“The last time I saw Paris, her heart was warm and gay,
I heard the laughter of her heart in every street café.”
-Oscar Hammerstein II
A perfect timing. That was what happened a year ago. I was bitten by the travel bug and has been restlessly wanting to go somewhere. One night I stumbled upon a cheap plane fare to Paris and an unbelievably cheap 8 days Mediterranean tour package from Paris-Switzerland-Italy-Paris. Was working freelance which meant I own my work sched. I let myself sleep the night through but as soon as I woke up I started booking and organising hotel accomodations and tour packages. Two weeks after that my cousin (who also has an itchy feet 😄) and I was off to an adventure.
We basically had only 2 days in Paris so I opted for a hotel only a few walk away from Eiffel Tower. Paid extra for an early check in and late check out — a tip, when you have a tight schedule and a long haul flight, it is luxury being able to shower and power-nap upon arrival from and before heading to the airport. Another tip, buy skip-the-line vouchers for Louvre Museum, Seine River Cruise and the Eiffel Tower. They are worth every penny when you are press for time, plus having a local tour guide is an experience itself.
First itinerary was to get a bird’s-eye view of Paris, and what better way to do that than through a 300 m wrought iron lattice tower.
Then off we went for a cruise along the 777 kilometer-long Seine River…. but only a part of it of course.
On our last night in Paris…. although tired from hopping on and off a bus from one city to another, I couldn’t just sleep without seeing the tower glitter in glory…. and I was not disappointed ❤️
There were wave after wave of sadness. Circumstances may not have been my own but caught the best of my state of vulnerability. Death seemed to have lurked around my network and took prey on a friend, friends’ parents, friends’ relatives, friends’ unborn children. These, teamed with my forever-homesickness and piling frustrations from work that brought me in the brink of losing my passion, found me in an emotion where life seemed incomprehensible. I wallowed in sadness. My tears too shallow that even rock song lyrics will make me weep. I was walking onto a ledge called giving up.
But even then i knew sadness is ok. My heart needed to break open from time to time so that life can seep in. It allowed me to take a back seat and appreciate what is in front of me. What i have. Who i have. Where i am. Who i am.
I remembered life was meant to be simple. We are born. We live. We lived (and hopefully leave a good mark).
I began to hear the sounds the world makes again, the breaking waves, the whipping wind, falling rain and chirping birds. A moment as simple as walking along the beach basking under the sun with my four-legged baby became a bliss. I am back to consciously making it a point to spend time with people that makes my heart sing, and made distance never a hurdle with everyone only a video call away. Taking one day at a time to appreciate, to give gratitude, to smile and simply breathe.
I may be feeling in the dark right now. This is simply a reminder that nighttime ain’t too bad and won’t last long, and that it’s not what you have on the outside that glitters in light, it’s what you have on the inside that shines in the dark.
<Wellington LUX is a free public light festival that turns Wellington’s waterfront and laneways into a captivating celebration of light, art, technology and design-http://lux.org.nz>
there’s this filipino idiomatic expression that says “namamangka sa dalawang ilog” which according to google translate means “boating on two rivers.” this idiom is usually used when referring to two timing ass****s. No, this is not about cheaters and i am not giving a lecture on filipino literature (not my turf). this however is what i feel when it comes to “home.” they say home is where the heart is and as per the last time i checked my heart belongs to two places. i cannot decide between the two nor get enough of either one. always my bemused plight while i’m among these clouds.
April in Fiji. It was supposed to be a birthday getaway with my bestfriend whom I have not seen since she moved to the land down under 3 years ago. Sadly she was not able to make it, though I happily ended up travelling with another girl friend. We stayed on Nandi’s famous “party island” Beachcomber, it was only a small island, and when I say small I meant you only need an hour (or less) to go around by foot. It was during the weekday, so “party” meant mostly having loud dance music and open bar from 7am to 4am. The food was mostly what the previous guest were complaining about when I was reading the reviews, but since Fijian cooking is not too far from Filipino cuisine, we had no qualms and in fact, we enjoyed the fresh catch fish however it was cooked. So what did I do while I had no access to internet? (yes, there was no 3G coverage) Sleeping. Swimming. Basking under the sun. Snorkelling in the deep, my first time, brought out the sissy in me but I enjoyed the thrill that I had to do it twice. And body massage, my forever to-do-list when on a holiday.
September in Goldcoast, Australia. My second visit. My first travel with group of friends. First off I must say we scored a really really cheap deal for this, say only about 275 nzd each person for a 5 nights stay in Sea World Resorts which also included our free unlimited entry to the theme parks: Sea World, Movie World, and Wet n’ Wild…super not bad at all. What does a group of friends do while in a theme park capital? Rides… slides… screams… the adrenaline rush. By far my scariest experience was dropping from a 90 feet slide that kick off from a transparent trap door where the floor disappear and releases you after a loud count of 3-2-1 and then all you could remember was the feeling of being flushed away into oblivion… only last bout 6-7 seconds though, yeah that fast =)
November in Auckland City, New Zealand. I’ve been to this place many times, but this trip was for The Mrs. Carter Show. Do I need to elaborate why this cut the wanderlusting post? This is my “biggest” concert experience to date. Beyonce was, what can I say? Total performer? She is indeed Queen B! It was surreal watching her live and yet still look and moves like I was watching her in the screen. The ticket cost more than my accommodation in Sea World Resorts, but it was all worth it!
Same month in Melbourne, Australia. Well actually I only touchdown in Melbourne but was in Geelong most of the 2 days stay. It was really not a leisure trip, for it was for a workshop my work sent me to though I got to visit and meet relatives whom I barely remember since I was not even on my teens last time I saw them. Did get to explore a little but unfortunately, the horrible blogger-slash-photographer-wannabe I am, I was not able to take much photo. The highlight of this trip? I got to stay in a Sheraton hotel in front of the beach and it was paid for! Glancing on water was all I did though, as apart from I barely had the energy hence the lack of photos, the shark sign board warning was enough to put me off, though they do have a designated fenced area where people get to swim worry free of shark. Yet for somehow who grew up watching JAWS, imagine my horror.
6 weeks in the Philippines over the holiday season. My long overdue home coming. It was crazy of me trying to pull off traveling back from Melbourne to New Zealand then 6 hours after I had to fly to Sydney then Manila, needless to say I was knackered. Lucky I was not travelling alone as I was barely awake while in transit. Home. Nothing beats being with family especially over Christmas. I went out and met friends though there were still a whole lot I was not able to meet. Food feast in traditional style (google lechon among others), in fact I gained 4 kilos in 6 weeks! My realization though is that the more I stay back home the more I love New Zealand. Not to sound ingrata but I guess I am now so used to the laid back lifestyle in Wellington and the courteous people. But hey it is always good to get a good dose of chaos once in a while, besides being with family renews my sanity big time.
while everyone was busy figuring out whether the glass was half full or half empty, i was busy deciphering the image the water was projecting…and from thereon i see stories from different points of view.
i basically grew up where a weekend brunch by the beach is almost like a tradition. when i was a kid the family would travel for what seems to be an hour aboard our slow tricycle (a motorcycle with built-in body/sidecar) with all 6 members of the family cramped inside.
I love the salty breeze, the feel of the sand and waves as it crashes on my feet. i miss making sandcastles and burying my self or someone in the sand. my siblings and i used to stay all day under the sun until our skin burns, and our hands and feet gets all wrinkly… well actually even that does not easily discourage us from playing by the beach.
though up until now i still can’t master swimming in the deep as the memories of all those JAWS movie gets the better of me (yes i was one of those traumatised kiddos and singing “under the sea” did no magic).
to me the sea brings calmness. it is a place where i would want to lurk before taking a leap. i can stare at the horizon endlessly. this is where my hope and dreams knows no limit. where the sky meets the sea, where i connect with my Maker.
Carefree. To avoid stating the obvious I am not going to associate this word with food. Obviously my preference is way too vast that the word carefree will fall short.
In the world of microblogging posting of self-taken-close-up photo of one’s self has become nothing but the ordinary. Sometimes way too much that an entire album comprises of one person at one given time in, say, more than fifteen pictures in slightly different angle. NO, that is not what “carefree” means to me.
Carefree is when you are able to allow your candid, non-flattering, vulnerable moments captured and showed off in social media. Please do not mistake my reference to this term to pictures that gives too-much-information (TMI, a.k.a. pictures of you and your lover post private moments). This is simply you being human, flawed and yet happy with your own skin kind of way. Unscripted. Non-edited (almost).
To press my point, here are “selfie” carefree moment overload… I did warn you this blog is about “I, me and myself” ^_^