Life,  Travel

This Christmas… Dare to Dream and Repurpose Your Life

On November 30, 2017, I made a wish: All I wanted for Christmas is fantastic trips next year.

2018 is the year when I totally surrender to my wanderlust. What’s supposed to be two trips suddenly morphed into six trips. I totally agree if you think I’m crazy, yet I love it.

I saved for a year to realise my 15 days Cuba trip, failed to step my foot in Holy Land Israel thus went to Spain + Portugal half-heartedly. The beauty of Chiang Mai +Chiang Rai captured my heart, so did Da Nang + Hội An, Toraja and Beijing – so I booked the trips in a snap of fingers.

February 2018 – Chiang Mai + Chiang Rai (Thailand)

The 3D Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple), Chiang Rai, Thailand
The Long Neck Village, Chiang Rai, Thailand

April 2018 – Cuba

A rainy morning in Trinidad
With Mr.Che Guevara
The cigars in Viñales are nicotine-free

June 2018 – Israel & Jordan cancelled because of the tension between Indonesia and Israel

Oh, the dramas.

I went to the Israeli embassy in Singapore because there’s none in Malaysia or Indonesia. To my surprise, the officer asked for a local guarantor and his complete details. Even my tour didn’t know about this requirement because they just launched the destination!

Panicked, a friend finally introduced me to his Israeli friend who’s an angel, willing to be my guarantor. Alas, two weeks before the departure, there’s a tension between Israel and Indonesia. Indonesia cancelled visas for Israelis and so did Israel. Wait – what about my visa application??!!

The news said the Israel government would still grant visa until my departure date (super coincidence), however, mine was rejected for don’t-know-why. AND THEN… the morning of my supposed departure day. The Israeli embassy said my visa is approved and asked me to collect it.

I cried on the bus, on the way to the office… I’ve unpacked the baggage the night before. After all my efforts and a helping hand, it had to come to this. There’s no enough time to pack again, go to Singapore then airport.

Au revoir, Israel… see you one day.

June 2018 – Da Nang + Hội An + Ba Na Hills (Vietnam)

The bamboo-basket boat ride
Hội An is an Ancient Town where you can find a mix of eras of Chinese, French and Japanese
Besides of the famous Golden Bridge, you can find beautiful flowers in Ba Na Hills (Da Nang)

September 2018 – Spain + Portugal

When in Obidos, remember to try ginja (cherry liquor drink in mini chocolate cup)
Caramelised almond, mmm…
The colourful houses in Porto remind me of  Nyhaven, Copenhagen
Barrio Alto, a beautiful bohemian city where you can dine and listen to Fado music

September 2018 – Toraja (Indonesia)

The traditional houses of Torajan tribe
The famous burial ceremony in Toraja… Come here in August to see ‘the walking dead’

Must do – visit Tanjung Bira Beach and stay in a bungalow

October 2018 – Beijing (China)

The Great Wall
The Marco Polo Bridge, dubbed as the most beautiful bridge in the world by the explorer

I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to travel frequently, mainly because of the flexible working hour and lots of public holidays in Malaysia. However, a dream will just be a dream unless you put action to it.

For example, follow your monthly budget religiously for a year to realise the costly dream trip. Take side jobs. Focus on your health more than hangouts (translation: gym over cafés or clubs). Eat healthy and affordable mix rice instead of eating in a restaurant.

What Would You Do Differently Next Year?

Helsinki, Finland, 2017

Some people say when something becomes a routine or easily achieved, you’ll lose the excitement. You may think this will never happen to you. I hate to burst your bubble, but a few days before my fifth trip, I was like “ugh. I have to travel again”.

Can’t believe a wanderlust like me would say that. But it happens.

The travel bug bit hard this year, I had only a few weeks before I packed my luggage again for the next destination. I changed job in the middle of the year thus I was so busy hustling to finish everything before the trips.

Although I enjoy the experiences, everything seems too rushing and aren’t as exciting as before. I begin to crave… a steady life.

I want to have ample time to focus on myself, my career, relationship and other interests. I haven’t even finished a book that I started to read three months ago. 

All I Want for Christmas 2019 are…

Fantastic career and contented life.

Some people say you should travel when you’re still young, some say you should focus on your career first.

“Travel can wait, but not my career” – a friend (early 20s)

“Travel while you’re young because when you’re old you’ll have joint pain, no energy or the excitement is diminishing” – friends (>40s)

“Keep on travelling!” – friends (mixed ages)

I rushed my trips this year thus I started to lose the excitement. It’s time to repurpose my life next year. Can I have everything? Fantastic career and contented life – of course with travel included!

This Christmas, let’s dream big. Change and let go of what or who doesn’t bring us happiness. Repurpose our lives for the better.  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2019!

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