I had a techincal issue with my blog but now it’s fixed and I am back! I do have much to say and share. Stay tuned!
A new year, a new beginning. Right? That’s what we like to tell ourselves in hopes of making the new year the best year of our lives, but let’s face it, some shitty things will happen too. The best thing anyone can do is live in the moment, enjoy everything and everyone around you. One day, something will happen and you are left with regrets. When the end is near, no one will care that you are debt free, that you lost 100lbs+ of fat, no will care if you came into work on time every single day. What will people care about is your face, your laughter, your passion you showed, the people you loved and cared for, your lust to live life. So you find a partner whose goals are the same as yours and find the best way to live your lives together. There are no set rule books on how happiness is measured. You may not be famous or published a book, what you can do especially as parents are, building a legacy for children and your children’s children. Set the example, be that example and teach that example. The best decision my husband and I made for our daughter is a ULI (Universal Life Insurance). I will not go into details as you are an adult and is capable of reading the wiki link I provided. When we become parents, sometimes new parents forget about the ‘what if’. My friendly reminder is to think about the ‘what if’ and make a plan.
Happy New Year to you all!
I’ve had it, I’ve had enough of feeling sluggish and my lack of self esteem about my body.
Hoping on the Keto trend to drop the fat and then stabilize a healthy weight. I did give a week of sugar free and saw great results.
I’ve never been a fan of any photos of myself, so I’m willing to share numbers instead. Here are my numbers for today. I’m curious to know where the sliming will start at.
My first goal is to drop down to my pre-pregnancy weight. Which means 30 pounds to loose. After hitting that it’s the pre-marriage weight, another 30! Yup my target is to drop 60 pounds. Anyone who remembers me in 2010, that is when I was 130ish.
This will bring also, saving money going out to eat, better lifestyle, a better example for my daughter.
This beautifully done documentary follows an elephant rescue who is 70 years old and partially blind named Noi Na by Ashely Bell. The journey is long and stressful for all involved. It is an eye-opener of what if you have no knowledge on what it takes to rescue a beautiful creature.
You follow Bell and her team of videographers with Lek Chailert on this life-threatening rescue. Along the way you learn where Lek Chailert started and her personal experience in the cruelty of service elephants. She is someone who I aspire to and admire. This is an emotional film but I highly encourage all to watch it. You will walk away more knowledgeable about elephants and how you can help. I applaud Ashely Bell on her fast action to join the rescue team to bring back and show us what goes on first hand. I only wish I had the means to do what she did. What I can do is spread awareness and promote good people like Lek Chailert and many others like her.
I recently enjoyed the movie Song to Song after browsing the options through my Amazon Firestick. This poetic film will test your patience. The characters have intertwined through love and desire. Have you seen it? What did you think?
The film released on March 17th, 2017.
The project I was brought on was moving to the site location in Malaysia. Asia was new to me and I couldn’t have been more excited. Asia was beautiful in many ways. Traveling so far alone was actually very easy for me. A flight from Albany, NY to Newark, NJ to Bejing, China to Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia. Took in total 22 hours of traveling. Gives you much time to think of so much.
When I finally arrived in Kaula Lumpur and made it to the hotel (which was so nice!), I did one day of work then was off for two days. I happened to arrive right when Ramadan started. The Shangri-La hotel had a beautiful infinity pool.
My work agreement was to work 5 ten hour days and one 5 hour day on Saturdays. It was a lot of work but the money was worth it and the experience as a whole. Saturday nights was for sure, a night to let loose and enjoy the city of Kaula Lumpur. Sundays were relaxing with some sightseeing. I was 30 during that time and way more energy. I had actually lost 10 pounds in Europe, and by the end of my stay in Malaysia, I had lost another 20! What did I do? Eat local food and didn’t exercise, goes to show that food outside the United States is way better for you. At that time in my life, I had to lose that weight. Maybe it was the fact I wasn’t trying or the stress being away. All honestly? The traveling and being out of my comfort zone is what made me happy. I do adore my home, but my home can be anywhere.
Kaula Lumpur has some beautiful buildings. The Petronas Towers are worldwide known.
To see more of my photos taken in Malaysia, visit my Flickr album Malaysia
Like Europe, I traveled as much as I could during my time in Asia. Given the work schedule I had, it was difficult to see more. I took one week off to go to Beijing, China. I met up with a long time friend from Australia.
We enjoyed exploring the city together during her birthday week! We took a tour of the Ming Tombs, the Great Wall of China and a tour of the Jade factory. Our guide was great and funny. Tourists in our group were from all over. Including a few from Kaula Lumpur! China is a very different country. You do have to go prepared in many ways. One, have all your destinations translated into Chinese. That was a life saver for us when grabbing a cab. It was one of the best trips I ever been on.
My trip home was an adventure in itself! It was December 22, 2008. From KL to Beijing, then Beijing to Newark, NJ. When I arrived in the states, it was cold and icy at the airport. We were unable to get to our gate due to icy pavement. We had to wait it out until the crew was able to melt the ice. Which in turn caused me to miss my last and final flight. It was nearly Christmas and the crowd was heading towards customer services desks and being told no available flights for two days. I rented a car! Now, I came from Malaysia which is closer to the equator in the mid-80s F and humid plus driving on the right side of the car and on the left said of the road! Newark was cold, icy and back to the right side of the road and left side of the car! I drove the three hours it took to get from Newark to Albany, NY. I climbed into my own bed roughly about 3 am. After 24+ hours of travel, I was done!
What I learned from the 6 months aboard, being away from your comfort zone is great for personal growth, challenges you face and to appreciate what you have at home. No one culture is the same. Experiencing other cultures first hand is a life lesson and experience into one. You do see the flaws in your own country, it’s not to compare some aspects from country to country. If anything it gives a new meaning to life and what is precious to hang onto. I love this planet Earth and the people, sites, plant life, and animals. It’s truly amazing, I encourage all to explore what this world has to offer. Start small but exploring a town in another state or trying a new cuisine. So much to see and do, so little time in one life. Never hold back on an opportunity of a lifetime.
Finding oneself takes time and patience. Ten years ago, I had that opportunity to truly be alone. One Monday morning in July 2008, I was asked if I would be interested in working on a project in Germany. I said yes. That Sunday, I was on a plane to Stuttgart. Leading up to that time my current boyfriend and I were on the fritz. Honeymoon phase had ended long before and we were dealing with each other’s life choices and living ethics. When I was asked, it truly was a no-brainer as space is what we needed. Plus having someone home with my two kitties was nice. We spoke very little during that time apart, at one point I was hurt and wanted to make up but that did not happen. I moved on. Nothing like moving on from someone you loved while out of the country! During my three months in Germany, I had to return back for one week to pack up our apartment and move. First time I traveled aboard with only a single carry on item. My time in Germany was an eye opener of who I am outside my normal day to day routines. Working with new people from other offices within my company. Adjusting to the language, exploring any chance I got. It was fantastic.
My travels within Europe
During the course of 4 weekends in a row, I took a trip each weekend. The first one was driving to Austria to see the beautiful scenic alps and the old city of Innsbruck where I happen to know a fellow photographer who I met and his family.
Click here to see the full-size image and the rest of Innsbruck photos.
The second trip was taking the ICE (very fast train!) to Munich where I had a plan to meet up with a long time friend who completely flaked on me, I went anyways! I was not going to let the said friend get me down and miss the chance to see Munich. I made good use of my time there to see what I could and take photos of everything. I did stop by the Olympic Park (where the 1972 Olympics were held). The pool was in a full use! The streets were filled with bicycles. As it was the main transportation for the city’s residents. Plenty of parks to find, great food everywhere you turn and the people were friendly. I did land myself a pretty cool set of boots there. Which I still have today!
Click here to see the full-size image and the rest of my Munich photos.
The third trip was me tagging along to Berlin with a couple of co-workers. A quick flight up to Berlin from Stuttgart. My German co-worker and his wife gave us a very good tour of Berlin. I was in awe of that city and for what it has gone through. It reminded me of NYC is so many ways. Neighbors catering to all cultures. The food was amazing! The food in Germany is very good an good for you as they do ban so many harmful chemicals and ingredients that are still allowed in here in the States. The three months I was in Germany, I lost 10 pounds. The local food and the extra walking did a big part of that.
Click here to see the full-size image and the rest of Berlin photos.
The fourth and last trip was to Paris. I met up with my dear friend Laura (co-author to this blog), we had known each other for years and years. Finally, we had the chance to meet! I flew in on a Friday evening, following morning Laura arrived which I greeted her at the airport. During August of 2008, it was a heatwave all over Europe. After spending time in Versailles which was hands-down so worth sweating in the heat. It truly was amazing to see it all first hand, we went straight back to the hotel to wash up and cool down. Followed by a lovely dinner out! The next day was the other sites on our list, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Notre-Dame.
Click here to see the full-size image and the rest of Paris. (Note, Paris albums has multiple trips added)
My three months in Europe were a great learning experience on how I can manage traveling alone and being alone. These are the life lessons I am very grateful for as I can pass them down to my daughter. Having a very active career and life before she was born to me is so much more rich to give her.
My adventure continues in Asia in the next post.
My two-year-old daughter is starting to talk way more. Learning new words every day and she surprises me all the time. For example, she dropped an item on the floor and we were headed out the door and I asked her to pick it up off the floor. She looked down and saw it. Anyone who has limited interaction with toddlers may not see the point. The point is if I had said “picked it up please” she would at her eye level when I added ‘floor’ to the request she knew where to look. Once you are an adult, unless you work with children before having your own you forget how smart young children are. We all heard “their brains are like sponges”. So very true. They observe and repeat. On a different morning, I gathered all her things and I was explaining to her it was time to go. My words were exactly “Let’s go, I got your crap” (I wasn’t in a pleasant mood), she repeats “crap”. Then I got the side glance from my husband. I am very careful to keep her ears clean of all swear words. In my book crap is not a swear word but according to my husband, he wants his little girl to be an angel always. She uses words whenever she can. A typical morning with her with her knocking on her door to let us know she wants out. She will keep knocking until you do. When I opened up the door, she hands me items one by one while telling me what they are. We move into the master bedroom sitting her down where I sleep and she pulls the blanket over her and points to the small available space next to her and says “Momma”. Letting me know I can site next to her and where. I wanted to cry with joy so bad! Seeing her put together what she knows to date and use it. As she develops her vocabulary, I have to be even more mindful of what I say as she is very likely to repeat. Watching a human learning how to communicate either through sign language or speech it is by far an amazing milestone to be a part of.
Today I turned 40…
The weeks leading up to this day has been consuming my mind with much anxiety. I have reflected on who I am, what I have done, and how a being mother plays into all this. With much effort on my part, I have done the best I can at keeping positive thoughts.
I won’t lie, it’s scary! I clearly remember as a teenager feeling I had plenty of time to do this, or that with no regard to time. Which I am happy to say I did so much! I went to college, developed an awesome career, traveled to Malaysia, China, and a lot of South East Asia, Germany. Too many places to list. During that time I grew my passions for travel and film. At 40, I have many life experiences, but I know I still have much more to learn. I am very thankful I have lived a full life before becoming a mother. Now I want to share my adventures, along with bad decisions to help shape my daughter to be the best human being she can be.
With all that being said, here are few things that impacted my life the most.
I have decided that my 40’s will be my time to put what I have learned throughout my 30’s to good use. If I was to simplify it to one thing, I would say its happiness. Becoming a mother has given me a lot of clarity. For starters, I do not waste my mental energy on issues that I cannot control anymore. Which is huge for me, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had some control issues before. One thing that hasn’t changed for me is that fact I am pretty blunt. I don’t like to beat around the bush, I say what needs to be said. This trait is both good, and bad. Thinking back to how this all started, I am pretty sure it goes back to my middle school days. To sum it up, I was bullied. This left my self-esteem completely in shambles after that. I really didn’t care what people thought of me after that. Then, one day in history class during 7th Grade, I met my future best friend.
She was the exact personality I needed in my life, she helped me develop my self-esteem back, and I felt I could fly. Shortly after our friendship started, her father called me a “free spirit”. Through my childhood, teenage years and young adult I have made plenty of bad decisions and many great ones. I feel I have lived such a wonderful life, and am hoping to see the next 40 years with my husband and daughter brings.
For those who 40th year came and gone, how was your approach to this milestone in your life? For those who still have some time before hitting the big 4-0, what do you look forward to or fear. Would love to hear your comments!