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缅甸篇:千万不要一个人旅行。

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【去.......不去........去.........不去.....】临行前的歇斯底里。

缅甸不是什么著名的旅游胜地,2012年才开放的一个国家 - 短短的5年时间怎么可以跟已经开发成熟的旅游胜地相比?一个人这样去了之后有人会说英文吗?吃方面怎么办?我就一个小姑娘会怎样吗?我什么都还没订好、行程什么的都是free style,我要在那里干嘛?网速那么慢 (那里有网络吗?),我怎么跟外界求救沟通?....etc ....etc 最重要的是,出发前看过的那部老电影Over Rangoon让我整个腰椎冷了半截 ,感觉这个国家随时都有厮杀的情况会出现。

出发前我告诉闺蜜: If I come back alive, we shall celebrate。

我是真的,很。怕。。。什么都。怕。。
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你还记得小时候戒奶瓶、奶嘴的那份勇气吗?跌倒了擦干流血的膝盖继续欢乐像没事一样...暗恋学长结果被拒绝,回家找朋友包两个小时的电话粥第二天继续精彩。小时候那种天不怕地不怕的勇气,那种越战越勇的精神...叙述起来,还真的以为那是另一个人。我似乎都已经忘了,那是曾经的我自己。

今天,很多年过去了,怕的事情越来越多 - 怕失败、怕丢脸、怕高、怕累、怕胖。怕没钱、怕没电、怕没网络。做什么事都畏首畏尾,裹足不前一阵子之后决定原地踏步 -- Play Safe。不知道哪一年学来的一句粗话,从此都小心翼翼的生活,深怕走错一步就完了。怕得有时连面对恐惧的能力都没有了。习惯了安全、依赖安逸,结果总是为小事纠结。成了一个名副其实的城市囚....

说也奇怪,人长大了不应该是越来越勇敢的吗?怎么感觉上不是这么一回事?“这种被自己设的局限囚禁的感觉让我觉得很无力。”出发缅甸之前我这样跟一个好朋友说。于是,不管多怕,我都决定了要面对恐惧,把自己逼到一个死角,唤醒那个沉睡的勇气。

* * * 在缅甸8天,老实说第二天我就给好朋友发了短信说我想退掉之前定好的行程回家了 - 我是怕的,并且越想越怕... 我说,被打败了又怎样?下一次再试就好了,总会成功的。但姐姐现在以过来人的身份告诉你,你永远都不会有下一次。这一次走了,你就是一个认输,你就是一个怕!那你就白来了....

其实说到这里,到底一个人旅行是在怕什么?更多时候,其实都在怕孤独 - 总觉得旅行就是要一群人,要分享,要成群 - 那是社会和脸书给我们的…

Pagoda-hopping in Bagan by Electric Bike: Myanmar Photo Blog

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"Can I walk from here to the pagodas?" I asked.
"OH NO! (Waving his hand) Too far... Too far... 7 kilometers..." The little boy I bumped into at a motorbike shop said. " E-bike.. E-bike".

I was skeptical... I have never ridden on a motor bike before. I have ridden on the back of motorbikes, but I had never actually been the driver (corrected by my past motorbike drivers who insisted that I have ridden on motorbikes before, just not the driver). The E-bike he pointed to me looks like a "real thing" and I didn't think I could handle by myself. But this is my first day in Old Bagan and I WANTED to see the pagodas so badly. I said to the boy, "Teach me".

To my surprise, I got a hang of handling an electric bike in less than 10 minutes of training. It felt like riding a heavier bicycle without having to pedal it. It ran at 20-30 km/hr. Nice and slow. I paid 6,000 kyats for rental and headed right to the direction where I got myself sta…

跟别人不一样,又怎样?

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从小到大成绩一向优秀的我到了高一那年顺其自然的就上了理科第一班,那年只是16岁只觉得什么事都跟着同班的朋友一起做就不会有错: 该读书的时候读书、该睡觉的时候睡觉。当时社会给我们这群孩子的压力就是:成绩好的人读理科,出路广。一直到我16岁,我都是一个很顺从主流的孩子。所以选了理科,是一个很自然地决定。
这,没什么不好的…也没什么好的
上理科第一年,一个很明显的状况就出现了:我对物理、化学、生物,一点兴趣都没有。课本都是英文字,对当时的我而言有一定的难度。我尝试很努力的明白老师在讲什么,但发现每一堂课都像在上外文。我的成绩从90分跌到及格边缘,最后变成不及格 –  有一天我鼓起勇气回家跟妈妈说,我要转商
这个决定引起了小轰动 – 快没把我送到神父那里开解 。但我最后还是坚持转了商 – 一个非常不被祝福的决定,甚至感觉大家有种在看我好戏的感觉。我毕竟比正常的商科生少上一年基础课,高二那年成绩并不理想 – 会计为什么要credit,什么时候debit,balance sheet为什么可以不Balance..我都是到高三统考之前才茅塞顿开的!
高三以非常好的统考成绩,我被新加坡大学录取了,念统计学 Statistics ,因为喜欢数学– 但刚开始在新加坡的日子并不好过,总觉得哪里不对。所以我根本没去上课。到了年终考试去考场,算是第一次见过教授 – 可想而知,成绩应该是很“标清”的。到了大四,大家开始思考人生 – 成绩好的人找工作只是一个选择题。成绩不好的我们,就要考虑是不是要选择一个专业以外的工作,接受比较不好的待遇。
我并不想放弃统计,虽然大学积分不好。在一次机缘巧合的情况下接触了保险和精算 – 于是私底下付了考试费然后考了几门精算文凭,一个在妈妈口中觉得冷门又辛苦的科系。再一次做一个不被祝福的决定 –市面上成绩好的精算毕业生比比皆是,哪有我的份?我不信邪,真的勇闯这家保险公司就递了我的履历。这个被大家都取笑的动作,让我踏进我人生中第一份工作的门槛 – 我必须承认一开始待遇不是那么好,可是我只有23岁,第一次工作,谁知道什么叫做negotiate?总之就是懵懵懂懂的,把自己卖了….
我这个大家眼中成绩次等的大学生,反而因为我的误打误撞,进了当时大家认为至少second upper才进得去的保险公司。为什么?因为我不信邪,我尝试了…
在这家公司一呆,五年了 – 我从local,做到r…

5 things to feel better on a Saturday afternoon

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For whoever you are -  a housewife, a technician, a librarian, a barista...a lawyer, a doctor, a politician ...Have you ever feel like a failure? Maybe it's time of the month, maybe I am just feeling lonely, or maybe I am just thinking too much. But I felt like I am a failure, the past two days. I need help, and I need someone to talk to.

I got really down and this afternoon I made a very terrible painting - I doubt on myself, I doubt on my capability, I doubt on the meaning of life. I was just being a complete negative grumpy butt. I thought I was not going to make it through this thunderstorm. For one moment, I was just going to give up a very good opportunity that came by, that many people are dying for.

I hope this article at least help those are feeling shitty out there..



I am sorry that you are feeling shitty right now. I have recovered, somewhat, and ready to take on more and live life to fullest. These are 5 things I did, and I appreciate not only your sweet notes about my…

My secret discovery on the Palawan island - Marimegmeg Beach,Philippines

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The island of Palawan in the Philippines is famous for its stunning beaches. Marimegmeg beach is one of those that is less known to the outside world compared to the others (Bora Bora, Boracay..), my discovery for this hidden gem was a pure accident - only to find out later that I am simply mesmerized by its unquestionable beauty and decided to make it home for a month. This is the most charming little heaven I have ever seen, almost unreal.

This evening, Scott and I decided to venture out from the Caalan island for our daily jog. We were simply bored and aimless about our destination.  We walked to the Corong Corong beach where we normally would stop and grab a bite but this time decided to venture deeper into the unknown. The next moment when we saw a group of Filipinos, cheering and singing by the beach, we noticed that we have arrived at a new territory.

Marimegmeg is very much a local beach, you barely find any resorts or proper set ups for visitors - that say, do not expect wat…

Airbnb and Montenegro

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I became a member of Airbnb since December 2013 and did not use their service until my trip to Boston a year later. I was skeptical about staying with strangers back then - But, Boston hotels were expensive and I needed a private room to myself. I had a tight budget and I chanced upon a friend who told me about using Airbnb as a budget alternative to hotels and she also told me about the company's robust host verification process to ensure safety of their customers. So there I downloaded the Airbnb app on my phone and made my first booking. Since then, I have used Airbnb for my trips to Taiwan, Barcelona, Sri Lanka, Montenegro, Slovenia and still using it today!
I am really impressed by Airbnb's booking through payment process - All you need to do is to enter your destination, stay dates and number of guests. Then you will be spoil with a WIDE RANGE of options to select from. Depending on your specific needs, you can also filter your options by prices, locations, privacy, ame…

How I work and travel 20 countries in 3 years?

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Many people are very curious about my travel & work (or nomadic) lifestyle in the past few years - I have visited more than 20 countries in the last three years and normally stayed in a new country between weeks and months as long as I like the place - Very often, people asked me how do I travel so much and still get so much work done and still look like I have so much energy to spare?

Let me start by introducing this word if this is all new to you - Nomad.

My favorite description for Nomad can be found here : " A nomad constantly changes locations, switching from one place to another. Most nomads have some kind of place that they can call home, which is usually where their family or childhood friends are located, but they wouldn’t spend more than a few months a year there. Nor would they settle down in a new home, they just keep on changing a place, never feeling really at home, change is home."

Internet played a big part to make this nomadic lifestyle happen for me. Th…

I am on a career break.

I felt the urge to share this personal experience today - I have been looking for the right description for my current "state" but the search hasn't been successful until my beer talk last night with a few people I met for the first time. It was an accomplishing, fulfilling and rewarding conversation that brought me a whole host of psychic reward.

And I am officially announcing here that I am on a career break right now and the reason I am doing this is to elevate the quality of my life and to replenish my own sense of wonder for the world we live in. 

Whenever I mention to someone that I am currently unemployed or I quit my last job to take a break, the most common response is a variation of "that's what young people would do" and "Are you mad?". But seriously, career break is essential, almost as important as planning out for your career path or even your whole life. And career breaks are NOT ONLY for young and single people. With good amount of…

How I made my fireworks photographs

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I enjoyed photographing fireworks a lot because every shot is a surprise. If you have done enough research, practiced and planned ahead, maybe you can make better guesses and increase your chances to make a picture that you were hoping for. But there is NEVER a guarantee to that, which made the process so exciting! 
Today I am sharing some of my fireworks photographs. How I made them, where I made them and how I would have made them better in the future. They are not perfect shots but I still like them very much. They represent the different stages of my journey through learning about photography.  
So, here you go:  This is the yearly Seoul international fireworks festival that I saw in year 2014 - It is still happening every year between August to October today and you can find more information about the event here. This is a two-hour long fireworks performance. It was truly an eye-opening moment to witness such an impressive fireworks presentation, for such a long duration! This i…