccan sweet mint tea) by the desert as the sun is setting behind the mountain, or to wake up to Tinariwen (Desert song), or those mid-days climbing stacked of stairs trying to find where each and every places located in Fez, or to hop on night local buses.
Two nights before the flight to Marrakech, I listened to Oum song with title 'Soul of Morocco', clearly I hadn't speak the 'language', as I was confused of the song's description. And here I am, perceived every beats of the song. I see what she chant, and feel what she has put all together on the song.
I guess, word itself won't make others agree. We humans, we may deny what we hear and see, because we want to, and we need to, most of the time. For me, if I love someone, I would take them everywhere, the place I stood before. Likewise, I will follow them to those places the always wanted to be.
Growing like weed, free and be pulled out fast.
I see butterfly flew before my eyes, new season has come.
all the winter reads to get me wise, or am I still stuck up and dump?
Old playlist burst out loud, young souls bare skins.
Driving full speed, lost in lust.
Growing like weed, free and be pulled out fast.
Honey, we are worthless.
I can't barely see, I'm sailing nowhere.
You won't let met flee, we're suffocated breathing the same air.
Keep coming and longing, believing we're perfect fit.
I woke up on the shirt you wore, you ran with my lipstick stain.
Hope I misheard them calling whore, stripped in pouring rain.
You've spent years, in searching for someone like me.
You give up and shed tears, call my name at the balcony.
Some time in March,
A butterfly flew before my eyes,
I fall back again,
Same, old, mistake...
Photographer: Ong Yi Sheng (www.oysays.com)
Location: Southville, Bristol