Career Break, life, Minimalism, Rants, travel, Uncategorized, wanderlust

Chasing dreams

No dreams are ever too silly to chase.

Alas, I have decided to give in yet again, to this deep yearning smouldering inside my soul.

I know I need to resist the desire, the strange magnetic pull. I have responsibilities in this world and I know i need to fulfil my duties.  But no matter how hard I try to resist that magnetic pull, it’ll ignite even more. I find my mind constantly wandering off the horizon and feel the magnetic pull to leave the realms of my comfort zone. To pack my bag and explore, uncover what lies out there.

The beauty, the ugly and the truth of life.

Since my last career break, I have tried so hard to resist this magnetic desire; to assimilate into society. To be a good employee, daughter and whatever duties I should fulfil. I know I should be like peers my age, chasing and climbing the corporate ladder. To earn good money, to get that long awaited promotion, get married to the person they have dated for too long and then, to retire comfortably in later years.

But I just can’t.

I don’t care about material possessions. I know life has so much more to offer than just being compelled to conform to the wants of society. Long term travel is something that is constantly on my mind, multiple times a day.

That yearning, the hope there is more to life than just the 9 to 5. Doesn’t make us ungrateful for the life we have. Doesn’t mean we love anyone any less. It means we want off the couch. It just means we want more. It makes us dreamers, adventurers and it makes us ones who refuse to settle. We need experiences, we need more unprecedented moments in our lives. To fuel us. To make us dig into parts of ourselves we never knew existed until the restlessness in our souls could be denied no longer.

I have decided to tender my resignation next week. An adventure awaits but I am trembling inside with so much uncertainty.

But if this dream is silly, I would still want to go for it.

Love

Joy

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Career Break, life, travel, Uncategorized, wanderlust

Restless soul syndrome

 

I’m amazed

I’ve always thought there’s something wrong with me.

The thirst and deep desire to explore and uncover the truth of life. All the endless questioning and refusal to conform. Constant boredom and restlessness. My mind is constantly on the clouds; faraway from where I am and probably sipping margaritas on a beach.

These days, the restlessness is overwhelming. To the point that I thought I was sick. Is there something wrong with my mind? Or am I just another ingrate, unsatisfied and not contented with my blessings.

I know I am incredibly blessed. I am born in a country that is safe and clean, and grow up in a loving but strict and conservative family. I could be happy if only I knew how to stop the endless questionings and desire to explore. My overwhelming desire makes me feel incredibly suffocated in this concrete jungle i am staying in right now. The bureaucracy and rigid management in my organisation are draining my soul.

Whenever I share this with someone, I’ll always get the same flabbergasted reaction. They will always have similar thoughts that I am just constantly trying to find means to escape from reality. But is that really?

Today, I discovered an amazing term that defines myself perfectly. I have diagnosed myself with the restless soul syndrome.

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Nation of robots

I want to be out of this system.

Society.

Conforming to what everybody else is doing just because it’s the norm. We are the ones who created all these societal norms – roles and responsibilities.

Chasing all the wants but feeling empty after.

I don’t believe this is what all life is about. J

I’m feeling so withdrawn these days. Observing the people of my country. Everybody looks so emotionally dead on the train. Have we created a nation of robots?

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Career Break, Minimalism, Rants, Solo trip, travel, Uncategorized, wanderlust

Idealistic much?

file3I love writing.

As much as I would like to avoid the truth, I am rather socially awkward and verbal communication that involves awkward small talks mostly wouldn’t work out well for me.

Currently, I am writing articles,newsletters and designing marketing collaterals at a non-profit for children. After my last career break, I have narrowed down what I want as my career – something meaningful and worthwhile working hard for. So i chose a cause that is close to my heart – to reach out to the abused and neglected children. Because I truly believe that children are innocent and they deserve a second chance in life. Their future should not be determined by the doings of their parents. I want to play a part to be their voice because I know how it is like to be helpless and vulnerable.

I love the cause of my work. But I have soon realised how idealistic I was. Turns out that majority of my job scope involves fundraising and analysing numbers (Have I mentioned how much I hate dealing with numbers?). I have minimal interaction with the children (I felt cheated because during the interview I was assured that I will have frequent interaction with the children as well as frequent centre attachments). The management is conventional, bureaucratic, and very very resistant to change. There’s a lot of wastage of resources and inefficiency. Furthermore, my application for scholarship to further my studies in masters of counselling (which btw will incur zero cost to the organisation, but fully reimbursed by the government) was rejected because the management think it is highly irrelevant to my current job scope. That is the last straw for me because I really wanted to pursue my career as a child counsellor.

It is time to have my next back-up plan to resurface. I want to explore the world. Life isn’t just all about paying bills, fitting in, settling down, mindlessly working to climb the corporate ladder, numbing yourself every weekend with alcohol and partying, and then the cycle starts all over again.

Life has so much more to offer and I am going to slowly unveil and discover its beauty.

And of course, this involves travelling….long term.

Stay tuned!

Love,

Joy

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Pantai Klebang, Hidden gem in Melaka 29 April 2018

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travel, Uncategorized, wanderlust

Exploring Myanmar

Video credits to my best friend who made this video for my birthday.

This post is like a comforting cup of Nutella hot chocolate.

I haven’t had enough of Myanmar. Left my heart and soul there. I have fallen deeply for just about everything about the country; The people, food, surroundings, rural places

I’ve always wanted to visit Myanmar before it gets too developed and manifested by tourists. When I was there, I could smell changes in the air. In few years from now, the country would be more touristy and urbanised. I was actually quite devastated when my guide told me they were about to build KFC on top of the mountain at Shan State.

Booked the air ticket a week before my trip in October last year and was delighted that the air ticket was shockingly cheap. Turned out that it was during the peak of Rohingya crisis. But I went ahead anyway and boy, am I glad I did.

Started out my adventure at Yangon. Spent a night there and popped by Shwedagon Pagoda. Initially, I was unfazed by the place and thought it is just another pagoda. But that place truly looked magical and the colour of the pagoda changes as the night falls.

Shwedagon Pagoda – no filter 

Tuesday corner cus Im born on a Tuesday!

 

Off to Bagan next!

Can you feel my excitement? 

Rented an e-bike to explore the ancient city. Bagan is like a dry desert. The air is dry and humid. But there is something about Bagan that is so intriguing and charming. It makes you want to explore all of the dozens of pagodas scattered throughout the ancient city.

On the same day of my arrival, i was informed that there’s a tropical cyclone affecting other parts of Myanmar near Bagan. Before the trip, I was already mentally prepared of the rain because it was the monsoon period. But I was taken aback at how erratic the weather was. The rain came and go every hour, and I experienced the strongest wind I ever felt before. But I must say, e-biking in the rain was really a thrilling experience because you get to splash the puddles on the muddy paths.

There are a gazillion pagodas scattered all over Bagan. They are amazing and looked magnificent. But after a while, I got quite bored. On my what felt like 100th visit to another pagoda, I asked my guide to bring me to an off the beaten track to explore the rural side of Bagan. He brought me to a local village and I really enjoyed my visit there. I was greeted by a huge cow and 2 giant pigs when I arrived.

Thanaka paste

You cannot possibly visit Myanmar without smearing the Thanaka paste on your face!

Don’t I blend in well?

Do not be fooled by my smile. I was actually trembling cus of the height. This photo is an evidence of the millions of pagodas in Bagan

Next, catching of sunset on a boat in Bagan!

There was a huge thunderstorm right after this boat trip and boy were we lucky to catch the beautiful sunset!

Next adventure.. Inle lake. That place is beautiful beyond words and one of the things i love about the place is the main mode of transport is by boat. And the boat is my favourite kind of sampan, wooden traditional ones!

Win Win, my guide at Isle Lake

Chewing Betel Nut

I noticed red spit everywhere in Myanmar and asked the guide of the source. Turns out that the Burmese love to chew on Betel nut and it is a growing addiction that is similar to smoking tobacco. Yes, I tried it and spat it out within seconds and all I tasted was bitterness of the leaf. No, needless to say, I wasn’t high.

cannot tell you how amazed I was by their local Burmese food. The Burmese food I tried in Singapore was horrible and had a weird aroma. So I was taken aback by how much I enjoyed the food in Myanmar. My favourite is their Shan noodles, crackers, and Mohinga. (Oh no, I am already salivating just typing this)

This post is really getting long and I shall not bore you with more details.

Ah, my soul is nourished after this post. Brings me back to the happy times in Myanmar.

Stay tuned to my London post next!

Love,

Joy

 

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Career Break, Minimalism, Rants, Solo trip, travel, Uncategorized

Endless search

Ah, life.

Few years ago, I was confused.

I started observing the society i live in  with a conscious mind. The people, living environment, social culture. Living in a cosmopolitan city, it comes with no surprise that most around me has a common goal in mind – money.

Everyone seems trapped in the endless rat race, most aren’t even aware that they are in one. But the worst part is, they seem pretty alright about it. They are numbed and shaped by society with endless material wants and desires. They slog hard and risk betraying their souls to buy another chanel handbag or Rolex.

What happens after satisfying their material wants? Are they truly happy? Will it ever be enough to relinquish their numbed soul?

My goal in life is happiness. But I have since realised that finding happiness is very much like a fish looking for water in a sea. But s this really what life is all about? We have become the robots of society; Climbing the corporate ladder, earning big bucks, settling down, be a parent before turning 30.

Being stubborn, I refused to believe that’s all life has to offer. In 2014, I decided to take action and set out to search for the meaning of life. I borrowed self-help spiritual books, meditate ( mindfulness and benevolence), and even stayed in a temple for a few days.

I was still very much confused.

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Then, I had enough of the mundanity of life and quit my job to volunteer at Maldives for 7 weeks. There, I learnt how simple it is to achieve happiness. The importance of self-care and being authentic and genuine to others. It was a life transforming experience which taught me independence and to step out of my usually socially awkward self. (Not to mention a near death experience during my first snorkelling trip in the beautiful crystal clear deep open sea) Although I had to shorten my trip, the experience taught me a great deal about myself and what I should improve on.

So then, I continued my search when I got back. Being someone unmotivated by dollar signs and numbers, I decided to join a kindergarten as a teacher. In 5 years of my working life, it was the only time at work I truly enjoyed myself. The innocence of the children brought so much joy. I especially enjoyed the art and craft lessons, the time when the children can freely express themselves. I teared when my contract ended and I knew it’s time to leave.

Last November, while travelling to London, an extremely kind and generous family friend introduced me to the term – existentialism. A philosophical term by Jean -Paul Sartre. I was mind-blown and appalled. Finally, I have found a term that aptly describes how I feel about life and how it truly should be.

So, what does existentialism mean? According to this philosophy, life is inherently meaningless and it is entirely up to us to add meaning to our lives. If you dwell on this negatively, you may very well be really depressed and grumpy, or in extreme cases, suicidal. But to me, the freedom to choose what we become and how our lives should be instead of defining ourselves through societal roles and responsibilities (e.g. gender – women should get married and be mothers before the age of 30) gives us limitless opportunities.

We are conscious beings freed of societal rules, roles and responsibilities. I can especially relate to this, being someone who enjoys my freedom very much and dislikes bureaucracy, mundanity and rules.

Let us all put an end to our search for the meaning of life. Let us take action to add our own unique ingredients of life. We have the power to create meaning in our lives and that, gives us limitless opportunities.

Let us all be free and happy.

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travel, Uncategorized

Dreamy Ipoh : Short Escapade

I love writing.

I’ve kept a journal since I was 9 and never stopped writing since. I write more when I’m feeling upset or down.

Can’t believe my last travel post was so long ago. To revive this blog, I shall write about my travel adventures over this span of time.

In September, I booked a last minute getaway to Ipoh, malaysia. It was decided just a day before the trip and I’m so glad I went ahead with it. Impromptu trips are the best.

Ipoh is my mother’s hometown and I’ve never explored the pretty town on my own before. Even though I’ve always had pleasant memories of the place, i never knew I could do so many awesome water activities there.

It was a 12 hours overnight bus journey.

First day: water rafting, tubing and caving

Second day: Explored ipoh town and Kelly castle

It was a short escape but I enjoyed every single moment during that short trip. The only downside was the massive traffic jam on the way back and I reached home at around 3am and had to wake at 7am the next day for work.

Needless to day, I couldn’t function the entire day and was only physically at work that day.

 

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