Friday, February 13, 2015

CH252: An Introspective Digression

After my trip around the US and Europe a couple of months back, I saw within myself a change that I was more laid back. In comparison to being hot headed fresh out of college and looking to be in a rush to climb the corporate ladder. In certain events during my trip like when I lost my iPAD when i left it in the train toilet...I was rushing out to get off my stop because the train was going to Ventimiglia after. Italian trains are on time. Well I didn't really mind losing the iPad. I was quickly over it after I spoke with my mom about it.

Digressing. Anyway, since arriving in Sydney, I realized I'm still a bit hot headed and easily impatient. Just a week and a half into living here, the pressure had built up for me to find a job and get settled in. I have to force myself out of the zone of thinking about it to be able to relax. I could be enjoying myself, going to museums, having fun, relaxing, but my natural instinct had been to situate myself in a position of being here for a few months without a job. It's not as if the recruiters and companies will work according to my schedule, so I've been bound by other people's schedule and somehow the impatience just grows.

I'm not sure if that's a good thing to create a stressful and high pressure environment for me to strive harder. I've applied to multiple jobs not directly related to what I do just to be able to put up a cushion in case the layers of comfort I've submitted my applications to fall through. My mind plays a situation where I put myself in a situation that I've failed. I know this feeing before when I left my job in HP during the height of the US (and global) recession to take a break and learn the lesson and desperation of being unemployed. Maybe I was traumatized by that experience so I'm reliving worst case scenarios in my head.

So as I've introspected, I figured that the only reason I am the way I am now is because for the most part of my life, I got the things I wanted and aspired for. I got high honors in school because I studied hard and worked for it. I wanted to go around the globe in 42 days so I saved up for it and traveled...although this one was partially enabled by my mom who so graciously cushioned my expenses and even gave me emergency money. I wanted to move out of SG and migrate to Australia permanently, so I did. There have been so many things I wanted and thought to have needed and attained, that the concept of begging for a job to be able to settle in Australia has become a situation outside my comfort zone.

I did play the situation in my head before I moved and felt mentally I was well prepared. Maybe I am or was, but not to the extent I imagined.

But now I'm here, there are no regrets or thoughts of wanting to leave or feeling like I made the wrong choice. I'm excited actually of what comes after I find a job because then I'll be free to navigate my life with security...which then comes to full circle with me getting what I wanted after overcoming the obstacle of finding a job. i digressed, I guess it brings about the reality that dreams do come true after all...with hard work. But I tend to underestimate stuff and I feel for the most part, I haven't worked hard enough to have gotten the things I dreamt of.


Also, worth sharing, I've been reading the Velvet Rage by Alan Downs. And here's an interesting passage from the book with regards to passion.

"Passion is the repeated experience of joy in doing something. When one discovers passion, it is usually because an activity seems to produce joy each time it is performed. Normally, there is a diminishing return on the joy associated with an activity. Not so when passion is present. The activity produces a surprising and satisfying amount of joy, again and again.

"Passion is a meta-emotion-an emotion that is felt only after observing other emotions over time. Passion is present when you observe that the same activity consistently brings you joy."

Saturday, February 7, 2015

CH251: A Look Back: Sintra, Cabo de Roca & Cascais, Portugal

A day trip out to Sintra, Cabo de roca (the western most tip of Europe) and Cascais. 

Sintra, visiting the Palace of Pena was amazing. A UNESCO heritage site, it's definitely worth a visit.
The tour group was also nice. Aside from me, there was:

1. Jenny and Sarah - jenny the grandma was with her granddaughter who is studying in London for an exchange program. They live in Sacramento. Jenny was born in China but moved to Taipei when she was 1 and then moved to the US when she was 20. She's been living in the US for 45 years now she says.

2. Nanita and Bob - a couple staying in New York but recently moved to Kentucky. Nanita was apparently Filipino, but I learned of that by the tour's end.

3. Sabrina, Ria and Gabriella - a single (separated) mom with her kids from Toronto.

haha, yes i just did a profile of the tour group i was with. It was a pleasant tour and I highly recommend it. As was mentioned this was booked through (where most of my tours were booked).

The visit to Sintra comprised of the Palace of Pena and the lunch break in the city center where I ate at a cafe with a menu set with "by Gordon Ramsay". So, the roasted cod I had cost 39.00 euros complete with appetizer of bread, olives and cheese (i think it was camembert) and a glass of Muralhas (vinho verde - green sparkling wine).

The visit to Cabo de Roca which is the western most tip of Europe was reminiscent of my visit to the northern most tip of New Zealand where you can see two seas meet. The view was nice. It was interesting to hear that from that viewpoint, the Portuguese used to think it was the end of the world as the horizon was just the Atlantic.

The trip to Cascais was less eventful. I just went around the city center. As was told by the guide, it was a bit like Beverly Hills where the rich people usually stay in. I just had a 3 euro Gelato and went my way. I had Milk Caramel and Toasted Almonds. They were soooooo goood! :)

Then after that we went back to Lisbon via the coastal road to drop Sabrina and kids in Belem.

[Side Note]:
I know I said in the previous entry that there would be less narration, but I found that the entry I put up in Facebook already had a good narration of it. If I recall correctly, I did that with the intent of just copy pasting the narration to here hahaha.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

CH250: A Look Back: Lisbon, Portugal

From the airport coming out of the undeground Metro, I was pleasantly taken aback by how beautiful Lisbon was. Maybe because the weather was fantastic, but that's the impression that's stuck with me upon coming out. Clean, white and pristine - well at least the city center or the area I came out of was. The weather cooperated pretty much the whole length of the stay. It was a European spring (start of it) so a fine amount of layering was in order :)

During this leg of the ~9-10 day trip to Portugal and Spain, I did not just stay in Lisbon but also visited Sintra (the Fairy Tale castle which is also a UNESCO heritage site) - of which, the tour there included Cascais, and the western coast of Lisbon - as well as did a whole day trip to the Belem district where there are more historical architectures (Palaces, Monuments etc).

Anyway, this is a "LOOK" back and not a "NARRATIVE" back hahaha, so after nearly a year (maybe 10 months) since I visited the place, enjoy the selected pictures! xoxo