Why you should travel while you’re still young

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You know, I guess I find the most motivation to write when I’m bored. Haha. This was something that hit me while I was sitting on the can. Yes – don’t you know the can is where the best ideas hit? It’s such a conducive place for creativity.

I was chatting with a friend who is 58. She was telling me about expensive flight tickets and how she didn’t have much of a choice but to get them despite having budget issues because well, her body couldn’t handle uncomfortable budget travelling anymore. And it’s just another reason why I think people should go explore the world in their youth. So here, I give you five simple reasons why you should travel while you’re still young.

1) You can endure a 10-hour budget airline flight, bus/rail journey

Therefore transport costs are cheaper! When you’re older, your knees and back might not be able to handle sitting in the cramped quarters of a moving tin box anymore so you’ll prefer to go full-service or business class, which is a more expensive ticket.

2) You’re still willing to stay in a hostel/budget accommodation

Again, this just means you’re saving on expenses. As you get older, you might find that climbing up onto that top bunk is terribly inconvenient for your arms and legs. Also, some of you might feel just a little out of place being the only 48-year-old in a dormitory of young, lithe twenty-somethings. Of course, kudos to you if you don’t give a shit about that.

3) You’ll still have energy for activities

Yes, you could maintain good health in your golden years but let’s face it, most of us aren’t elite level athletes and our bodies will  deteriorate to a point where we are just too tired to explore. Do you think you could handle that four-hour hike for a gorgeous panoramic view? Could you still enjoy the last bits of a full-day tour without just wanting to go back to the hotel to rest? Would you sign up for midnight activities? Maybe – but probably not. Your exploration may be limited to sitting in an air-conditioned bus throughout your entire holiday – and where’s the fun in that?

You can't see it but we were battling fierce-ass wind to take this picture. The wind was so strong coming up to this peak I had to crawl on the ground for stability.

You can’t tell, but we were battling seriously fierce wind to take this picture. The wind was so strong coming up to this peak I had to crawl on the ground for stability.

4) Student/Youth prices

Okay, I know this is another one related to cost savings, but when you’re young (and broke), that’s really one of the more important things: stretch your funds so it sustains you comfortably throughout your entire trip. Whether it’s admission tickets to points of interests, transport passes or even restaurants, being a student or youth can get you lower prices.

5) You don’t have responsibilities

I mean, no kids, no house, no bills, no parents to care for (yet), and you’ll have time to rejoin the workforce when you come back. People have this worry that they will lose everything they’ve built – and I can totally understand that it’s an incredibly scary thought. But it’s also totally unfounded. What if nothing goes wrong? Truly free time is short – if you don’t go now, then when? When you’re saddled with committments? Lets see you drop everything and leave then.

If you let the negative “what if” hold you back from doing what you really want, well, you’ll never find out about the amazing “what ifs” you could’ve had.

Some of you might say, well, money may not be an issue when I’m “older” if I keep working now, so I can afford the fancy comfortable hotels and expensive air tickets. See here’s the thing:

Would you have the time then?

Money can always be earned – seriously. Always. But once your time and energy is gone, it’s not coming back no matter what you do.

I came across this quote and I absolutely loved it. I think it’s come up here and there in a few of my pieces already. But  it just really struck me – and I hope it motivates you too.

Randy Komisar quote_credit Lifehack.org

That’s it for this entry :). Lots of love! ❤

 

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Skinnyme Tea Teatox Review

Hey guys, I haven’t been posting much because I don’t know what to write about. Sometimes I’m lazy. And there haven’t been any good questions coming up in the A Sentence A Day journal.

I have been on a Skinny Mint teatox since 21 July and I thought, why not do a review for the last one I did, a Skinnyme Tea one? So here goes!

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Picture from their website, www.skinnymetea.com.au.

Two friends and I decided to do the teatox after I stumbled upon the brand’s Instagram account with loads of Before/After success stories. It seemed to work for so many women. I made sure the reviews were legit by checking the hashtags to see that other people were uploading their results on their own, and not through the company.

After splitting shipping (with tracking) with my two friends, a 14-day teatox cost me SGD$47. It arrived in about two weeks, if I remembered right.

Taking the tea was easy, a teaspoon of loose leaves from the Daytime mix, and a Colon Cleanse (night time mix) teabag every other night (starting with one on the first day). Both blends were easy to drink (to me anyway; taste is subjective). In fact I added honey to the daytime tea on the first day and found that it tasted better without. Both have a herbal profile, quite similar to green tea, no odd aroma. The instructions did say to take the daytime tea half an hour before your breakfast. I was still working from home at that time, so it wasn’t so much of a hassle. But I’d imagine if you were the sort who liked having breakfast at home before getting to work, that the half an hour wait needed some working around. Take a shower and do your makeup first maybe? After all it’s only for two weeks.

Image from Instagram.

Image from Instagram.

The Colon Cleanse did not give me any out-of-the-norm stomach aches. I personally did not experience diarrhoea or going more frequently for Number Two. My normal habit is to go once every morning. Occasionally I would go once at night, after drinking the tea. I can’t actually say that it was due to the tea, as sometimes I do go an extra time in the evening. Bottom line: it didn’t affect my bowel movements too much and I’d steeped the teabag for 2 -3  minutes, as recommended.

Do take note that senna leaves – an ingredient in the Colon Cleanse tea which has a laxative effect – affect different people differently. My other pal who was doing it did have to go do Number Two more times in the morning. Some women complained of cramps – sometimes too painful to continue with the teatox. I personally think it’s a little unfair when customers get angry about how the tea affects them this way because it is stated clearly on the website that the night time tea has a laxative effect – you make the decision on whether or not you want to give it a go.

Results

Of course, the point of you reading this is to find out if it worked. For my friends, it did not. For me, it did.

Here’s the thing, the tea isn’t a miracle worker, you have to hold up your end of the bargain with eating healthily and regular exercise. My friends didn’t do that. Some lucky people report eating rubbish and still losing weight while on the teatox – well good for them, I don’t think most people are as fortunate.

Around the end of 2013, I had started eating cleaner and upped my exercise because I wanted to be a better athlete. I dropped 2kg and started building more muscle. However, my weight loss seemed to stagnate after two months. I couldn’t lose any more excess fat. Yes, yes, there are other ways to get it going again – like running, but I hate running. I wanted to see if this could help. I’ll admit – I wanted a quick fix.

After taking this tea for two weeks, without much change to my existing healthy eating habits and exercise (clean eating on weekdays, two cheat meals on the weekend), I lost 0.5 inches each from around my waist and my tummy, and 1kg. It doesn’t look like a lot, but I really needed that last 2 kilograms to budge – I wanted to go from 57.5kg to 55kg. At the end of the teatox, I was at 56.5kg. It has been more than two months since I completed it and I haven’t put the weight back on.

Image from Instagram.

My take on the tea’s effects

I am not sure it helps to curb cravings. Some people say it does that for them, but I don’t know if it’s just a placebo effect. I did find myself eating less while I was on the tea, but I cannot say for sure that it was because of the tea. I got busy with writing and when I’m busy, I tend not to feel hungry or get cravings. Plus, I just spent $47 on bloody tea, I ain’t giving in to temptation and let it go to waste. It’s easier to ignore chocolate and cakes when money is on the line.

What I do think genuinely helped, was the detoxification, and improving the efficiency of the digestive system; getting rid of the backed-up gunk inside. Plus it had ingredients that can boost your metabolism, so if you were exercising, you would be burning a bit more than if you didn’t have these little helpers.

In fact during my second week, I wasn’t able to exercise as frequently as my regular 3 – 4 days a week, I only worked out once that week. I still saw the little budge I was hoping for at the end.

Overall, I would recommend it.

But you must do your part in eating well and working out. The tea helps as a booster, not a cure.

PS: I am not posting Before/After pics because I’m a bit hesitant putting something like that up on the world wide web, but if you would like to see it, just let me know and I’ll send it to you. It’s not much, but you’ll see a difference especially at my waist area. Which, I really need help with because I have that body type that doesn’t have a waist. Le sigh.

I’ll do another review of the Skinny Mint Teatox when I’m done with it around the middle of August. Lots of love!

A Sentence A Day Project – #3

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You know, when it comes to these posts, I never know whether to post them just as an interesting question comes up, on the day itself, or to do “throwbacks” for more thought-provoking questions which I don’t have time to do an online reflection for.

I’ve decided to be more flexible. The reason I am sharing these reflections is actually in hopes that when you guys see the questions, it makes you think of your own answer – sometimes that kind of reflection brings about wonderful epiphanies. So without further ado, here is today’s question, which is actually a July 6 entry:

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At first, ironically I had a hard time answering this one – the cliches just weren’t coming into my mind. I actually came up with the answer only because I saw it somewhere: Live in the moment.

That is my favourite cliche for now, at this point in my life.

I think we all worry way, too, much. I know, I know – it is so much easier said than done but I think we can all try. And a little improvement in letting go of anxiety about the future, brings us that tiny step closer to living happier.

I think being a little spiritual makes living in the moment a little easier – you have faith that someone or something is looking out for you. You know that everything is going to be okay; you know if you don’t get something that you want right now, something better is going to come your way. And with this, you won’t worry so much about the future because you just know that it’s all going to work out in the end.

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Sometimes rappers have good advice.

But besides not worrying, living in the moment heightens your experiences. When you throw yourself fully into something that you’re doing right now, you get to savour the moment for everything – every emotion, every of your five senses that it’s engaging. The monkey-mind isn’t thinking about what’s going to happen later, whether anyone has left you a Whatsapp message, what you’re going to eat for dinner later.

I’m sure everyone has gone through something like this before, when you were so engrossed in something you didn’t feel the need to check your phone for messages, to eat, to talk to anyone – wasn’t it wonderful for the mind to be 100% absorbed?

Lastly, my one wish is for people to not chastise themselves for a “bad” decision saying, “If I had known I would…” – well that’s the thing, isn’t it? You didn’t know and would have no way of finding out. Nobody knows what’s going to happen in the future; you make the best decision you can based on all the knowledge you have right now. Acknowledge that if it turns out to be a “wrong move”, it is simply a lesson for you to learn. Don’t see it as failure or a mistake and beat yourself up for it – see it as something to learn from. I know it can be hard distinguishing between the two, I really do (been there, done that). The line is fine, but it’s there. And staying on the positive side makes decision-making a less worrying affair ;). I’m nowhere close to being able to automatically do this but at least I am aware and am trying, and that’s good enough for a start :).

So, tell me, what is your favourite cliche? Bet you’d take a while to think of one. Haha.

Good news

I must say, the Universe has impeccable timing.

In the last three days, I was wracked with guilt. In my attempt to find myself and chase my dreams, I had momentarily forgotten my responsibility towards the one person who loved me so much, she sacrificed much of her life for me: my mother. Those of you who know me, know my family story, know that my single-parent mother means a lot to me.

And I had forgotten that I had a slowly aging mother who shouldn’t be working so hard, while I was sitting at home picking and choosing assignments to take on so I could enjoy free time. Suddenly my bank account seemed pitiful; suddenly all I wanted was to get a steady job so she didn’t have to work so hard.

The fear and worry began creeping in. About two weeks ago I had applied for a community service officer role with an international school, United World College. And while I really wanted it, I told myself not to be attached to the outcome – if it’s meant to be, I’ll get it; if I don’t, it just means something better is coming my way. In the last three days, I fretted about not getting it more.

I was due for an afternoon tasting session yesterday and felt really lousy about myself – how could I have forgotten? I should chase my dreams but I cannot forget to make it up to the woman who means so much to me. To let her finally take a break after her years and years of toiling for my family.

A watercolour carnation tattoo I've always wanted to get, to never forget what my mother has done.

A watercolour carnation tattoo I’ve always wanted to get, to never forget what my mother has done.

Walking to the train station, I asked the Universe to send me support in this time of fear and doubt, to give me a sign that they are there. A small support first came in the form of a friend who coincidentally entered the train cabin I was on. The short chat took my mind off things for a while.

When I met the marketing folks for the tasting, I left my worries behind too.

Then lo and behold, at around 4+ I received the call from UWC. I had dropped them an email about being overseas from today till Sunday and so they were calling earlier.

I GOT THE JOB!

I am so, extremely happy about this. More importantly, it has reassured me that the Universe is looking out for me. They must’ve withheld the call until I got to experience the guilt, as a reminder to never forget again. Like I said – the timing was impeccable.

I am so excited about this new chapter in my life. The job opportunity came up out of the blue and while I was initially set on freelancing full-time, I thought of giving it a go because it seemed like a position that could teach me a lot. And here I am :).

Just feeling really blessed and thankful now. Plus I’m off to Bali for a semi health retreat! What a fantastic week :).