Scribblings: Spontaneously Planned

IMG_8857

SCRIBBLINGS DATED 30 JULY 2013

Travelers usually adopt one of two approaches; the planned approach or the spontaneous approach. In the planned approach, traveler makes ample preparations, schedules a detailed itinerary, plans the places of attraction they want to see in the country they’re traveling to. Nothing is left to chance so that he makes the best of the [fleeting] time he has in the country. In the spontaneous approach, traveler makes close-to-zero plans. He is the go-where-my-heart/feet-leads-me type of person. He dives into and embraces the unknown, knowing that an adventure awaits and that in itself is an adventure in the making.

An occasional traveler myself, I prefer to adopt a mix of both. As a planner, I study the places that I would be interested to visit prior to the trip, making space for these in my itinerary. The conservative side of me dislikes going into something blind. At the same time, the spontaneous side of me thirsts for adventures [and even mishaps]. If the skies are clear, the people beautiful to watch, and of course great coffee, a planned one-hour trip at a café could turn into two or more if I deem fit. If I like to, I could stop what I was doing [or was planning to do], make a friend out of a stranger on the streets. Three years ago in Taiwan, a whole afternoon’s itinerary was scraped off. I hooked on the internet and found a dance studio. 40 minutes later, I was in the studio dancing my heart out. Sure, spontaneity could get me into trouble sometimes, I missed a ferry ride I’d already paid for, boarded the wrong bus, got stuck in a rainstorm, got lost countless times, but it has given me an experience no planned trips could even come close to offering. It’s scary to not have any plans or to walk away from them, yet sometimes the best things life can give goes to those who dared to go with his flow. Live in the moment.

#1. Well isn’t that how we could live our lives? While we have already pre-dictate how we go about our daily routine and make plans for the future, sometimes we just got to allow the spur-of-the-moments break the monotony of it all. The spur of the moments could be anything. It’s like finding the King’s Cross Station Platform 9¾ or chancing upon a magic wardrobe in a sea of mundanity. An adventure awaits.

#2. While we have made plans for the future, we need to allow God maneuverability to make changes in our plans for He knows what’s best for you and me. It’s like running a Church service. While there is a structured order of service, God is Lord. Hence we surrender the reins over to Him to move in the service.

Unstructured within a structure. Spontaneous within a plan.

The unpredictability of life can be just as interesting as the notion of traveling.

Scribblings: Within & Without

IMG_8844-2

SCRIBBLINGS DATED 11 AUGUST 2013

Through the years, I’ve traveled quite a bit, be it holiday vacations with friends, mission trips and backpacking trips. For the latter two, most of which I signed up alone.

Some were inspired to follow suit, some asked “Isn’t travelling alone boring? Won’t you feel lonely?” Well, I would be lying if I said I never felt lonely at all through all my travels. I remembered one time I was stranded under a pitch black bridge at Fisherman’s Wharf, Taipei. There was a couple on my left, another on my right, hugging and probably whispering sweet-nothings to each other while rain-watching [sounds romantic but more like waiting for the rain to stop la]. That was the *shittest (pardon the expletives) experience from all my travels so far. But other than that, no other experience has even come close. Traveling alone is fun, fun, fun! You get to … wait this is not what this story is about. I’ll save it for a future entry.

What’s scarier is being a room jam-packed with people but one never felt lonelier in all his life. The reverse could also occur; being alone in a foreign place, with foreign entities all around but never alone in mind and spirit. For he is lifted by the presence of G, family, friends and loved ones lingering all around him. You see, we gather our sense of belonging, self-worth and everything else from within, not without. Highs of all sorts, you may get the kick at the start, but eventually the loneliness comes back at you, and you need more of that high [in substance or activity] to get back the same high. You see, it is what’s going on in the heart that matters.

So the question is, what’s going on within?

Singapore Seen: Old Is Gold (Cont’d)

Hosting Colleen, a friend I made while on last year’s backpacking trip, I once again embarked on a trip to the streets of Haji Lane and its surrounding features while showing our foreign friend around. This place is truly a gem, I am always revealed to something I didn’t notice the previous time.

I terribly enjoy hosting a foreign friend and exploring my country together with people. Sojourning Singapore from the eyes of a foreigner definitely brings a whole new perspective to the mundane that we may take for granted. Here are some of the images that caught my eye.

P.S. If you need a personal guide in Singapore, you know who to find.

 

IMG_8212

Bak Kwa, or barbecue pork, Singaporean style.

 

IMG_8213

 

IMG_8215

 

IMG_8220

Looks like a foreign place somewhere in the Middle East?

 

IMG_8225

Reflections.

 

IMG_8228

Rare old bus stop.

 

IMG_8233

Touring.

 

IMG_8234

IMG_8235

Building for a better future.

Travel Log #1 – Making Friends

IMG_5365PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

Go out, talk to new people, make new friends. Strike a conversation, talk about the weather. Who knows, a beautiful and lasting friendship that crosses all borders can be forged in that process.

P.S. That is my 49-year-old mother on the right with 36-year-old Junko from Japan (in the middle) and 24-year-old Yu-Sun from Korea (on the left). Three women from totally different age groups, isn’t this totally amazing? That’s why I love traveling and backpacking so much.