It's the climb

Spectacular view atop Elephant Mountain

My good friend Kaymee left Manila yesterday to pursue further studies. It reminded me of the first time I left home, the many despedida dinners, all unimaginable pep talks from my aunts, to packing my stuff. I had fun instructing Kaymee what to expect, what to do, and all the emotional and spiritual preparation that go with living abroad. It made me feel like I'm an expert, but then life is always a journey of learning, failing, and picking up the pieces.

I was thinking of Kaymee while we were climbing the Elephant Mountain yesterday afternoon. With sweat streaming down my face, I held on to the thought that every place we go is like climbing up a mountain. We take breaks in between, sometimes we falter, we thirst, but we keep on going to reach the peak. Cliche as it may sound, but for me it is always the journey that matters, and not the destination.

Hello, world!

Hello, world! It's been a while... a very long while. As I enter the second half of the year, I find myself embracing a new life. They say we all have to make sound judgments and good decisions when it comes to our career, and so I took a giant leap of faith and left my comfort zone, my first love (though we have a love and hate relationship)- my newspaper job. I was moved to tears on my last day at work because I did not expect the surprise that they prepared for me. I am truly beyond blessed for having a job that I loved, that even if I could have been a millionaire now for all the OTs I rendered, no amount of money can buy the world's greatest colleagues. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

It was another heartbreaking decision to leave the small apartment where I lived for two years. But everything turned so magical when my colleague and I saw a perfect place I can rent, which is just a few minute walk to my new office, and a lot bigger than the previous one. I moved in and felt at home in an instant.

Before I left for a short vacation, all my questions were finally answered through God's revelations. The past three months, from March to May, was undescribable, but had I not worked my ass off those months from morning till late night, I don't know if I'd still be able to go back and work. God has reasons, and I'm thankful everyday for His divine intervention.

To reward myself and as a treat for my mom, we had the usual mother-daughter bonding and visited Saigon and Siem Reap last June. I waited so long to see the Angkor Wat, and while roaming around the temples, I cant help but sigh in admiration. I want to go back again someday to watch the sunrise or sunset, which we weren't able to do because of the rains. I'm proud that my mom is already trying her best to appreciate the sights and cultures of every place that we visit, and has (finally!!!!!!!!) stopped comparing the places she's been to. I always tell her we travel to see different places and to learn about their culture, not to compare. I love it when my mom tries foods that she hasn't tasted before and when her eyes twinkle in delight when she likes what she just had. Proud daughter moment. But she still has to try spicy foods. Photos from our recent trip:

It was a rather short stay in Manila, meeting good friends, and spending time with the family. I'm now back to base, getting used to the "normal" life, with normal work schedule. I still find it weird, getting home before six with nothing to do, but I've been trying to be productive... I will still try to get published by writing on my free time and contribute stories for the paper, continue my yoga classes, and I'm thinking of enrolling for advanced Mandarin, depending on the class schedule. Or maybe, update this blog more often?