Here’s an official declaration: I have a love-hate relationship with maps.

Let me regale you with the first of my many tales of misadventures.

It was about two weeks ago; on a beautiful, sunny Sunday. It wasn’t too cold, just warm enough for me to walk around without my coat. I was supposed to meet Kris at London Bridge at 1 – 1.30PM. I was from The Strand, so I decided to walk to London Bridge. According to Google Maps, it would take me approximately 30 minutes, give or take. So, I walked.

I walked, and I walked. I took my own sweet time, savouring the sun, the blue skies and the light breeze. I saw St. Paul’s Cathedral at a distance. Made a mental note that I need to pay St. Paul’s a visit, soon. Checked the map on phone and it instructed me to walk away from the cathedral. I found myself in an unfamiliar area and figured I was probably being led the longer route. Seeing that I wasn’t going to be too late, I walked on. I then realized I was strolling along the Victoria Embankment. *Something wasn’t right*. Google Maps told me I was on the right track, and I checked the street map. Of course, the street map didn’t quite indicate broadly where I was supposed to go. I found myself heading right back to the starting point. After 30 minutes of walking. I should have reached my destination by then. But I have not. *fumes*

I was confused, and I was lost. Also not very clever, Zunny.

I was clearly unamused with myself.

Finally, after what seemed like ages (also to cut this really long story short), I met Kris. Ranted to her about how I got deceived by Google Maps, I then realized that I had been walking non-stop for 2 hours. My gosh. I know I like walking, but this is a lot of walking. But I haven’t quite forgiven Google Maps for misleading me, lol. I’m never one to be excellent with maps, but I sure am not exactly a dimwit using them.

But…

Almost always, these little misadventures are actually blessings in disguise.

Getting lost sure has its perks. I get to see new sights, explore new streets and watch people in action.

 

 

I got distracted by this bunch of happy kids running around chasing bubbles! I was especially interested in the bubble-making thing the guy was using! It was like magic! Lol. The peals of little laughter tinkling in the air certainly caught my heart. It was beautiful. Smile If these are the sights I get to see every time I get lost, I sure wouldn’t mind heh-heh.

 

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Yeah, just some random guy dressed up and singing to the crowd.

 

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You can find happiness almost everywhere. You just need to open your eyes, your heart and appreciate what’s in front of you.

 

I won’t deny that I actually enjoy this newfound freedom – getting lost in the streets.

I have gotten lost in Rome before, roaming the streets past midnight trying to get back to our room. It was completely unfamiliar; making a turn here, walking up the path there. Sure it was a little intimidating. Yet it was one of my most vivid memories, because I saw Rome as it loomed at us in the middle of that night: glorious, mystifying and dark. That was when I fell in love with Rome.

I realized I actually liked getting lost. Doesn’t matter where (unless I am trying to save my own life). Not bounded by rules or judgement, not having a care in the world. Just take a big look around and bask in the essence of life happening at this very moment. It is indeed a beautiful privilege; I certainly look forward to experience it over and over again.

 

Heading to Paris this weekend. Finally getting out of the shell.

Have a good weekend, everyone. Smile

 

Toodles. ♥

Last Thursday was my first day of class: Neuromedical Conditions and their Management.

Like Kris pointed out, it was like being back in University of Pennsylvania all over again. Only thing is, this time I am probably at a disadvantage. I am the only nurse who has no proper experience in the Neurology department, save the two exchange student nurses from UPenn (yes, coincidentally there ARE 2 exchange students from Penn in this module). But speaking of the working nurses in the room, I may be easily the youngest and with zilch exposure to Neuroscience. Everyone else is either a junior sister/charge nurse of some Neuro ward. Wow.

I feel so small.

Although, thankfully, the countless years of Biology classes throughout high school and A Levels are probably going to be good enough to pull me through again this time round. I love Biology, every bit of it. Maybe except the plants part, but still! So as I sat through the class, it was like a refresher course. All the talk about cells, neurons, axons, action potential, sodium channels, potassium channels, diffusion, neurotransmitter, synapses; they are all just there at the back of my mind, dancing across my memories. It is comforting to know that I am not completely clueless, at least not yet. Lol. We shall see how it will progress in the next few weeks. Smile with tongue out Hopefully, it will be an upward climb!

 

A bright, warm afternoon on Oxford Street. #doubledecker #flags #london #sunny #throwback #vsco #vscocam  (at Oxford Street)

 

The past week has not been exactly productive. I did venture out a little to places but I haven’t done much. Which shouldn’t be right, because I *should* be living the dream and going crazy on the streets of London. But I am not. Perhaps it is the fact that I’m adapting, settling down, or whatever you call it. Or maybe I haven’t made my share of new friends yet. Anyway, I should start getting out a little bit more. Before it is too late. I am definitely looking forward to start my globetrotting adventures.

Speaking about travels, I came across a rather well-written article just a couple of days back. I’d love to share the article with you and I also would like to give my personal thoughts on it. Some of you may have read it though, it was circulating on Facebook.




3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young.
By Jeff Goins

The other night, I had a conversation with a young lady who had a number of decisions ahead of her, which included whether she should go to grad school or travel the world.

I told her to travel. Hands down. No excuses. Just go. The results are worth the costs.

And she sighed.

“Yeah, but…”

Never were more fatal words spoken:

  • Yeah, but… what about debt?
  • Yeah, but… what about my job?
  • Yeah, but… what about my boyfriend (or dog or car or whatever)?

“Yeah, but…” is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.

Most people I know who waited to travel the world never did. Conversely, plenty of people who waited for grad school or a steady job and traveled still did those things — eventually.

Be careful of the yeah-but. The yeah-but will kill your dreams.

I was so stirred by this conversation that I shared it with a group of 30 young adults last night, many who were asking these very same questions.

The life you’ve always wanted

When you get older, life seems to just sort of happen to you. Your youth is a time of total empowerment. You get to do what you want.

But as you mature and gain new responsibilities, you have to be very intentional about making sure you don’t lose sight of what’s important.

So if you still have a reasonable amount of control over your circumstances, you should do what really matters. Because life won’t always be just about you.

During early adulthood, your worldview is still being formed. It’s important to steward this time — to give yourself opportunities to grow. A good way to do that is to travel.

So, young person, travel. Travel wide and far. Travel boldly. Travel with full abandon.

You will regret few risks you take when it comes to this. I promise you that. There are three reasons to travel while you’re young:

1. Traveling teaches you to live an adventure

When you look back on your life, you will have moments of which you are proud and maybe a few you regret. It’s likely that the following won’t be on the latter list:

  • Bicycled across the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Appeared on Italian TV.
  • Hiked a Mayan ruin.
  • Learned Spanish in three months.
  • Toured Europe by train.

They’re not on mine (fun fact: I’ve done all of the above). So what, then, will be? What choices will you regret making? Holding back. Being afraid. Making excuses. Not taking more risks. Waiting.

While you’re young, you should travel.

You should take the time to see the world and taste the fullness of life. It’s worth whatever investment or money or sacrifice of time that may be required on your part.

This is not about being a tourist. It’s about experiencing true risk and adventure so you don’t have to live in fear for the rest of your life.

2. Traveling helps you encounter compassion

In your youth, you will make choices that will define you. The disciplines you begin now will be with you for the rest of your life.

Traveling will change you like little else can. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you.

If you go to southeast Asia, you may encounter the slave trade. If eastern Europe, you may see the effects of genocide and religious persecution. If Haiti, you’ll witness the the ugly side Western paternalism.

Your heart will break.

You will begin to understand that the world is both a big and small place. You will have a new-found respect for the pain and suffering that over half of the world takes for granted on a daily basis.

And you will feel more connected to your fellow human beings in a deep and lasting way. You will learn to care.

3. Traveling allows you to get some culture

While you’re still young, you should get cultured. Get to know the world and the magnificent people that fill it. There’s nothing quite like walking alongside the Colosseum or seeing Michelangelo’s David in person.

I can describe the city of San Juan and its amazing beaches and historic sites to you, but you really have to see it for yourself to experience it. You can read all the books in the world about the Great Wall of China or The Louvre, but being there is a different story.

The world is a stunning place, full of outstanding works of art. See it.

Do this while you’re still young. Do not squander the time. You may never have it again.

You have a crucial opportunity to invest in the next season of your life now. Whatever you sow, you will eventually reap. Please. For your sake, do this. Because you won’t always be young. And life won’t always be just about you.

So travel. Experience the world for all it’s worth. Become a person of culture, adventure, and compassion.

“What if I’m not young?”

Travel, anyway. It may not be easy to do, but find a way to get out of your comfort zone. It’s really never too late.

But if you haven’t gotten sucked into the routine of life yet, I implore you — travel. It will never be easier than it is right now for you to do that which really matters.


These lines haunt me:

So, young person, travel. Travel wide and far. Travel boldly. Travel with full abandon.

Every man’s (or lady’s) dreams. To travel with no regrets, with full abandon.

How I wish.

 

The next line that bugs the crap out of me:

Be careful of the yeah-but. The yeah-but will kill your dreams.

And you’re right. I am just about to launch into a yeah-but speech.

Are we going to talk about the money involved? The job? Maybe. I have to say, perhaps my biggest concern has to be my family.

1) Of course money is a factor. Without sufficient funds, how do we travel? And you may very well argue that I can take the cheapest ways out. Fine.

2) Leave my job? Perhaps I can do that, with a price indefinitely. Pay back the damages for terminating my bond. *ouch.

3) But…how can I leave my worrying family behind me? How can I blatantly just hop on a plane/train/bus/boat/*insert any other moving vehicle here*, kiss my family goodbye and march on without looking back?

Then again, this will never happen because my parents will threaten to disown me.

So, you know, I figured that all the factors above aren’t really the exact reasons why I am going yeah-but to the grand advice of traveling boldly, wide and far.

 

Simply because my parents might kill me themselves before I even take that step in order to save me from the darkness and evil that lurks at every corner of the world.

 

Lol, I’m joking, of course. But I think they would really disown me if I try to step out of the house with my suitcase(s) or something, lol. Seriously.

Their fear of me getting into trouble (or get killed halfway round the world) is not something I am able to pacify.

Or am I really too scared to do what I should be doing?

So, there was a big screen behind us and it reminded us of #TimesSquare in New York. #whitagram #asiansatwork #favourite #london #selca #throwback #piccadillycircus (at Piccadilly Circus)

That doesn’t mean I’m putting this dream behind. You may think this is all talk. Sometimes, I think that myself, too. I get so scared thinking about my future, about what happens when I go back to Singapore and get sucked into the routine of work life, about not being able to plan anything further simply because my freedom is caged in.

Oh, you bet your bottom dollar I am scared. Afraid that soon this all will just be aimless thoughts and life will resume as mundane as ever.

And then I realized that I should live in the present. I have to be determined. I have to find ways to nurture that dream. After all, I am still young. Smile  *I also think too much*

A plus point for me – right now I am in London (see, I gotta live in the present!), so I am going to take full advantage of this to travel as far and wide as I can possibly go. So, cheers to that.

 

Hopefully, this blog will soon flourish with the stories of my adventures and little misadventures! I shall put up a list at a later date, on things I have to do, while I am able. A wishlist of some sort, the golden moments or maybe the risks I will take.

Maybe you should stick around and see if I come out battered, but alive with no regrets. Winking smile 

We are all capable. At any point in our lives. Know that.

 

P.S. This is some crazy long ass post!

 

Toodles. ♥

I am 10,613 KM away from home, and today is day 4.

Well technically, I have always been away from home ever since I was 19. But this would be the farthest I have been and will be; For a while.

And while it was expected that my parents and I shed tears as we parted and kissed each other goodbye, I was surprised by my own ability to get over the goodbye pretty quickly (I am sure it was worse whenever I leave home for Singapore).

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It hit me that the trick was to look forward to the grand adventure ahead of me! (It also struck me that there weren’t much adventures to expect whenever I headed back to Singapore, lol). I am filled with anticipation, hope and faith of how the year would unfold itself to me. Of course not forgetting that I have to step up my game to deserve the position I am in.

 

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Speaking of which, I have decided on my optional modules and I’m going all out for what I believe will be my calling some day. Neuromedical; Stroke care; Continence care. I can see myself incorporating these subjects into my field of work if I go back to Geriatrics. Otherwise, it would serve me just as well if I choose to explore the Neurology Department some day. I had a tough time trying to decide between a range of modules that I was interested in. Doesn’t help that I am usually indecisive. I have been asking my seniors for advice, tried to weigh out the benefits these modules will bring me, and still I was not able to make a choice.

They say, “Follow your heart.”.

I finally narrowed it down to a handful of modules and from there I have to settle with three. When I was with my programme leader trying to coordinate all these, I was still unable to voice out my decision. Only at the last minute did it all become clear to me: I might as well take the whole package and be good in it. Hence, the Neuromedical/Stroke/Continence combination.

 

 

My soul mate and I. After what seemed like endless preparations/paperwork/nonsense, we are finally here. Registered students of King’s College London. We couldn’t be more blessed. Dreams DO come true, we just have to work to make it happen.

And hopefully, by the end of it all, our parents will be able to say:

We couldn’t be more proud.

 

I couldn’t be happier;
Because happy is what happens,
when all your dreams come true.

 

Toodles. ♥

I work hard, but it’s not hard enough. I try harder, but it’s still not good enough.

 

So what do I do?

  1. Cry
  2. Throw a tantrum
  3. Flip the table, book myself the next flight home and go on a short escapade.

 

And of course, I picked the 3rd option! 😀 Best decision I ever made for myself last August, although the “book a flight home and go on a short escapade” was already well planned about 3 weeks ahead. 😀

Flew all the way back home (oh, the comfort!) and then drove all the way to Penang (ROAD TRIP!!!) with my two loves. The Wife and the Male Counterpart.

 

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It was exciting, and it was a well needed getaway for me. The past couple of weeks was hell for me at work, something was just wrong and I couldn’t figure out what. I was counting down days and hours and minutes to the day I would just drop everything and leave, and you have NO IDEA how I was nearly kissing the ground on the day I finished shift and was getting my arse to the airport for the flight home.

 

The minute I touched down, I was ecstatic; smiling crazy happily at all my fellow people in Malaysia, LOL. Breezed through the airport going ~lalala was no joke. Had a great dinner with my parents after that (CRABS, I GOT CRABS!!!) and then went home and couldn’t stop story telling to my mom, with my dad shaking his head in the background. He thinks we talk too much, even over What’s App. HAA!

 

7AM the next morning, and I was in the car on a long drive to Penang. Actually, when it comes to my best friend, a drive to Penang wouldn’t be long, but this time, Mitch was driving so… we had to abide by his rules. He’s rather…cautious, I would say, about the speed traps and what not, so we only reached Penang after 4 painstakingly long hours. If Iman was driving, I would very much believe we would’ve arrived in like 3 hours. 😛 Kids, please do not encourage self or friends to drive this fast. 😀

 

The  minute we arrived in Penang, my heart was still doing happy cartwheels. Got to the hotel, unloaded our luggage and off we went on our food hunt!

 

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Mitchie trying to adjust the iPod dock/amplifier – didn’t work. 🙁

 

First stop was LUNCH! Wanted to go to this halal place which sells prawn noodles but oh! To our dismay! It was closing up cause they were  finished with their bowls of noodles for the day! And it was barely 1.30pm! :O! *Nehiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! :’( So we trudged  back to the car and tried to think of an alternative!  Of course, having a Penangite in the car, we were interrogating Mitch like crazy on places he can take us. And he brilliantly suggested Nasi Melayu. The Wife and I were thinking, HMM! Sounds interesting, let’s go! Intrigued by the whole Nasi Melayu business.

 

Lo and behold, what he claimed to be Nasi Melayu, is really, actually, nasi campur.

 

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Here was how the conversation rolled:

 

Iman & I: Sedap! But this is nasi campur lah, Mitch. Mana ada Nasi Melayu??

Mitch: Bukan nasi Melayu eh?? This is nasi campur?? Then why do we call this nasi Melayu???

Iman: Because you all Chinese! Orang Melayu jual, that’s why Nasi Melayu!!!

Me: *guffaw*

 

So yes, if you had no clue what was discussed in the above conversation, generally it was figuring out why people in Penang called it Nasi Melayu (Malay rice) when it really is just nasi campur (mixed rice). Lol.

 

But, it was good rice, regardless it being Malay or otherwise. 😉

 

…no, if you think that was the end of the eating for the day, you are WRONG! Apparently, boy has more plans for us (at my request), he brought us to Straits Quay – some fancy place where *ahem* according to him, “tai tais” sit around in expensive cafes and chit chat over their latest buys.

 

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Food hunt: round 2

 

Honestly, it wasn’t much of a food hunt this time, seeing that we were only there for one day and the fact that I am very particular about the ingredients of the food. Pork is an issue for me so although I have decided that it shall not hinder me from my food journey this time round, it has still hindered me, LOL.

 

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My favourite local dish: Asam Laksa. I absolutely love it!

 

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The Male Zunny and the Real Zunny. Lol.

 

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Penangites are so artsy, never knew. 😛

 

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The Wife. So flattering.

 

 

Ikan panggang! How can you not have ikan panggang in Penang! Sinful for me to be eating stingray but it’s so yummy! :’(

 

One of my best shots. I think. Lol. I love this shot. Just makes me feel so calm. That I was on a beach. Care-free.

 

 

Sometimes, we just need to run away for a while. Not necessarily for long. Just need to get out for a bit, get some fresh air, and come back renewed. I was standing on the beach, looking at this exact same view and as the waves come crashing in, I see how my troubles are like too. Like waves, they come and go; and it is only essential to have them just like the order of nature. They’re not here to stay, you can’t even catch them.

 

What is life without a little pain, what is life without a little rain?

I’m sure these troubles are here to teach us a lesson. Someway, somehow, it must mean something. At least I hope.

 

 

Air serbat with Mahad. Mahad, wtf. I cannot get over this name LOL.

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This man has my ultimate respect, he cooks up wonderful yummy food and using his bare hands to chop them up while they’re just FRESH FROM THE WOK. Man with hands of steel, I tell you!

Never failed to amaze me EVERY SINGLE TIME. 😀

 

 

Now you may probably ask me, if I came back renewed, refreshed? I can honestly tell you, I sort of did. I felt better, waaaaaaayyyy better than I first left. I reorganized my thoughts, and I reset my focus. I know now, what I want and I damn well will do all it takes to make it happen. 🙂 Once these plans are confirmed, or at least on its way to a confirmation, maybe, just maybe I will share the good news. For now, let it stay low for a bit.

 

 

I am terribly missing the two monsters above right now. Both are back in London and I honestly CANNOT WAIT UNTIL THEY GRADUATE IN JULY SO I CAN FLY OVER AND SHARE THEIR SUCCESS YAYYYYYYY! Also, another damn good reason for me to take another break and go on a holiday LOL.

 

Who knows, maybe I’ll follow their footsteps and go where they’ve been, or maybe I’ll tail them both to where they may be going. Who knows? 🙂

 

 

Until then, LOTS OF LOVE AND MISSES TO THEM BOTH!!!

 

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Toodles. ♥

If only life was this easy, planning wasn’t such a hassle, and we DO more than we DREAM.

 

 

Pack your bags and just leave. No thinking about consequences, no looking back. No compromising of happiness and definitely no empty planning or promises.

 

 

Thinking and working out a plan for me for the next one year is already giving my head a huge spin.

 

I am, after all, a small cat with big dreams.

 

 

My plans? Pursue my degree overseas. King’s College, or University of Sydney?

 

Decisions, decisions. LOL. That’s if I can ever rush through the application dates to begin with. Dear Lord, help me.

 

 

 

Toodles. ♥