Travel Thought Thursday :- The Last Frontier

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

Travel Thought Thursday :- Chinese New Year (Year of the Ram)

恭喜發財! 心想事成! 萬事如意!

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

Scenery Sunday :- Geneva Festival (Switzerland)

Fêtes de Genève is an annual 25 days event along the waterfront of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). Locals, expats and tourists, from near and far, show up en masse to celebrate Summer in Switzerland. Fair rides, concerts and a grand show of fireworks on the last Saturday night of the festival are all part of fun.

Yes, if I had been more organized or actually done some planning and research, I would have known about the festival and made it to the fireworks. But I was flying by the seat of my pants and I had spent the day in 5 different cities. Needless to say, I was bone tired when I questioned why my train, in the direction to Geneva, was completely packed and not many were dressed up for clubs or bars. It was also the last night I get to spend with my friend and her family who hosted me the whole time I was in Switzerland, so I did not mind missing out on the firework show.

However, I was in Geneva on the last day of the festival and it was a great event for me to stumble upon. Continue reading

Honored guest for a day in Chile…

Many unexpected, random things happen to me when I travel as a single woman. Seriously. I don’t know how or why but they just happen.

While wandering the streets of Puerto Varas in Chile in early 2013, I saw a family of 4 taking photos along the waterfront. I walked up to them and offered to take their family photo. What happened the rest of the day was like a fairy tale.

Originally my plan for the day was to explore the city of Puerto Varas and then hop onto a bus and travel to a nearby town called Frutillar – on my own. At the end of the day, I was very happy and grateful that nothing happened as planned. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

Well I’m still learning the ropes of WP and the fun ideas they have to help bloggers. SO I’m gonna give the Weekly photo challenge a try!

Family – when I’m on the road, traveling, exploring – I call those that I value, family.

When a special bond is created. When a life-long memory is created. When an unforgettable experience is shared. Those involved become my family. Continue reading

Spending Christmas (solo) away from home?

This time last year, I arrived in Buenos Aires (BsAs), Argentina at the early hours of Christmas Day to begin my 2013 Epic Journey. After a restful sleep, I started early to explore the city – alone – on what is typically a day reserved for family and friends.

I know most people if given the choice, they would rather not be on the road during the festive holiday season – solo. Traveling alone can be challenging. Homesickness is common. I relate it to Valentine’s day, when I see lovey dovey couples together, while I’m spending Vday alone or with other single friends. I admit I am a seasoned solo traveler but I know traveling solo can be a daunting and pushing you out of your comfort zone. Personally, I think and know that when one choose to travel solo, one can end up gaining some new perspectives and unexpected experiences, if given the opportunity. Continue reading

She did What!?! ~ with Bellarock

Single Woman Travels! (SWT) is a place to inspire and motivate women (and men) around the world to travel. She did What?! is a monthly series of Q&A – asking women around the world to share their past travel experience. From this, I hope a few more women who are on the brink of expanding their world will be inspired and motivated to turn their dreams into reality.

Bio…    Bellarock

SWT:    Where was the destination of your first solo trip?

B:        Solo enough I guess without family – California on a student exchange for a month… Also left Australia to live in the UK at the age of 22 – did that one alone!

SWT:    How old were you?

B:        I was 16

SWT:    Were you single or attached at the time?

B:        NOPE!

SWT:    What inspired the idea?

B:        Small town girl… looking for big things.

SWT:    What was your trip style? (backpack, tour group, comfort, meetup with family/friends)

B:        I was in a group with about 20 other kids from all around Australia – the same age.

SWT:    What type of accommodations? (family owned, B&B, tents, if a hotel, how many stars)

B:        I stayed with a host family.

SWT:    How long was your trip?

B:        A month

SWT:    Who looked after the logistics?

B:        EF Foundation.

SWT:    If you planned and/or booked the itinerary, did you enjoy the process?

B:        I do all that stuff now… Yeah, but that’s kind of my job. 🙂

SWT:    If you worked with a travel agent, how was the experience?

B:        Annoying… you’re not a priority… they have many many other clients

SWT:    Would you / have you booked subsequent trips yourself?

B:        Yeppers

SWT:    What would you do different – in hindsight?

B:        Not a lot… Research and asking friends, family, strangers advice.

SWT:    Did you feel comfortable traveling solo?

B:        I always seem to – but the road sometimes feels more lonely than unsafe.

SWT:    How much research did you do in advance?

B:        Lots.

SWT:    What was the biggest surprise on the trip?

B:        Too many to count… but running into people you know in the most random places.. it’s happened so many times for me on public transport.

SWT:    What did you learn about yourself during the trip that you weren’t totally aware of beforehand?

B:        How resilient I am, adventurous, brave and independent I can be.

SWT:    Was there any close calls or run-ins?

B:        Depends on what close calls or run ins you’re talking about…

SWT:    Where is your next dream destination?

B:        Iceland or a road trip around the USA

Next time, we’ll hear from Kristine who chose to travel on her own…

If you’d like to share your story, contact me! 🙂