Sunday, March 2, 2014
Chinese New Years Resolution, I'm cramming in a blog post before I leave for Ecuador tomorrow. With less than 24 hours left in the country, I have to run a bunch of errands (grade and submit assignments), make arrangements with friends and family, and pack my bags. With so much of the important stuff left to do, there can be a whole bunch of little things that gets forgotten. With proper planning in my day, I'm making time to:
1. Clean the house
Just do it. This will be one less thing to think about when you're back.
2. Fresh sheets on the bed
The second best part of coming home is sleeping in your own bed. The BEST part is sleeping in your own bed with fresh sheets!
3. Paint your nails
Nothing to do with vanity, but everything to do with practicality. Nails are short and painted over with a glittery polish. Do this and your nails will not break on the road. You will not have to buy nail clippers or files. You will not get stopped at security for carrying a weapon on your carry on luggage.
4. Check power outlets at your destination
Why bother bringing everything if the power outlet is different. Either leave electronics at home, bring extra batteries or buy the adaptor, if available at home where it'll be cheaper than at the hotel/airport.
5. Print/Write everything
Those 30+ seem to get it, but for my generation: never assume an Internet connection will be available. Itinerary, reservation codes, flight numbers, hotel address...everything should be on paper and right next to your passport.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
My smartphone completely change my life. I've written about this before, but it really has. If anything, it made being a workaholic that much easier. While some may see this as a negative, it has also allowed me to stay entertained for hours as I wait in airports or offices.
However, when it comes to writing down appointments and meetings, nothing beats the good old fashioned pen and paper. I was happily using Jorte for a year when I was just teaching. It was bright, and cleanly laid out. There were cute icons for staff meetings, report card deadlines, trips ...etc. When I switched jobs and my schedule started to fill up with different activities, I found that it was no longer keeping pace.
My Moleskin has now joined my Smartphone in my purse and on my nightstand. It's simple and immediate. And as much as I love my other apps, there are some things that technology simply can't replace.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Two weeks until I'm in Ecuador! I am so insanely happy to be on the road again. Staying landlocked for the past two years (shit happened, I survived) sucked, but now I can fly again.
While I'm trying to get as much stuff done at work, I also started my packing pile. Doing this before every trip ensure that you have a decent idea of what you have and what you still need to buy. This isn't the time to edit (another post on that later), this is just a dump of things I would very likely need on my trip.
Currently in the pile:
Since I'll be going from mountainous regions of 9,000 feet to the capricious rainforest, I basically have to pack for four seasons. Pictured are vests, fleece and thin layering tops.
Sounds silly, but really... I don't want to waste time looking for socks when I'm travelling. This is my indulgence when travelling. Everything I wear will likely be from a thrift store or more than 5 years old, but when I wear new socks, I feel like a queen. Every traveller have their "thing", this is mine.
I love food, especially street food. My stomach doesn't always agree with my culinary tastes, so I go prepared. Imagine trying to explain diarrhoea in a foreign language to a pharmacist. Some of my essential meds include:
4. Hygiene Products
Even when I went to Europe, not knowing the hostel washroom situation, I like to bring baby wipes and antibacterial gel. Even if you're stuck at an airport for a missed connection, having something to wipe your face is really nice.
5. Flip Flops (not pictured)
ALWAYS bring flip flops, no matter where you go! Even in 5 star hotels, bring flip flops!
Now that my inventory is in front of me, some gaping holes became obvious.
Need to buy before I leave:
Canada has me well prepared for snow and sun, not so much for rain. Since I don't live in Vancouver, I don't usually see a lot of rain. Spring is the short season, so I don't have a lot of rain gear. I didn't realise that I didn't have a decent water proof rain jacket until I started my packing pile.
Side note: I looked up the difference between waterproof and water resistant. Now I'm ready to shop!
2. Ziploc Bags
I have lots of cosmetic bags collected from bonus shopping events, but they aren't see through. And I refuse to spend money on clear packing organizers. Ziplocs are the way to go for shorter trips.
3. Spanish-English Phrase Book
I made it through Germany and eastern Europe without a phrase book, but I doubt that it can be repeated here. Thankfully there are plenty of used book stores closeby.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Over the weekend, I told a friend of a friend that I thought her little sister is "a self absorbed, little twat,"(Sharon, 2014). This is routine for me; I like to say what I think, even if it's socially acceptable to remain quiet. And you know the usual response? Shock, followed by silence.
I'm not sure if I'm that big of a bitch that other people would rather change the subject than to engage in more bitch from me. Or if they are just surprised by the fact that I do express myself when most people would just talk about it behind closed doors. Either way, I don't really care. Their opinion of me won't change my opinion of me.
Life isn't meant to be lived in silence. It's okay to disagree with people. It's fine if think differently than your friends. I don't actively go out and say rude things. However, if the situation arises and the conversational floor is open, I will chime in.
My friends are cool, open minded people who will talk back to me and it's great. I don't want to fight, I want a dialogue where we can exchange opinions. Maybe I'll learn something, maybe I won't. My friends' friends, who I see on occasion when social situations forces us in the same time/place, are about 60% idiots. They are the girls who spend their time talking about shopping, eating and nothing else. They are also the girls who are quiet, meek and needs their boyfriends/dad to do things for them. I'm a career-driven, well read, traveller who can change her own tires, pay her own bills and could explain the notes of hop in beer. Yet, when I'm with them, I'm the freak.
I say what I want to say to them because I really don't care. Are they beneath me? No, absolutely not. I'm not judging them, but I refused to be judged by them. I don't want them in my life and since they are, I'm not putting effort in to enforce social etiquette. (I called the girl a twat because she exhibited observable behaviour over many instances that warrants my assertion, not a judgement.)
The secret to not caring goes back to what and who you want in your life. If you choose to allow people you don't like or negative comments that haunt you; that's your fault.
Friday, February 7, 2014
In keeping true to my Chinese New Year's Resolution, this is the first weekly blog post of the year. I am writing this instead of completing my citations for an assignment due in a few days. Luckily I caught up with grading college papers and have an entire blissful day at my day job tomorrow to devote to my wonderful tutors. Yeh, I'm insanely busy. Dare I say, the busiest that I've ever been?
Every weekend of mine is booked until mid-March. I'm very fortunate that everything that's keeping me busy is also keeping me happy. I feel a bit like a kid who has plans for Legoland one weekend and then a Disney World trip the next. I am a workaholic, and I love what I do.
The only downside is that I have very little/no time to devote to my hobbies: reading, crochet, checking out poetry slams..etc. However, as soon as a break does appear in my schedule, I'll be bringing those activities back into my life.
I feel that what I do makes a difference. I am driven by the ability to help others, not by desires fueled by greed. Workaholics have a bad reputation. Not every workaholic is looking to be the next millionaire or CEO.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
The Year of the Horse is upon us (tomorrow). I was so blessed during the Year of the Snake that I am full of energy, enthusiasm and optimism for what's ahead. My goals for the year are simple and I fully intend to keep all of them. Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a lot of cooking for me to do!
Friday, January 17, 2014
I'm fortunate enough to do what I love, which is why work creeps outside of work hours. But too much of one thing (even if it's good), can end up being a complete drag. I know that I have one of the busiest years ahead of me, and I just can't seem to say "no". So many opportunities to learn new things, how could I possibly turn it down? I don't, which means I have to work that much harder to carve out time away from work.
To keep life simple, I make an extra effort to turn off. The precious hours during the week, I reserve for my errands and general household duties. My weekends are insanely precious to me. Fridays are special for me. At 4:30 every Friday, my weekend officially starts. Despite the fact that I use Saturday to catch up on non-work work, Fridays I make sure I get absolutely nothing done. This is my day to read and devour whatever book it is I've been thinking about during the week. Sundays are usually a toss up between finishing off work I didn't do on Saturday, or bonus reading time.
I made the choice to put career my focus this year. To keep myself sane, I know that I need to keep life simple. I've chosen what is absolutely important and that's all I have time for. My schedule is simple, because it only includes: work, exercise, read. Vacations have already been pre booked, and until then, my life is scheduled around my essentials.
It seems like a strict punishment, but I'm really happy and excited. I feel like I've set up a logical plan towards achieving my goals. It's only January, but I have great hopes.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
I already know that 2014 will be a year full of blessings. I can't guarantee that it will be easy; I may even stumble a few times. New opportunities have started to arrive and this can only mean the chances to learn and explore more. I like new challenges that forces me into awkward and unusual circumstances. What's the worst that could happen? Looking the fool?
Monday, December 30, 2013
Looking back over the past year, here's what I've come to realise:
1. Getting older is wickedly cool
2. Always be professional
3. Winning the game sometimes just means staying in the game
4. Progress comes with struggles
2011 was the year the metaphorical asteroid hit my life and left me asking "what the hell just happened?" 2012 was spent in a daze. I seriously cannot remembered what I did during those 365 days, but I somehow emerged into 2013 with a fighting spirit. I feel like a semblance of 2011 me, but with a lot more drive and ambition to take back those missing years of life.
2013 was a reset. I got the job that I should have gotten in 2012. I bought that house. I celebrated and rested . 2014 will be no different. I will finish that damn Master's degree and set foot on yet another continent. Now, more than ever before, I feel like I can actually do it all.
|Let's rock the last year of my 20s!|