Monday, January 30, 2012

11 more days until I swim in the Dead Sea!


I finally got the iphone 4s in white!! Yay! Now we can forever relay msgs back and forth!

Anyway, NEXT Friday will be half term and I will be off to Jordan for a week! I can't wait! I managed to convince Lauren to come with me. It didn't take a lot of effort because she had always wanted to see that part of the world too. Tonight she came over and I was craving Chinese so I made beef stir fry in black bean sauce and we had a good catch up sesh and started planning for accommodation etc. I am really excited that I have someone to explore and experience Jordan with :D

Things I cannot wait to do:
See PETRA. Oh yeah another 'new' Wonder of the World crossed off!

...And float in the Dead Sea! I've always wanted to do this! Will deliberately bring a book for this occasion :P

Anyway, this Saturday Lauren and I plan to have a big night out. Last week was stressful and this week will be stressful too. I will be observed by senior management in one of my lessons but not sure which one. It will be like a surprise- nerve wrecking stuff!

I have been good and haven't gone out the last two weekends. It's just been too cold. Probably not a good idea anyway to go out since I am so vulnerable to the cold.. ARGH! But this weekend I think I will need it.

Well some interesting material for the blog. I thought I'll tell you that I met up with a guy from internet dating website this morning for the second time. He's Scottish and he's a university lecturer/researcher and we had a nice coffee in the morning and chatted for an hour or so. I'm suppose to meet another guy on Friday night but he seemed a little too showy. He runs his own consultancy firm and his profile pic features him and his beemer. I know I shouldn't judge until I meet him I suppose, but it was a put off.

Anyway, hope that goss makes up for my lack of blogging!

Hope you have a good morning! Off to bed now, it's almost 1030pm and usual wake at 600am for work tomorrow. Night :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Australia Day 2012

Hey Chia!

Thanks for your advice about travelling and stuff. (A shout out to Mouse too!)

Your post has given me something to think about, and the encouragement is definitely helping!

I am SO HAPPY that you received the photobook when you did! I was hoping that it didn't take too long for it to get to you. I hope it will make you smile when you need a little pick me up! I know that it definitely makes me smile when I look at it! That page that covers our night in Ibiza was so fun to do up. I just kept giggling to myself in delight as our photos are so funny, and there are SO many of them. Ah, what cheap Spanish wine, happy music and a camera can do! Such cheap entertainment! =P you know, today is Australia Day.

It is so weird having a public holiday in the middle of the week. Going to work tomorrow is just going to feel off.

The past 2 weeks have finally brought us the summer that Perthians are used to. For a while, I thought we would be stuck with a warmish, humid summer. But no, I was wrong.

Kev and I at the beach for a late Friday arvo swim last week

Anyways, today was HOT. Hot, hot hot! The hottest point of the day was around 2pm and the heat reached 41.9 degrees Celsius.

We were given the heads up all week about this, so Kev and I decided to make our snorkeling trip to Point Perron an early one to avoid the extreme UV and to avoid the heat. We ended up having Shaz and Chinny join us for the quick day trip too!

The water was amazing. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

When I mean amazing, I mean that as soon as we got into the water, I hardly shivered or complained of being cold. I was just in cool, blue, fresh paradise. We had some currents, which posed a bit of a challenge swimming around and seeing things. Visibility was also not ideal. However, after looking hard and swimming around for a bit, I was able to get some footage of some fishes!

A school of fish:

The 3 fishes that made my snorkeling trip today:

We snorkeled for about one and a half hours until we got out. The weather was well and truly on its way to getting unbearable, so we all quickly got out of the sun. Shaz and Chins returned to Perth, and Kev and I went to find lunch. But we didn't stay out for long, we too also wanted to return back to Perth to get some heat relief.

Strangely enough, around 6pm it started raining heavily with thunder and lightning! The weather has definitely cooled down, but when opened my window, it smelt like Indonesia. You know, that thick, humid, hot smell.

I hope I can get some sleep in this heat tonight!

My first photobook!!

Hi Anna!
Embarrassing! I think taking these photos were a lot more fun than actually going out.
Loved foraging through the markets with you :D
I can't believe WE DID LA TOMATINA!!! One day my children will be telling their friends what a cool mum they have lol!

This has been the background of my lappy for some time now :D

For some strange reason I KNEW what it would be once I got a slip in the post stating that I had something to pick up from the post office when I got home this evening. Lucky for me the post office was opened until 8pm. I dropped off my things and went out again otherwise I'd have to wait until Saturday to pick it up.

THANK YOU for your thoughtful gift. I am blown away by how much thought you put into it! I LOVE IT! THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!! I have been meaning for ages to get some photos developed but I haven't had time even though literally downstairs there is a photo shop! I miss our adventures in Spain immensely!

I feel like your lover or something like that to be given something so sweet and thoughtful. Maybe I won't need to ever have a boyfriend since I have you! I'm going to thumb through it every night as my bedtime book. 

Happy Australia Day tomorrow!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The turning point

Dear Anna,

I would simply like to say to you, to skip the house and go travelling. I cannot encourage you or anyone enough. Be prepared because there will be some tough times such as feeling alone, worried about your parents or Kev.  I haven't seen my older brother for 3 years and tonight is the eve of Chinese New Year and here I am across the world with the time difference resulting in having cake for breakfast and later I think a quiet dinner of home cooked pumpkin soup. How far away from tradition can I get? Times like these it's hard not to feel sad but I have to remind myself that I am living my life here and I have to go on with each day and not look back.

  I have kept diaries from when I made the decision to move out of Perth and to East Kalimantan. Little did I know that it would be the kickstart to something I didn't realise inside of me- my desire for travels and adventure.  The photos I've accumulated and the stories that have been written in my diary remind me how lucky I am. When I read my old entries, I smile, I laugh and I cry but I wouldn't want to change any of it. When I say go travelling, things will be equally as hard regardless to if you decide not to go travelling/ buy a house/ settle down. They will just be different types of 'downs' and 'worries'. Maybe you'll discover that it's what you want. Or maybe it isn't what you want. You'll just have to take the chance, make a decision and go with it. If you decide it's not what you want. it's never too late to go back and try what you never did.

I realised the other day that the extra long hours that I'm doing in London and the pay I get, I could be earning a lot more as a waitress. All that I earn is scraped up and used for travelling and nothing is saved. I'm paying ridiculous amounts on rent and I certainly am not in the situation to buy a house back home. Usually when I'm tired/hungover/homesick I worry if I'll ever get to see my aunty who is battling breast cancer or my grandmother who has Alzheimers. I worry that something might happen to my family while I'm away. I worry that I won't get the chance to spend more time with my parents while they're still in good health. I have lost someone special and I worry that I might not ever get over it 100%. I worry that I might never find that someone special again.  My parents never fail to nag me over the phone about settling down. They use to have strict standards about who I could date/marry but now it's gone to the point where anyone would be fine. I agree with them, that it IS nice to have someone special, it IS nice to come back home to someone, it IS nice to have children, it IS nice to have your own home, it IS nice to have that security, and heck I envy people who have that. I know that I want all of that one day, but not right now.
I've been to so many cities and done so many incredible things and met amazing people that I've kept in touch and seen again in other parts of the world. I've heard their stories and they're the ones that have inspired me to keep going and travelling. Think about all those random funny stories I've told you about my wild nights out and the people that I've kept in touch and met again. I've been lost and wandered in cities, sometimes in safe neighbourhoods and sometimes not, and scared when it's dark and I can't speak the language. I've done incredibly stupid things like ridden drunk on the back of a stranger's motorbike and without a helmet and out of bad luck swaying at the back of a taxi clinging onto dear life because of the lunatic driver behind the wheel. I've tried and stuffed myself silly with different types of foods. I've experienced some interesting culture customs and fallen in love with places that I didn't think I would. I've seen scenery that have made me squeal in delight but also taken my breath away.

Once you get out of Perth you will meet all these like minded travellers out for adventure and they are the ones that will encourage you to travel because they've done it themselves. Currently you are stuck in Perth and most of your friends probably haven't done it and are in the house/car/marriage/children stage. I have no doubt that if I do go back to Perth right now, that is the exact thing I would be concerned about because everyone else is doing it. I'm not saying that they are doing it all wrong. Some people are doing it because that is what they want out of life and if they're happy then so be it. Maybe they plan to go travelling with their family and partner rather than themselves later on in life. Maybe they aren't wanderlusts like you and I? Whatever the reason, everyone is different and you have to think about what YOU want to do.

Life should be enjoyed and not taken too seriously. I know how much you love to travel and I think you need to experience more of that. Give yourself the chance to travel by yourself, maybe a short week away somewhere and then you'll slowly gather the confidence, discover what you want and begin making your own decisions. Listen to your heart :)

I hope I've helped...Good luck!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

To Buy a House or To Buy Me Happiness?

Hey Chia

The Dilemma 

This is the question that pops into my head every single day. Do I use my savings to buy my first place or should I use my savings to buy me the happiness that I will get from life experiences?

It's tearing me a part. It's making me stagnant. I just can't move forward unless I have made this decision in my mind and am 100% ok with it. People around me have been passively sending messages that I should buy a place.

I am 26 years old, I have a steady income, so I should - right?

I'd say, that ultimately, my dream is to get married to a guy who is crazy for me, and that I am crazy for too, buy a house that is near to the beach, have kids and raise them, and grow old happy.

However, before all that I want to travel. I want to see what is out of Perth and visit new places, meet new people, learn about new cultures and history and just a different way of life. I would be happy with a year off to do just that.

It's just, well, everything around me is telling me no.

Also, a part of me is telling me I ought to start settling. If I want my ultimate dream of family and a house near the beach then I really should focusing on that now. I don't want to only start settling down too late in my life time. I don't want to have kids when I am older as that burdens my kids of having to worry about elderly parents when they are in their 20s, when they should be enjoying their lives.

My parents want me to buy a place, and I discuss it with them. But when I am honest and tell them that I want to travel first, they just go quiet and look away.

Another thing that is on my mind is Kev. We have talked about the future and stuff, but though Kev wants to travel, he is bound by his own house obligations and so he can't come with me for part of my travels.

Why don't I want to go alone? Well, I am in a relationship, with someone who I want to share my happiness and life experiences with, so that we grow together and not apart.

Things that have countered my own self doubt, fears and questions about travelling, instead of the 'responsible' and 'safe' path of purchasing a house have been my frank discussions with some work mates of mine. All of them have said 'travel before you get a mortgage,' 'travel before you have children,' and I do not disagree with them.

Is 26 still young? Or have I missed the boat?

Also articles have helped me think about my predicament:

Pros to buying a house
  • I'll have a place that is mine, that I can go to if things get tough
  • I'm moving on in life, and can start looking for a house with Kev
  • I will have security in the future (good financial choices etc)
  • I am young, so I can work hard to pay off the mortgage
Cons to buying a house
  • I won't be able to escape and travel the way I want to do at least once in my life (for an extended period)
  • Be Perth bound without even experiencing things out there
  • Will always have a niggling feeling that 'I should have done it'
  • Be at work and be dreaming of travelling  to 'get it out of the way'
Pros to travelling
  • Learning new languages, cultures and places
  • Meeting new people
  • Testing personal limits
  • Happiness, happiness, happiness!
  • Memories that will keep me bubbly through the dark times'
  • Experiences that I can pass down to my children when they have questions about life and the world
Cons to travelling
  • Fall behind in career, may not get a job when I get back
  • May be a little lost
  • No savings and will need to start from scratch
  • Worrying about my parents
  • Not having Kev with me
  • Creating memories and experiences without Kev and returning too different from each other.
Just my thoughts.

Friday, January 20, 2012

YAY Photo!

Morning Chia!

YAY! It's so great to see you! And so great to hear from you!

I hope you're feeling better! Getting into the daily routine, commitments to jobs etc can be a bit depressing at times, but that's why we are always looking for the small things in life that make us happy right?! =D

I loveeeee that photo of you! And I am so jealous that you got to walk to Neuschwanstein castle in winter! Just to make myself feel closer to you... here's a pic of me walking to the castle in Autumn.

It's not as magical as it must have been in winter, but I like to think that we have walked the same path =)

Aw!!! One week of holidays! Chinese New Year! OOOOh  come to Perth! =) Unless there is another place you would want to visit? Ah... to be able to live your life! I am so glad I get to live vicariously through you.

This week I've been trying to set a healthy routine that is sustainable. I realised that if I don't run or do some intense cardio I get really emotional/cranky/sad. And since I've continued to wake up at 5.30am each morning out of habit, I've been making myself do a short 2.5km run, especially since I've finally got my new ASICS Kayano shoes.

Here are my shoes after this morning's run:

It was so muggy and hot so I was struggling. However, my shoes are really comfortable! I am so lucky that I live so close to the beach. I just step outside, and in less than a minute, I am running beside the ocean and I love it. I love smelling the sea air, and the cool breeze as I run. It's so refreshing, and so different to the concrete jungle that I see every day at work.

When I start struggling with the run, I just look out into the ocean and try to see things or imagine things. It's such a great therapeutic thing to do when life is so hectic. It's like my own time. I get to think of the things that are stressing me out/upsetting me and just sort my ideas out. I find that running lets you expel all that stressful/negative feelings and replace it with happy, fresh feelings!

Not to mention, once I've completed a run I feel so good and I feel like I've accomplished something even before the day has started!

OH! And you wanna know what was one of the coolest things that happened to me on my Wednesday morning run this week? On my route home, I was running up this hill and was struggling. I just pushed through the pain and focused on the path, when all of a sudden I saw two brown paws running next to my feet. I turned to my right to see this happy brown dog looking at me while he was running along side me!

It was so sweet! and I was so happy that he kept up with me. He would drop back for a few seconds and when I think he had run somewhere else, I would see his paws slowly catch up to my feet. His owner was running behind me, so I guess the happy dog was just making sure his owner was still there!

It made me really want a medium sized/large sized happy dog that I can run with. It was nice to have someone there who is even more happier and excited that your running. It's good motivation when your struggling.

Anyways, I better go have breakfast. Got a busy day at work today. =)

Three weeks later

Hi Anna

Three weeks later and I finally can upload one pic for you. The Spanish tan is long gone and all I'm left is my pasty self. I've been caught up with work/ sick with the flu/ hungover/ miserable to blog.But here is a photo that makes me smile.

On this day was the first time I saw proper snow!!! I made HW take plenty of photos for me, and this one is the only one where I look half decent :( Oh we had so much fun I miss it so much. This was taken on the way to see Neuschwanstein Castle.

3 more weeks and there is a 1 week break! Where should I go? So tempted to book a flight home.Eurgh.. Chinese New Year on Monday too :( I MISS FAMILY! :(

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hayfever, air cleaners and running shoes

Hey Chia!

I loveeeee that Anna Train! =)

It made me sooo happy because it is super cute and it reminded me of what Christmas was like. At the moment, I am trying to recover from that virus/hayfever thing that has been making me wheeze and cough the past two weeks. As a result, my new years resolution to try and exercise once a day has been shot. =( I was doing so well before. In November I started waking up at around 5am to run before work with a strong stretching session afterwards. I felt awesome!  (if I ignored the fact that I would crash and burn by 9.30pm). But now, with not running since last Wednesday, I already feel like I'm losing fitness! Aurgh!

Hayfever, air cleaners...

I've been really hating this summer. Its either not hot enough to go to the beach (but it has been muggy making us really sweaty), or the pollen index has been crazy, giving me hayfever and sleepless nights! On the positive, Kev was super sweet and started talking about getting me an air cleaner. I actually had no idea about it, and was quite skeptical at the idea. However, we went out to buy one from Myers that was on special, and I ended up convincing Kev to let me use my gift voucher which I had received from work.

My air filter. I called it Homie.

Even though I was skeptical, I was quite excited to try it out once we had got it. As soon as I turned it on, within seconds, my room smelt completely different. Like the air was lighter to breath in. I also realised that my throat was no longer itchy, and I didn't have a blocked nose after staying in my room for a few minutes. It was pretty quiet too. There is this constant hush, which IS quite soothing. I ended up having an awesome sleep! I didn't take any antihistamines that night, and I didn't wake up! Which was awesome if you looked back on my previous nights where I would be taking 3 tablets of Phenergan before I slept. What amused me was that in the morning, as soon as I walked out of my room into the kitchen, I started getting itchy eyes, throat and nose. Haha... my little allergy-free bubble. But I don't want to become too precious. So I've decided I'll only turn it on for sleeping purposes, because I definitely need that.

...and running shoes

So now I have my air cleaner, my focus while recovering as been to find new running shoes. My current ones have served me well. They are almost 4 years old though, and they have caused me numerous instances of rolled ankles. Time for a change! And especially because I received a $220 gift voucher for Foot Locker for my birthday.

I've been reading up on foot types and running styles, in particular I've been reading up on overpronating (where you roll inwards when you run/walk). It's really interesting finding out how you move and how it affects your body. Because I am flat footed, to maintain balance, my weight is not evenly distributed. In fact, when reading some articles, it told me to look at the soles of my shoes and spot where was the most wear, as overpronators would have wear on the outer heel and the inner toe/top part of the shoe.

My current running shoe

I felt like an investigator, someone from CSI. From the evidence I found, I was undoubtedly an overpronator. Now I am trying to find the perfect running shoe, that will support my arches, cushion my heels (as I have noticed that I strike the ground with my heel first), and is comfortable to run in.

So far I am tossing up between ASICS Kayano which has been recommended by a lot of people, and Brooks Trance, which was suggested to me by an Athlete's Foot sales representative. =D Haha. More time for me to ponder! If you would like to find the perfect shoe, this site can help you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Anna train

Hi Anna!

I've been really busy on the weekend and the whole of last week too. Unfortunately no photos to show you. HW is leaving on Thursday morning and I feel like a bad host for not taking her around. I spent half the day on Sunday recovering from a tiny hangover, and the most exciting part of the day was going grocery shopping with HW! haha.. how exciting! I love going grocery shopping though. I made HW some awesome pizza and I'm proud of myself that she liked it because I've always know her to be slightly picky with her food :p Toppings included: fetta, rocket, parma ham, mushrooms on a garlic focacia base.

God knows when I'll get around to the photos from Vienna and Munich. So far this weekend looks like a quiet one.

But I have this photo from Nuremberg Christmas Markets for you :)

On a random note, I picked up my dry cleaning today. Is it normal to get a buzz out of freshly laundered clothes? It was the highlight of my day!

Monday, January 9, 2012

First CD in a long time

Heya Chia!

Hope things are well.

I started work for the first day in 2012. It was a tough one, as I didn't get a lot of sleep last night or the week before. I have been trying to recover from a virus and serious hayfever, which has been robbing me of my sleep. But even though I was pooped, I was surprisingly super efficient.

Anyways, as a nice surprise, I returned home to find this on my desk:

It's the new Il Divo album! My Dad ordered it for me for Christmas, but it was delivered late. Nevertheless I am happily listening to it now! =)

Thursday, January 5, 2012


How are you doing Chia???

Hope work is alright!

Loves youuuuuuus!


P.S Our little blog has reached 10,000 hits! YAY for us! a big thanks to all our readers!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New years resolution

Heya Chia!

I hope I still get to hear from you once a week at least! You've been super good with posts this year, by posting frequently and keeping me going!

Do you like your new role?

At the moment, I am hot. It's super dry hot in my room, despite the crazy lighting and thunderstorm this early morning. I really want to hit the beach soon... However, even though I have been 'blessed' with forced leave until next Monday, no one is available for beach time as they all have returned to work.

Hrm... My new years resolution last year was to improve my posture and get more sleep. The sleep resolution I definitely succeeded in! However my posture requires more work.

I think this year, my new years resolutions will be to continue to work on better posture, and to try to exercise once a day.

Don't worry, I am, super jealous of you and HW, having had the chance to travel around these hols. I wish I had planned something this for these holidays as I have such a long fored leave period which eats up half of my annual leave anyways... Oh wells. I can't wait for your photos when you DO find the time to post them up!

Rest well Chia!

Bed by 10pm

Hi Anna

Short blog to let you know not to be alarmed if I don't blog as frequently for the next couple of weeks. Work has changed things around a bit and my role is a little different now and it will take up a lot more of my time.

Argh. Totally exhausted and wish I had another week off. Don't we all after a break? I haven't even looked through all my other photos or uploaded  them onto the laptop so I can't even put a quick photo for you, but I will try and get something posted on the weekend.

HW is off to Paris tomorrow morning but she will be back on Saturday. Oddly I find myself envious. I know I shouldn't be wishing I could go with her especially since I've been already and I JUST came back from a holiday! Yikes :(

Time for shower and bed! I aim to go to bed by 10pm from now onwards.... another resolution?!

Monday, January 2, 2012



Wheeeeee! I can't believe 2012 is here!

HW and I just arrived back from Munich a few hours ago. We were without the net for a week while in Vienna and  Munich and now catching up on lost time.

I think 2011 was a fantastic year for me. I think I will have to flip through my diary to pull out some highlights accompanied with some pics too. I think each year gets better for me. I know that one of my 2011 resolutions was to travel more and I am pleased that the year was filled with plenty of that.

This year what are my resolutions? Well HW and I have pondered over this many times. She has none- she  doesn't believe in them. I on the other hand have too many so off the top of my head:

1.Get fit and join the gym and classes
2. Keep in touch with my aunty, grandma and family more often
3. Send snail mail frequently
4. Draw and paint more, take up an art class
5. Read more
6. Try anything unfamiliar or new

There's actually a few more personal ones including men and love. Maybe I will share these with the world wide web after I've thought about it a bit more. Haha!

Do you have any NY resolutions? What did you do for NYE?

Our NYE was spent in Munich and it did not start off with a bang, but we definitely heard lots of bangs and fireworks outside our window during the lead up. After spending the day before in the snow walking to Neuschwanstein Castle, HW was not feeling the best. It was also too cold to go out and believe it or not, I was rather content to spend the whole day in. We enjoyed watching CNN and Mr Bean re runs and asking each other stupid/odd questions like: Would you rather be missing a leg or an arm? Would you marry a man for his money? What is your preferred birth and gender order of our future children? And engaging in in depth conversations that followed up. I think the whole situation would've been perfect for a sitcom. Just typing it up is making me dissolve in fits of laughter. I slept from about 11pm right through the next morning, and only waking up briefly at midnight and dozing off again. But yes that was our NYE for you!

For now it is bed time. Tomorrow is a bank holiday and the day will be spent doing laundry and putting up photos on FB. Tuesday is back to work again! Sure comes around quick!

PS Your Christmas feast looked scrumptious! I want some Otto!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello 2012!


Farewell 2011, you were great!

Wish you guys all the best for 2012!!!