25 September, 2020

Travel Diaries: Travel Bucket List. Second Edition.

Traveling, next to make-up and sleep, is my favorite drug. I have been quite lucky to have squeezed in several travels for the last 3 years. These few yet precious days were something I looked forward to.

Why do I not see myself walking down the aisle? I've thought about this countless times. I think I will like the whole wedding preps, what happens in church, wearing your wedding gown, and the funny stuff at the reception. What I don't like is the morning after that. I dread all the days ahead after the big celebration. I have 5 simple words: I am not yet ready.

I still want to be selfish. My friend, Kat, gave her vote of confidence by encouraging me to have the time of my life. Then just last Friday, over dinner, my cousin's Auntie Welly told me not to get affected by what other people are nagging me about. She said to enjoy for as long as I want because priorities will be different once I've settled down. And then there was last night, it dawned on me I have so many friends who are still unmarried, so why rush, diba? There are so many things that I still want to do, a lot places that I want to see, so many people that I have yet to meet, and bazillions of adventures waiting for me. More so, I promised myself a long time ago that I have to visit these places before I get married.

Morocco
Image Credit: Buzz Feed's 31 Photos that Will Make You Want to Visit Greece Immediately

The local film, "For the First Time" ( 2008 ) made me want to go to Greece. Portions of it were shot in the beautiful island of Santorini and that's when I started to include it in my bucket list. This film made Santorini pretty big in PH. A lot of travel reviews that I've read said to visit Greece in summer. Ahhh, in that case, I would like to see it in Spring. Aside from wanting to check one item off my bucket list, my future trip to what was known as Hellas in ancient times, is going to be crucial because it's one of the signs that I asked for.Ü

Beautiful BatanesBatanes, Philippines
Image Credit: Eric Banes, Of Trips & Travel Notes

Batanes is in the far far super far northern portion of the Philippines. It's this picturesque, old-fashioned island that's almost super close to Taiwan. People who have been there say it's like being in New Zealand. Before the digital age, everything that I know about Batanes was confined to what was taught in my Araling Panlipunan ( Social Studies ) class. It was through a friend's post in Facebook that made me put this hidden gem in my travel list. I hope to visit the province before it gets 'spoiled'. Well, fingers crossed, I hope that never happens.

Portugal
Image Credit: Welcome Ireland

Some of my close friends know that I've always had this weird thought ( I still do ) that I was either an Irish Prince or an Irish Fairy in one of my past lives.Ü So going to Ireland is sort of going back to my roots. Ahaha! I might have to stay here longer than my usual 4-day trips if I want to see most of the cities that I want to go to. This is one place that I would really like to explore. Reason #1 would be the pubs in Dublin followed by the castles, the Cliff of Moher, and the fact that I find Ireland really really romantic.

El Nido, Palawan, PhilippinesEl Nido, Palawan
Image Credit: Go Philippines Travel

Located in Palawan, which won Conde Nast Traveler's Readers Choice Awards Best Island of the Year for the second time, El Nido is the ultimate beach paradise. You're prolly laughing at me right now knowing that El Nido is in the Philippines and I have not been there. Uh-huh. I hope to find time to squeeze in a trip to El Nido this year. I can hardly wait to see those lagoons, white sand beaches, subterranean cave system, crystal clear waters, and experience El Nido's undersea adventures.

Germany
Image Credit: Mine.Ü

Last, but definitely not least is the Land of the Rising Sun. I just checked this one off my list last month when I flew to Tokyo to attend the wedding of Perkin & Jackie. It was love at first sight and I told myself that this is one country that I would like to visit every year. There is nothing not to love about this country, from its culture, architecture, sights, subways, the people, sake, and the food! I'm half-way through my post about this trip and at the same time, excited little me is already planning for my 2015 visit. I can't wait!

I'm 32, can pass as a 19-year old college student, looks like I'm just about to turn 21 ( aah, thanks Jeyps! ), has the heart of a 43-year old jaded woman but loves like a 16-year old ( ?? ), unmarried, will be forever 23, and I'm going to be very busy.Ü



First edition is here https://superwonderwomanruss.blogspot.com/2014/04/must-see-places-before-i-settle-down.html#.XHM31C2B1QI Travel Diaries: Travel Bucket List, 01 "Tell us about the top five places you've always wanted to visit." - The Wanderer via The Daily Post  ☮..Peace + ❥_Love + Good Vibes. RUSS.

10 April, 2020

Life in Lockdown: Unplugged

25 days in since our central government implemented the "Enhanced Community Quarantine" ( ECQ ) aka Movement Control Order in Malaysia or Stay-at-Home Order or Shelter in Place in other countries or bluntly ... a lockdown. I know that this is all in a bid to slow down or hopefully to stop the war between us and virus enemy that we don't see, but I still wake up on some days in disbelief that in this day and age of artificial intelligence and all sorts of technological advancements, we ... and not just Filipinos, but the rest of the world, are experiencing this global catastrophe.

It is a scary time. And none of us was prepared for it.
I won't say that I'm adapting. I also won't say that I could get used to this.
I'm still trying to wrap my head on everything that's happening.

How am I faring?
I am thriving and I am complying.

Those who know me offline know that I'm this little ball of unlimited energy who's so used to having her days filled with endless things to do. I must have been programmed that way. I like it. I really do. I was never a fan of meetings ( because there are a lot of things that can be resolved even via email ), but I can stay up until 6AM & just talk to someone ... over drinks, of course and I'd still be normal the following day. I dig deadlines. I hate not being able to go to work ... surprise! I enjoy planning, all that thinking & strategizing. I get excited when I discover a new restaurant, but I'm also a creature of habit when it comes to food. I have a designated hidden spot in my favorite bars. I find it interesting talking to not-so-random strangers. I get this certain kind of IK ( internal kilig ) with road trips — must be the grocery shopping before the trip, the stopovers, road trip playlists, over-priced food & drinks, the anticipation, and the hours that you spend in the car that bond you with the people you're with. Oddly, I don't like crowds, but I am happy being around and being with people.

Change was so sudden.
And this new reality that we're all in is pretty intense for me.

Unplugged.

If you're reading this, you know that you're not alone, right? We have all been mandated to stay indoors. Some would still find a reason to complain that the government has harsh restrictions, but right now, without a vaccine, do we have a better choice? See? So, staying at home right now is good not just for our families, our friends, and our communities, but also for the world. Whether we like it or not, we're all in this together and we can only get through this together. So, when we are told to stay home, we all have to stay home — the same with the rest of the guidelines that we must all follow to survive this new normal.

The initial intent for this post was supposed to be about disconnecting and unplugging from screen time & social media, but I felt that the world decided to unplug all of us from the rest of the world and things that we loved to do outside of our homes. As much as it sucks, when I was doing all my reflective thinking at the start of the lockdown, amidst all these, I still found many things to be thankful for. For me, one of them would be the Internet. Yes? A resounding YES. Thriving would be extremely difficult if we didn't have Internet. And with that, here are a few Internet-related stuff that helped me do okay while in lockdown.

 Netflix 
My relationship with Netflix during quarantined living is a lot healthier compared to when we didn't have the lockdown. Strangely, I'm not binging. I strictly followed whatever Netflix time I set. If I wanted to stick to my sleep hours and help my immune system, I have to put some discipline with my watching time. Are you doing the same? Anyways, I hope you find something interesting from my current list. I wrote just my TOP 5.
1. Hi Bye, Mama
2. My Secret Terrius ( DONE! )
3. Itaewon Class
4. Watching Again: How to Get Away with Murder
5. Watching Again: Suits

 HBO Go 
One of my friends threw in the idea. I had my friend check if Contagion was in the roster. Woohoo! That plus the 7-day trial convinced me to download the app. I knew they showed Contagion on cable TV at one time, but I never got to watch it because of work. Before HBO Go, I got YouTube Premium on trial because I thought that I could watch Contagion for free.Ö Nope. Kaya, maraming salamat talaga HBO Go.
1. Contagion
2. Blended
3. Mamma Mia
4. Pitch Perfect
5. Stepford Wives

 Music 
Music ( with my gin mix ), well, the arts in general, has been helping me get through lockdown nights. Of course, there's still Spotify but I'm also thankful that a lot of artists have brought their shows online. While doing this, they're able to raise funds for health-workers and members of society who need assistance with food & other resources. The lockdown has hit us bad and many of our kababayans have not had work for close to a month now. Some of the artists whose livestream-ed gigs and virtual concerts that I watched were ...
1. Chris Martin's Together at Home gig
2. DJ John Robinson's lockdown parties on Twitch ( loved all the 80s & 90s songs that he played )
3. Gary V for Bayanihan Musikahan
4. Replay: Martin Nievera for Bayanihan Musikahan
5. Replay: The Company for Bayanihan Musikahan

 Online Learning 
I've always believed that learning doesn't stop in school. I've always made sure to find ways to educate myself with new learnings, one way or the other. And since we are not on a work-from-home arrangement, I have plenty of time on my hands plus I need to keep my brain working & grabbed whatever relevant virtual learning opportunity there is.
1. I enrolled in a social media marketing class. Got a lot of validation & affirmation here in what I'm doing at work.Ü
2. I got Master Class, too.
3. Webinars: Jonathan Yabut
4. Webinars: Lamudi Philippines
5. I've also been watching a few cooking videos ... fingers crossed if I will have a change of heart

Our government has extended the lockdown here in my country up to month-end, but really, who knows if it will even be lifted. I'm guessing that it will get another extension or two. Goodluck to our economy. And there isn't much that we can do, but to be good citizens of our countries — we need to continue to comply, stay home, and keep our fingers crossed for a miracle. Let's all strive to find the good in all these and do our best to remain strong for ourselves & our loved ones. Let's also try to be a little kinder to one another.

Kind of not connected to, but I checked the last post I did. Ang wild lang, because it was November 2017. I was going through a rough time then. Same as now. But writing somewhat made me feel better. Most of the time, it does naman talaga. I'm glad that I decided to inch my way back into it. Pain is one hell of a great motivator.

I want to end my comeback post with these words that struck me and stuck with me. They're from Gary V's Bayanihan Musikahan last Thursday. "When we are faced with fear, may we understand at least that there cannot be any faith if fear is not lingering around. What is it to have faith when everything is okay? But may the fear trigger the faith and may faith be fueled and sustained by hope."

Let's keep the faith & let's be nice to one another.
Here's to complying to be socially distant while doing my part to save the world.
_Love + Good Vibes. RUSS.



Thank Yous
» Writing Prompt from Bloggers, Unplugged via The Daily Post
» Image from Dan Burton on Unsplash

13 November, 2017

Adult-ing

I do not even know where to start. I have been MIA for eight ( 8 ) months. Shame. I tell you, I have a perfectly solid and valid reason why it's been a ghost town in here lately. The past months have been nothing but intense craziness. My work place has been transferred to our corporate head office since March of this year. Stating the obvious, travel is 24-kms one-way, so x2, that would be 48-kms every day. It does not help that we have one of the most terrible traffic systems here in the Philippine. Imagine having to wake up at 4:30AM every single day if I want to clock-in at 8 o' clock in the morning. I didn't think I'd last, but luckily I am surviving. I just don't know if I will ever be able to adjust to this living in the South & working in the far North kind of thing.

Adulting.

Thriving.
I wish I'd get my blogging mojo back. I have tons of scheduled and unfinished posts that I have been wanting to share with all of you, but I just can't seem to bring myself to wholeheartedly write about them. I have been going to bed tired and have been waking up the following day still tired. So whatever little free time I have, I choose to get extra hours of sleep or hang with friends or simply do nothing. I try to enjoy these little un-frazzled moments.

Even in my 30s, I see that I am still a work-in-progress. As tough as the past months have been — transferring offices, a good boss resigning + a close friend resigning, everyone wanting to be a super cook in the kitchen, everything that came out from these experiences taught me a lot about myself and have shown me that I am resilient & can slay while I'm at it :)



Have you ever struggled in being a grown-up? What do you do whenever you feel like there's just so much on your plate? Any advice on how to make adulting easier?  Peace + ❥ Love + Good Vibes. RUSS.