Things I Know Now: Post-Europe Edition

Traveling to Find Ourselves

My unruly hair at Plaça de Sant Jaume in Barcelona, Spain

If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person? – Fight Club (1999)

Have you ever come back from a trip, whether it’s five days or five months, and feel unsettled? Do you get that floating feeling as if you’re watching from outside yourself as you go about your day? To me this is the uncomfortable period where we get back to our old routine, allowing the old self to catch up with the present self.

I’m going to raise my hand up and admit that I’m in that uncomfortable period having come back from Europe more than a week ago. In fact, I haven’t been writing here because I’ve been writing in my journal trying to make sense of everything. Because while I’m absolutely enamored by the cities I’ve been to it’s been even more amazing to have discovered things about myself during those 14 days.[Continue Reading]

How To Be a Voracious Reader

Be a Voracious ReaderBooks are a curious mind’s best friend. If you’re notoriously curious as I am, you won’t be able to settle for one book only. Sometimes you’d like to stock up on several books on the same topic or pick up another book, while in the middle of one, to match your mood. If your To Read list is growing ten-folds by the day, you are not alone. Mine sure feels that way.

I have loved books for as long as I can remember, my earliest memories included books in all their shapes, forms, and sizes. For years I read one book at a time. I liked to savour them and re-read them until I have memorised all the nooks and crannies of the plot and the dialogue. There’s nothing wrong with that and I still do it sometimes but I realised there are so many more books out there I have yet to read and explore and they are growing in number.[Continue Reading]

Full Moon Release: No More ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’

moon

The Full Moon brings with it a powerful energy that is capable of unearthing thoughts and emotions we’ve carefully tucked away in our hearts. There are two ways to deal with the emotional turmoil that can surface during this time. One is to let fear run us to the ground or two to acknowledge that it is there and then release it. As with almost everything, the latter is easier said and done. But with enough practice, we’ll learn to push through the discomfort. So I’d like to take every Full Moon as an opportunity to practice releasing the things that no longer serve us as notoriously curious people. Being one isn’t easy especially in a world where we’re seen as a jack of all trades and a master of none.[Continue Reading]

Adventures in Korean: 3 Lessons On Learning a New Language

learning korean

Never knew I looked so serious while listening to my Korean language podcast

Learning a new language is such a thrilling ride. It’s not just a cerebral activity of phonetic sounds and symbolism, it’s a cultural experience in and of itself. Which is why, out of all the things I have been curious about, nothing has surprised me more than having decided to learn Korean. My knowledge of Korean culture mostly revolves around food and even then it’s mostly kimchi, bibimbap, japchae, and samgyupsal.

If there’s a bottomless well that could feed curiosity, I think languages is one of them. Since embarking on the Korean train about three weeks ago, I have learnt a few things about myself and how I ended up enjoying the ride.[Continue Reading]

How Do You Face Your Fears If You Don’t Know What You’re Afraid Of?

roller coaster by greenteafields

The brave man is not the one who has no fears, he is the one who triumphs over his fears.

— Nelson Mandela

For years I had this notion that I was afraid of heights but no matter how many roller coasters I rode, the fear of heights was always there lurking, especially just before the massive drop or the loop de loop. The longer I thought about it, the more I realised that the fear I felt when on these things (no matter how fun they seem) was my worry that I’ll come unbuckled and fall off. That the lurch in my stomach wasn’t just the sudden pull of gravity as we tipped over the top and hurtled towards the ground, it was also my body’s reaction to my brain’s overreaction about “What if the breaks on this thing isn’t working and we go flying off into the sunset—and we go CRASH, SPLAT, and BOOM?!” Then it dawned on me, I wasn’t afraid of heights, I’m afraid of falling. [Continue Reading]