Why don’t we listen anymore?

Hello again everyone,

Long time no see. Firstly, I apologize about the huge delay between this post and my last. It has been a hectic few months but starting now, I will do my absolute best to get back on track and complete my travel blogs as well as update everyone on where I’m at in life in general. I do appreciate all of your support and kindness in helping me get to where I am today. However, this post will not be a continuation about my travels in Spain. In this post, I want to cover a topic that is very close to heart –  mental health and how we can carry a positive mindset and lifestyle into our community.

A lot of the time when people ask you what you’re afraid of, they’re not typically looking for the real answer. In fact, I personally think they’re looking for an answer that’s going to make them feel better about their own fears. Almost like asking a person “how are you?” or “how’s it going?”. Most people don’t want to actually know but now ask it to fulfil their moral obligation of having asked. It’s mostly the reason I believe we as a society have been conditioned to answer that question with “I’m fine, and you?” or “life’s good” or any generic answer that tells the world that everything in life is going great. When was the last time you were truly honest when answering that question despite the fact you’ve had a rough day? Let’s be real – we’ve learned that people, with all due respect, don’t truly care so what’s even the point.

Humanity has been so far suppressed for feeling down that we no longer stop to think and actually care about how other people feel.

Doesn’t that make you mad?

With the rising number of cases of suicides related to depression and the increasing numbers of patients with depression related to loneliness, social isolation and anxiety, it angers me that we live in a world where we don’t talk about it because “it’s not the right thing to say”. The “I don’t want to ruin the vibe” excuse. Personally, I don’t think we’re “ruining the vibe” if we answer honestly. Yes, it does make us vulnerable but it does strengthen our relationship with the people around us. Let’s be honest with each other, why ask someone how they are if you’re not willing to sit down and listen to what they have to say.

A few weeks ago, I asked my coworker how he was when he first came in, and he told me “he was good”. A couple of hours into the work day, he starts to look really stressed out and at this point, I’m like okay, it’s probably just about a bid, NBD (No Big Deal). Later that afternoon, he came by my desk asking for a favor about a customer meeting (rare and great opportunity) so I graciously accept. He lingered at my desk as little longer so I asked again, “XXX, how are you? Like really, are you okay?”

I watched as his mind immediately backtracked to cover up any signs of stress and he starts to say “it’s fine, I don’t want to discourage you”. I reassure him that I’m fine – insert bad psych major insinuation joke here – and I told him that if he ever needed to talk that my door was always open. So, he pulled up a chair and he told me about the stress that he was facing in his life at work and at home. He told me how he felt unsure about his future, even though he was about to hit the big 4-0. He told me more than I originally thought was going on and I watched him lighten his stress load, even just for a little while. Despite the fact that I didn’t have much to say and there was no way i could say anything to make him feel better, he left that conversation with me more light-hearted and positive than when he had originally when he started it. Since that day, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that conversation.

What if I’d never asked?

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that we, as a society, as a community, need to learn to care about people again in a genuine way. Not in a superficial, let’s go out tonight/this weekend kind of way. In the genuine way showing how you want you listen to what’s going on inside their head. In that way that makes them feel loved and valued for their presence in your life. In a way that lets them know that they’re not alone and they can count on you as a person in their life. In the real way that you know you’d want someone to be there for you. Be the person you’d want them to be for you. I think it’s high time we left the superficial act at home and learn to be the friend everyone wants and needs.

If you’re already that person, then YAY, good on you! Keep going – I am so incredibly proud of you!

This is a PSA for everyone else who listens to respond instead of hearing someone out. 

Love your people.

They need you more than you think.

Always your girl,



There are good days

and then there are bad. 

Leaving Cassis was difficult to say the least – I mean how does a girl leave a place she’d only ever believed existed in her dreams. But I persevered and moved forward.


I found myself in the historic city of Montpellier – a beautiful city I might add, but it was quite the strangest situation I’d ever been in. Keep reading for this story: Continue reading

Of seaside towns and sunsets

After five days in Avignon, I journeyed on to find myself in the beautiful seaside village of Cassis – a twenty minute train ride outside of Marseilles. Honestly, the only reason I went there or even knew about this place was because my mother got lost there on her previous trip to France. A funny story led me here but I was absolutely blown away by how incredibly beautiful this village is.


Continue reading

I dreamed of the Provence

I finally made it and I am obsessed!

Words would never be sufficient for me to express how wonderful, how beautiful and how entirely life-changing the south of France has been for me. It was the breath of fresh air I needed after spending so many weeks of my life in busy cities. I finally got to slow down and smell the lavender! If I had to break down my days here, it would probably just include drinking lots of rosè, eating lots of apricots and cheese, and going on long walks by the water. Truly the stuff of legends. It was the best week of my life and it’ll be my happy place for a little while.

To be perfectly honest, this part of my trip didn’t involve a ton of sight-seeing. While I did do some, a larger part of this adventure involved more exploring and experiencing the lifestyle as well as the incredible culinary creations the Provence offered. I also made some incredible friends while I was there and had an amazing experience just being with other solo travellers.

But anyway, I know you want to hear about what actually transpired in the Provence so here’s a breakdown of everything I saw and did while in Avignon: Continue reading

Take a whiff of Paris

“Every city has a sex and an age which have nothing to do with demography. Rome is feminine. So is Odessa. London is a teenager, an urchin, and in this hasn’t changed since the time of Dickens. Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman.”

John Berger

And ain’t that the truth! Paris is an incredibly special place. Just being there takes me to a different era in time where smoking was a fad and showing your ankles was seductive. A week in Paris really does bring out the hopeless romantic in me but I found my week there to be a soul-searching journey. Paris, while incredibly beautiful, can be a very harsh city to be alone in. The unfriendly sidewalk glances and sheer refusal to participate in conversations in broken French/English makes the city a lonely one for non-French-speaking solo travellers. At least, that’s just my opinion. Continue reading

A weekend in Brussels

Doe-doei Amsterdam and bonjour, Bruxelles.

I have to say, I was less than impressed when I first arrived. The city was very much over-exaggerated by my family and some friends that had previously visited so I was feeling rather letdown by my expectations. Perhaps, that was my own fault. With the weather just clearing up from a rainy day, I decided to take off on my own into the city in search of Sunday brunch and a visit to the Unesco Heritage site, Grote Markt. Maybe this is just me but it was almost impossible to appreciate the beauty of this site with the hundreds of people in the square at 3pm in the afternoon. I will admit that it is beautiful because I had the opportunity to see it three other times when it wasn’t quite so crowded. I can finally understand what my family was talking about. Continue reading

When the sun sets on Amsterdam…

Hey everyone,

I apologize about my absence; my access to wi-fi has been spotty to say the least and to be completely honest, I’ve been having way too much fun! Amsterdam was an absolute delight. I think I could live there forever; the city vibes and the people there makes me want to pack everything I own and move. But for now, I think I shall just enjoy the rest of my trip.

There’s so much I want to share but that’ll take far too long to read so I’ll do my best to share the highlights of my trip through the beautiful Dutch city. On the tail end of my trip, I made an effort to visit every inch of Amsterdam possible including the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam-Noord and of course, Vondelpark. Continue reading

It’s only the beginning

Hello sweet people of the universe,

Or as the Dutch say it, Hallo! I’m reporting back to you straight from the beautiful city of Amsterdam. My adventure only started a few days ago and I am absolutely falling in love with this city. The people here are incredible – some of the friendliest I’ve ever met and definitely some of the most attractive. They definitely have to share whatever it is they’re hiding because clearly it’s working. 😛

Unfortunately for me, I’ve been quite ill for these past few days but thankfully, I am recovering quite well. This just means I’ve had to make some minor adjustments to my plans. I am absolutely loving the fact that I am traveling alone. I haven’t needed to worry about keeping up with someone else’s schedule and that now, I have complete freedom of time to take care of myself and work with my own wants/needs. I guess that’s truly the difference between vacationing and traveling. Either way, Amsterdam has accepted me with open arms and I am delighted to be here.

Now, let me tell you about everything I’ve seen so far. You might want to sit down for this because even though I’m out of shape, it’s an extensive list. Continue reading

Let’s talk about sex, baby

(But not really, it’s about gender but hey, I got you to read it, didn’t I?) 😉

Hello again everyone,

I apologize about being out of touch for the past couple of weeks, it’s been crazy busy out here between preparing for my upcoming trip and living it up. While I’m pumped about the start of my trip tomorrow, I have been wanting to address a topic that close to heart.

Rape culture – gender discrimination – whatever you want to call it.

I’m here to talk about the way Malaysian culture perpetuates it. I know this topic is insanely controversial to bring up, hence, such a delay in posting but I think it’s important to discuss. Asian culture has always perpetuated a mindset of patriarchal dominance in a household and in society, generally. In today’s day and age, it’s created an ugly society that evokes a huge divide between men and women in Malaysia. I find it so unfortunate because I believe men and women are equally capable of doing anything they choose to do.

For today, I will only be using myself as an example here as to not create too much generalizing and controversy. Continue reading

E.T., Phone Home?

Today has been a pretty nostalgic day for me. *insert some obscure acoustic music here* (haha)

I’ve spent the past hour or so going through old pictures of friends, family and loved ones lost and I’m reminded of the love I have for the people in my life. The same people I’m not willing to risk losing because to me, it would be a devastating loss. I think everyone has those types of people in their lives that they wouldn’t trade for anything whether they’re still in touch or not. There are people in my life that I haven’t spoken to in years that I would be there for in a heartbeat, if they asked me to. My freshman college roommate, my childhood best friend that moved away… you name it. Continue reading