NOVEL (Title TBA) // Prologue ㅣ Coffee?

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It was 9 in the morning. Jamie was just sitting on her bed after washing up and making sure all her things were all packed-up. It was her last day in the city and she was feeling down about leaving. Her flight would still be at night but she had to check-out before 12 noon.

Her phone buzzed. Someone sent her a message.

It was Casey.

She felt her heart beat a little faster.

Coffee?” he asked.

A little confused, she typed ‘Yes’ but hesitated to send it. Eventually, she deleted it.

‘Are you asking me if I like coffee or just teasing me because I like coffee?’ she muttered to herself frustratingly. She really likes this guy but she couldn’t tell him and she was exerting all her effort to act normal around him.

She was thinking of anything brilliant she could say to make their exchange of messages longer. She couldn’t think of anything.

She settled to, “Yes. Good morning :)”

She sent the message with a smile on her face as if Casey could see her. But she’s freaking worried each second without a reply from him.

Two minutes passed by when she received a photo of a cafe and two more messages from Casey.

 “Good morning :)”

“I’m here at a cafe across your hotel. I’ll wait for you.”

She didn’t know what to do. Excitement and nervousness swept over her.

You’ll Always Have A 2nd Home Somewhere.

They said that you’ll never be completely at home again because a part of your heart will always be elsewhere. I guess it’s true. You’ll always miss a bit of this and that. You will sometimes think of the people you met at the other side of the world. The memories you collected will make your heart smile and ache at the same time.

When I was a kid, I dreamed of going to as much countries as I could when I grow up. But when I was able to travel, I visited some places more than once. I thought to myself, re-visiting the places where you had fun the most is not bad at all and it is not a waste of time and money. It is like finding another home in this world. It is like seeing an old friend in a sea of strangers. Familiarity brings comfort.

The more you visit the place, the more people you get along well with in that place. Well, that depends on you. If you are the type to just do some “touristy stuff” on your own or with your travel partner, you will not widen your circle. You’ll miss the best things that could happen while traveling. Okay, I’m not trying to be expert here. I’m just babbling as always. But honestly, having fun with the locals-turned-friends in the strange-place-turned-home is the best thing in traveling.

So why did I change my mind about quantity over quality travel? I figured, there are places that are underrated but amazing and some are over-hyped but are so-so even after paying a thousand dollars to get there and after spending God knows how much time of flying. It’s your own preference that matters. Don’t let others’ list misguide you.

My turning point is Hong Kong. It may be heaven to others, but it is one of the countries I’d say once is enough. I don’t know. I was not comfortable there. Maybe I met some nice people who I couldn’t recall because I could remember more the ones who were not. I didn’t encounter any danger or terrible things, it’s just unfortunate that I find them uneasy to deal with. Maybe it was the weather, or maybe it was just not my lucky day when I was there. I had a good time but it wasn’t warm in the heart.

I learned that it is not the number of countries you’ve been that is important, it is your happiness and the good times worth keeping that really matter.

I remember how I imagined myself traveling to France just to check out the Eiffel tower (for the sake of seeing the famous landmark), leave, and move onto the next European country. I wasn’t even intrigued how it would look like in person. It was just like a school assignment that I have to do and be done with it. But I was awestruck when I saw it. I couldn’t take my eyes off it when it lighted. Have you heard the perception about French people being arrogant snobs? I did since I was in nth grade. I even heard if from a French I met in Dubai for a business meeting. He said that they’re only like that if a tourist’s first words to them are “Do you speak English?” That’s the time they’d speak French hurriedly until the tourist gives up. Of course, they know English.

I spent a few days in Paris and found out that French people suit me well. They’re kind as a matter of fact. I liked it a lot there that I went back in less than a year. And I miss it every now and then.

The big surprise to me is South Korea. I am a Europe fanatic. I am a romantic. I did not consider going to Korea until two years ago. I wasn’t interested at all. After seeing some of the Asian countries, I thought to myself there’s nothing to see in there anymore. I was not interested in anything Asian. I find them all the same. It just happened that my friend is interested in Korean Wave (something to do with Korean dramas and all) and got me hooked to it. I wasn’t expecting anything in the country. I thought I would just go there once and that’s it. But then I fell in love with everything: place, food, and people.

Others would say that it’s difficult to communicate with the locals there. Unexpectedly, I even made a number of Korean friends on my first time in Seoul and visited them again the following year. Actually, I’m more fond of talking to them than with others. Strange is it?

France and South Korea. Totally different countries. Totally different in everything. But I felt a sense of belongingness. A part of my heart will always be with them. They feel like my second homes…

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… And I will never be completely at home in my own again.

TUESDAY TATTLES ㅣ09.01.16

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09.01.16 ㅣ Saturday

I just got back from my one-month annual vacation. I didn’t get as sad as I used to feel whenever I come back here. Maybe because I was too tired with my flight (which was delayed for 3 hours by the way). I arrived at 2:15 am in Doha airport, waited for my luggage for 15 minutes, panicked when one of my checked-in luggage didn’t come out in the assigned baggage belt (Belt number 5) for our flight. I had to go to Baggage Services department to inform them and they advised me that there were a few bags transferred to Belt Number 1. Luckily, I found my bag after waiting for 10 minutes. I was able to leave the airport at past 3:00 am.

I was too tired, stressed, and sleepy to get emotional. I reached home at 3:20 am. I unpacked my bags, fixed my things, put on new bed sheets and pillow cases, washed up, and was good to sleep at 4:30 am. My alarm went off before I even get in a deep sleep and dreamland.

It was 6:30 am. I had to get ready for my 7:30 am work.

Reality kicked in. 11 months of routinary life to me.

Can’t wait for my next vacation…

THURSDAY TRAVELSㅣ Weekend Vibe.

Cheers to the freakin’ Thursday!!! It’s the weekend here! Yay!

Cue: Sound in the background: *party poppers* *whistles* *clinking glasses*

Who am I fooling? I’m still at work in the office. Again, who am I fooling? I’m not working at this time. I ran out of energy to even talk to anyone. I’m just waiting for the time until I’m off to home. Haha. Lastly, who am I fooling? There’s not even a single party happening this weekend.

So why do I feel giddy? Just the thought of staying up late and laying on my bed without the need to get up early tomorrow make me happy like a child that if my bed had springs, I would jump up and down on it.

Now it’s the weekend; two weeks later, it’s home sweet home; and three weeks later, it’s a holiday trip to one of my favorite cities! *crossed fingers* Thinking of these makes me giggle and hyperventilate a little.

‘Too many things to do, too little time,’ has always been my silent complain each time I’m going on vacation. Why silent? ‘Cos I know very well that it’s my fault. I’m a big fan of “Just do it..later√.” Yes, with a check like Nike’s… for added confidence and because I’m cool, ya know.   

Weekends and travels, two of the very few things that can shake me out of my lethargy.

“Staying in one place is lethal, I could die.” These are the exact words I uttered to myself last night.

To avoid emotional and psychological death, I try to live by either reminiscing or counting down the days. Memories and excitement help me get through each day. Quite sad, right?

Alone and lonely, I often catch myself staring blankly ahead, just making my way, making my way, through the crowd.

And I need you, and I miss you.. And now I wonder

♫If I could fall into the sky. Do you think time would pass me by? ‘Cause you know I’d walk a thousand miles if I could see you… tonight♪

Kidding and singing aside, time’s up! It’s officially my weekend! Bye!!!

MONDAY MOVESㅣ Breaking Up With Mondaze

It’s Monday.. Yeah, I know Monday is ‘THE DREADED DAY’ to most of you. I used to hate Mondays too! Thankfully (Thankful?! Oh really now? *crickets sound*), my schedule now is different. I rekindled my relationship with Monday long time ago.

I go to work 6 days a week. Friday is the new weekend to me. Yup, only one day. So people, please be grateful if you have two days off and amazing long weekends every freakin* month! I don’t have those.

How to move on from Monday? Motivate yourself! Think about your plans. Isn’t it exciting that when Monday comes, it means one day less until your most awaited date? It could be a weekend getaway, a dream trip you’ve been planning for months or years, or a special occasion that makes your heart flutter.

When I feel the Monday blues, I list down all the things I want to do in a month or two. And never accomplish most of them.. How inspiring, right? But it’s not the point. Realizing what you want to do makes you excited everyday.

Here are some of the things I’m most elated about:

  • Going home to my family and friends! Yey!!! Seeing them is the one I’m most ecstatic, elated, euphoric about that I can’t stop counting down the days.
  • Trip to one of my favorite cities! ❤ *fingers crossed* ♫So love me like you do, love me like you do. Love me like you do, love me like you do♪ (My friend said she will play “Love Me Like You Do” in the background when I meet someone special during this trip. *giggles* *blushes*. So if you are reading this and you hear that song when we meet, it means you’re that someone special.. Haha!)
  • Christmas and New Year! There’s nothing like being at home for Christmas Holidays. *Cue: ♫Cause this year (this year). I’ll be home for Christmas♪*   
  • Other plans: brush up my driving skills, refresh my talent in playing the keys (I had piano lessons when I was a kid and the only song I can remember now is “Tug of War”), and take seriously my urge to become fluent in at least one of the three foreign languages I’ve been meaning to learn since the stone age.

If I’d be honest with myself, I don’t think my “other plans” will come to fruition. I know I will just laze around during my whole vacation; watch movies & tv series, go here and there, food trip, and enjoy home sweet home.

Basically, these are the few things that make me look forward to each and every coming day.

Hi there, Monday!

But first, coffee.

 

SATURDAY VIBE ㅣ Travel Playlist

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“This heart of mine was made to travel the world. Oh, and maybe to fall in love.”

 

Going to different places teach me different things about life. The more I see the world, the better understanding of life I get. It helps me realize that life is beautiful and the world is wonderful.

During my travels, I try my best to savor each moment. I always catch myself in awe, admiring the places or landmarks I used to see in movies or read about in books. Yes, I take some photos so I will still vividly remember the places and things in the future and to share them with my family. But the more important thing I do, I believe, is imprinting my journeys in my mind so they may last in my memory.

Beautiful experiences and memories help me get by when struggles and lonely moments try to knock me down. I may not recall all the details, but the feelings they bring surely hit the spot.

And what’s the best way to re-live those moments? I accompany my travels with good songs that make me excited and over the moon before I even embark on my journey.

Here’s the list of my favorite travel songs:

Note: I have this habit of playing Justin Timberlake’s Not A Bad Thing and Mirrors while I’m in the plane wherever I go, hence their inclusion in my travel playlist.   

  1. GOOD LIFE – One Republic 
  2. BEST DAY OF MY LIFE – American Authors
  3. GO – Livingston
  4. SHIP AND THE GLOBE – Kae Sun
  5. SUNBOAT – Little Suns
  6. CROSS MY MIND – Twin Forks
  7. NOT A BAD THING – Justin Timberlake
  8. MIRRORS – Justin Timberlake

‘Til next travel and playlist. Ciao! :*

TUESDAY TATTLES ㅣ My “I could have’s” today.

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It’s Monday night. I got to stay all day in the flat. Most hours spent sleeping in my room escaping the “chitchats” with anyone. Okay, I get easily bored with chats-turned-longgg-story-telling; that I have nothing to do with; give me stiff neck; and make me see or imagine hazy shapes that I’d ask myself if I am still awake, just imagining things, or if I’m already in a coma while someone keeps on talking.

So anyway, I am not here to vent out about that.

Let’s start again.

It’s Monday night. First day of Holidays that should have spent unwinding outside with friends. But I opted to sleep the day away and recover from last night’s shenanigans. (translation: just loads of laughter and some social drinks that could pass as a soda. Sigh. I’m getting old.)

I could have spent my day finishing the paper works I took home, or  painting, or drawing. Or I could have cleaned my room! My sexy inner voice whispered to me that I should just lie on my back, watch re-runs of FRIENDS, and eat some chips. Oh that b*tch! I was fooled again. Sorry waistline!

I could have read a book. There is a stack of books on my bedside table begging me to open them. And e-books on my phone screeching to let me know they are still there.

I am imagining things way too much. I could have written a book!

If I want to write a book, I need an inspiration. A boyfriend vacation would be nice; set foot in Europe; dine in al fresco; meet the eyes of a gorgeous stranger..

Okay, stop.

I could have just really cleaned my room. I’d do that tomorrow morning.

Goodnight.