My Travel Chronicles in 2017 and 2016

Random Thoughts


4 Continents & 18 Countries Visited.
Generated at Cmoreira.netJust a humble beginning of my travel journey of countries visited but sometimes it is not about how many countries that one has visited, but the experiences and memories that matter.

On a random note, one of the reasons why I started this blog is to jot down my travel chronicles and stories on the road. I was not an avid traveler and those who know me at least 5 years ago, would know that I’m a workaholic. Previously I would only travel once or twice a year. However, as time goes by and some life-changing events happen along the way, I began to realize how fragile life is. And amidst this rat race, sometimes we need to take a break and recharge ourselves for the upcoming hurdles. Travel to keep sanity. Moreover, with aggressive flight promos, easier travelling information and the evil IG feed of those influencers, planning your next trip gives you a certain life motivation. (Yes my bae keep asking me to unfollow the influencers whenever their pics sparked some interest in me. LOL)

While I’m busy planning my upcoming trips for this year, I was looking through my Instagram feed and began to trace back the days I’m away on my wanderlust journey.

My Travel Trips 

2017 (46 days of travel) 

  1. 23 Dec – Jan 1 (11 days)

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Greece (Athens and Santorini) Trip with bae

This was definitely one of my major events in my life whereby I got engaged! Yes my bae proposed to me at Santorini and we fell in love with Greece. I love the laidback pace, the food (omg the fresh seafood, pasta, moussaka, tzatiziki sauce, grilled octopus) I actually ate pasta few days in a row and I was not tired of it at all.

And the most memorable sunset I ever had was not at Santorini or Meteora, but Temple of Poseidon. Till now, I still can’t forget the feeling I had at the sunset.

  1. 28 Oct – Nov 11 (15 days)

IMG_1182Canada and US Trip with bestie

We were first toying with the idea of a long trip and maybe to US and ta-da! We actually made it happen and we certainly went crazy. The long flight haul was really unpleasant but no pain no gain. Niagara Falls was awesome except the unknown taxes that kept appearing on our receipts.

Th craziest thing we did was the open door air ride which we booked with Flynyon. The best dessert got to be Magnolia Bakery banana pudding while the best food award goes to Shake Shack!!! I really hope the rumour of shake shack coming to SG is true. I seldom eat fast food (once a year?) but for shake shack, I’ll do it gladly!

  1. 10-13 Aug (4 days)

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Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh City trip with bae

It was my first time visiting Vietnam despite being just a few hours of flight time away from Singapore. I love their vietnamese coffee and the thing I love about this trip was the cafe hopping and constant relaxation most of the time.

  1. 27 Jul – 30 Jul (4 days)

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Indonesia – Bali trip with bestie

Bali got me hooked badly and I constantly craved to go back there whenever there seems to be a chance to travel. Their smoothie bowls and a lot of healthy eating options certainly appeal to me. With new cafes sprouting and IG worthy activities (The famous Bali Swing at Zen Hideaway), it’s really hard not to like Bali. Love it so much that I went back for my birthday trip with bae in Feb 2018.

  1. 13 and 19 June (2 days)

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Hong Kong work trip

I was there on a work trip so I won’t considered the entire trip to be a holiday, except the first and last day whereby we have some time to eat and explore before work begins. Have been to Hong Kong a couple of times and the first thing that I would always do, is to eat dim sum and drink HK milk tea! And of course, I will surely buy Jenny Bakery cookies back and savour them every day.

  1. 16 and 22 May (2 days)

Bangkok work trip

Another work trip to Bangkok and I had my worst case of food poisoning because of kimchi at a Korean Restaurant! I was a huge fan of kimchi but after this incident, I was scarred for life. Nothing memorable as I was just glad to be back home to nurse my poor stomach.

  1. 15 – 17 April (3 days)

Taipei Itinerary

Taiwan – Taipei with dance friends

It was a rush trip with my dance friends to attend a salsa festival in Taipei and basically it was just eating and dancing.

  1. 15 Feb – 20 Feb (6 days)

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Australia – Sydney trip with bae

This was my birthday trip and it started off with me falling real sick. But I guess Sydney sceneries and attractions sort of healed me somehow. :p

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One of the highlights would be to tick off my bucket list of Bondi Beach! This is life. I can totally stare into the ocean and let my mind wander for hours. That’s how marketing and creative people work right? 🙂

2016 (36 days of travel)

  1. 23 – 27 Dec (5 days)

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China – Guangzhou trip with bae

We spent the Christmas holidays in Guangzhou during this short trip and I would say it is more of an eating expedition. We ate dim sum every day until we were so scared of it. Their taste of dim sum differs from that of Hong Kong and one of the better dim sum place that offers a localized flavour (HK style that we are used to) would be Tao Tao Ju.

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Another key highlight would be Bing Sheng Pin Wei (Otherwise known as Bingsheng Taste) for their BBQ Pork Char Siew! It’s the best and till date I have not tasted anything close that can beat that.

  1. Nov 26 – 4 Dec (9 days)

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Japan – Tokyo trip with bestie

After catching sakura for 2 times in Japan, I was on a mission to see autumn foliage. We picked the right dates though we totally miss the foliage at Showa Memorial Park. So memorable because we walked so long and spent a lot of time only to reach there to witness rows of bare trees.

Tokyo Autumn Trip Part 2

But we were rewarded with tons of foilage views from other attractions so I’m still a happy girl. 🙂

  1. 20 Sept and 26-28 Sept (4 days)

Hong Kong Trip - 9 places to eat

Hong Kong work trip + solo travel

So I extended my work trip after the event and did some solo travel after. It was mostly eating and I gained a few kilos when I came back! Had to work extra hard to shed them and control my diet thereafter. I had the luxury to have some me-time after an unfortunate event and that’s when I decided that I have other important priorities in life, commitments and responsibilities, though one should live life to the fullest. But the question is, isn’t it difficult? How do your drop everything and pursue what you want and lead your life the YOLO way? I’m still trying to understand and balance this.

  1. 6-10 Aug (5 days)

Cafes to Visit in Bangkok Part 2

Thailand – Bangkok trip with bestie

A short getaway to Bangkok with the main aim of cafe hopping with my partner in crime. I’m not too sure if some of the cafes I’ve been to are still around but I still remembered that Karmakamet Diner served us the IG worthy cotton candy strawberry dessert and charged us for it; we thought that it was complimentary but it cost around SGD$16, if I remember correctly.

Other than this, we had massage every day at Lek Massage and I was hooked onto Herbal Compress! I need to do this for my upcoming trip to BKK soon!

  1. 14 June and 20-26 June (8 days)

Annyeong Haseyo! Korea Trip - Seoul

Korea – Seoul work trip + bae

Went to Seoul for a work trip and extended it so bae joined me later on. We ended up eating Japanese food most of the time somehow and love the cafes at Sinsa area.

  1. 28 Apr – May 2 (5 days)

Perth Itinerary

Australia – Perth trip with bae

My birthday trip and first time heading to Australia! We totally did not know that we need to apply visa until we check-in at the counter. We were so shocked and thankfully it was settled on the spot.

The most memorable experience was the walk through King’s Park for hours. The tranquility and the cooling walk in the weather made everything perfect. I reckoned I burnt 2000 calories from that walk to Crawley edge boat shed. Fremantle had its old charm with eclectic mix of arts and trendy cafes/bars. I would love to go back Perth again.

Well, that’s all for my travel chronicles of 2017 and 2016. I had vague memories of past trips but I’m looking forward to creating new ones in 2018.

Here’s a snapshot of my 2018 trips.

Indonesia – Bali: Birthday trip in Feb and I had a smashing great time with bae

Myanmar – Yangon and Bagan trip: First time travelling with Minz (my JC friend) whom I have known for 16 years!

Thailand – Khao Yai trip: Again, first time travelling with Jocelyn whom I have known for 5 years.

Thailand – Bangkok / Chiang Rai / Chiang Mai trip: Work trip in BKK before I head over to Chiang Rai and then Chiang Mai to meet my bestie!

Cambodia – Siem Reap and Phnom Penh trip: Have been wanting to go to cambodia for years everytime bae and I talked about it for the National day weekend. We are finally going to materialize this year. 🙂

Los Angeles – Another trip brewing with bestie. La la land, here we come!

Turkey and Morocco trip: This is going to be my most important trip till date as I’ll be having my pre-wedding photoshoot in Cappadocia! I have to drop by Morocco as it is my top priority on my to-go travel list. I’m so excited!

Wanderlust,

Salseralove

The Pursuit Of Life

Random Thoughts

In a few weeks time, I’m gonna be a year older. As each birthday passes by, I’m getting more and more aware of time lost and unrecovered, but unsure of what the future holds for me. And then I would wonder what’s gonna happen 10, 20, 30 years down the road? The realization hits me more when someone recently mentioned this – “It’s scary to know that you work everyday and then you go through the motion of it. One fine day when you wake up in your 50s/60s and want to retire (if you can), all the time is lost and you can’t re-live your life again.”

It kind of struck me but then again, this is the harsh reality of life. How many of us can really lead a #YOLO or #HOBO life and really relax one corner and enjoy life? There are commitments to meet, for some people, mouths to feed, the loans to service etc. Even if you choose to lead a carefree lifestyle or decide to become the next travel influencer, you need a lot of courage to defy societal norms or perhaps die trying.

For some, it is the time to carve a niche in career, own that house (because it is THE next stage in life and you must do it), get married because everyone seems to be doing it, strive to attain something so that your life seems accomplished or meet up with your friends to see if either of you had out-done one another. I’m sick of meeting up with some people who usually wants to compare this and that and I’m not sure if they are genuinely happy for me. I have already stroked off quite a bit of them and avoid meeting them. Only if they become normal again. Life is not a competition and definitely not a blind pursuit.

I used to be obsessed with a lot of things because I have this ‘Achiever’ trait after I did the strength-finder personality test – I must do this and that and achieve those goals etc. But the realization sinks in when I start to question if certain things are still important to ME and me only. Not because others think it is important or according to those stupid societal norms.

Well having said that, having goals are still a healthy move towards a fulfilling life or marking milestones. But now I’ll only plan and do those goals, only if they have meaning for me and if that’s what I want and I’m happy with it. Not because I want to impress some people who does not even matter in my life. But I know that humility has never been my strongest trait though. 🙂

Though I can’t possibly lead a #HOBO life, I hope to do something happy for myself everyday which does not need to be something grand. Drink that cuppa of latte, indulge in that ice cream (which I still can’t seem to do it), buy that dress or shoes (oh man I can do this well), eat that sashimi, visit that cafe, and most importantly, reconnect with myself. Reconnecting with myself would be the goal for me from now onwards.

Now, give me that cuppa of latte while I wanderlust on my upcoming travel destinations. 😀

Wanderlust,
Salseralove

 

Yayoi Kusama – Life is the Heart of a Rainbow

Random Thoughts

The exhibition of Yayoi Kusama – Life is the Heart of the Rainbow was opened to public from Jun 9 – Sept 3. As usual, the first weekend was packed with tons of people. Thankfully bf purchased the tickets online so we won’t have to queue 2 hours just to purchase the admission tickets (General Admissions with Yayoi Kusama Exhibition – Life is the Heart of the Rainbow entry at $15)

On a hindsight, I would have purchased the Gallery Insider membership (1 year) to have the priority access at $30 and it would have saved a lot of queuing time. Imagine you need to queue to enter the gallery, and then queue again to see few popular spots such as the Infinity Mirrored Room. And after much queuing, you’ve got only 20 secs (not the 30 secs stated on the stand) when someone asked the Uncle with the stopwatch.
I think out of the 3 hours we were spent there, half of the time we were queuing. Yes it’s true.
Some things you may want to take note:
1. Wear as comfortable as possible, no heels coz you will die queuing and standing the whole day
2. The admission timing for Sun – Thurs is 10am – 7pm.
3. The admission timing for Fri and Sat is 10am – 10pm.
4. The 6pm admission time slot may only allow you to finish queuing one part of Yayoi Sukama exhibition.
5. Good to bring water bottle along to quench your thirst
6. You need at least 3 hours to properly view all galleries (for the paid ones)
Bf and I reached there early to try out the coffee at Gallery and Co. It is boutique cafe which sells merchandise from the various artists and specifically Yayoi Kusama menu specials, especially the pumpkin-shaped cake which looks too cute to eat.
The cafe portion of Gallery and Co. I particularly like the alfresco area as there’s a clear view of the field and part of the city skyline (including MBS)

   

 

Here’s a few glimpse of the other side of Gallery and Co.


  

Thereafter at 4pm, we began our first stop of exhibition which was Gallery A – Kusama’s Infinity Nets and The Spirits of Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens. No photography was allowed for some areas but there will be that few museum-goers that will still take photos of the paintings. Even if the no photography sign is staring back at them. Doesn’t help that they did not do it discreetly and you can hear the camera clicking sound max volume… -_-

I like this distinctive yellow and black whimsical art installation of this illusion effect. The good thing about going to museums is that there will be people posing for photos and you get inspiration from them. They are good photosgraphers (possibly awesome instagrammers) when you approached them to take photos.

   

Next was Gallery B – Infinity Mirrored Room and Song of Manhattan Suicide Addict. The queue was snaking from one corner to another corner which I reckoned we spent 30 mins queuing just to get in, to join another queue.

   

The queue to get into the infinity mirrored room whereby you only get 20 secs. Though the stand stated 30 secs, we overheard the Uncle with stopwatch saying the time limit was 20 secs. We queued twice coz we totally didn’t have enough time for the first round and we ‘strategize’ after that. Haha.
By then it was already 6pm and we were left with 1 hour before the gallery closure. Gallery C – With all My Love for the Tulips, I Pray Forever, and Life is the Heart of a Rainbow. The room installation is filled with repeated forms of colourful dots.
We managed to view some paintings and enjoyed this amazing infinity again. There’s something therapeutic about this lights.
Lastly, we went to view more paintings – Life is the Heart of a Rainbow.
Any resemblance? Haha
We entered into a room filled with metal balls next, in which metal balls are placed in precise location. No touching allowed.

Not sure why am I squatting but I was tired of standing.

With only half an hour’s time left, we went on to explore other areas.
Yes, you need to queue to take a photo with dreamy cloud.
Visitors can pen down their wishes on these coloured ribbons and tie them with the rest. I call this the ‘wishing space’.
Last stop was Children’s Biennale section – The Obliteration Room filled with colourful dot stickers! I got giddy just seeing the whole surroundings.. what a beautiful mess.
Again, not sure what I was doing here with the cup.

So tired at the end of the 3 hour and I wondered did I just visit the museum or went hiking..
And that’s a wrap! I wished I had more time (not to queue but to view) and I have missed out one segment of the colourful balloons (Homogenising and Transforming World).
I’ll definitely come back to this awesome place to take time to appreciate the exhibits here.
Visit http://www.nationalgallery.sg for more information! Good Luck 🙂
Wanderlust,
Salseralove

My Top RomCom Movies

Random Thoughts
My latest earworm is Lost Stars by Adam Levine, and then I realised it is a sound track of a ROMCOM “Begin Again”, which I have not watched it before. This struck me to think back some of the ROMCOMs that I have watched before. And how their theme song really matters because it’s how they left a deep impression. At least for me in this case.

1. Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

Theme song: Starlight by Muse

I think I must have watched this at least 10 times. Great actor by Ryan Gosling (Jacob) and Emma stone (Hannah).. they have great chemistry! Of coz Jacob had that 6 pec body to boot. Steve Carell (Cal) and Julianne Moore (Emily) played the role well, which reflects some of the real issues of a marriage, I guess? I’m not married yet btw haha,

The classic scene I can remember is when Jacob told Cal to be better than the gap, as well as how Hannah did the dirty dancing move. I like how the ending leaves it hanging in a way that it is not clear if Cal and Emily got back together but certainly they want to fix their marriage somehow.

2. One Day (2009)

Song: Good Life by One Republic

The only thing I vividly remembered was that I cried a full 10 mins after the show in my seat! LOL. Everytime I hear this song, it just gives me this heart-wrenching yet this-is-life feeling. Although it’s unrealistic for someone to meet up with one another that one day every year,  Anne Hathaway (Em) and Jim Sturgess (Dex) has shown how they have fully experienced life, met many people, right/bad decisions, and go one full circle only to come back to each other. But she dies suddenly due to an accident. Sometimes, isn’t that life? 
The song just fits the movie perfectly. 

3. He’s Just Not That Into You (2009)

Song: Somewhere Only We Know by Keane

Caught this movie on a flight recently and got me laughing out loud. Literally! This light-hearted, romantic comedy has a strong cast of Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Connelly and Bradley Cooper. Basically the show discussed about how men and women will second guess each other during the dating stage – for example how girls will justify if the guy likes her by judging his actions. Or showing the hard truth when the guy is clearly not showing any interest. I like how Gigi ended up with her Love guru in the end, with the scene of him professing to her with the music in the background.

4. 500 Days of Summer (2009)

Song: Sweet Disposition

This is not your typical romance show with happy endings but after watching this, it is pretty self-explanatory that anyone of us can relate. The classic scene was when Zooey Deschanel (Summer) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Tom) were on the bench (Their favourite view spot) and she said “What I was never sure of with you”. This is the most cruel rejection line ever.

5. Love Actually (2003)

Song: Here With Me by Dido

This song just fits the scene when Keira Knightley (Juliet) dropped by her husband’s friend Andrew Lincoln (Mark) to watch her wedding recordings.And then she realized that he likes her when he behaves he hates her all along after watching the tape. This kind of one-sided love hardly ends well but kudos to him for confessing to her still.

Every Christmas, I would crave to watch this movie.

6. My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

Song: The Way You Look Tonight by Tony Bennett

 

An all-time classic. Some called it the mother of all friendzones! While most of the times I’m pissed with Julia Roberts (Jules), for her plans to thwart the wedding, I also pitied her. The classic scene is when Jules and Dermot Mulroney (Michael) were on a boat, slow dancing to this song, she should have taken the chance to tell him how she feels but the moment passes. No happy-endings but I swear it looked almost he regretted his decision to marry Cameron Diaz (Kimmy) during the ending scene.
Other faves such as Love and Other Drugs, The NoteBook, A Walk To Remember are also worth watching.
What’s your favourite ROMCOM then?
Danceoff,
Salseralove

An open letter to myself in 20s

Random Thoughts

Prying away the cobwebs that’s building up here. How’s everyone doing? 🙂

You will probably make a LOT of mistakes. In any aspects of your life. But made them anyway. This is how you learn, feel, experience, live for yourself.Been so caught up with so many things and realize life is too short for me to hold onto something that is no longer making me happy. If there’s no growth, you just got to move on. At some point of my life, I would think to myself what I would become 1 year later, 3 years later, 5 years, 10 years? And now that I looked back, this is what I would tell my young self in 20s.

– You got to thank your lucky stars that your job-hopping in 20s will land you an awesome job in the end. So job-hop, explore, and learn anyway. Always go with your gut feel if you wanna go out of your comfort zone. Life begins at the end of it, remember?

– You will spend a lot on clothes but then you will ultimately realize what is your own personal, unique style – note that it is pointless to follow fashion trends that make you look hilarious.

– You will lose few of your friends that you deemed trustworthy. But it’s ok to be disappointed and hurt. Because you will learn to see who are truly your friends that will be there for you, be it ups and downs.

– You will meet nasty people who put you down, strip you off your confidence, and whats-nots. But you will learn that they behave this way because they are insecure and perhaps stuck in their own world.

– You will slowly learn to let things go instead of wasting your time and energy to make broken things work.

– You will realize your smoky eye make-up that you like to put on daily, makes you look like you have serious dark eye circles. So, drop it.

– You will realize nothing is more important than family.

– Your music taste will change drastically from Britney Spears to indie songs like Coldplay, Keane and Suede.

– You will learn to save and understand that it will be of better use such as owning a private property.

–  You will stop going to bars/pubs to chill with friends and become a cafe addict and foodie! But don’t forget to stay slim to fit into those dresses.

– You will learn to celebrate endings because endings are necessary, and you will experience freedom eventually.

And I can’t wait what my 30s will unfold.

Danceoff,
Salseralove