Category Archives: Me, Myself & I

. 2016: A Year of Adventure .

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do. With your one wild and precious time?”
– Mary Oliver

I had one goal at the start of the year, and that was not to put off living to the unforeseeable future, not next year, not next month, not next week, not tomorrow.

2015 was the year that I kinda broke free from the toxic chains of procrastination, and started converting some of my plans into actions. Setting the things in motion that ultimately culminated in 2016. It’s the best year, really… One that has exceeded my wildest dreams and any expectations. What started as a 10 weeks career break to travel a bit, eventually lead to an amazing journey of exploration and adventure that span over a period of 6 months.

It wasn’t all just about having fun though; It was a time of personal growth. Getting comfortable with uncertainty/ constant changes, adapting to less-than-ideal environments and living a more minimalistic lifestyle. I’ve said this many times, like a broken recorder, but I’m super thankful to have a very cool Mum, a supportive Dad who never fails to ensure that everything was running fine back home (all the bill payments, checking of mails, mundane but important stuff), a lil’ sis who became the default “Mum” to the 3 boys, and a loving boyfriend who encourages me to embark on this trip of a lifetime.

Life is never always smooth-sailing, and there were, of course, moments that scared the wits out of me. My broken neck became cranky and I feared that I had to undergo an invasive surgery to correct the unstable injury. Luckily, it turned out to be a false alarm but all that worrying lead to another bald spot (a result of alopecia) and more tears.  But, I’ll be strong!

The highlights of 2016:

Quit my job and traveled to 16 countries over a span of 6 months
This is probably, by far, one of the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I dare say, leaving the comfort of my relatively stable and promising e-commerce job to pursue an airy dream of “travelling around the globe”, even beats the momentary fear of sky-diving and base-jumping! Many friends prefer to leave such extravagant plans for retirement, when they have more time and money. Yet, time waits for no one, especially in a society where there is an increasing number of people getting cancer, heart attack or kidney failure at an alarming rate. I knew, deep in my heart, that I would be full of regret and resentment, if I were to give up this rare opportunity to fulfill a life-long dream (10 years in the making!) while I’m still young and able, just so that I can fit the bill of a perfect employee.

Was also pleasantly surprised when my dearest Mum offered to join me on our first backpacking trip across Europe and Asia. Many people thought she was nuts to travel “longer than the usual 2-3 weeks holidays” at her age, and assumed that she would be a “liability or burden”. That couldn’t be further from the truth. While it’s true that we had our frustrating moments, I do think that we turned out to be the best travel partners for each other (having lived together for 29 years, and supported each other through tumultuous periods of our lives). 6 months on-the-road served as a great bonding time for the both of us, and I’m truly grateful that it was with my Mum that I shared this amazing journey with, because frankly, I’m not sure when is the next time that I’ll get to travel for an extended period of time with my parents. 

✔ A train journey on the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway
✔ Living with the nomads in the plains of Mongolia

✔ Learning to ride a motorbike all by myself in Pai, Thailand
✔ Watching the hot air balloons take off in the mystical land of Bagan, Myanmar

✔ Visited my sponsored kid, Pelsil, in Cambodia

Redecorated my cozy little room
Another activity that has been pending on my “To-Do” list for the longest time. I used to joke that I had to share half the room (the other half was used to house our family’s bookshelves, aka mini-library) with the boyfriend, 3 dogs and 1 fish. Now that we have finally moved the bookshelves to the storeroom, there’s ample of space for me to re-decorate my room and fill it with inspiring quotes and pictures with loved ones! ❤ A living space that I can finally call as my own. 

Pursuit of Other Interest
✔ Take up horse-riding lessons at Amigos, JB
✔ Improve my swimming skills
✔ Re-ignite my passion for reading

Volunteer & Give Back
✔ Organised several micro-volunteer activities as a Chapter Lead for Cause Corps
✔ Stop procrastinating and donated blood

Thank you for a fantastic 2016!

Advertisements

. 2015: Reflections .

While 2014 was a year of unexpected changes which turned out to be a blessing in disguise, 2015 has been a year of putting my plans into action. Procrastination is no longer a friend as I broke free of its toxic chains. It is definitely rewarding to be able to fulfill some of my goals that have been left on the back-burner for ages. One of my proudest achievement for the year is to finally get my driving license (at first try!), something which I have put off for close to a decade. I might have received my license 10 years later than the average SG driver but knowing that I have beat this long-held procrastination and am now a certified driver is extremely gratifying.

Introspection, 2015 has provided me with many opportunities – both professional and personal – to challenge myself, grow and develop a stronger self-identity. I’m more capable of accepting myself for who I really am and being comfortable in my own skin. No longer do I feel the pressure to constantly appear as “perfect” for others and thus, I’m less afraid to say “NO” to people or situations that do not resonate with my core values/ beliefs. They say that 30s is one of the best decades in one’s life and while I’m not hitting the big 3 (YET), I can see why life gets richer in many ways as we grow older and collect more years of meaningful life experiences under our belt.

Thank you, 2015 – You have been great to me! 

Highlights of 2015: 

  • Starting 2015 with a bang – Getting drunk and having an elderly lady flashed her boobs @ me during my 1st solo trip 
  • Leaving the comfort of my first job and taking on a much more challenging role in the highly competitive e-commerce industry
  • Passing the driving test on my first attempt, after 9 long years of procrastination
  • Conquered Macau’s highest summit at 338m tall (Macau Tower Climb)!  
  • A year of adventure: Getting my Sports Climb and Abseiling Level 1 licenses & embarking on various kayaking, trekking and water caving expeditions
  • An amateur designer in the works: Having my handmade leather wallet being displayed at the SG Design Week 
  • Being selected as an Enable-A-Family volunteer, working alongside with children under the care of MSF
  • Most importantly, receiving the love and support from a particular Mr. M

 < CAREER >

The last few months at my previous company has been nothing short of a massive Taiwanese drama. My ex-boss tendered and I was running a one-man show, handling multiple big projects, for a couple of months. Those days were definitely not easy – Tight timelines, long hours, last minute changes. And it didn’t help that I suddenly found myself embroiled in a messy situation with a particular trouble-maker who played politics and tried making life super difficult for me. Thankfully, with the support from my ex-colleagues (especially XL and Joel), I survived those challenging times and became even more resilient. Presenting my “baby project” – FairPrice’s involvement in SEA Games 2015!

In my new role in Z, I’ve learnt a great deal about the ever evolving e-commerce & start-up landscape, collaborated with partners from all industries to come up with marketing campaigns and taking on ownership of  multiple projects. In a short span of 10 months, I’ve spear-headed no less than 30 campaigns, was part of a team that created 2 gamification contests from scratch,  participated in the Singapore Fashion Week 2015, mentored 4 interns and flew to Manila for an offsite meeting. The greatest job satisfaction? Achieving 8 x  the average transactions and 73% growth for a recent campaign that I’ve worked my ass off for! 🙂 But, of course, every job does come with its downsides. For many months, I felt as if I was swimming against the currents – 12 hours work shift is a norm, my health took a beating and frustration has become my frequent companion at the workplace. Was I a happy camper? Well, the answer is obvious. Nonetheless, I have no regrets with my decision and if anything, my stint has made me realised what I truly look for in a job. 

20150530_180743

PhotoGrid_1451488046598

< FAMILY & LOVE LIFE >

I’m extremely blessed to have a loving family who stands by me, regardless of the shitty situations that I get myself into at times. Thank you Pop Daddy, Mummy, Popo, Ginette, Amanda, Ah Boh and Ah Mai for your unconditional love and support. Let’s also not forget the 3 rascals in my life – Archie, Frosty and Simba!  🙂

2015 also saw me bidding farewell to a happy singlehood as I jumped on-board the “Puma” bandwagon (a younger version of cougar) and started dating Mr. M who is 3 years younger than me. Cougar-in-training, lol. Being single had served me well – Living a commitment-free life, freedom to date guys who probably ain’t my type, rediscover my creativity and pick up new hobbies – and I’m thankful for the chance to be alone and re-connect with myself.  But being able to find someone whom you have great chemistry with is a rare find and despite the naysayers’ take on how a younger man will be too immature for the older lady, I found myself falling hard for Mr. M. Sure, we may have our differences but more importantly, we bond over our quest for adventures and meaningful life experiences, love for our family and dogs and shared moments of joy and pain. 

For the first time, I also feel a sense of belonging and connection with his close-knitted family … Something which was lacking in my previous relationships. I used to think that the significant other’s family doesn’t play a pivotal role as long as both parties love each other but now that I’m accepted as a part of his family, it’s amazing and takes our relationship to greater heights. PS: We suspect that my granny loves him more than she loves us (the grandchildren)!

PhotoGrid_1446357353444
PhotoGrid_1437148476967
PhotoGrid_1443923890028


< HOBBIES & ADVENTURE >


I might have had a broken neck but that doesn’t hold me back from embarking on a series of adventures. If anything, I’m probably more active now than I ever was. Carpe Diem. Rock climb, kayak, waterfall trek,  tree-climb, abseiling … You name it, chances are I’ve probably given it a shot. Somewhere along the way, I’ve also befriended many like-minded people who share the same excitement to travel to every nook & cranny in search for a bigger adventure. Always more fun to do things we love with good company!

In spite of the busyness of life, I always try to squeeze in the time to make these matchbox cards for my Carousell giveaways. Crafting allows me to unleash my creative juices and get in touch with the inner wannabe artist in me. Plus, it’s heart-warming to receive comments from the other Carousell members on how my sharing of life stories has inspired them to a small extent.

PhotoGrid_1451488788630

PhotoGrid_1451488815671
PhotoGrid_1436104685933

< TRAVEL >

Bali: Casting my initial apprehension aside, I confronted my fears and made the decision to go on a solo New Year celebratory trip to Bali. In my own version of “Eat, Pray, Love”, I found myself getting drunk on NYE, celebrating countdown with a room of lively expats and locals and having a too-close-for-comfort goodbye hug with the local waiter. Definitely, one of my most unforgettable New Year’s Eve Countdown.

Hong Kong: 48 Hours. First couchsurf with my very cool Mum (perhaps, the 1st couchsurfing of its kind). Walk on the wild side of the Macau Tower at 233m high. Scaled the world’s highest urban climb at 338m. Mad? Maybe.

Manila: I was there for work so my trip pretty much revolve around travelling from hotel to the office. Repeat that routine for 3 full days. Nevertheless, I had a blast meeting the Partnerships teams from the other 7 countries and bonding over a competitive game of laser-tag and finger-lickin’ fried food.

Hokkaido: Many Firsts – My First White Christmas. First time on snow-mobile and feeling like a pseudo F1 driver on snow. First time dog-sledding. First time trying whale meat (also, the last time due to the effects of whaling).  Feeling like a kid again in Tokyo DisneySea. Failed attempt at skiing. Pigging out on fresh seafood, sashimi, sushi, beef and ramen. The most expensive breakfast ever – $600 on seafood and Hokkaido Snow Crab. Making more memories with my beloved family. 🙂


PhotoGrid_1451490866243
PhotoGrid_1451488738048
PhotoGrid_1451488763831
PhotoGrid_1451487516202
PhotoGrid_1450402721599
PhotoGrid_1450587991547
PhotoGrid_1450615255670PhotoGrid_1451486987229PhotoGrid_1450788024976

. the independent traveler: flying solo for the first time .

WOW. Where do I even begin?

As everyone would have known by now, 2014 has been an extremely dramatic and life-changing year  for me. The perfect life? It was far from it. Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to celebrate the end of the year by doing something courageous that I have always wanted to do for the longest time. Yet, fear has been the one main factor that prevented me from accomplishing that goal.

With a new-found sense of courage, I decided to embark on my first ever solo trip and usher into the new year alone. Like most people, I was afraid of taking that step out of the well-trodden path but once I did, there was no turning back. It is often said that solo travel allows one to enjoy a country on his or her own terms and through that exhilarating journey, they might learn to re-discover parts of themselves that they never knew existed. For me, I went for this solo trip, expecting to spend the bulk of my time alone. Frankly, I was perfectly fine with doing most things alone because I have always had that independent streak in me and my personal belief is that life waits for no one. Waiting might simply translate to missed opportunities. What I found out, at the end of the trip, was that travelling solo brings forth way more interaction and socializing than one could get, if they were to travel with their family or friends.

During my 4 days stay in Bali, I had serendipitous encounters with people from all walks of life – Locals from the tourism industry, artists, medicine woman, primary school kids, and travelers from other parts of the world. Surprisingly, not only did I managed to gain cultural insights from my conversations with them, but I was also very lucky to foster deep and meaningful connections with some of these people. In fact, 2 months down the road, I am still in touch with some of the people whom I have met during my trip.

My first trip might be short but it wasn’t one without an adventure of a lifetime. On the eve of New Year, I drank a little too much (and that’s because I’m a terrible drinker), got drunk and my vision literally went blank while I was dining alone. Horrors of horrors. Had I been in a shady area, I could have been robbed, raped or kidnapped. Lady luck must have been on my side because the drunk episode turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I ended up meeting the Prince of Ubud, spending the rest of the night with the lovely marketing manager (who is now, a friend of mine) before celebrating the NYE countdown in style with the restaurant crew! Serendipity? You bet. Along the way, I also cooked a Balinese meal with a local family in their home compound, met my own version of Ketut Liyer (for those of you who read ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, you would know what I’m talking about) – an old lady who flashed her boobs at me, had an unexpected lunch with an American who turned out to be working in Singapore,  and played ‘Santa’ to a group of kids in a local primary school.

My decision to start 2015 with a solo trip was one of the best choices of my life. All it takes is 1 moment of insane courage. But a lifetime of unforgettable memories and experiences. And trust me, once you start travelling alone, chances are that you will become addicted to it because it is so much more rewarding and enriching. Now, just remember that life waits for no one … So, take that leap of faith and give solo travel a try! 🙂 

***
title for solo trip 1 PhotoGrid_1423391017138
title for solo trip 2 PhotoGrid_1423391417737
title for solo trip 7PhotoGrid_1423392036846
title for solo trip 3PhotoGrid_1423392589865
title for solo trip 4 PhotoGrid_1423392772152
title for solo trip 5PhotoGrid_1423393232018
title for solo trip 6 PhotoGrid_1423393494594
What does solo travel means to me? 

Freedom. Fulfillment. Self-confidence. Excitement. Being in control – not needing to be accountable to others. Spontaneity. Serendipitous experiences. And more important, a journey to explore more about myself and grow in ways that I can never learn from my school or workplace.

20150102_135140

. 2014: my most dramatic yet blessed year .

2014 has come and gone in the blink of an eye. Needless to say, on paper, 2014 has certainly been the most dreadful year for me. A close shave with death and paralysis. An extremely dramatic breakup with the boy after 6 years of relationship. Finding out that I have been diagnosed with alopecia areata after suffering from a sudden hair loss. Basically, putting my life plans on hold for the majority of the year. As with most people, I started last year with big plans for changes and change, I did get … Just not the way that I had expected it. Then again, no one could have expected such a turn of events.

Yet, despite the pain and struggles, I’m very thankful to have lived and survived through traumatic events and am still able to continue writing my life’s journey. Like I have said multiple times in previous entries, I know that my injury could have been worse and there was a high possibility that I could have lost the ability to even breathe without a ventilator or write this blog post. What matters most is that I’m healthy and mobile now; Life has pretty much returned to normal for me and I’m living it with a brand new perspective. I refused to let these negative experiences define me as a helpless victim. Introspect, 2014 has been my luckiest year and I’m grateful to have been given this opportunity to gather strength and become more resilient to the difficult changes that life may bring forth.

Surviving The Fight Against Adversity

PhotoGrid_1420363121684

Strength From My Loved Ones
I wouldn’t have had a full recovery, had it not been for the support and encouragement of my family and loved ones. At the lowest period of my life, I was going through sporadic episodes of depression and lost all determination to persevere and fight on. All I wanted to do was to wallow in self-pity and spend my days mopping around in bed. Yet, knowing that my family and loved ones have always got my back made realised I wasn’t going through this shit alone. Through my injury and heartache, I have also learnt that people usually have more to give than what it seems. Relatives and casual friends whom I have never bothered to establish close bonds with, reached out to me and helped get me back to my feet.

Life is never a bed of roses. Even now, I still struggle with making some important decisions in life but I know that as long as I have love and support, I will get through it somehow. Thank you. Especially to Pop Daddy, Mum, Popo, Ah Boh, Ginette and Amanda. 🙂

PhotoGrid_1420362572437

Turning My Experience into Positive Changes
There are only 2 types of outcomes to setbacks in life – You either swim or sink. I chose the former. Driven by the purpose to re-commit myself to life, I decided to adopt a positive attitude and fully utilise the 5 months recovery period. Very often, when you go through life-changing experiences, it makes you stop procrastinating (although it’s still a weakness of mine) and make things happen. Well, it happened to me.

Finances: I’ve talked about investing since I first entered the workforce but my super low risk attitude towards investment meant that I have been procrastinating for 5 long years. After my accident, I decided to take a leap of faith, and did my research on the various investment tools. Having said that, I’m not out to make big bucks through investment as I prefer to adopt the buy-and-hold approach and make my money work harder. Am pretty pleased that I’ve finally taken baby steps in building my financial portfolio and am getting passive income through my investment in bonds and equity unit trusts.

Becoming a student again: Well, I’m not returning to school anytime soon but I have picked up new skills such as baking, silkscreen printing and leather crafting during my recovery period. Oh, the joys of learning something new! 🙂

Blogging: Writing about my experiences on the blog has always serve as a very important outlet for me to express my thoughts and feelings. I never blog with the intention of getting my 15 seconds of fame or freebies, but along the way, I have been lucky to be given mini opportunities for blog advertorials and collaborations. 2014 saw this blog collaborating with ZALORA, Tirisula Yoga, iPrice, RWS, The Entertainer and it was really an icing on the cake to be nominated for the running of OMY Best Lifestyle Blog Awards.

More importantly, I’m so thankful for the chance to connect with several readers who are currently in a halo vest and share with them my experiences of life in that horrible metal device. To be able to share my life experiences and hopefully inspire others, is more important than any other commercial benefits that one can get out from blogging.

Joining Couchsurfing: Yet another thing on my TO-DO list for the longest time! What’s a girl gonna do if she cannot travel often but would still want to experience a taste of other countries’ culture and interact with people from around the globe? Well, join Couchsurfing! Being a typical Asian, I’m still living with my family (and loving it) so it is impossible for me to host any travelers at my place. However, I had a ball of fun playing host to Matiz (Greece), Prashant (India), Mike (USA), Ines (Germany), Martin (Austria) by bringing them around Singapore! 🙂

#inspirekindness through match-minis: The accident has taught me the importance of surrounding myself with affirmations and I truly believe that a little dose of positivity goes a long way. I was making inspirational matchbox cards one day when suddenly, an idea popped into my head. Why not pay it forward by giving away these cute handmade matchbox cards (which I affectionately term as “match-mini”)? Just a tiny gesture on my part to help spread the joy and brighten someone’s day!

The first 2 giveaways received pretty good reception and I’m humbled to see so many people giving encouraging comments about this little project.

PhotoGrid_1420361606448PhotoGrid_1420362090889
PhotoGrid_1420363995359
Many people often complain about how terrible their year was and how they wish for that particular year to be over. However if you were to think about it, each year simply marks 365 days in calendar terms but one shouldn’t have to officially wait for that year to be over in order to make changes or resolutions. Time and tide wait for no man. Procrastination is still one of my weaknesses but I’m working hard on making some of my goals and plans work.

With the coming year, I do hope to follow my heart and set out to make decisions that should have been made ages ago. To listen to the inner voice and not allow the situation to define who I am. La Vita E Bella. 

PhotoGrid_1420363306443
#goodbye2014 #hello2015

. adventure through the lens: Bryan Smith .

thefrozentitans_cr_reelwaterproductionssource

Being a typical Sagittarius, I’m an adventurer at heart and lust after new experiences and discoveries. Being easily bored and restless is one of my weakness, so I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting activities or events to be engaged in. Looking back, I must admit that I was nowhere as outgoing or adventurous in the past. In fact, I was a very studious and introverted girl during my secondary school and junior college years – Think neatly tucked-in uniform, thick glasses, someone who spends most of her time at home instead of hitting town when the rest of the student population are out shopping, well … you get the drift. It is only through the process of growing up and gaining life experiences that I slowly began to develop my own identity, build my self-confidence and foster this spirit of adventure.

So, where does this brings me to? While I’m trapped behind the safe confines of my cubicle at work, I pretty much contented to have the weekends free to embark on my little adventure on our tiny red dot. However, more than anything, I live my life vicariously through adventurers and explorers who have taken a step off the well-trodden path and pushed the boundaries. It’s simply a breath of fresh air. And so, I attended the recent National Geographic LIVE talk show featuring adventure filmmaker, Bryan Smith. Are you fascinated by the jaw-dropping footage of extreme adventurers performing awe-inspiring stunts such as highlining between cliffs, ice mountain climbing, venturing into a volcano? Well, you will need someone behind-the-scenes to capture such breath-taking footage and this responsibility lies in the filmmaker whose fearless and adventuresome attitude brings them to some of the world’s most challenging environments.

Through Bryan’s storytelling and video snippets, I managed to get a glimpse of the life and work of an extreme adventurer behind the lens. From filming ice-climbing in -35 degrees temperature to trekking in the Grizzly bear-laden wilderness of Kamchatka in Russia, Bryan has done it all. While most people would probably gasp in fear about visiting such treacherous locations for work, it is exactly this type of stuff that makes him alive. Fear, according to Bryan, is inevitable but it is also his best asset because it drives him to fully focus on what he has to do at present. Fear is a double-edged sword. A good amount of rational fear keeps you on your toes and allows you to take calculated risk; Having too much fear within, however, can keep you from trying out new things in life and stick to the routine. Personally, I have been on both sides of the equation. Overcoming some of my fears such as trying out new things alone (like how I attended this talk show by myself) or swimming in the open sea are some of the best things I have done for myself because such spontaneity brings forth very unique and unforgettable moments in our lives. Yet, my fear of befriending uncertainty in some aspects have left me opting for the safer option, which isn’t too bad a thing but it allows a load of excuses to own me. In other words, there is a part of me that looks forward to changes and challenges but when that time approaches, I can practically come up with a list of excuses not to go forward with it. To cut the long story short, this is why I admire the people who are continuously pushing their limits, leaving no chance for regrets.

Looking forward to next year’s installment of the National Geographic LIVE talk show events where I can continue to live off these extraordinary adventures! 🙂 

dean potter moonwalksource

NatGeoLive-QTPContestBSsource

bryan-smith-climbing-rock-face_cr-mikey-schaefer-copysource

. get a megawatt smile with express braces .

They say a smile is worth a thousand words. Too often, we underestimate the power of a smile – A simple action that could brighten our day and the lives of others. When I was a little girl, I had a pretty bad case of crowded and protruded teeth and was never proud to flaunt a smile. In fact, I had to wear braces for 5 whole years! For those of you who had undergone orthodontic treatment, you will understand the discomfort and pain caused by these braces. There is the constant ulcers and blisters, tightening of teeth, impairment of speech and of course, the reduced self-esteem. Imagine my excitement when my dentist finally gave the green-light to remove my braces at the end of my Secondary school years. Yet, I underestimated the need to wear retainers for life and over the next decade, my teeth shifted which resulted in a slight misalignment of my teeth.

My advice to those who had worn braces before? Don’t be lazy and wear your retainers every night, else don’t regret once your teeth have shifted.

BEFORE: Slight “bucks bunny” front teeth 
PhotoGrid_1406916436083
Needless to say, I miss my ‘close to perfect’ straight teeth. 2 years and over a thousand dollars later, I had tried different dental treatments, ranging from the good old retainer and clear aligners, to correct my misalignment. Both didn’t work. 😦 I was about to give up when I came across this new treatment offered at my dental clinic, Victoria Dental Care, appropriately termed as ‘Express Braces’. Frankly, I was not too keen about having a ‘metal mouth’ again but when I heard that ‘Express Braces’ offers straight teeth in less time and using clear discreet braces, I was sold. Sort-of instant gratification and I can still look presentable with the clear braces. Only downside? The price tag. It doesn’t come cheap.

express braces title
– Time: An average of 4- 9 months treatment time
– Discreet: Clear brackets and tooth-coloured wire that blend into your natural teeth
– Ideal for those who want a smile makeover without a long treatment time/ unnecessary removal tooth structure


AFTER: To correct the alignment of the front 2 teeth and push the bottom teeth inwards to have a better bite alignment.
Straight teeth 🙂

PhotoGrid_1406916492050
I was in braces for about 5 months, out of which 3.5 months were spent while I was in my halo vest/neck collar. In other words, on top of my metal contraption screwed to my head, I also had a mouth full of metal. Trust me, it was extremely uncomfortable to deal with both devices. The dental treatment itself didn’t cause much pain after the first  2 months (probably because most changes were made within the first couple of months) as the forces used were gentler than traditional braces. Dr. Mak is a very friendly and amicable dentist who never fails to puts me at ease so no worries about nasty dental stories/ experiences!

I’m glad I persevered, for now I’m happy to be able to flaunt my straight teeth! 🙂

Victoria Dental Care
Marina Square Link, #B1-11
Dentist: Dr Sue-Min Mak

PhotoGrid_1405420168907
* This is not an advertorial. Treatment cost was totally borne by me.

. around the world in 24 hours .

29.07.2014. Possibly the happiest day in my life for this year. The day when I received news from my spinal surgeon that my neck fracture has healed completely and I’m ready to start living my life without the neck collar (at home, for now) and move my neck again! 🙂 However, there’s a joint between the C1 and C2 bones that didn’t fuse properly so surgery is not exactly out of the picture yet. Nonetheless, there is simply no words to describe the joy I feel to know that I can regain some sort of normalcy again. Finally, after an awfully long 4 months wait, things are slowly but surely getting back in shape – My fracture is healing well, hair is growing back in my bald spot, completed an express course of orthodontic treatment and am now proud to flaunt my straight teeth and finally, I underwent a cosmetic surgery to revise the depressed scars (aka halo vest scars) on my forehead.

The journey to recovery has been one hell of a ride, with way too many emotional outbursts than I could possibly handle. Some days, I mopped around in bed, constantly living off negative energy and wishing for the days to zoom to the time, when I can proudly proclaimed that everything has fallen back in place. Yet, by doing so, I realised that I was rushing through life just trying to reach to the destination. My goal when I can “get back to my old life”.  Joel Osteen mentioned in his book ‘Every Day A Friday’ that “Many people only live for the mountaintops.” This basically means that most of us are constantly so focused on big-ticket events, such as a job promotion, wedding and vacations/travels, that we put our lives on hold until those things happen. I’m very sure that many of us are guilty of that, aren’t we? Likewise, at the lowest points of my recovery, I was hoping and praying so hard to speed forward in time so that I can be normal again. Because I thought normal will bring me happiness. Yet, there was no denying that I felt even more demoralised whenever I spend a day idling around and doing nothing productive. So, I tried to make the best of each day while waiting longingly for that big day to come. Most of the time, I think I did pretty well for someone who had a broken neck. I have had strangers who came up to me and praised me for having the courage to embark on workshops or island-hopping trips despite my lack of tip-top condition. Looking back, it is the days where I filled my time with meaningful activities that made me smile with glee … And not the days, where I sulked in misery, in my bed.

I guess, what I want to share is that no matter how bleak you might think your situation is, always have faith and believe that it will always get better at the end of the day. It’s perfectly normal to moan and get upset because we need an outlet to release our emotions and feelings but don’t waste too much time wallowing in that dark corner. Attempt to enjoy each day as it comes because when you look back, you will realise that it is a pity to let those days go by without making it productive. And of course, always surround yourself with your support system because they will be the ones who will help get you to your destination eventually. 🙂

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.

disneyworld bdae title

On the many occasions when I’m feeling utterly depressed or paranoid, he never fails to remind me to think of the happy moments in my life. Because these unforgettable memories will be the catalyst to trigger happiness and positivism within me. And I did. While I’m not one who fuss around big birthday celebrations, I have been lucky to celebrate many birthdays aboard. Last year, I had my best birthday celebration (so far) at the happiest place on Earth, with the company of those dearest to me. It was that special day at Epcot, Disneyworld that I often thought of whenever I needed a morale booster. After all, I got to ‘travel’ to 11 countries in 24 hours! Pretty awesome huh! 🙂

 Canada: Learning about O’ Canada at Chateau Laurier and taking a stroll at the Canadian Rookies and Butchart Gardens
PhotoGrid_1406635365682
United Kingdom:
Taking in the sights of the quaint cobble-stoned streets, quintessential English buildings and cottages and of course, not forgetting the world-famous red phone booths!
PhotoGrid_1406635304381
France: Bon Appetit at Les Chefs de France restaurant, followed by a walk at the Seine waterfront and ending with a photo op at the romantic Pont des Arts bridge.
PhotoGrid_1406635211743

Norway: A ride on the viking boat at the Maelstrom attraction and we also saw why the film-makers were inspired by this beautiful country to produce the movie, Frozen.
PhotoGrid_1406635131942

United States of America: New York City. Boston. Philadelphia. Newark. San Francisco. Los Angeles. Anaheim. Buffalo. Orlando. I’ll be back for more.
PhotoGrid_1406634802314
Morocco: The Jewel of North Africa, the most exotic country in the world showcase in Epcot. Soaking in the ambiance of the bustling bazaar and intricately designed courtyard.
PhotoGrid_1406634650869

Italy: People-watching at St Mark’s Square and the Venetian bridges of Venice. Looks almost as real as the originals in Italy!
PhotoGrid_1406634925896
Germany: I’m not a beer person or any alcohol for that matter but when you are in Germany, you gotta do what the locals love! 
PhotoGrid_1406634979998
China:  Back to our roots. Checked out the Temple of Heaven in Beijing and the Terracotta Army in Xi’an.
PhotoGrid_1406635057222
Japan: The most popular and crowded country in the world showcase! Everyone seems to be so excited purchasing all sorts of knick knacks from the Mitsukoshi department store, from Hello Kitty merchandise to anime action figures to katana, to name a few. For me? I’m happy to satisfy my cravings for Japanese instant noodles!
PhotoGrid_1406634723874
Mexico: We joined Donald Duck and friends on a delightful musical journey through Mexico, passing by Chichen Itza, Mexico City and Acapulco! Love the lively energy and colours of the Mexico pavilion! 
PhotoGrid_1406634517561