map of westeros

How can I get to Westeros? : Prompt 16 of #indie30

Prompt #16: What city in Europe would you like to visit the most?

Having visited Paris in 2011, I can’t really think of any other European city that I would like to visit. I think my imagination has been eroded from too much travelling.

Although I don’t have a a particular city in Europe that I’m dying to visit, if I were dying, I would choose to go to the fictional land of Westeros in Game of Thrones (which is kind of in Europe and filmed in Europe).

Map of Westeros

Credit: Robert whose handsome face I’ve cropped out

Compared to my current life, Westeros has 1000 times more swords and an infinity times more shadows dragons. Those are good enough reasons to go.

I would love have been a part of the storyline but based on my karma, I’d probably end up as Character Who Crosses The Road in the books or the film. Plus, I wouldn’t have survived a day in Flea Bottom.

Actually, come to think of it, I don’t feel like dying that soon. The one reason I want to be in Westeros is so that I can wear fantastic braids all year long (which I have been doing in a mini scale these days).

More on Game of Thrones filming locations:

 

This post is part of 30 Days of Indie Travel Art Project.

Homeless


“Anyway, home is where you feel at home. I’m still looking.”

Holly Golightly, Breakast at Tiffany’s

Same as Holly Golightly, I’m still searching for home.

“Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia” is the location where my passport was issued. It was the place where I sepnt 19 years growing up and learning about life.

If home is where your family is, I’ve been away since January 2, 2011. More than 10 months being away from the house where my family stays.

But if family is the only thing that makes a certain location home, then I’ve not been away for too long. I had two trips this year which allowed me to see my family. I met up with my parents and my sister in June in Xi’an and I was away in Japan with my mother in October.

Kota Kinabalu is not really home. I don’t really see a place where I’ve not been staying in for more than 2 months in a year as home.

Frankly, I’ve not seen anywhere as home for sometime now and see places where my bed is as temporary accomodation. Perhaps, like my friend D says, I should be a gypsy. 

Anway, here is a picture of the sky in front of my house back home. The rusty gate and mossy walls are still familiar.

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This post is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project. Day 13: Home

The rest of my posts for the project can be found here.

2012 can’t come fast enough

This morning I realized that it is already the end of November but I haven’t finished writing this year’s new year resolutions!

It makes today’s prompt for BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel blogging project even more funny. I haven’t made plans for my life but I’ve already made plans for travelling.

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(Image from my TripIt app. Here’s a review of the Web program.)

Aside from the Chinese New Year tickets, the flights for the rest of the trips were bought on offer and I’m dang proud of myself for that. 

Some of next year’s travel will be more challenging. For the two Vietnam trips, I’ll be going alone and I don’t speak Vietnamese.

But that also makes it more exciting because they’ll be like warm up for my RTW trip where I plan to visit many countries which I don’t speak the language.

Yogjakarta has been on my To Go list after I found out about the ancient Hindu temples nearby. I’ll be travelling with D, my travel buddy who I went to Bandung with a few years ago. (This trip also reminds me I need to visit Angkor Wat.)

The locations I’m going to are great for indie travelers because they aren’t really huge cities and you can cover a lot of the areas within a few days of wondering around.

Can’t wait for 2012 to come.

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This blog post is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel Project. Day 30 (last day!): 2012 TICKET

Where are you going in 2012?  Why is that place great for indie travelers? 

The rest of my posts for the project can be found here.

What travel means to me in one word

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ESCAPE

During my trip in Paris, I had an unhealthy obsession with escape signs. I didn’t really know why I felt compelled to take photos of every exit sign I see and to seek escape signs where I can’t see them.

In the description of a Facebook photo album titled Escape in France (related photos here), I wrote:

I discovered that I’m actually very fascinated with escape signs. In a novel, this would have deep meaning but in real life, it means I’m weird.

These few weeks I had been feverish with the wish to travel. Then one day, I realized recently at work (my mind wanders) that for me, travelling means to escape, to be free. 

But to escape from what? 

Is it to be away from the usual scenery and to be in an unfamiliar place? Is it to be away from the local food and to taste something different? Is it to smell a different air?

That, I’m to afraid to answer.

This post is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project. Day 29: ONE WORD

What does travel mean to you in one word?  

The rest of my posts for the project can be found here.

Lavender-colored dream

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(Image grabbed from Wikipedia)

Where do I want to be now? In a field of waist high (not possible) lavendar. I don’t care in which part of the world it is, I want to be there.

I want to be among the buzzing bees and intoxicating scent of lavender. I want to pluck bunches of the flower and dunk them in olive oil to make scented oil.

As you can see, I have a fetish for lavender.

I don’t know how that happened but I have the urge to buy every lavender scented product I see. Fortunately, my budget does not allow me to purchase much of the real or artificial lavender products out there.

When BootsnAll posted Day 27’s prompt: WanderlustShare a photo or video that just makes you want to GO. RIGHT. NOW“, I thought hard. I couldn’t think of a location or a monument I want to see now.

Then I remembered where I want my dream home to be: next to a field of lavender. So here it is.

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The rest of my posts for the project can be found here.

Zero meaningful connection on the road

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I am unfortunately a painfully shy person when it comes to strangers. I blame it on being ISFP, a personality trait aptly encapsultaed on this Web page:

[ISFPs] seldom speak with strangers because they’re reserved; that quality can make them seem standoffish and even unapproachable, despite their innately caring personality.

That’s why I never made any long lasting friendships while on the road.

But I did try to be friendlier and create a short lasting companionship with a fellow hosteller while in Luoyang China.

It didn’t work out. Continue reading

Long live Vietnamese coffee

Vietkopi

The first time I had Vietnamese coffee was in My Tho, the hometown of N. Before the trip, I was already a coffee junkie, requiring one cup of coffee with milk each day or else I’ll feel a headache coming up.

Before the trip, I’ve read about Vietnamese coffee. Butter roasted, dripped through a metal filter into condensed milk. I figured it would taste the same as the regular coffee in Malaysia or Singapore since we use condensed milk too.

I waited for the cup of coffee to finish filtering and stirred in my condensed milk.

I lifted the cup and took a zip, then frowned. Continue reading

Mental baggage during work travel

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Prompt #16: BAGGAGE
Mental baggage can weigh us down as much as physical baggage when we travel. How do you travel lightly – either emotionally or physically?

 One of the perks of my job is (if you do your work well enough), we get to fly overseas to cover events.

The first I heard of this, my eyes went wide and my brain starting imagining all sort of wonderful places I could go. But since I was a freshie, my boss didn’t let me go on any trips until I was about a year plus into the job.

It was to Taiwan, my mother’s home country. Coincidentally, my parents were also going there at the same period.

Unfortunately, it was a difficult event that I had to cover. It involved microprocessor chips, which I frankly was not that familiar with.

Anyway, I extended my work trip so I arrive in Taipei some days before the event for travelling with the folks.

It was the most stressful travel. Every day, I had to think of my work. “Have I finished all my preparations?” “Will I understand what they announce at the event?”

The trip was still fun and exciting. But every night in the room, I would panic over my work. I also had to do some work in the morning while my parents went in search of breakfast.

After that trip, I decided that it’s not worth a free plane ticket if I get so worried about work while I’m supposed to have fun. Since then, I only travel on my own expenses.

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This post is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel. Day 16: Baggage.

The rest of my posts for the project can be found here.

City of Lights, Day 15 of 30 Days of Indie Travel Project

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Parisian cliché

Saying your favorite city is Paris has become a cliché, especially for jaded young Singaporeans who already have traipsed across Europe right after their university graduation. They’ll likely tell you that while their favorite European city is Stockholm, there’s no place like home where the transport system and the government works.

(On another note, Tokyo is slowly becoming another cliché but the people here still do not think of it yet because they like sushi and J-pop so much.)

Despite what they say, my favorite city is still Paris.

Continue reading