Returning back from adventure

Building castle in the air...
Building castle in the air…

Time flies before you knew it, it is exactly a month now that I am back home to my familiar surrounding. I have been trying to adjust my mood and focus in life but it is a slow process not one that is totally within my control sometimes. Having made my first solo travelling abroad I seemed to have caught the wanderlust. Recently I loved this picture posted on Picart of a castle situated on a hilly mountain. It had caught my sight and I am wondering if it’s possible to make a trip to the Europe perhaps next year or so. I would definitely need to save up as spending in Euro will take a further toil on my saving.

This time of the year seems to be the travelling season. I have noticed on Facebook one couple had went to Australia. Others went shopping at Taiwan, one of them took a photo of the protect camps at Hong Kong. Meanwhile others came back from travelling in Europe and Africa, a handful of others are heading to US. Just a week ago, Lonely Planet ranked Singapore as one of the best destination for 2015. Looks like the citizens residing on this planet are travelling around. : )

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Leaning on the wild side

I had seen on travelling programmes introducing cruise that will take tourists out to the sea to view dolphins in schools at near distance to the vessel. Most times, I would look in awe at the TV screen never did I realised that one day I could experienced it for myself.

While we do have a dolphin lagoon on Sentosa Island, it’s a totally different encounter if we were to see them in the wild. The brochure promoting the cruise states that it is about 41/2 hours and high likelihood of sighting dolphins at 90% and whales at 75% of the time.

And so off I went on board that day. As the vessel with about 20 odd people drifted out of Viaduct Habour and heading to the open sea, the cruise Captain started to welcome everyone on board and giving us an update of the weather and time. As the only Chinese looking lady without any companion must have attracted the attention of the Captain that day as he included a smirking remark towards the end of his welcome “… those who do not understand English too bad!” Or perhaps I have been a little sensitive?

Throughout the first half of the journey, we sailed past some beautiful offshore Islands that I thought to myself that perhaps I could visit another day. This video that I uploaded was taken during the first part of the cruise where the sea was calmer along with the hot afternoon sun. We did get some dolphins that swam near to our cruise boat but it was quite sporadic and after more than 2 hours ride I thought our sight seeing would end with just that.

Tiritiri Matangi Island
Tiritiri Matangi Island

Our vessel came near to Tiritiri Matangi Island to allow us to take a few pictures and just as I thought we are heading back to the harbour, the boat embarked on a new direction as Captain decided to climb onto the upper deck from his steering wheel and seek out the trails of the sea birds. Meanwhile this patch of the water started to get more choppy and rough with the waves splashing onto our viewing deck. I was a little late in getting back to the shelter and so some of us whom stayed out on the deck in anticipation earlier were all drenched.

Soon the mid afternoon sky was turning grey with light showers gathering in strength, we begun to spot the schools of dolphins swimming in this patch of the sea. We were sailing near to their territory and the families of them could be seen visibly gliding through the surface of the water. While the Captain was “gossiping” about the females leaving the males species to take care of the babies over the boat’s broadcast, 3 young calves swam near to where I was standing, squeaking in laughter in the water as though they understood what the Captain was saying. It was really cute!! Oh how I wish then that I could hug and swim with them…

I had been praying silently earlier on to be able to see more. Our perseverance and patience paid off in the later part of the afternoon. Captain spotted a lot more gathering of the sea birds in a certain area of the sea and true enough as the vessel approached the region, we were greeted with the sight of several blowholes. We saw the Whales finally!

Whales Noses
Whales Noses

The cruise managed to get as near to one of the whale and I could see part of the whale’s rubbery grey looking body above the surface and its length was comparable to the main body of our vessel. This part of the journey was met with very rough sea and I could not tell what the whale’s specie was without being able to see its head. If it did a joyous flip in front of us our vessel might be tossed even more wildly.

On our way back, the sea waves continued to be strong under the grey raining evening sky but what I had encountered that afternoon had been nature at its very best.

I have arrived! Yeah!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

For someone who isn’t a frequent traveller, this has been my maiden flight voyage. Having to start my journey on the previous day afternoon and in transit at Brisbane airport overnight before arriving at Auckland itself the whole journey took a day. Everything encountered in this journey is my first time.

The slight rise in the exchange rate of NZD dollar against SGD in the recent month of August has also tested on my resolve to want to embark on this journey. Since cancellation of the trip would involve penalties and so I trolled my big suitcase with me as I embarked on this trip.

As accommodation wise had been prearranged before I left, my first week of lodging would be taken care of. I would think being in a country where English is the official language helps in finding my way around.

Looking forward to enjoy exploring New Zealand in the coming days!

3 Days more and counting down…

I am excited and yet nervous about making a trip overseas entirely on my own despite the fact that many people in my home country or others have travelled in groups or on their own too.

This year I had encountered quite a lot of first times. My first time embracing a job title that is not that usual and yet I felt the environment had been disturbing and time pressurising. At times the feedback I have gotten for trying to clear my tasks before the deadline by going back to office was meet with remarks that the management do not appreciate it. I would always ask them back: ” If I don’t come in on Sat (the office operates on 5 day work week) how am I going to clear the task within deadline?” As our normal week days office hours have been gruelling enough I would gladly reserve my weekends for some personal space.

So one day while I was out of office on assignment with my manager I was day dreaming about how nice it would be if at that moment I am looking at some nice misty landscape of  mountains and green fields of flowers instead of a lane of high rise buildings and thereafter vehicles filled the flyovers on a typical day of extra warm afternoon. The earlier part of this year had been the hottest period I had experienced. For three months and yet there hasn’t been any rain and most grass patch I came across had all turned dried up.

Back to counting down the last 3 days before I will be on the long journey of adventure. I had my shares of worries on whether would I be able to pack enough of the right clothes, will my limited travelling allowance tide me over the days when I am overseas, can I get a job when I come back to Singapore…

I feel like I am living on the edge with much unknown. When I get there, I will update my blog.

 

The Meaning of Happiness Changes Over Your Lifetime

Center for Advanced Hindsight

Swinging Happiness for BlogThe following is a scientific and personal article written by CAH member Troy Campbell about happiness.

One lovely afternoon, I began chatting to my grandpa. I was completely unaware he was about to say something that would change my view of happiness forever.

In the middle of our conversation, I felt a lull so I pulled out the classic question. “If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would it be?” I couldn’t wait to talk about my long list of dead presidents, dead Beatles, dead scientists, and a really cute living movie star. But I was also really eager to hear what he’d say.

Then he simply answered, “My wife.”

I immediately assured him it’s not necessary for him to answer like that. We all knew he loves his wife, whom he eats dinner with every night and was currently over in the other room…

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