Travel Bug Top Five

People often say to me that I have been everywhere. Well guess what! I have Not. But EVERYWHERE is on my list. Here is my top five places I haven’t been. Yet.

The Greek Islands – How do you choose where in Greece to go, with so many idyllic islands offering so many gorgeous beaches? Any will do! Because Life is always better by the beach, with sandy toes and footprints in the sand.
South Italy – One word. Wine. Not Pizza. Wine! I would like to visit some of the oldest wine producing region, with my grape friend husband and wine a bit around.
Paris France – With my husband to lock our love-padlock to a love bridge and throw the keys into the river. Then drink some French wine.
Africa Congo – Take a Selfie picture with Gorillas hash-tagged #JustHangin’ with the #Gorillas in their natural habitat
USA Seattle Washington – The whale watching season starts now!

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Daily Prompt: The Wanderer 

Lookin’ Out My Back Door

Looking out my back doors, I see the reason why I moved here. My garden. The garden is the reason why I went thru stressful relocation of our four cats from Hong Kong to Dubai. I wanted to give them a better life, no just more space, but outdoors life. Now when I look outside I understand, I gave them more then just a garden. I gave them a whole new world of hunting, running, climbing and chasing smaller creatures in the grass. With flies and birds flying into the garden, I have discovered their hunting skills, I never knew they had. Looking out my back door I see an environment full of opportunities to hunt, to run, to jump, to explore. Thru eyes of a cat.

Every time I look thru the doors into my garden to find them all stretched out napping so relaxed, I know, undertaking a very stressful long distance journey was all worth it and the view of my cats in the garden is my reward. That is what I see when looking out my back doors, my happy cats.

But if you looked yourself into my garden you would have a very different view. You would see a lovely good-size garden with very inviting space to relax, to read a book or to enjoy a glass of wine in garden gazebo. You would see a garden with peaceful and quiet atmosphere, surrounded by trees and flowers, listening to the little birds twittering.

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In response to Daily Prompt: Lookin’ Out My Back Door 

If I Could Turn Back Time

If I could experience the wonderful bits from my past again, I would go back to London to time when I met my husband, I would go back to Dubai to that special, unforgettable moment of our first ‘I Love You’ To Barcelona to re-live our first christmas together again. I would turn back time to that instant second of my first visit to Incredible India. To those wonderful times spent in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand. Back to that day, when we relocated to Hong Kong, to that feeling of excitement, me jumping up and down on top of the hotel bed. Oh and back to Disneyland! Back to that point of time, me standing on top of the Great Wall of China, not being able to take it all in, overwhelmed.

Back to Turtle Island, Shanghai, Tokyo, Philippines. And Canada, to be blown away by Niagara falls, once more. Back to the days in New York, to that magical while on Brooklyn Bridge flooded with emotions, my pap-proposal. Countless times back to my beautiful Bali, back to my Wedding day, the sight of you waiting by the altar. And back to lazy days in breathtaking, dreamy Maldives …

But the truth is, I don’t want to turn back time. The past are memories, the future a dream and all we ever have is now. A present moment. Where, I like to be. Because now is just as amazing, now, is the time to create those memories and life just gets better by moments.

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In response to Daily Prompt: If I Could Turn Back Time

Links to other time travellers I like:

That Montreal Girl goes back to fun times where we were not connected to any machine 24/7
Alexia Jones goes back to the best compliment she ever got as a teacher

Not the Homecoming Kind

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‘When are you coming home?’ hearing voice of my mum over the phone ‘When are you going to settle somewhere?’ Every-time. Same questions get answered by the very same silence. My stomach turns upside down and I swallow the truth.

Living in different places, made me flexible more adaptable and emotionally so much stronger. My life has been a constant change. Change of places, cities, countries, continents, friends, apartments and houses. Just when I think I settled somewhere, made it home, created my own circle of friends, gained a social status or work recognition. I get this urge to go. I don’t know where my home is. I like it everywhere. I don’t feel tied to one place. I live on planet Earth and that is how much I can pint point where I feel at home. I believe, I am not meant to live in one place. There is only as much as you can learn in one place. And not change is easy, so is not moving countries. Every time you move, you start form zero. Right from the bottom. Again. Every place has it’s own unique heartbeat. It’s own way of how things get done. Shortcuts. Hidden gems and secrets. Hot spots. Smell. Etiquette. Different mix of people. Culture. Pulse. Rhythm. All to learn, respect, adapt and accept. Even if you know couple of people, you have no social status, no recognition. So why do I do it? I guess I love ‘new’ and dislike ‘easy’. When things get easy and comfortable I get bored. When a place has nothing to offer me anymore. Doesn’t teach or no longer surprises me, I feel I’m done. The time passes and I have to move. I just know deep down in my soul I have to go. My mum may not fully understand the good in this unsettled, changeful, temperamental, unpredictable moving yet, but I do believe it is there.

Or at least – It is who I am.

Morning cup of thoughts

In the car this A.M. me and my husband, it is lovely sunny morning and we are on our way to work. I glance at the clock on the radio, actually only at the minutes digits and realize we are good with the time and could use those spare minutes to go grab a coffee before we get into the office. I mean, life doesn’t get better then having Starbucks grande late before you start the day. My husband tells me we already pass it and its too far behind us. So I quickly remembered my friend told me very recently, there is a new Starbucks in JLT – the area where our office is located but on the other side, in cluster Y. My husband turns the car around in a quest for Starbucks.

We arrive at cluster Y and drive around looking for signs of Starbucks, but it doesn’t seem like there is one here, so we stop and ask the car-park employee ‘Good morning, excuse me do you know where is the Starbucks around here? He looks at me ‘Star .. ?’ I say loud and clear ‘Starbucks please’ He shakes his head of not understanding or more likely of not knowing what exactly am I asking for, like he had never heard of Starbucks. So we move on to some two shop employees standing outside, interrupting they conservation ‘Sorry guys do you know where Starbucks is?’ I smile. They both pause and stare at me ‘Star What?’ At this point I think; is it me or these people just walked out of a cave? I repeat ‘Starbucks please’ They gaze at each-other ‘Star.. Whaaaaat ?’ both confused by my out of this world question, scanning the surroundings for some clue or something.

Maybe for an escape. I definitely need a coffee now, it will not fix these people but at least it will wake me up, because this just cannot be real!

My Coffeeology.

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Where is My Post?

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Did you know that you have the only luxury that cost nothing in door to door postal service? I bet you didn’t! Well, let me tell you, because I want you to really appreciate it. So now, please stop singing about Post Code Envy (Lorde!), because there are different luxuries that people have and don’t know about it. And for those of you who do not know what “Post Code Envy” means; it means to resident in a more established or elite area. For example you can have postcode envy for Beverly hills in California known by one of its zip codes 90210, or Manhattan area in New York City or London’s postcode SW3, Knightsbridge, Belgravia, St. John’s Wood, Kensington and Chelsea for example. Hong Kong has many exclusive areas also, you could have post code envy for residencies in Repulse Bay, in the Peak or Stanley. In Dubai it could be the Meadows or the Springs I guess. Yeah, yeah, yeah you get it now.
But this is not about the most priciest areas or postcodes, because in Dubai no matter where you live you cannot receive your post the way we know it. And this is how I developed my PSE “Postal Service Envy”
We are all used to a door to door postal service in any other countries. Living in Dubai now and not getting any of my post, my orders, parcels, birthday cards I have done lots of tracking down of my missing post. Just to find out that everything that was ever sent to me was returned to its sender. I quickly realised how special receiving post at your home address is. Unless it is sent by courier companies, only courier with important mail that needs to be tracked can deliver at your residential address, here in Dubai. Door to door postal service does not exist in the UAE. Instead people have to pay for a PO Box system here. Basically I have to rent my own personal P.O Box in my local post office, in order to receive my post. And by “local” we talking at least 20 minutes drive, that is, if you find it of course.  I Take all documents required and the required fees to the post office and get the keys to my box right away, aaaah so happy!
The Key to my Box! The key means so much to me, I feel relived. I am a great online shopper and buy everything from clothes to accessories to shoes to cosmetics to hair products to art all online. Honestly, it feels like receiving gifts. Yes it is a self gifting, my favourite, as I always get exactly what I want! The rental charges for having a box in the post office are shocking, forget the shipping or the actual price of your purchase. Paying for a place so you can actually receive your post and still need to come in opening hours to pick it up yourself, is just a another level of unreasonable expense in Dubai. With this very new system to me, where I don’t get deliveries and surprises at my doorstep anymore I have to plan my trips to the post office. Its kind of like if the christmas doesn’t come to you, you go to get your christmas. Yes the trips to the post office became my new activity of excitement.
So from now on, when you see a post man at your doors, remember what a luxury and privilige you have of receiving your post, as I envy you!

This year I’m looking for a Horse-Shoe

Another year has past (Year of the Snake) a year that has been action packed and pretty rough. Looking back, I wonder now if my guardian angel took a year off and went for a vacation or wherever it is that guardian angels go when they aren’t answering my prayers. For us the year 2013 was all about relocating from Hong Kong to Dubai, opening our new office and settling into our new home for more “kinda-grownups” life. Whatever that means.

Steven, my husband has spent the year redefining the phrase of “working hard” expanding the company. Fifteen-hour days have become the norm for Steve and every once in a while, he took a weekend off. He spent most of the first 6 months in Dubai and if I wasn’t with him I have stayed in Hong Kong most of the time alone and didn’t even border to put his suitcase away. When in Hong Kong I assisted to our business registration for UAE by running around visiting lawyers, embassies and foreigner affaire offices, getting all documents requested by Dubai, daily. All of that effort, time, money spent, sacrifice and energy!

I’m still waiting for the big payoff that will land me in a huge palace and a driver in uniform and white gloves with sweet ride, chef-prepared dinners daily and most importantly a never-ending wardrobe allowance! I hope that arrives with the year of the Wooden Horse. Ever the Dubai Office, Steven clearly takes on the challenge to do the impossible, so I have figured out that the chances of his working schedule changing are about as great as me becoming a International Pop Star. Most of the year and the money was spent on our new life, new home and business in Dubai. Focused on what we will gain instead of what we will lose, blindly trusting the cost-of-living calculator. Maybe we considered moving to Dubai to be closer to friends and family or to start a family ourselves and just maybe, the real reason will stay untold. When I made this decision of relocating I had to think almost exclusively about what we will gain by going to the new city, but psychologically I was affected much more by what I was about to lose. However my scale of life values decided about my priorities, so I packed up all my things, grabbed our four cats (I wish it was as easy done as said) and headed to another country. Yet, again.

I found coming to Dubai one of my hardest transitions. Thinking about what I was actually willing to give up for untold reason. I knew it was going to be hard. But I decided to ignore it and go ahead with the choice anyway. I have learnt that each relocation is really about giving up stuff, but giving up a dream?

We finally relocated for good in June.

Char Sui Noodle Soup got replaced with hummus and bread. Streets full of people, are now replaced by emptiness. Short skirts with full lengths. Typhoons by Sandstorms. Walking doesn’t exist here. Calls don’t get returned, emails don’t get replies. You feel as thought you are spending your days stuck or running around but not getting nowhere. You try your best to rise above it and get through with some of your sense of humor left. Then pizzas, kebabs, McDonalds help. I get my quick fix with junk food thinking tomorrow will be better. On top of that I reached my 30’s without knowing how to age gracefully. I would like to think I still have some time to find out ..

The year wasn’t all too bad but it definitely was a hard and a stressful one. With Snake in charge, probably me trying to make a career change, was not a good idea either. Im just glad the Horse is coming. I can Pick myself up and dust myself off from last year’s fights with the Snake.

Now out with the old and in with the new 

My List of Goals For 2014:Image

What are your goals? Will you Hire a personal trainer? Join a dance class? Or get back into that childhood sport you loved so much? I wish you all a Lucky Year of the Wooden Horse and Instant success when the horse arrives! Kung Hei Fat Choi!

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