Never stop exploring

For my recent trips, there have been a slight change in terms of what activities I planned for those trips. Before this, it was all about walking around those touristy spot, snapping some pictures of the famous locations and that’s all. But as time goes by, I started to enjoy a little more on something else.

It probably started during my trip to Hong Kong, where I hiked through a few trails and paths (be sure to check out some of the blog posts I shared previously on this), and I found that although tiring, I very much enjoyed the experience. And then I tried to venture into some “off the beaten path” location in Japan, and later in Taipei. I am not ready to camp out in the wild yet, but I do enjoy hiking through some day trails, getting close to nature and away from the busy buzzing crowd.

With that change in taste, it had partly contributed to some changes in terms of my gears and the way I plan my trips. For camera setup, I ended up switching from only primes to mostly zoom lenses, this is to cater for the unforeseen circumstances and photographic opportunities arise during hiking. Now whenever I plan my trip, I’ll research for locations where I can hike for half or full day. And I am considering to get a better backpack that is more comfortable for hiking use.

Let’s hope I can explore more places while I am still able to do so. In fact, I’m flying over to Tokyo tonight (yes, again…) for a trip that I have been planning for so long. It will be my fifth visit to Japan and the first full solo trip all by myself. Let’s hope that everything will be fine, and I’ll share more when I’m back from the trip. Till then.

A new chapter

Finally settled down after moving into new place. Previously I was renting a room and stay with my wife. However, as we changed our job and to reduce travel time to work, we decided to shift out and rented a small apartment. Nothing fancy, just a small unit with one bedroom, a kitchen, a toilet and a living room.

Shifting from our old place over proved to be a challenge. We thought it would be easy to move from a room, but still there were a lot of stuffs that we need to pack and move. In the end, we decided to engage a mover to carry some of the bulky furniture for us.

I also spent a few days cleaning and tidying the place. During this time, it strikes me with a feeling that as if I’m owning my first home. Technically speaking it is, though it was rented instead of bought. But come to think of it, the first time I stayed in my “own house” was back in Dubai, during my job posting there for a year.

Back then, I rented a studio apartment and stayed alone, but I didn’t felt as much of a sentiment as this time around, probably because I just checked in the place with my clothings and that’s about it, every other things were all inclusive and provided. This time, however, despite the unit itself was furnished, but there are still some essential items such as cooking utensils, cookware etc. that needs to be taken care off. Hence, it gave me a little sense of “building my own home”.

When will I be owning my true “first home”? Hopefully it will be in the near future. Let’s see how things unfold. Till then.

Half way through 2019

Yup, all of a sudden… we are here, at the half way mark of 2019. So far 2019 has been kind to me, though there were many changes in my life and I do get tired coping them at times. But I know that changes are necessary from time to time, so I’m not going to complaint much.

Looking back on the goals I set for myself, surprisingly I had achieved (or going to achieve) most of them. When was the last time I was such efficient in working towards completing my yearly resolutions? Like never… haha. Anyway, glad that everything seems to be on track and getting along. Although there are still a few bits that I need to work harder on.

To sum up my first half of 2019, all I can say was “changes”. There had been so much changes that at times I do felt tired and asked myself “why am I doing all these…”, but then again, it’s now or never. So I’ll just have to keep going and press forward. New job, did lasik for my eyes, exercise more often, restarting my learning of Japanese language, a trip to Taipei, volunteering for Plastikophobia project, moved to a new place and so on.

If everything goes according to plan (hopefully…), second half of the year will be an amazing one. I got one more trip lining up in August, and it’s the one I’m most looking forward to. And there are some plans for some little things here and there, so I’ll try my best to stick to my target and get things done.

Last but not least, I’m still trying hard to make sure I’m posting on weekly basis on this blog. I was so busy after switching to my new job that I didn’t have much time to really sit down and have some thoughts and write something about it. Luckily I have enough backlog posts to sail me through the past few months. As the “stock” is depleting, is time to start spending some time to write again.

I hope you are having a good time so far in 2019. All the best for the days to come. Till then.

My secret?

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“How long have you blogged?”
“How can you be consistently posting and updating your blog?”

I was being asked on these questions recently. I think a lot of people felt surprise that I had been doing this since… once upon a time? Is there a secret behind it? Well, not really. I think the main thing is being disciplined and stick to your plan and work things out. It’s not easy, but yet it’s not impossible.

My current workflow is pretty simple:

  1. Write on my phone whenever there’s any idea that come across my mind.
  2. Develop the idea into full post bits by bits. Usually I’ll be doing this when I’m commuting, waiting or whenever I’m free.
  3. Let the writings sit for awhile. Usually a few days. Come back later and read through them again. Sometimes post may get deleted and never see the light, sometimes I may rewrite the whole post.
  4. Once it’s done, I’ll upload the draft post onto wordpress and make further formatting and adjustments as necessary.
  5. Schedule a date and time to post the blog post. WordPress will automatically post on my behalf when the time comes.
  6. The key is to build up backlog of posts, so you can play around rearranging their posting dates, and also it gives you time to slowly think and write about your next post.

Yup, that’s about it. Nothing fancy, and nothing difficult actually. For now I have set my limit to 1 post a week, I “just” need to crunch out 52 posts per year… which I think is still manageable as of now. Will I ever feel tired and wanted to give up? Of course I do, occasionally. During the lows, I try not to force myself to think and write too much. With sufficient backlog, I should be able to get through the lows and start writing again.

What will be the future of this blog? Well, I wonder, but we’ll see how it goes and for those who actually read my blog, thank you. Till then.

Minimalist

I always have an affection in being a minimalist. Imagine living in a room with little furniture, only the basic and essentials are there, with warm natural light flooding through the window… Although I’m far from one at the moment, but I do feel that I tend to gradually bringing myself to that direction.

I don’t like to associate myself to any brands, I don’t want to become a fanboy for any brands, hence I tend to prefer things with minimalist design and even better, without any logo that identifies it. Often you will see fashion brand like to stick their brand name and logo right in front of your face (take a look at brands like Nike and Adidas). As I overhaul my wardrobe, these were the clothes that got tossed out first.

From time to time, I will reorganize my stuffs to ensure only the essentials were kept, the rest will just got threw away. Perhaps living in a rental room for the past 5 years does helped me in reducing clutter. As my mindset and behaviour changed, as my interest and hobby changed, things got reshuffled, reset and restart all over again. I’m still far from being a minimalist. Hopefully one day I can really simplify everything in my life? We’ll see.