Tuesday, 25 June 2013

One week left - Let the countdown begin!

It doesn't feel like I'm about to fly off in 7 days. I keep thinking 'I'm flying off in July, that's next month!'

I should be getting scared right now. When some so big is so close, my heart starts to pound very quickly and I get nervous pretty quickly. I am a worrier, over-thinker and a scaredy-cat. It runs in the family (on both sides) and in fact, my mom described my grandpa as someone who would worry so much that when there isn't something to worry about, he'd worry about that. I think I might have inherited that unfortunate characteristic. So why am I not sweating about Nepal yet?

Meeting Joanna 

Joanna has been our point of contact in the UK. I found my placement via CU-ELST, which had different types of placements throughout Tibetan regions. I'm working in a school called 'Mansarovar Academy' which is located in Boudha. I was suppose to meet Joanna today to be briefed about where we're living, the school and to pick up books to deliver to the school. Her address said she lived in Grove Park, which is a place on the border of Kent and London close to where I live. "Ahh, she's on my side of London!" I thought, "Shouldn't take me too long to get there."

Unfortunately for me, there are at least two Grove Parks in London. One in South East, as I mentioned before, and the other in West side of London above the river... all the way on the other side of the city.

Thank god I checked and rechecked TFL before I was leaving. It would have made it easier if I had Joanna's postcode, I wouldn't have made the terrible assumption she lived closer to me than I thought. Using TFL to find her place wasn't easy either but I got there in the end. I had to leave immediately to get to Joanna's place on time. I left as soon as I could without a shower or breakfast (my mom did kindly stuff my bag with bounty and oreos) and ran to the station. As much as Cambridge town bores me, I will never miss the fact I can walk to where ever I want. Everything was, at most, half an hour away from me. No bus, train or tram to worry about. I got to the station and then murphy's law struck.

Train delayed. It said it was going to be only 5 minutes late, which was already too much for me, but the train station was playing a cruel game on its commuters. Every time 5 minutes had been counted down minute by minute, it would refresh itself and say another 5 minutes delay. This went on 6 times. Can you imagine the anxiety, the recharging anger? Why wouldn't they just give us a slap with a 30 minute delay instead of getting our hopes up every five minutes and then pushing us down? Cruel, cruel world. I am being over dramatic. My close friends would dismiss my lateness as "typical". Yes, I'm always late by 10 minutes in cambs and longer in London, but when it's someone I don't know, I put in extra effort to be on time if not early. The train and tube ride later on went smoothly (the universe owed me that) and I had a mini heart attack when I thought I might have taken the wrong bus when I was already an hour late, but I made it. Luckily Joanna, Harriet and Victoria was all patient and kind enough to forgive my lateness.

I was "briefly" briefed about the apartment and the area around it. We're living near the Mongolian embassy and walking distance from the school. She talked about the temples we should visit and the food we should try. My heart was pounding, not with nervousness but with excitement. Talking about trying new food and the beautiful nature is what gets me excited about travelling. I welcomed my excitement with open arms.

Monday, 24 June 2013

The Books Have Arrived!

Okay... I'll be honest, they arrived like last week Wednesday but I haven't had a chance to get excited about them until now. I've mentioned on a previous post that one of my Summer To-Do list item is to get back into reading. I've asked people on facebook to give me some suggestions, checked out some reviews and ordered them on amazon. So far, everything is looking good!

2013 - 1

So what's on my summer reading list?

  1. The Empress Orchid (finished)

  2. The Glass Palace

  3. Shantaram

  4. Half of a Yellow Sun

  5. A Golden Age

  6. And the Mountains Echoed

I haven't ordered 'And the Mountains Echoed' but I've been looking forward to reading it for ages that I know I *will* read it this summer. The only problem was that it had recently come out only in hardcover, which will not help with packing, hence I've decided to wait and maybe buy it abroad. If only Amazon would let me know when the paperback would come out!

I'm planning on taking The Glass Palace and Half of a Yellow Sun with me to Nepal and get James to bring the other two/three with him (assuming I've finished Empress Orchid, which might at the rate I'm reading it now). I have to take approximately 5kg of books with me to the school in Nepal, which is the only condition they have to volunteer there, hence I might be limited in baggage space. I know this could all be solved if I get a Kindle. Initially, I was all against the Kindle and belong to 'I-like-the-smell-of-a-book-and-the-feeling-of-the-pages-between-my-fingers' but that's before I gave the kindle a chance! The more I try my friend's Kindle, the more convinced I am that it's a good alternative. I'll never give up using books but Kindle may be convenient every now and then, especially for travelling! However, my budget is a little tight right now and I've decided to stick to the short term cheaper alternatives. In fact, some of the books I bought are second hand and just as cheap as buying it on Kindle.

My dad once said 'Books. I will always happily buy you books'. It was probably said in frustration during one of our shopping trips and he was trying to find a way to get out of it. I've taken advantage of this and he's always kept to his words. Luckily, I do like reading and this is something I'll appreciate from my dad.

Friday, 14 June 2013

My favourite 7 things about Hong Kong

The transportation system

I find it weird that I'm putting this as the first thing, let alone my favourite thing. I feel like one of the St. Olave's boys  who have a fascination with trains and get 100% on the London Tube Station Sporcle quiz (you know who you are). However, there's a pretty good I reason I think very highly of their transportation system. Travelling to Hong Kong was the first time I was travelling alone. Before then, it's always been a family vacation or a school trip. The problem was I never took interest in taking charge or planning the trip, I was always the thoughtless follower. So actually organising my own trip, where to go and finding out how to get to places (safely) was a big deal. Luckily, Hong Kong had their signs in English, as well as Cantonese, and modern transportation. Their MTR is really easily to follow, they used the Octopus card that is similar to the Oyster card, and they had plenty of bus links. Hong Kong is also a very clean city: high fines for eating on the train and antibacterials on the handrails several times of day. It made the whole experience of travelling alone easier, I had no problem getting to my hostel or in fact on any other day when I was travelling. It's hard to get lost!

The food
I kept all the fasts I could during Ramadan. I found it quite easy to do it, despite my mom saying that I could make it up later, as teaching kept my mind distracted. I didn't let it limit my experience trying different food. We tried michellin recommended dumpling restaurants,  I had Indian, Thai, Chinese and Western food. The pancakes weren't bad either, I do recommend the peanut butter and sugar pancake on the stalls selling Eggettes ('Daan Jai'), which are also YUM.

The best part are the fruits! I got to enjoy buying and eating fresh lychees, mangoes, mangosteens, watermelons, grapefruit. It was weird to see they at low cost but apples and grapes at higher prices. Tropical fruits are much better! Oh gosh... my mouth is just watering thinking back on it.

I think the main thing I want to point out with food is that I'm a cautious eater. Quite picky and afraid to try unfamiliar things. I will try Nepalese food because it's comparable to what I have before but the idea of Icelandic food...? Yuck. It a very bad characteristic to have with travelling. Hong Kong had its fair share of things I wasn't filling to try openly but fortunate for me, I can easily ask for what the food has. Communicating in English is fine most of the time. I did try the odd squidballs unknowingly but I was lucky to have friends point out if something had Pork (it's used as an additive sometimes and not point out in menus, be aware).

EDIT: Bakeries! Millions and millions of bakeries! My aim was to try every single one I encountered (while I was conscious of this aim). I recommend the egg tart!!!

The kids

The main reason I went to Hong Kong was to work in a summer camp. I love kids, I love travelling and this was the best combination of both. I did enjoy working with the kids so much that I wanted to spend another summer teaching (hence teaching in Nepal).

I'm lucky that my students still want to keep in contact with me. The other day when I got a new phone, the first thing I did was download whatsapp. I had a group going with one of my class and since it's been almost a year since I talked on it, it said I was removed from the group so I decided to delete it. It didn't take long before they were wondering what happened and why I left the group, my friend (who worked with me in the class too) immediately asked what happened and added me back. Just talking to them again made me smile for the rest of the day. Yes, I'm jealous of Kat who is going to see them this week but I'll be back in Hong Kong and the first thing I'll do is have another reunion.

The Shopping 

You can see... there's a lot of cross over with my Thailand post.

Along with Thailand, Hong Kong is the place for fashionistas. There are a variety of unique market places (gold fish marketplace, the jade market). The most popular is Lady Market Place in Mongkok. Endless market spanning the road, going off into side streets, with restaurants behind them. This is where you get the haggling skills going and you have to remember to be persistent! They have haggled with people from all corners of the world, day and night. They know how to deal with every type of people. I would suggest Lady's market for people looking mainly for souvenirs and accessories.

My favourite place to shop was near Ladies Marketplace, Arygle Centre. It's like a marketplace inside a building. Lots of cheap, open ended stores which sells clothes, shoes, stationary and accessories. The prices where already pretty cheap/reasonable so I never thought about haggling at first but... if you can, always haggle! Any free evenings I had, or if I was feeling down, I would go down to Mongkok and almost certainly visit this centre. However, my favourite shopping moments were with Elyse. She and I make an amazing shopping duo. On the last day, she had a tactic rolled up her sleeve and the fact she is form Hong Kong helped a lot. With only hours before my flight, she managed to haggle down the price of two bags for the price of one. When I'm back in HK, every mall and marketplace has to watch out for us (;

Everything at your doorstep 

I forgot how big every other country is compared to England. It can take us half a day to get to the other side of the country whereas in Thailand, you need an overnight train to travel travel a quarter of the country. One of my heartaches about leaving Thailand was that I only had a taste of what the country was like. Our life is only so short and there is so much to see, you don't want to leave a country thinking you hardly got to know it. I only really had the weekends to explore Hong Kong, and even though I didn't get to see everything I wanted to, I left content that I got to explore most of HK.

East meets West
Yes, yes, remember I said that cheesy cliches are sometimes the best at describing? British colonial influences on Chinese culture is very evident here in Hong Kong. I guess this is the reason behind why I think Hong Kong is easy for first time travellers. You have your Buddhist temples, fishing villages and extraordinary chinese market places juxtaposed with skyscrapers, theme parks and shopping malls. If you're not sure what you're looking for when you travel, come to Hong Kong and you'll naturally be pulled. I loved the architecture, travelling to the highest skybar in the world and zigzagging through the clothes rack but I found that I naturally loved trekking, trying different food stalls and venturing off to different islands. I like being surprised, I like seeing something new.

The Skyline
Can anyone write a post about Hong Kong without mentioning its skyline, the beautifully modern architecture that scraped the surface of heaven? Hong Kong obviously takes advantage of its limitless buildings in terms of tourism. You'll enjoy taking the ferry across Kowloon and Hong Kong Island just for the view, especially in the night. If you want a bit of class and excitement, why not take the pirate ship for a tour? Everyday at 8pm, there's a "light show" with all the prominent buildings, best seen from Hong Kong Island harbour. The light show lasts no more than 20 minute and includes a cheesy music and narration.

A better option would be to travel up to the Peak. The Peak (tower) is located on top of Victoria Peak and it's a big tourist attraction for being a observatory platform, giving a spectacular view of the city-state and a big pull for photographers. There's also a shopping mall with a market place and many restaurant inside, so your trip never feels empty. Most people take the peak tram up to the top and it's a nice little experience but I would say that if you are strict on money, you won't feel bad for giving it a go. You can take the bus, car/taxi and the eager athlete can even walk up there. I would give a warning that you should check the prices for taxis beforehand and compare, my hostel friend was too eager to get to the top that we were clearly ripped off.

Why just enjoy the the skyline from outside when you can enjoy the view form above inside one of the skyscrapers? I had the chance to go to the world's highest Sky Bar in Asia, the Ritz Carlton. The bar itself is located on the 118th floor and while it takes quite a few elevators to get there but the view is amazing (both coming to the hotel from a taxi and from the bar itself). The price of the food and drink reflect that you're in a 5 star hotel but they taste good and it's worth buying one at least.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

My favourite 7 things of Thailand


I love shopping. It's an interest that my mom loves to encourage and when she found out I was going to Thailand, it didn't take her long to contact my cousin to find out where the best malls where (believe me, I didn't need my cousins help). Bangkok is the place to shop, in my opinion and I have seriously considered taking a train from Malaysia to Bangkok for a day just for it.
For some, shopping is just restricted to the huge shopping malls. I prefer to shop in the market place. In Siam Square, independent designers sell their work in market stalls that span across the roads. The prices are reasonable already but if you're brave, you can haggle down. The clothes look amazing, but there's jewellery, bags and shoes too. The designs are usually unique or ahead of their time. I remember seeing the metal tipped collars being sold for less than £5 before being it being sold in Topshop for £18 (same design!) later that year.

However, the most exciting shopping experience is the Chatuchak market. It's probably the biggest market place in the world and only opens on weekends. Unfortunately, I visited it once and on the last day of fasting as well, so you can imagine how torturous it was. The intense heat, the long day mixed with getting lost and being surrounded by people having ice lollies and BBQ. I could just about manage to stay a few hours before I felt like I had to escape before I collapsed from exhaustion. The cool MTR came to the rescue. I had plans to go back there again but with such tight schedule... ):

Chatty taxi drivers & tour guides
What struck me was, after visiting a fast paced business centre Hong Kong where people kept to themselves, how friendly and open Thai are. We obviously looked like tourists (who spoke English) and when we looked slightly confused about where we were going, people would come up to us wiling to help or other times people would thank us for visiting their country. I have to admit, I was little surprised how open people were (the fact they came to us randomly) and I didn't know how to respond. I know that's a weird thing to say but everyone that knows me knows I am very shy especially at the first meeting. I don't have the talent to speak (charismatically) to strangers and as someone who grew up being told to be wary about everyone, you can kind of see why I had a problem. Luckily, some people were social enough to see through that and when James was there, he was much easier to speak to.I feel like I should mention a few of my favourite encounters.
My favourite person was a taxi driver who was driving us back to the main station. He thought James and I were 17 and 16 respectively (bless) and that since James is a boy, he must like football and/or boxing. He was in denial of he fact that James does not, in fact, watch football and told us that we both must watch the match on that Saturday (as much as we wanted to, we were flying out that day). He spent at least half an hour talking about football and then shook James' hand before telling him to watch out for the mafia at the station. There was also our loveable and funny tour guide 'Ducky' and the really friendly staff at our Krabi hostel who told us not to book hostels during low season (we could have saved 200 baht!!). I'm sure there's more people I feel like I should mention but in the end, it's the people who came to us and gave their time to chat that did Thailand that extra quirk.

The turquoise blue sea and dramatic cliffs
There's a reason why I've wanted to go to Thailand. For my mom's family, Thailand is shopping central but what caught me is the scenery. You know those brochures you see of the clean, golden sands and the calm sparkling sea? Well, below, you'll see an UNEDITED photo we took on our way to Railay. The gemstone blue, the clear sunny sky is what we experienced. It was perfect. In fact, two of my favourite beaches are Railay and Nai Hat. Peaceful, scenic and a little isolated. Nature definitely has a stronger presence there.
It doesn't stop there. I know I'm using cliched terms with 'dramatic' cliff tops but that is the best way to describe it. I remember sitting on the beach, looking up at them and thinking 'I can't believe I'm here'. The geology is so unique, so captivating, I kept feeling like I was in a dream. If you go to Thailand, down south, I would recommend island hopping. The limestone cliffs can't help but surrender to the sea and the air. The way they have succumbed and shaped through erosion produces amazing landscape that have sparked locals imagination. I remember when we were canoeing under some of the limestone caves, our guide showed us what he saw hidden in the limestone (he only saved his dirty imagination for James).

The food (& drinks)
Forget about having 3 large meals everyday, the Thais do it better. The streets were always filled with food stalls from savoury thai food to desserts and fruits and the occasional drink stall (for you non alcoholics out there, I recommend the pineapple shakes) when the night was bursting with life. Some stalls, you just grab the food and go while others have plastic tables and chairs (all you need for a romantic dinner out). The portions are small ('Nuz sized') but all that means is you get to try one exciting food with room to try more. Luckily for me, I like thai food. Pad Thai, Thai fried rice, green curry (standard 'Thai food') but I also got to try things I haven't heard of before, and with prices of £1 per portion, why not? Luckily, Ramadan was over and the south of Thailand has a stronger Muslim community. In Krabi, literally all the stalls were halal hence I took joy to having both thai and western food.

OMG - how can I forget the pancakes? The glorious, glorious pancakes we had for breakfast and dinner. Krabi has the best pancakes!

The monkeys!!
Not considering the rabies shot was a mistake. In fact, I don't know why it didn't cross my head to get it. Well, I blame the GP. I had an appointment asking for vaccination advice and they didn't mention it. Or maybe they did and I just didn't take it in? Oh well, I survived without it (but I won't take that for granted). I realised that mistake on my first full day in Phuket. We went up to Khao Rang and as soon as the tuk-tuk parked and we jumped out, we witnessed a jeep being taken hostage by a band of monkeys. Monkeys jumping, swinging and climbing just like the story books you read as kids.

The kids
I didn't really get to interact with the children much in Thailand but there is one memory I have that makes me smile so much. In Phuket, we went on a boat tour that took us to a 'Floating Gypsy/Muslim Village'. These people have built their whole village on stilts in the middle of the sea. It's amazing how they can sustain themselves like that. Although isolated from the world's trouble, they do have their own troubles. The last tsunami took down part of the village... they are vulnerable to the power of the sea, and they are still trying to rebuild from that.

Rae, James and I explored the village to its end and decided to sit for a while when these three kids were running around. They ran towards where we were, ignored us and kept playing as normal. James decided to try out his Thai on them and said 'Swa deet karup' (hello). They all immediately giggled and hid their faces on the bench. Obviously ashamed of such terrible thai being spoken! Rae loves kids. You could tell by the way she was looking at the three children that she liked their presence as much as I did, if not more. She decided to join in with James and 'roared' at the kids, who then ran away giggling.
That was the only time I was so close to the kids of Thailand and they are just as cute as you'd expect!

The night life
Each city/town has it's own type of nightlife, with the exception of Bangkok which has something for everyone! Those that were pulled by Thailand's red light district culture would love Bangla Road. Actually, funny story about Bangla Road. When I was first researching where in Thailand I *had* to visit, Bangla Road was something that popped out. Now as a Bengali, I was intrigued as to why this was a touris attraction. So I entered in google and clicked on 'images' and well... I can definitely see why it's famous. Now some of you may have expected me to be put off it but nopes, it was near the top of my list to visit. In fact, I think I spent every night in Phuket walking down Bangla Road. Now my experience there is definitely worth another post...

So Phuket's night life is more for the loud and the wild whereas Krabi is more serene and laid back. There's not really any clubs but it's a place for bars. We spent every night at a bar that had live reggae/Soul type music that served large pineapple slices and flowers with their drinks. If I wanted to be somewhere more isolated, there was Ao Nang beach at my doorstep and a pancake stall near by. Krabi was definitely my kind of place.
I feel uneasy stopping my favourites of Thailand here but my word count is 1658+ and my eyes are a little droopy. Maybe that's a good place to end (;

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Botanic Garden & Lessons Learnt (Never forget your SD card!!)


Next on the to do list: visit the Botanic Gardens!
I'm sure this is on almost every Cambridge student's to do list, since it's free for students, why not? I've been to the Biodome in Canada, which is definitely impressive but I wasn't sure what to expect from Cambridge's biodome. I don't actually remember anyone talking about their visit to the botanic gardens... at most, it's always been 'I should go there'.
The weather was getting quit chilly, so I was hoping to not stay too long (I seem to only tolerate a very small temperature range). I grabbed my dSLR, had a quick lunch at subway and had a pleasant walk. The entrance to the Botanics Garden isn't very exciting, in fact, we almost missed it from the angle we were coming in at. The outdoors part looks like a typical English garden/park, reminds me of Regents part, with different sections for different plants. I did wish we were having a picnic there and have time to lie down and look up to the sky.
The best part in my opinion was the green house. It has a room for each climate: arid, tropical, mountain, ocean islands and more that I can't remember. The tropical/wet room actually got me excited for Malaysia. I'm definitely going to visit the rain-forests in Borneo and Peninsula (did you know Malaysia Peninsula has the oldest rainforest) and the tropical room was a reminder of how hot and humid it's going to be. It's so easy to get caught up reading activities you'd want to do, dream about the adventures, that you forget little details like the climate and... how unfit you are. Anyway, back to the greenhouse, looking at the huge water lilies, wet vines and colourful petals just makes me buzz with excitement for trekking.
The different textures, shapes and vibrancy just wanted to me to get my camera out! So I did, and started snapping straight away, but my camera kept making a weird noise. Turns out, I left my memory card at home, still plugged in my laptop from the time I was uploading the photos from Castle Mount. It's not the first time this has happened. I'm contemplating about buying a second SD card just in case something similar happens or my first one gets stolen. SD cards are not cheap but missing a once in a life shot suppresses that cost. Luckily for this time, James was happily snapping away before I found out I left my SD card. He's actually a better photographer than me and even though we was using his phone camera, he had a better understanding on focus, texture and angle. Plus he loves take panorama shots. I've included some of the photos he took throughout the day.

There's not too much to say about the Botanical gardens. Certainly something kids would enjoy playing around, especially if James had fun running to the top and yelling 'I'm king of the Jungle' in two/three different spots, us students would enjoy having a picnic in. I remember being surprised there was an 'Ocean Islands' room and that it actually referred to geological 'Ocean Islands'. I tried to explain the James what they were but he was too distracted by people having trouble coming into the room, hmph.
Anyway, have fun looking at the photos and hopefully it makes you want to visit too.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

New found freedom, Castle Mount and disappointing views


So on 6th June, I had become free of the soul draining exams of my 3rd year.
That's all I'll say about the exams. I don't want to talk they went or how much I worked for it. Just want to forget about the last two months (without loosing all the knowledge I gained, I do love my subject)!

So yes, new found freedom. No more library trips, no more feeling guilty for catching up on shows or gaining a new hobby (exam terms are especially good for finding a new interested in something) and no more minimising sleep! ... What do I do now?

In the last 24 hours, I think I spent most 3/4 of it sleeping. I have quite a few missed calls from my dad (uh oh?) and I'm really hungry. Not planning on spending anymore time then necessary sleeping. I'm not one of those people who like lie ins; I love the mornings, it's when I'm most productive. I'm allowed one day to catch up on all the sleep I've missed the whole term but now I want to fill my days doing something I couldn't during the academic year. So James and I have made a list of things to do in the next 3 weeks before I jet off. It includes learning how to ride a bike again (I will ride a bike to lectures at least once next year), reading (haven't been able to finish a book since coming into Cambridge) and movie marathons (including Star Wars).

I've already started 2-3 things in my list. James was going to teach me how to programme/code and we started that literally as soon as my exams ended. I learnt html, css and how to use Photoshop back when I was in year 5 when I started playing on neopets and I wanted to make pretty 'guilds' and then it accelerated into making a blog with quizzes and all that. I convinced my dad to buy me a domain with hosting when I was in year 6, but due to my lack of commitment, I didn't really go beyond 6 months of making something out it. Thank god it was cheap! My domain name was embarrassing, so I won't reveal it but I was quite proud of what I could do at the age of 11. I wish I could remember it all but there's no shame in relearning (:

So other than sleeping, I went up to Castle Mount yesterday to take some photos. I need to start practicing how to make the most of my SLR before I use it in the wild. I remember when I first talked up to Castle Mount. It was my 20th birthday and having a bad summer, I didn't really want to celebrate it. I was in Cambridge to pick up some equipment for the geology trip but we thought we'd go to Cafe Naz to have at least a birthday meal. Unfortunately, I forgot that restaurants have a break in the evening between dinner and lunch so it was shut for the next 20 minutes. What do we do for now? James asked if I ever went on top of Castle Mount, and to be honest, I haven't heard of it at all back then. So we went on top and you can see Cambridge town below. King's Chapel, the UL, they're all in view. It looked so calming the first time I saw it and with the evening glow, it was quite pretty. Hence why I decided to go back and capture it.

I feel really awkward easily when I'm alone. Especially when I'm trying to take photos and there's a couple very obviously trying to be all romantic. Well... there was a tourist group on the top too, so I didn't feel bad having my presence very obvious (SLRs are not quiet). I just listening to some K-Pop to make myself feel a bit less awkward. However, that wasn't the problem. The view wasn't as nice as I remembered it to be... with trees and less fortunate looking buildings blocking the prettier views of Cambridge town. There's nothing that stood out the way I wanted it and the view just looked... boring. It was disappointing but I do have this problem where I exaggerate things in my head. If something looked exciting, beautiful, unique, I like to replay the first memory to the point it seems flawless yet vulnerable to disappointment. I have to stop doing that.
However, there was a silver lining. It still gave a chance to play around with the settings of the camera and although I didn't get to enjoy taking photos of the 'big picture', I liked how the sunset looked on the grass, how the little insects were hovering above. It had that peaceful vibe I first had of Castle Mount. So all was not lost!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Hey James!

Why are you reading this right now? You should be working!!

Hello world!

I'll keep the title Wordpress originally gave this post because it's a little cliched but it nicely introduces any first post. I've created this blog both for myself and for others. I've put a lot of thought and planning for my summer this year and I want to keep a record of everything that happens and how it all turned out. I like keeping little diaries and planners and looking back at the things I've done: it makes me feel accomplished but also motivates me to do more. Moreover, I hope this blog will help others keep track of what I'm up to. I like telling stories of what happened in my life but I'm no talented story teller. In fact, the quality goes down each time (decays with time) I tell them because I grow impatient and so I just want to skip to the good parts. I'm hoping that keeping them in a written form helps keep the excitement, the tragedy, the happiness or the anger I feel originally and let my friends empathise. Or simply put... everyone gets the same story.

So it's not til another month til I arrive in Nepal, what do I do now? I want to get myself into a proper habit of blogging. I've never been able to stay committed longer than a month for such things. Even when I had my domain, my interest died away over half a year (probably the longest commitment I made to a diary) but back then I didn't have a real purpose to write several times a week. Now I have a purpose. I want to explore Nepal, Malaysia and Singapore. I want to see what pulls other people to those countries but I want to find my own adventure there. I want to be able to read back and see how much I loved (touch wood) travelling and to keep that passion going. I want others to be inspired and to make their own adventure, be it at home or in a foreign land. If that doesn't keep me committed... I'm sure James will remind me to post (;

Much love,