With my recent return to Hong Kong and then a visit of the Philippines next week, I am contending with family issues. Within the past few years, I have significantly shifted my perspectives, broken down and rebuilt my own version of my belief system, more so since my journeys in 2013 and 2014. I appreciate these changes in me, however, they contrast the belief systems held by my family but do form the basis of my evolution.
This post is in regards to traveling outside of one’s psychological boundaries and barriers. What happens when you’re the lone dove who wants to test out your wings?
To me, “leaving the nest”, typically relates to finding financial independence and creating my own home and life. What about the mental and emotional aspects of “leaving the nest”?
Finding the courage to break away from familial structure and mind set is challenging, if not at times – impossible. I would know. Despite the fact that I have been alive for 40 years now, this is still a struggle of mine. My mother, does not approve of my ways, neither does my brothers. I receive more love and support from friends and complete strangers. Sad, I know. Continue reading →
Approximate pronunciation of the above Chinese characters in Cantonese: Gung Hei Fat Choi! Sum Sheung Si Sing! Man Si Yu Yee!
What do they mean?! Wishing you wealth and prosperity! May all your wishes come true! Smooth sailing ahead in all matters!
Today is the new moon of February. It also is the start of a new Lunar year for a few other cultures. For Chinese descendents, this is the year of the Wood Sheep. For those in Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan, Happy Losar 2142! Continue reading →
Unbeknownst to me, my life really took a turn for the better after my live-in boyfriend of 5-years walked out on our relationship. Until it ended, I did not know I was co-dependent. I did not know it was in an unhealthy relationship, that it was a ticking time-bomb.
That was 10 years ago. After hitting what I thought at that time as rock bottom, I met a series of strong, level-minded women and men who helped me to understand, to acknowledge, to shift and to evolve to the newer me – the current Karen.
Throughout all this, alongside the smattering of boyfriends and flings – was the travels I experienced. Some days, actually there are many days, I can say I felt more comfortable traveling solo, surrounded by strangers, in a strange land.
Throughout my life, I’ve seen countless people living on the streets of various cities – asking for assistance, asking for money, asking for food, asking for clothes. Some ask for a ride home. Some ask for money to buy drugs or alcohol.
They all have stories to tell.
How often have I stopped to listen, to care? Sadly, horribly – not many times.
On my recent travel through the Southeastern region of Turkey, I came across many refugees from nearby Syria. While riding long distance buses between Turkish cities of Antakya (Hatay), Sanliurfa (Urfa), Gaziantep (Antep) and Harran – I’ve seen refugee camps from afar and up close. Continue reading →
HAPPY October! Hope your September was as intriguing and fun as mine!
Greetings from Black Sea region of Turkey!
Fall colours at Ayder, Turkey
I’m sure much has happened to you as have happened to me. I don’t know exactly where to begin but I promise to slowly disclose the happenings of September and how some of it connects to my past lives and past events of this current life.
Currently I’m in Ayder, Turkey. My eyes loves the view of the lush green mountains. My ears enjoy hearing the rush of falling waters. My nose and lungs relish in inhaling fresh crisp air. My tongue cherish the taste of local organic honey, hazelnuts and homemade pastries. My skin comes alive when I douse myself with cold water after soaking in 44C thermal waters.
Lastly, a great big thanks to all those who kept following my blog and liked my posts while I was on hiatus. I cannot believe how many more people have started following me during the month of September. I’m flattered and surprised. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Solo travel has helped shaped me to be who I am today.
I started traveling alone out of necessity and not for pleasure.
As you see, my family immigrated to Canada as a whole when I was young. However due to various circumstances, they all drifted back to Hong Kong. I was left in Winnipeg, Canada to finish school alone. During my summer vacations, I’d travel to Hong Kong to see my family. That was the only way for me to spend time with them physically. Fortunately, my family was able to finance these visits each year.
It’s a mixture of complex emotions that I did not realize until much later. That was life as I knew it. I was in survival mode without conscious awareness.
After the fact, some friends and acquaintances see it as a sad childhood. Maybe so, however, it definitely helped shape my independence and ease with international solo travel. It also inspired an intrigue to learn from exploration and feed my curiosity.
Today its very common to see people of any nation holding a cell phone or a smart phone. Head lowered. Eyes on the glowing screen. Thumbs and/or fingers tapping furiously on the device. Sore necks ensues. Eye contact lost. Face-to-face connection is a thing of the past.
Nevertheless, technology has made connection across continents much easier.
Human connection often times requires an electronic device as a mediator. However, sometimes the electronic device has caused mixed messages and led to misunderstandings.
Yet when friends and family gather, the true human connection is often neglected. It’s no uncommon to see a table of 4 people seated at a table in the restaurant and all 4 are busy with their own electronic device. Children and babies are often given a tablet to play with to provide the parents and guardians free time.
End of July 2014, marks 2 full months into my 2014 journey. So far I have traveled to Turkey, Greece, Germany and Switzerland.
As much as the fact that traveling opens my mind, my heart and my eyes to new culture, new thoughts, new beliefs and new experiences. Traveling also makes me reflect and appreciate what I already have and allows me to share with others my past experiences.
The word “Compare” can be viewed in different ways… Compare can lead to degradation. Compare can cause inspiration. Compare can cause insecurity. Compare can create motivation. Compare can create competition.
Coming from Toronto, Canada – I am constantly reminded all the goodness that Toronto offered – which I have taken for granted!
The saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” – is very true. Continue reading →