Posted in Articles, Feelings, Fitness, Life, Travel

Reflection: A Moment of Silence in the Sky

Moment to myself to reflect!

There is something very emotional or at least thought provoking as you watch the last ray of sunlight gradually gives way to darkness. From the comfort of my seat approximately thousands feet above ground, I watch the beautiful shades of red and orange slowly fade into darkness, as the day comes to an end. Sometimes I wonder if it is a blessing or a curse being disconnected from the rest of the world when I am on a plane. It is a curse for someone like me who spend most of my time glued to my MacBook, iPad or iPhone with Internet connectivity where information is endless and social media notifications keep me occupied. It is a blessing in a disguise, in some way, it gives me the moment to reflect upon life in general and perhaps an opportunity for some technology detox. My work surrounds digital marketing and social media where Internet is parts and parcel of my life. My life depends greatly on the Internet. The Internet to me in some way is like water to fish.

Flight from Brisbane to Perth takes approximately over five hours. It could be torture for someone like me. After a whirlwind trip with The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to attend a conference in Brisbane, I pack not only my luggage with me but also a wide range of emotions to process. Perhaps this five-hour flight is just the thing that I need – to unpack and process these emotions before I am ready to start my Monday after an eventful weekend.

It has been my third conference with the Institution but with every conference I walk away with bags of emotions. This conference has fuelled me with enthusiasm and motivation. Having seated in a room filled with like-minded driven individuals for two days, it has given me the motivation to march forward. Like-minded passionate individuals have always been able to give me an adrenaline rush to get back home and share with others what I learn. I am beyond eager to share with my mates all the great things that are happening across the Australia New Zealand region. I feel so happy to be in these conferences, having reunited with familiar faces. One of the highlights of all these travels is to reconnect with familiar faces and to forge new bond. I am forever grateful of the opportunity the IET has provided me with. It broadens my network and social circle. Having friends from all around this region is such a cool thing, don’t you reckon? It is always great to catch up with old mates and to see what everyone is up to.

Brisbane is a city where I have not been before. I live for the quote “Make an effort to travel to a place that you have never been before once a year.” Across social medias, we see people showing off their travel snaps and stories. It is only human nature to feel slightly jealous and the urge to hop on the popular culture bandwagon to fit in the norm. However, are we that desperate to hop onto that bandwagon that we lose our rationale? This could be another topic of discussion some other day. What I wanted to say is that I feel extremely privileged to be flown to places I have never been before and the deal becomes sweeter when it is an all-expenses paid trip. Of course I have done a lot of work prior to this conference but I still feel extremely privileged. I reflect upon all the opportunities that I have. Firstly I am forever indebted to my parents who worked hard, saved every single penny to move our family to Australia. Australians take pride in the value of fair go for all regardless of who you are. If you ask me 10 years ago, do I see myself as a migrant in a Western country who adapts well and functions in the country, and has all these wonderful travel opportunities? I will call that out as a joke. Without my parents’ support I will never get to where I am today. My parents have first given me the good head start and the rest undeniably is through diligent work and perseverance. This ties back to what my dear grandmother has taught me growing up. Hard work and perseverance bring you far. My grandmother was the most hardworking individual I have ever known. She saw through hardships and odds such as World War 2, economy destabilisation and much more. In many ways that has shaped me to put in effort and above all, to be grateful of everything that I have today.

Today as I take the last glimpse of the breathtaking Brisbane city skyline, emerging skyscrapers along Brisbane river, I feel sad to leave this beautiful city. On the first day of arrival, I leisurely strolled along South Bank and in many ways it does have a vibe similar to that of Perth. People jogging along the river foreshore, tourists with their cameras or iPhones snapping the picturesque views and cool breeze with warm sunshine, these ingredients make the perfect love potion for people to fall in love with the city. I took my time to take in all the views and snapped photos for my Instagram. I had not explore the city in great depth as I believe Brisbane still have a lot to offer. However I know I am here for work so I am contented that I have the chance to walk around the central business district and South Bank area. Brisbane has definitely its own charm and it is a city I would visit over and over again.

They say travel can change one’s perspective. I could not agree more. This business trip has not only given me the privilege to visit a place I have never been before, it taught me a lot of things which makes me feel that in many way I am very lucky and sheltered. It gives me the urge to step up and grow. It has also let me grow closer to these people whom I feel extremely lucky to call friends. The experience which we share together is forever irreplaceable and it would not be something easily forgotten. It is a shame that my trip to Brisbane is such a short one but I decided against the idea to extend my stay in Brisbane. I recalled the last time in Sydney, having to return to the same hotel where we had eventful days and nights together, suddenly the hotel seemed so empty after everyone left. I loathe the feeling of emptiness from within. This time I decided to avoid the feeling by heading home the same time as most people. Whilst it is always sad when a trip comes to an end, I would much rather be home soon in the comfort of my own bed. Home, it is forever irreplaceable and now as an adult, I finally understand the saying home is where the heart is. I gladly say that I cannot wait to be home.

As I lift my head and look outside the window, darkness has completely engulfed the light. Whilst to many this is just another flight transporting passengers safely from one city to another it signifies more to me. For one, I am filled with sense of gratefulness. I feel so motivated and recharged, ready for new challenges ahead. Another thing is I realised that I am flying home – yes even though it has been nearly a decade, sometimes it is still surreal to think about that I have called Perth my home.

Posted in Dreams, Feelings, Life

What an Extraordinary Week!

This has been an incredibly extraordinary week. I had my first live radio interview with Hit92.9 brekkie crew Heidi, Will and Woody and being able to share with Perth’s audience my childhood dream and how it becomes a reality. I debut my first short film which has garnered 10K views in less than a day which I am thankful for all the people who has watched it and have a good laugh. Most importantly, I manage to meet my first childhood hero – Austin St. John the original Red Power Ranger and have a photo taken with him! Austin gave me his autograph, we exchanged pleasantries and I showed him the Power Ranger video clip I shot with Hit 92.9! No words can express how excited I am meeting Austin who played Jason, someone whom I look up to since I was young. Austin is so friendly, nice and approachable that I am almost breathless and nearly missed a heartbeat. Growing up watching Power Rangers this is definitely a dream come true for me!

This entire week is an extraordinary week, perhaps one of the best week of my life. I feel like I am almost reliving my childhood again. I am thankful for all the opportunities that hit the door and above all, I learn to be resilient and determined to unlock goals, chase dreams and ‪#‎PursueImpossible‬ in life. LH

Posted in Feelings, Food, Holiday, Life, Travel

OMG I CAN’T WAIT!!! 😱😱

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Whenever I go to Singapore this is one of the street food that I miss! This ice cream sandwich is perhaps one of the best thing on earth! Well I do not necessarily crave expensive food all the time. Ever since I was young, my grandparents and my parents have always taught me the value of money and simplicity is bliss. It is a value I will always have in me and a value I hope to teach my children one day.

Why can’t exam be over right now? I cannot wait to go for my shopping spree in Singapore! 15 – 17 June 2015… the day can’t come any faster!!

Posted in Feelings, Random

Moment of Reflection… 💭

Although I may not be able to get all the things I want on my wishlist for Christmas or Boxing Day, I’m thankful I have a job. A job that gives me extra income to buy some of the things on my wishlist. I see it as a motivation to work harder in the future and a way to improve my life for the better. La vita è bella when you learn to be thankful and see the good out of everything, even when the situation is bad. #thankful ❤

Posted in Books, Feelings

The Wedding

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“Yes, I decided, a man can truly change. The events of the past year have taught me much about myself, and a few universal truths. I learned, for instance, that while wounds can be inflicted easily upon those we love, it’s often much more difficult to heal them. Yet the process of healing those wounds provided the richest experience of my life, leading me to believe that while I’ve often overestimated what I could accomplish in a day, I had underestimated what I could do in a year. But most of all, I learned that it’s possible for two people to fall in love all over again, even when there’s been a lifetime of disappointment between them.”

Nicholas Sparks in The Wedding

Reading this paragraph from Nicholas Sparks’ novel, The Wedding reminds me of my parents. My parents fall in love at first sight and I honestly think I might not be able to live up to the standard they have set. They fall in love all over again, despite there has been a lifetime of disappointment between them. At the end of the day, my parents share a solid foundation, through ups and downs, they continue to sail on in life and I could not be more grateful for that.

Posted in Feelings, School, Teenagers, University

Girrawheen SHS Outreach Programme

Today, I am so fortunate to be part of UWA Aspire High School Outreach Programme. Girawheen SHS has a special place in my heart because in 2013, I spent a fantastic and unforgettable week with students and teachers from Girawheen SHS in a Math Summer School Camp. I have always wanted to go back to the school and inspire more students to further their education beyond high school. I have always fundamentally believe that all young Australians should have a fair go in education and strongly believe that education is a right, not a priority. Hence, I try to reach out to as many students as I can, hoping to spread my believe, inspiring more young Australians to pursue education and the chance to change their lives.

Today I am so fortunate to work with a group of Year 10 students. These students have to select their subjects in a few weeks time and UWA is trying to help these students to choose their subjects wisely. As the students were immersed in their activities today, I was walking around them and suddenly a student raised his hand and I approached him. I greeted him with a smile. His voice was trembling and sounded a little insecure as he asked “What is ATAR? What is TEA?”

I smiled, sat down and talked to him. His tone, despite the tremble and sense of insecurity, I could tell that he was serious about university. He wanted to go to university. He wanted to know more and I was more than eager and excited to share with him everything about university. From his soft, trembling voice, I could sense that he was a little helpless. As he gradually opened up and spoke more, I was glad I stopped by and had a chat with him. He told me about his studies, he asked me about ATAR, he asked me how could he get into UWA, yes he specified UWA. He told me about his Italian background and how in his family, going to university does not seem like an important thing. This boy, at such a young age, is serious about getting an education in university. Despite lack of support from home, his words and actions showed that he is such a mature boy at his age. I felt like I wanted to talk more to him but time eventually runs out, like always.

I left the school today feeling bittersweet for the boy. I am happy, as he told me that Aspire UWA was the first point of contact that has inspired him to further his education. I am happy for him, for he is such a matured boy at his age. I am happy for him, for he foresees that education is the key to open more doors of opportunities in the future. At the same time, I feel sad for him. Coming from a low socioeconomic high school and a family that lack support in education, I feel like he is a true gem inside and I hope one day he is able let his inner gem glow and shine. As I left the school today, my mind went blank for a while, recounting the conversation that I had with this boy. He reminded me how grateful I should be that my family supported my decision to pursue my dream degree in university. He made me feel that my work with UniDiscovery and Aspire throughout the years are worthwhile. He reaffirmed my believe in education equality for all, something I will always believe strongly. He reminded me there are still many young children out there who are not getting a fair go in education. He made me feel I want to help him more. Leaving the school with a million thoughts, I wished the boy all the best in his studies but most of all I told him, “I’ll see you at UWA one day.”

Posted in Family, Feelings

Six Years…

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Dear Grandma, today marks the 6th year that you have left us. Even today, I can still feel the pain and the sorrow when I first knew you were gone. Dashing to the hospital around 5 in the morning, only to realise that none of us has the chance to see you before you took your last breathe was a moment I could never forget. Undeniably it is hard to say goodbye to you, and even today, I still miss you a lot. It gets better as time fades the pain, for I know you have taught me something in life – strength. You taught all of us to be strong and not to give up easily. You give me the strength to try to move on from this tragic event. Above all, you gave me love, and your love is strong enough, even when you are not around, I can always feel you are so close to me. You always has a spot in my heart and nothing or no one can ever take the place. Each and everyday, I am incredibly proud to be your grandson and I am proud of what you have shaped and moulded me into. I could not ask for a better grandma and all I can do is to pass on your incredible values to the future generations.

Whether it is 6 years, 12 years and more, I will never forget you. Looking at all the old photos that we have taken over the years made me sad. Every year on 20 May, I have never felt so sad and lonely because I miss you even more. This was the darkest moment in my life and the pain of losing you is indescribable. On this day, it hurts so much that tears fall. I still miss you so much but I know, despite the distances and time, I can still feel you are always around and… #YoureAlwaysHere.

Posted in Family, Feelings

Thinking of My Grandma…

This year marked the 6th year my mum is celebrating Mother’s Day without a mum. My maternal grandma left us on 7 January 2009. She had lost the battle to cancer. This Mother’s Day I want to reflect upon my maternal grandma whom has always been close to me and my heart since I was born. From stories that my mum has recounted and from my memories, my grandma is an incredible cook. Every Sunday I love going to her house and she will be cooking something different every week. She made the best jelly in the world, hands down. I still miss her sweet potato soup that quenches the thirst on a scorching hot humid afternoon.

My grandma is a true believer of love. My grandpa and her are the live example of Noah and Allie from The Notebook. My grandma went after her true love and despite life had not been easy for them, love conquered all for my grandma. She is such a strong woman and I do admire her boldness and her courage. Back in the days, pre-arranged marriage is so common among the Chinese community. I am so happy for my grandma who was courageous enough to pursue her own happiness and she did. I learn from her too that in life, things may not come easy but if you believe strongly about something, you should trust your heart and chase after them.

In the last few years of her life, my grandma has unfortunately been diagnosed with goitre and cancers. Although she has become weaker and more frail, she is still so strong and she continues to battle her illness. Throughout her treatment, my grandma needed the generosity of anonymous blood donours. These unsung heroes have since become my inspiration to donate blood and plasma. In 2012, I have started to donate my blood and plasma regularly at the Australian Red Cross. I want to give the gift of life to someone out there so the family member can get to spend more time with their loved ones. I lost my grandma but I hope someone out there who needs blood or plasma will receive my donation so they could continue living their life with their family and friends. I know my grandma would be very proud of what I am doing.

Six years has elapsed and I know on Mother’s Day it will be even more difficult for my mum. My mum has always been closed to my grandma. In conjunction with Mother’s Day, I’ll like to wish all marvellous mothers out there a Happy Mother’s Day. I hope your day is filled with love, laughter, smiles and warmth. And to my dearest mum, Happy Mother’s Day and I look forward to celebrate more Mother’s Day in the future together with you. Meanwhile, enjoy your honeymoon with dad this Mother’s Day in Japan! I love you mum! X

Posted in Family, Feelings, Friends, Life, Random, Travel, University

Toss back Tuesday: 2013 in Recap

Happy New Year Eve everyone! I cannot believe it is the last day of 2013! It seems like yesterday I was counting down to 2013 at Burswood, Perth with my mates, partying and watching fireworks! Where has the year gone to! To wrap up this insanely crazy and beautiful year, I’ll like to list down my 10 MOST memorable events or happenings throughout the year.

#1: I NAILED MATH MAJOR.

Like seriously, after years of hard work, I finally nailed my Math major. I could not be more than happy and proud of myself and my achievement. It all started as a naive dream of getting a Math degree in university. Soon, the dream becomes a vision and evolves into a motivation. The journey has not always been easy, there are days that are smooth and there are moments that are difficult. The journey is not easy, but looking back it is always worthwhile. I like to say a humongous THANK YOU to my supportive parents for their unfailing support throughout these years, and teachers and lecturers who have inspired and helped me in one way or another.

#2: BERGAMO IS BEAUTIFUL.

I am truly fortunate and blessed to be given the opportunity to go for exchange in Bergamo, Italy in June-July this year. A month away from home abroad, staying with a host family, living in a foreign country speaking a foreign language, it is a wild but unforgettable experience. Immersing in the Italian culture, food and lifestyle, it truly is La Vita è Bella! I cannot wait to go back to Bergamo soon! Again, I am deeply thankful for my parents for their financial and moral support. I could not have ventured that far in life without them. I am lucky enough to be offered a scholarship by UWA to do this exchange programme.

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#3: MY VERY FIRST BALENCIAGA.

I worked hard and I am glad the effort pays off when I bought my very first designer label with my own money! I could not be more than happy to buy my very first Balenciaga wallet and I would not trade anything in this world for it, just because it holds so much significance to me. This, I am really thankful of the job opportunities offered to me by UWA.

#4: XIN CHAO VIETNAM!

Finally, our long-awaited annual family trip is back! I always remember when I was still in school, I am literally the luckiest boy on Earth having the opportunity to travel around the world with my late grandparents and my family. The experience and the moment shared together are priceless. This year, the four of us went to Vietnam. We visited exotic places like Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Vung Tau and Halong Bay. Vietnam has so much to offer and I strongly recommend Vietnam to anyone who is scratching their head for their next holiday destination.

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#5: AUGUSTA AMAZES ME!

For our annual catchup and getaway, Amanda, Katrina and I had a 4-days escapade to Augusta, located at the tip of South-West Australia. Augusta is a beautiful little town with its own local charm. We have a relax trip, escaping the cacophony of city life and a little technology detox! I love how we spent the night sitting on the couch, talking, drinking hot tea, juice and alcohol (weird combination?), chatting, watching Dear John and lots more. We took a lot of good pictures which are still lying in my camera. Let’s talk efficiency!

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#6: BIG FAMILY TRIP TO CHINA!

In February, I went to Beijing and Chengde with my family and my extended family. My grandpa left us in August 2012 and according to the Chinese custom and tradition, we are forbid to celebrate Chinese New Year the following year. Hence, we all agree to have a getaway during the CNY holiday. China was insanely cold when we visited. My sister and I left home feeling unwell and we ended up spending the holiday feeling sick most the time. The worst that could happen to me was having a stomachache. There was a day when I decided to spend the whole day inside my hotel room. Although this was not the most ideal holiday, I am still happy we get to spend our CNY together as a family.

#7: UNIMENTOR RECOGNISES MY EFFORT.

Back in October, I was honoured to receive an award presented to me by the UniMentor team. I have joined UniMentor since September 2011 and I found the programme really beneficial and interesting, to both new incoming students and to the mentor too. I learned so much along the way. Like many other journeys, there are days of happiness and moments of sorrow. When I receive my award, I was literally on cloud nine and the award is so beautiful! I still display it proudly in my home and I am thankful to everyone who recognises my effort. It made every single effort worthwhile and rekindled my passion in the programme.

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#8: OUR FIRST GRADUATE IN THE FAMILY!

Congratulations to my sister for finally graduating! Knowing my sister, getting out of university and wrapping up this chapter of life are probably her biggest accomplishment she has ever had! We are incredibly proud of her – her achievement, her effort, her diligence and the person she has turned out to be. I always believe that my grandparents are still always looking after us from above and I know that if there are still alive today, they would be incredibly proud of my sister’s achievement.

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#9: ANOTHER BIG MOVE!

In June-July 2013, our family moved from Mt Claremont to Mt Pleasant. It is our third move in Australia since we migrated there. The move is insane and moving from the Western suburbs to another means a big change to my schedule and lifestyle. I loathed and opposed the motion to move since I love the Western suburb so much. Gradually I have to let it sink. I cannot deny I am still making the effort to minimise the change in the lifestyle that I am used to in the Western suburb. I still get my grocery from Coles Claremont, shopping at Claremont Quarter and even go to my gym at Claremont. I guess I am pretty much a Claremont boy at heart. Looking on a bigger picture though, I am thankful for my parents for providing a better lifestyle in Perth. They are superb parents whom I am forever grateful.

#10: TO ALL MY FRIENDS…

Last but not the least, to all my friends, I love you all so much. I am so glad we met and became really good friends. We have our good days and bad moments, like any other group of friends. At the end of the day, I am still grateful to have met you all, you all make waking up at 6am everyday to go to university worthwhile. No words can describe what we have been through together except the memories that we ingrained inside us. With here, I look forward to another amazing 2014 with you all, and perhaps with new faces along the way too!

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Last Word from #LH: Finally, to close the year 2013, I just want to wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year 2014! May the New Year brings you abundant of joy, happiness, laughter, love, luck, peace, prosperity and success!