Category: Travel

Gwanghwamun, Seoul, Korea

Last songs and last trips

First post of the new year! Hello hello. I’m going to try and make this a New Year’s resolution – to update this blog more frequently, even though I know very few people read it. If any. This is so I keep track of my thoughts and feelings, even if I’m not feeling particularly strong about something.

In terms of new things, I just came back from a two-week holiday in South Korea. I’m broke as fuck now, but not even a week back in London, I’ve already booked my next trip. Madrid. There’s a reason why I’m travelling abroad again though.

"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child"

The ups and downs of moving to a different country

Almost forgot about this blog again! I’ve been nursing a migraine on-and-off for the past several days, so I’ve had a lot of time to myself with my own thoughts.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, as I try to settle into my new job and my new country. I think now that I’ve gotten a better sense of how things work in this part of the world, I’ve been trying to figure out if I regret moving across the Atlantic Ocean.

The answer is that I don’t know yet.

In defence of the TTC

I’m one of those people that tries to avoid arguments and heated discussions. I mean, they’re fun sometimes – pretty much when you try to trash my team in front of me. Like nope, only the fans themselves can trash their own team because they’re the ones who actually experience the pain when it happens, therefore they are allowed to trash their own team – but when it comes to netizen comments or social media comments in general, I try to avoid them. In fact, the last time I left a YouTube comment was a positive one.

But today, because of the TTC emergency shutdown during morning rush hour, I came across a friend’s Facebook post who shared a news article about the incident, and commented by saying that the TTC is trash and they’re not doing enough to become a better transit system.

Now look, I ride the TTC five days a week. My commute is 1.5 hours long. That’s 3 hours everyday. 3 hours that I could use more productively. So if I have the right to complain, I have it, but to say that the TTC hasn’t done anything to better themselves in the past few years is a lie.

Oh, the places you’ll go!

Look at that! Two blog entries in one week! This must be some sort of world record! I kid, I kid… But before I dive into today’s blog, I just wanted to let everyone know – because obviously, my blog sees loads of regular visitors, so that’s why I’m using the word “everyone” – which reminds me that I haven’t set up Google Analytics on this new domain yet – that I reread my previous blog entry and made some edits to it. My blog entries are statistically unproven 99% word vomit, which means I don’t reread or edit my blogs after I click “publish”. Apologies if you’ve noticed any pronounced grammar errors in my past entry!

Anyhow, I met up with two of my longtime friends today, and on my way home, the get-together made me daydream about all the places I wanted to visit in my 20s and 30s.

Having left Toronto, I now appreciate its multiculturalism

A month later, I think I am finally ready to talk about my experience in Brazil. This blog won’t list all the different things I did in Recife and in Rio de Janeiro, but instead, it’ll talk more about the aftermath of it. As I had mentioned before, I had taken a lot of photos of my two-week vacation in the country, and you can simply visit my Facebook photo album here if you would like to take a look. But to be honest, most of it is just me standing in front of a beautiful view looking out into the Atlantic Ocean. There were a lot of palm tree photos too. One of the first things I remember saying to my Brazilian friends when I arrived in Recife was, “You guys have palm trees!” Being Canadian, I have never seen a palm tree up close, and I saw so many of them in Brazil! Some palm trees were so tall, they were deemed the tallest in Rio. (I’m talking about the ones from Jardim Botanico do Rio de Janeiro!) It seems so silly that I was making such a big deal out of seeing palm trees but these little things made my trip more enjoyable.

Extreme over-worrying

I’m about two days from boarding my first ever airplane in over 20 years (which means my first flight ever, because I was 3-years-old on my first one, so I don’t remember anything about it), and I am just so anxious about it. What if I go to check-in and they tell me my seat isn’t actually confirmed, and Orbitz has been fucking with me the past six months?! What if I get some really bad seating partners?! What if they lose my luggage? This is so nerve-wracking.

And I realize that I haven’t even updated my blog yet, about how I graduated from a seven-year-long undergraduate career earlier this month. I’ve been so positively obsessed with the World Cup the past couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll do the next day or so. I’ll just have to get up really early today… In maybe six hours.

Returning to the December days

The past month has been really crazy.

But firstly, happy new year! I’ve committed myself to five new year’s resolutions so far, but I won’t be sharing them here just yet! There is too much to document from the month of December! And I think I’ve already started to forget some of the things that happened, so I am relying purely on my Foursquare calendar check-in history to make sure I’ve got all the important points documented.

Instagram

  • It's been an entire week since I landed in Toronto, and I haven't updated my little Instagram photo blog gallery. Lots of wedding preparation stuff have happened so far – my brother's, of course, not me, #SingleLady – but none of them relate to the photo I'm posting today.⁣
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I did an epic journey via Uber and train from Canary Wharf, London to Gatwick Airport with three massive luggages and one carry-on on my last morning in the UK. It took me three hours because I had to somehow get all three bags – two of them were overweight, one of which was 31kg – from the second floor of my apartment building to the @AirTransat airline counter. An airline counter that wasn't even in the same terminal as the train station I would be arriving in.⁣
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So, from second floor flat, to a 30+ minute Uber to Blackfriars, to the second floor of the Blackfriars train station (by lugging two bags 20 metres, then the other two 40 metres, repeat), to the Gatwick Airport train station, to getting an airport employee to find a trolley for me (by asking him nicely as I stood there waiting by my four bags because lol I'm not going to drag four bags across a busy airport terminal), to somehow pushing my trolley cart onto the inter-terminal train, to finally, reaching the airline counter of #AirTransat.⁣
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For three hours, from 6:30 AM, to when I finally had all my bags checked in at 9:15 AM, I was running on pure adrenaline. I don't even know how I was able to do it. I was like a bull on a mission, to get from point A to point B to point C etc. But what I also remember, was my body basically crashing into a damn near anxiety attack while at the counter. I was gulping for air, taking deep breaths, and trying to calm myself down. When I finally walked away from the airline counter, I nearly forgot my carry-on on the trolley, and when I finally had the chance to sit down, my hands were actually shaking. For all the times I've solo travelled around the world in the past year and a half, this has never happened to me before. That morning, I finally understood why airports need therapy dogs.⁣
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(Continued below...)
  • Not the most aesthetic of Instagram photos, but tonight will be my last (out-of-home) dinner in London, so I thought I would make it a very British one: Fish and chips, and a pint of cider on tap. 🍟

Photo taken while at a Reddit meet-up for the season premier of "Game of Thrones"! (The UK plays a rerun of it the night after.)
  • Two of four and four of four. Burmese food and Spanish food.

Loved the bants about Asian toilets this evening. 😂 Who knew toilets in Asia were so disgusting! Sometimes the only thing they have for you to keep clean is a hose, and apparently it's so dirty, you don't even want to touch it. Then there'sthe used sanitary napkins just lying around the squat holes... 🚽 Never did I imagine that conversation during one of my last meals in the UK would be about dirty toilets. 😂

I will miss my multinational Asian friends: Malaysia, Australia, and the UK. 🗺️
  • The little prince of Gellert Hill Cave looking over Liberty Bridge in Budapest, Hungary. 🇭🇺 Beautiful view, beautiful day. 🌤️
  • Three of three goodbye dinners. Mushroom risotto, a glass of house white wine, and some good company. See you in August!
  • Well, since I've been sick all week, might as well put my cabin fever to good use and spend the time to edit and share some of the photos I took on my travels.

First up, a photo of the Kálvin Tér metro station in #Budapest, Hungary. Love the architecture at this station for some reason! So modern. More interesting than majority of the #TTC subway stations back home. Did you know that Budapest has the oldest underground train system on the European continent? 🚇