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 Travel

Quick Holiday in Kuching

Whirlwind trip back home for Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year!

Year of Rooster 🐔 Family Shot

Australia Day in Kuching with a cup of latte ☕️

Famous Sarawak Laksa 💛❤🖤

Some presents for baby Koey! 👼💞

Posted in Travel

Travel Tuesday: Beach Holidays in WA

Why travel elsewhere when we have the most beautiful, pristine beach right here in Perth and or Western Australia? We still have 6 weeks left and I have found some really beautiful beaches and/or resorts for your next beach holiday here in Western Australia. Whether you plan to set up a camp, drive a caravan or simply check in a resort, here’s something for everyone.

Campers

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Floreat Beach. Floreat, WA. There is something about this beach that makes me fall in love the first time I’ve been here. Whether you are up for some good swim or to watch the sun sets as time passes by, Floreat Beach is my favourite beach because it is less crowded than the popular beaches here in Perth like Cottlesloe Beach and City Beach.

Campers, Caravan & Resort

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Cable Beach. Broome, WA. Whether you want to camp or rent a caravan spot from Cable Beach Caravan Park or check in at one of the many resorts along Broome’s iconic cable beach, there is something for everyone. You have not really seen what WA truly has to offer until you have been to Broome.

Resort

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Shark Bay. Monkey Mia, WA. Visit RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort for an extraordinary summer beach holiday. Whether you are planning a family holiday, romantic getaway or a leisure getaway, Monkey Mia is a spot you definitely would not regret going to.

Campers, Caravan & Resort

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Preston Beach. Preston Beach, WA. If you fancy something south and not too far away from home, Preston Beach is your go to destination for beach holiday. It accommodates campers and have caravan parks and resorts around. Plenty of houses available for rent on Airbnb as well.

Resort

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Yallingup Beach. Yallingup, WA. Fancy some privacy, peace and quiet? The Frances Estate can not only offer you a private estate with the majestic seaview, it also offers you the peace and quiet that you need to help you relax and distress.

Personally I think Perth & WA has more to offer than what has been listed. What are your favourite beach holidays? Leave your comment below. I love to hear from you all.

Posted in Food, Friends, Holiday, Instagram, Travel

Travel Tuesday: Melbourne 2016

I recently went on a graduation trip with one of my best friends Anndrea and it was a surprise visit for one of our best friends Sarah too. Here are some snaps of the Most Livable City, including some never seen before snaps!

We flew with Virgin Australia and managed to grab an excellent deal with Expedia.

Yarra River

As night falls and lights illuminate ✨ the beautiful Melbourne City and Yarra River 💛❤

Wonderbaos – Kimchi fried chicken, fried eggplant and pork belly 💙

Vietnamese coffee ☕️ from Rice Paper Scissors 

H&M Melbourne GPO – where fashion and style meet architecture and history

Flinder’s Station

Posted in Travel

Reflection: SRRC Conference in Sydney

Sitting in my hotel room now reflecting upon my recent sponsored trip with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), many of emotions flows through my mind. I reflect upon the past four days in Sydney and everything that has happened that make my first conference and first trip with the IET so memorable. As my stay comes to an end, I would like to pen my thoughts to immortalise the emotions and memories from this trip.

First, I am so thankful that the IET has sponsored me this trip to the Student Recruitment and Retention Campaign (SRRC) Conference where I have the opportunity to reunite with old friends and meet new mates. Reuniting with friends from other networks around Australia and New Zealand makes me realised how fast time has elapsed. It felt like yesterday I have met these amazing people such as Stephanie, Harry, Moana and Yan in April this year. There is this strong sense of familiarity when I see these people again. I am happy to see and learn that they are still doing a great job in their local network and moreover, it just makes me happy to see them again. No word can explain the latter feeling, perhaps as you grow, you start to appreciate and cherish moments when you get to reconnect and reunite with friends again. One of the perks of these conferences is that you meet new mates too. During this conference, although over just a short period of time, I feel so comfortable around these new people and makes me gravitate towards them naturally. I find it sometimes strange that how some people can make such a strong impact in your life for such a short period of time.

In conjunction with the conference, it is also Present Around The World (PATW) Asia Pacific Final. Meeting up with William, our Australia representative makes me feel happy. As above, I just feel happy to see familiar faces. Happy to see them again, happy to know that they are doing fine and happy to know what they are up to lately. When I first ran into William, am I surprised when he still remembers my name despite we only met briefly in person during SRRC in April this year and exchanging couple of emails prior to this conference. By chance one day as I was walking along Coogee Beach taking the scenic route, I had a good chat with William and get to know him better. We had a good if not decent conversation and despite William’s multiple jokes about us trying to get him to join the cult, I feel like he will be a great asset to the IET local network, no matter which network he joins.

During this conference, I feel the constant pour of positive energy and enthusiasim from all the representatives from each local network. Feeling their passion and energy has inspired and motivated me a lot. We sat down, brainstormed ideas and ironed out a lot of issues the current Asia Pacific region is facing. I feel so proud to be part of this team that shares the same aspiration and goal as me. In a way, I feel like we are a family. There is such a strong connection between each other and in a way or another, we drive each other to strive to be a better person. On Saturday, our headquarter in the UK has commissioned us to shoot a video. Under the creative direction of Steph and I, we shot a video clips of us and all the reps present. One of the questions asked is “What does IET mean to you in one word?” As I ask myself the very same question, the first word that comes to my mind – FRIENDSHIP. In a strange way, spending less than 48 hours with this group of people makes me feel like I have a group of friends beyond my university circle of friend and beyond my friends from the WA local network. In many ways, I feel like we are each other support system that helps each other to rise above and beyond. I am now looking forward to see the final product of the promotional video.

As I pen this post now, whilst some of my friends have gone back home, I feel empty inside. For the past few days as I walked into the hotel, I have a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose. Sense of belonging, because I know this group of people whom I proudly called my friends are living with me under the same roof; sense of purpose, because I know I am attending a conference and doing something I enjoy. As the conference has wrapped up and as we all pack to go home, I feel like I am ready to go home too, surrounded with family and friends and back to work and studies.

This trip in many ways has helped me to discover a new place where I feel belonged apart from home and my group of university friends. I thoroughly enjoy working with this group of friends and I look forward to see them again in the conference next year. Despite the tight schedule and busy life we have back home, I feel so empowered and driven to be more efficient. As of this stage in my life, I have thesis to complete, unit to study and teach but perhaps my biggest takeaways from this trip is to produce a strategic guide for all other local networks on how to manage their social medias. I am proud of own achievement as my name has been circulated around the IET community and I look forward to produce this guide which will be shared across the whole Asia Pacific region, let’s not think global for now but one can always dream. Looking ahead, I know the next few months will be busy and insane. However, I know I have found the motivation to push through the hardship.

Once again, thank you IET for this memorable trip. I am so grateful for this trip that helped me to discover a new group of friends from around the world. And to all friends, till we meet again.

Posted in Articles, Life, Travel, University

Reflection: A Week in Broome

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I was very fortunate to be selected as one of the students to be flown to Broome by my university. During this sponsored trip, I have been tasked to promote tertiary education to the students from the Kimberley region. This is my first trip ever to Broome and I was beyond excited when I knew I was selected to go on this trip. This trip has been an eye opener to me and sitting in front of a computer screen now, I would love to pen my thoughts and reflection about the past week in Broome.

Reflecting upon the people that I have come across during the week has made me realised how fortunate I am to be living in the metropolitan area. I feel so fortunate and lucky to have access to better education and infrastructure such as faster internet. I believe fundamentally in education equality and upon returning, I feel like my work does not stop there. This trip has helped me realise how important it is for us to continue to fight to close the education inequality gap. There are so much work that still need to be done to help these young Australians to achieve their full potential and pursue their dream. In particular, I have come across this young brilliant Aboriginal boy who is gifted with this wonderful intelligence and I wish he has been given the opportunity to access to better education. I believe with his knowledge and intelligence, he is one young Australian waiting to shine if he is given the opportunity.

During the week, I spoke with parents, teachers and the Broome community. Their stories have touched me in so many ways and in particular, I met this wonderful young Year 12 student who has a huge potential and bright future ahead of him. He dreams of attending university but his greatest obstacle is relocating from Kununurra to Perth. I knew straight up that I wanted to help this boy because again, I believe that tertiary education should not be a privilege for some, rather it should be accessible to all Australians no matter where you come from. This has further reassured me that we need more funds to help students from rural areas to relocate. We need moral support too for these students to help them pursue their dreams. Above all, we need a government that funds education because education fundamentally is an important and powerful tool to empower our youths. We should never ever back down from funding education. We continuously need bright minds to help our country to advance forward.

The teachers up in the Kimberley region are doing an absolutely noble job. I laud them for what they have been and are doing. Many teachers whom I have crossed path with are originally from Perth. They have been relocated to Broome and other regional areas. Most of these teachers have never looked back since. Growing up in city or pretty much being a city boy my entire life, I have never ever had such fond and respect for teachers until I was up in Broome. These teachers have sacrificed everything in Perth, be it the convenience or the least extreme summer days, to be in the Kimberley region to spread knowledge. Some teachers have been up in Broome for more than two decades and have called Broome their home.  On top of that, most teachers have become a mentor and a friend to many of these students. Everyday they inspire these school children to chase their dreams and pursue better education. No word can describe how much respect I have for these teachers.

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Broome is truly a melting pot of different cultures. Broome is home to many Aboriginal Australian, Caucasian, Chinese, Malay and Philippines etc. Everyone from all walks of life live together as one and you can truly feel what a multicultural society is. The kids play sports, participate in class activities and hang out together no matter what their skin colour is. The teachers show equal love and respect to the students and the students reciprocate the same in return. A week in Broome has allowed me to immerse myself in a town full of positive energy and vibe. Everyone is not rushing through a chaotic life like back home. Everyone knows their neighbour. Even as I walked through the shops, I met strangers whom yet warmly greeted you “Good Day” with a smile. I felt like as if I had gone back in time when things were simpler and less complicated. As I looked back, I understand why many decides to return to their hometown or decides to call Broome their home.

The simplest joy in life is perhaps enjoying good food, surrounded by people whom you love. During my stay in Broome, I am invited to a dinner at one of the Aboriginal students’ home. Tian’s parents have cooked up a storm for us, serving us the best of Broome. Never ever I have savoured such fine fresh prawns. I decided that to do things the local way. I stood by a rubbish bin, peeling off the prawns’ shell and enjoying every single bite. I learned that the local will find it offensive if we do not help ourselves to second round of food and boy I have no trouble with that. Seafood up in Broome is so fresh and delicious. The crabs that Tian’s parents have caught were huge and the flesh tasted so delicious. I was on cloud nine when we were served smoked oysters and smoked red snapper (which is gigantic!). The local seafood was so fresh and cooked to perfection. I adore the warm hospitality that Tian and her family has shown for us. Perhaps it was the best and unforgettable night out of all evenings as we gathered at the backyard, savouring fresh produce from the region.  I can never forget the joy from the delicious seafood and neither can I forget the warm hospitality from the family. It was all beyond my wildest dream and as I recounted the evening, part of me wish to hop on a plane back to Broome now to savour these delicious seafood once again.

Like all things, everything has to come to an end. As I boarded my plane back to Perth, I knew in many ways my trip to Broome has changed me. I adore the warm hospitality of the locals, the positive vibes around the community and above all, I reaffirm my personal stand on education equality. Even the trip has come to an end, I know these lifetime memories and friendship will stay with me forever. Travel, I believe too, is one of the best life experiences one can ever have. I still remember a t-shirt that I once bought that resonates Dalai Lama’s saying “Go at least once a year to a place you’ve never been before.” Travel is not only just about seeing new places, it is about experiencing new cultures and experiences and above all, learning to see life in a whole new perspective.

This trip is sponsored by the University of Western Australia and supported by Aspire UWA, School of Indigenous Studies and SciTech WA.

Posted in Travel

Travel Tuesday: Broome, WA

Last week I am privileged to be selected by The University of Western Australia to promote tertiary education to students around The Kimberley Region. This is my first trip to Broome and I thoroughly enjoyed myself up there. Broome is located approximately 2200 km North of Perth. Broome is a historical pearling town and it is popular holiday destination. Broome is a melting pot of different cultures such as Aboriginal Australian, Caucasian, Chinese, Malay, Philippines etc. What amazes me is that the Broome community is truly experiencing a multicultural society, where people from different cultural backgrounds can live together as one.

I would like to thank my main sponsor, The Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics for this trip. Thank you Qantas for flying me to and from Broome safely. Thank you to Aspire UWA, School of Indigenous Studies and Scitech WA for lending us a helping hand to make this trip a reality and success. We worked Monday to Thursday but on Friday we were lucky to be given a day off to visit some of the many tourist attractions in Broome. Here are some of the photos I have taken:

Cable Beach: Thank you @uwaecm and @aspireuwa for this wonderful trip up to Broome for the #UWAECMKimCup16 💙 #JustAnotherDayInWA 💦 #spon

Gantheaume Point: Standing on red rocks overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean 💦☀️ #NoFilter #JustAnotherDayInWA#spon

Malcolm Douglas Wilderness Wildlife Park: Learned something new about 🐊 today as part of our #UWAECMKimCup16. Thank you @uwaecm for this great experience 😊 • #spon

Posted in Travel

Travel Tuesday: Mana Island, Fiji

I have been dreaming of visiting Nadi, Fiji since last year and I have been particularly motivated to visit the island since it is recommended by Lonely Planet as the top 10 countries to visit in 2016.

Mana Island received its name from the word ‘Manamanaedina’, Legendary God of Mana. The God has guarded a box of blessings. He promised that while the box remained on Mana all who visited would be warmly welcomed. Looking through some of the following pictures on Instagram makes me just want to visit Fiji Island even more! 🌺🌴