Being in this industry for 4 years made me realize how versatile, serious, and patient I can and will be. I always find my stressful self wearing too many hats. Sometimes, I wear the "mommy" hat or oftentimes, the "disciplinarian" hat. Whatever hat it may be, I can never turn my back on being a preschool teacher. (even when many a nights I find myself giving up and jumping to the corprorate world!) A hug and a kiss from my children would make me forget all the doubts and stress in a snap. To all the teachers I know, I salute you! Our job may not be as easy as ABC and yet, we always make other people see that being a teacher is as effortless as counting 123. Happy Teacher's Day! ❤️
They say life is full of choices. It is either you risk what you have to experience new adventures or just stay where you are and keep wondering how life is outside your world. It is a no-go for the latter part and these wandering feet would love to take me to different places. It is now or never.
I was terrified and ecstatic when I knew I have finally decided to go here in Singapore. One thing made sure that something big was coming my way. It was after our Krumpinoy training, on our way home, and I was just sharing my thoughts about the job offer when my friend, Phill, shared with me a verse from the Book of Genesis. Right then and there I knew it was bound to happen. I was meant to leave and to spread my wings. There was a huge part in me that was about to change and I was embracing the thought whole-heartedly.
12 months, 365 days, or 52 weeks later, I am STILL here. I have been pushed to the edge many a time, met different kinds of people (both awesome and vicious), visited different places and yet, when I look back in those 12 months, all I can think of is the good life Singapore has given me, how wonderful immersing in three different cultures, and being able to experience mouth-watering delicacies. Hate is too much of a burden if I entertain it. Spread the love, instead, because life is so damn good.
Dear God, You have been nothing but loving and caring to me. I cannot think of any reason as to why I am a recipient of so many good things in life.
July 2013: The Newcomer
July 2014: Enjoying life with an ice cream sandwich
(after losing 15lbs and changing 2-3 hairstyles)
It was when I packed my suitcase, boarded the airplane alone, and lived in an apartment with strangers that I have realized what relationships, making decisions, and starting over truly mean. I have made one of the best decisions in life when I came here. When your intuition is telling you something, go ahead and do it. You will never know what surprise your gut feeling is in store for you.
As the cliché goes, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." Remember: You only live once.
Took a few photographs to help me remember the best of Singapore using my Fujifilm X20. Locations of these photos are pretty popular and maybe, you have seen it in other blogs, but somehow, these photographs will forever be stucked in my heart and mind. Walking in these amazing places have served as a rainbow through out the storm.
Thank you, Singapore. I have yet to witness your greatness.
To see its majestic beauty, one must go through a process- a tough one if I may add.
N Seoul Tower stands 777ft. atop of Namsam Mountain. This popular attraction is situated near Myeong-dong Station Exit 8. From the station, you can walk 10-15 minutes to the cable car. Finding it should be easy since the place is known. When you reach the cable car station, it's either you board the cable car for ₩8,000 or you can go hiking for a good 45 minutes. We chose number 2 and if given the chance, I would love to do it again.
I am calling it the "stairs of death". Aside from the lengthy path to walk on, we have to climb the stairs- a very steep and hundreds of stairs. I swear I could have just backed out in the middle of our journey and yet, I am more motivated to continue because I saw Marti climbing it even with weak left knee. I have no reasons to back out since he just finished his knee rehabilitation and he is hiking like he never had ACL. What made this hiking even more awesome is that in between the struggles and saying "Few more to go!", before our eyes was overlooking the city and the sunset. Priceless.
We did not feel lethargic nor grumpy after hiking. Actually, we felt really excited the moment we saw the tower. We headed over to the ticket counter immediately after standing there in awe. The tower is just too beautiful. We bought the ticket for ₩9,000 each and that is just for the observatory. We did not visit the Teddy Bear Museum since one of my friends told me it's not that likeable.
The observatory is nothing but a big circular room where you can see the whole city in 360degrees. The transformation of the city from sunset to night time was truly one for the books. The sky suddenly turned into a milky way filled with stars. It was so bright and bewitching.
Our last stop was the Roof Terrace. There you can find the cafe, museum, gift shop, and of course, the "Locks of Love." All you lovers out there, don't dare miss going here for this is one place in Korea where you can lock your padlocks and swear your undying love for each other. Yes, Koreans are mushy like that and I suppose it's sweet. Instead of throwing the key away, you can actually exchange it for a rose at the N Gift.
Words to live by: You will appreciate the things around you even more when you know you have worked your ass off for it.
Note: Photographs are taken using Fujifilm X20 and iPhone 5s
A place where you can find pure bliss and a thirst quencher to your soul, that's Nami Island. A hopeless romantic like me fell instantly in love with this breathtaking island. An imaginary country located at Gangwon Province, Nami Island has been one of the best tourist spots of Korea. From its famous Metasequoia path to being a film location of the drama series Winter Sonata, the half-moon-shaped island has been an abode to many visitors who find Utopia in nature and art. Its refreshing surrounding and stunning scenery will simply make you smile and say, "Ah, this is the life!"
The best part in the island is their love and support for children. Their mission and vision in improving the children holistically is evidently seen through different galleries, workshops, artworks, and child-friendly facilities. It is even contributing to UNICEF and it is a major sponsor of the Hans Christian Andersen Award.
People of all ages would have the best time of their life here in Nami Island. Romantically speaking, Marti and I have shared the most wonderful time here. Just in time for our anniversary, we were able to stroll around hand-in-hand and let nature do its Spring time magic.
Directions on how to go there:
1. From our hotel, Astoria Hotel Seoul, which is situated at Chungmuro Station Line 3, we went to Dongdaemun Station. We moved to Line 1 going to Hoegi and changed lines bound to Jungang/Galmae (teal-colored line operated by KORAIL). Alight at Gapyeong Station. It took us an hour and a half to get there and about ₩1950.
2. From Gapyeong Station, you can take a taxi or wait for the bus going to the wharf. In our case, we took option 1. It would cost around ₩4,000 to ₩5,000. Just tell the driver you are bound to Nami Wharf.
3. Upon arriving the wharf, you can see the immigration. You have to pay ₩8,000 for the entry visa (foreigners only). The boat ride to the island would only take less than 10 minutes and Nami Maid departs every 10-20 minutes.
4. When you see a mermaid on the shore, you know you're about to explore something extraordinary. Enjoy and take loads of pictures!
Gyeongchun Line KORAIL going to Gapyeong Station
Gapyeong Wharf/Naminara Immigration
With the famous mermaid of Nami Island
Entrance of the island
My 2nd favorite place in Nami Island (Don't you dare miss going here!)
Statue of the leading stars of the Koreanovela "Winter Sonata"
The most stunning sight to see when you are in Nami.
A glimpse of the famous places in Seoul.
I was so inspired to take photographs of this amazing city and yes, my camera did do justice. At first, I had a hard time manipulating the settings of the camera (especially at night!), but I must say, I fell in love the second I held my new baby. Oh photography, you could be my new hobby!
Note: Photos are taken using Fujifilm X20. My solo pictures were taken by Marti Cruz.