Oct 262014
 

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When my mother-in-law instigated the holiday to celebrate her birthday, we had a family pow-wow. Italy was set as our general destination, with Rome, Pompeii and Sicily as options to go to. For Sicily, we ended up going to Palermo first, and Catania next.

For our stay in Catania I approached my friends at Snap Traveller*. They hooked me up with two nights at this brilliant 4-star hotel on the coast of Catania.

Take a look.

*In a nutshell? A blogger or “online influencer” goes “Hey, can I go to this hotel on your list?” and then Snap Traveller sees if the hotel has a room available. And then you write about it and tell your readers and followers you were there. 

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Oct 012014
 

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I am so happy I started this monthly Shit I Did stuff. It’s so nice to have a visual and elaborate documentation of 2014.

It also serves as a constant reminder that I’m blessed, that the people in my life are wonderful and that I need to stop taking pictures of myself with fucking lattes because I have about three million of those.

How and why was my September a pretty good month? Find out below!

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Aug 242014
 

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 #nevernoteatingquestionablestreetfood

Okay, quick recap of my last two weeks: My feet touched Dutch soil on Friday. Saturday and Sunday were for laundry, yoga and stuffing my face with my favorite non-Thai foods.

And then I walked back into my office on Monday and that was that.

Despite what some people on the Internet will have you believe about our terrible life choice of working 9 to 5 jobs, us minions-for-The-Man actually care about what we do and we actually do something.

So when I have the energy to blog? I have to work. And when I have the time to blog? I am tired.

Therefore, this blog post has been made possible by a variety of little time slots over the past weeks (10 minutes uploading pictures, 5 minutes writing the intro, 15 minutes trying to remember what the fuck I even did in Bangkok) and a blissful Sunday afternoon.

We spent 5 days in Bangkok in total. My vacation started and ended here. This is what happened, where we were, and what we did.

How?

As you know and love me: BULLET POINTS BITCHES.

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Aug 102014
 

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As you might have deduced from the fact I only mentioned I was going to Thailand 3 times in almost a year – once on Twitter, once on Instagram when I got my vaccinations and once on my blog bitching about advice I did not ask for- I’m not that big on the travelz.

I mean, I like it fine but I don’t get all starry-eyed and moony about traveling a vacation, and I think “finding yourself” while traveling is bullshit. You can “find yourself” on the fucking couch as long as you take the time and make some effort. I’m a big believer in the saying “wherever you go, there you are.”

Well, guess what?

Along with all the Pad Thai and sticky rice, I would be eating my words. All of them.

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Jul 232014
 

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All the way in Thailand (oh yes by the way I’m on vacation sorry I never tell you anything), my boyfriend and I were following the news on the MH17 crash quite intently. A plane disaster with so many victims is one of those terrible things that lodges itself right into your brain and affects you.

It had been a main topic of conversation for us from the moment we first heard about it. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, whether or not you know someone who was on that plane, you are stricken by this tragedy.

All the way in Chiang Rai, Will and I talked about it. We discussed our opinions on Russia and Putin, the implications of this terrible event, the consequences we did or did not expect to occur. We talked about the horrors that were already taking place in Ukraine before the plane crash — as well as all the other places in the world where horrible things are happening: once you are on that topic of conversation you can go on forever.

And then we came back to the guest house after dinner and before bed, I received an email from work. I was informed my coworker and office roommate had been on that plane.

He was a very intelligent, hardworking and sweet PhD student from Malaysia.

We had shared an office for six months now. I didn’t see him every day and we weren’t close, but I saw him often and we were friendly. He was polite and super smart. I made him laugh with the occasional YouTube video. We chatted about his research and my job and our countries. The last conversation we ever had was about our upcoming vacations.

He was going to be with his family for a few weeks and I would visit Thailand. I told him I’d never been to Asia, he told me he was happy to see his family again. What I remember most distinctly is that we said we’d tell each other all about our vacations when we get back.

But we’re not going to do that. Because he died in a plane crash. He is not going to come back to work, to his research. He never even got to see his family again.

I cried a lot for him, while I didn’t feel I have the right to. Although we were friendly, he was “just” a coworker. I cannot even imagine the pain of the family and friends of the victims, especially with this horrifying aftermath.

But it was in my thoughts, even as we tried to get our minds off it. At night our bed turned into a newsroom with international papers spread on the sheets and  Twitter feeds of journalists on the scene on our phone.  I even checked the passenger list once I found it, with some sort of bizarre hope we had all been wrong.

We were consumed by it. Selfishly, we are now trying to slightly move away from it, because I feel sick every time I see something from the crash site and Will gets enraged by every bit of news of Russia being outrageously offensive.

It’s been a long time since I used my blog as a venting machine, as a place to process of just be vulnerable. I’m doing it now, because I can’t seem to let it go. I keep thinking about it.

This tragedy made me hyper-aware of two things: One, the world is full of suffering and pain. Which I always know, but never truly allow myself to feel, you know? It’s too much. And I don’t know what to do about it.

And second, you always think you’re going to see someone again, until you don’t.  We take our safety and health for granted, especially in our country where there is no war, poverty or power struggle.

Although constantly being aware of the hurt in the world is not a constructive way to live, and always being afraid for the lives of your loved ones isn’t either, I can see the lessons here. I am still trying to figure out how to put both these things to good use; because at this point that is pretty much all you can do.

Today, I will think of everyone on that plane, everyone who lost someone and everyone else who is affected. I will write a card for my coworker’s family to let them know their son was appreciated and will be missed.

I will hold my boyfriend’s hand and together we hope for respect for the victims and justice to be served in their honor. For better times ahead for Ukraine after this, but also for Gaza and any other place in the world where people suffer. And because thinking only does so much, I will think of ways to contribute to a better world.

And also, I love you. I appreciate your presence. I hope you’re safe and happy. Take care.

Namaste (my light honors your light) babies.

Jun 152014
 

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Sooooo, I was invited to the Miss Publicity Bloggers on Board event!

Miss Publicity invited a bunch of bloggers onto their bright pink boat: to hang out with each other while Miss P (as Lin calls it) had the opportunity to introduce some new brands to us.

If you want to read an excellent blog post about it I recommend Sophie’s.

If you want me to see me make a mess of things as I usually do, read on ahead.

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