My Malaysian Love Affair. The Gypsy in Esmeralda, Sans Quasimodo.

“We wander for distraction but we travel for fulfillment.” –Hilaire Belloc

I had too much to deal with lately and I really wanted to breathe somewhere that I can have fun, think and write. I am not a coward; I do not run away from whatever stresses me out usually. I am the type to sit down, get a pen and paper and write whatever possible solutions or consequences I can think of to that specific problem. But lately, my plate was just too much, it was brimming full and I am about to explode.

So, out of the blue, I went on a trip –alone. I was hesitant at first. I had a lot of what ifs. What if I will get lost? What if I will get sick in the middle of my trip with no one to help me with? What if I will be ripped off or worst be in danger? What if I will be drugged or raped? Hahaha. I thought of that too. I have had too many what ifs but I really wanted to get away from what is suffocating so me. I needed to be somewhere foreign, where I can actually test myself if I can ever be alone, and I wanted a breath of fresh air. With so many things that were holding me down, I booked a ticket via Cebu Pacific. I took a three day leave, leaving people, things and my comfort zone behind. I packed lightly, packing only my essentials and I did not have a specific place in mind. I wanted to go somewhere I am slightly familiar of, and where people can actually speak English decently. I was thinking of going to Vietnam, but I haven’t spent enough time to research for the place. I was also thinking of Thailand, but it is also a rainy season there and Thailand is my bucket place for that hot, summer body, so it was automatically out of my options. I have a lot of Indonesian trip due to my job and when I get back to flying; my roster is actually full of Jakarta flights. Bali is also out of the option list since, again, it isn’t summer anymore. Seoul, Japan and China were in almost winter season and I wanted to travel lightly, plus I have an auto immune problem that, when triggered with the cold temperature, renders me useless and won’t be able to walk. My best option was Malaysia, given that I have had a lot of flights there but I never had the chance to explore the place on my own pace and timing. Malaysia was perfect for me, – a mix of cultural hot pots and a bustling city of decent, good mannered people that spoke English quiet well.

I had no specific plans, no specific destinations, and no specific itinerary. I guess, this was my ever first time to jump out of the sinking boat and swam to the surface all by myself and without the help of any life jacket. My three days trip was further extended for another three days. And I did not regret every bit of it.

When I left from Manila, I was on an assignment, – to challenge myself and see if I can actually make it to the real world all by myself. When I returned from Malaysia, I was a different person. How different? You may ask. I have discovered that I am brave enough to travel the unknown and that I am capable of it.

Free your gypsy soul, loves. I came back a gypsy like Esmeralda. Only that, I haven’t found my Quasimodo. ❤

10 Reasons I Hate Your Blog

Spot on!

HarsH ReaLiTy

1. You write all over your blog about how “you blog for yourself” and “you aren’t blogging to get rich,” but then you rant continuously about fake followers, falling stats, and no one visiting your website. Do you really care? I am confused.

2. Every post you write starts with “I am sorry to say this, but ___.” Even your comments begin with an apology. You might just be the sorriest person I have ever met.

3. All of your posts are quotes from great writers, philosophers, or thinkers from history. The problem is I actually have read most of their books myself so I really don’t need a Reader full of random quotes you found interesting. Besides the order in which you share them makes me seriously wonder if you actually read the damn books to begin with.

4. You “found” God and you are on a quest to show…

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I Pushed Trolleys Instead of Pushing Wheelchairs

“And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, KEEP LOOKING. DON’T SETTLE. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know where to find it.” – Steve Jobs

Twenty one years ago, as a young, innocent seven year-old girl, I climbed on to my grandfather’s hospital bed where he was being treated for a mild stroke in the hospital and said, “I want to be a doctor when I grow up”. My late grandfather looked at me in the eye and said “Oh, you will be someday”. Of course, as young as I was, I did not know the financial requirement, neither the rigorous mental and physical demands to be one. I guess that is why it is so easy for children to answer you instantaneously when you ask them what do they want when they grow up. We never knew what it takes to be a doctor, a lawyer or to be the president of the country. Perhaps, our infantile minds was cosseted from the harsh reality of growing up and the necessary conditions to achieve our dreams, because if we already knew what was required of us to be in certain careers, we might have given up earlier, knowing that to be where we are now forced us to give up a lot of things and certain priorities.

Whenever we were asked to introduce ourselves, and what do we wish to become when we grow up during the first day of class throughout my entire years in primary school, I never stopped saying “When I grow up, I want to become a doctor” in my shrill, child like voice. I still wrote the same dream in my English classes and essays. In college, I chose a degree which is highly similar to medicine, thinking that by any chance, this will help as my pre medical course and my ticket to medical school. I was passionate about the human anatomy, the mechanisms of drugs in the body, the physiologic processes of the body, and my fascination about the heart. I pursued a higher degree after graduation while finding a way to get into medical school. While in the university, I have realized that it is very expensive and it’s getting costlier to study medicine. My priorities changed. And so my financial obligations were. I stayed with Nursing for a while, until the reality stepped in – it is no longer necessary to stay in the course of your degree anymore, rather, it is all about the money, the pecuniary responsibility and the growing daily expenses and consumerism. With the reality that slapped me very hard in the face, I had no choice but to give up on my idealistic dream of becoming a doctor.

I am now on my seventh to eighth year of being employed. I am in my second job now which is absolutely, totally, utterly incongruent to Nursing. Oftentimes, I am asked why I am in the flying industry when in fact I am a nurse. Let me tell you why:

A nurse in the Philippines earns roughly less than 450 USD as an entry-level or even an experienced nurse. That is roughly less than twenty thousand pesos. The downsides are the huge tax imposed on single and employed individual, plus the loans here and there. What is left is painfully allotted to fare, food, rent and utilities. If you are single and belongs to a well to do family, you can happily spend some of your money on shopping, food and what nots. If you are obliged to help your family, go figure how much is left sans all those deductions.

The Philippines produced a lot of nurses when the nursing demand in the US soared to ceiling high, where a Filipino nurse can move to America and work in less than six months to one year of processing. A lot of nursing schools opened and a lot of ambitious and young individuals enrolled or were rather forced by their parents in the hope of the golden ticket to the America. But then the US economy slumped sometime in 2007 and the demand for nurses was reduced. The Philippines produced a lot of nurses, but there is less job opportunities.

The older you get in the nursing industry, the more experienced nurse you become. The hospitals favored their old employees and hesitant to acquire fresh graduates. Newly graduate nurses needed to be trained. The experienced ones knew the drill already, has gathered significant trainings thus require less time to train and can be deployed alone immediately.

The government does not have a concrete support system in the health care aspect of its people. There is less financial subsidy on healthcare and the medical workforce in general.

So, we would rather be in the call centers, talking insults from irate callers and patiently assisting clients with technical issues because we have a hard time getting political support from officials who can help us get into the public hospitals or we don’t have high profiled relatives who can help us into private clinics or hospitals.

We would rather be sales agents in various fields, because we are massively employed, paid better and preferred given our educational background and rigid educational training rather than earn a measly salary and with the severe seniority culture in every hospital settings.

We prefer to serve foreigners in the Middle East through hospitality services and manage retail businesses of the rich Arabs because we earn more and we have a chance to go abroad. While it is true that nurses can migrate abroad, we are required to come up with huge amount of money to process our documents, examinations and visa pre requisites. Nurses go abroad either on a student visa, where you are required to study under various conditions so you will be allowed to practice in the hospital, or on a working visa where you need a junior to senior level experiences, plus high –priced examinations including a language test. If you or your family can afford, you can go ahead. But this does not apply to the majority of the Filipinos. And so here we are.

I love nursing. I am passionate about it. It is very close to becoming a doctor. And it is very fulfilling. I have great pride in seeing my fellow nurses achieve their nursing dreams in Australia, Canada, New York and elsewhere. I have great respect for them because I knew the hardships they all went through just to get to abroad. And I knew what they have endured just to make their dreams come true. Some are born lucky, I guess. They were destined to be one. But I also acknowledge that others were in the position because they were forced or they have nothing else to do.

But my admiration also goes to those who would have wanted to practice nursing but never had the chance. My appreciation goes to those who chose to abandon what they loved because they have to find a better paying job to support their family. I have a high regard to those who let go of their nursing dreams because they have other priorities and be something else.

I have forsaken my dream to be a nurse. My financial obligations forced me to let go of what I loved most. But to be a doctor? I know this is farfetched, but I can only promise you one thing: I walked out of the hospital in eight days and finished my nursing degree when all of my doctors concluded that I will have cerebral problems after my brain injury. That is not by sheer luck. It was my determination. ❤

PS:

I know, I am babbling again. I got nostalgic while I was in the hospital. Please forgive my blabber head.

Yes, Damn Me To Hell. I Am In Love.

I felt like I know him though, and I know his heart and I know what he wouldn’t do to hurt me. But I didn’t realize that I was feeling so confident, feeling so great about myself and then it would be just completely shattered by one thing. But then he made me feel like crazy, he made me feel like it’s my fault. I was in pain. – Selena Gomez, What The Heart Wants

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I am in love.

Damn. This is not good. Falling in love for me is never good.

I guess you can categorize me with those who fall head firsts, who fall in love without reflecting and those who are hopeless romantics. And now I see myself in the middle of heart shaped clouds and butterflies in my stomach. I felt giddy, especially when he looks at me and smiles. I felt like I am out of breath when he kisses me. And I knew it; I am drowning in another insane moment of being love- drunk.

I find myself caught in the limbo of dull judgment, clouded by the swirls of love- colored rainbows. I cannot think. I cannot create rational reasoning. I am all doodles of hearts and concepts of peculiar happy endings. I felt extremely and genuinely happy. For the first time, I did not care what people think of me for choosing him or us for being undeniably suited for each other. I could not be bothered of our differences, culture or background. I just felt complete, and it felt so right.

The happiness he bought into my life is beyond comparison. In the drought of emptiness, and the in the confines of loneliness, I found someone who changed my way of thinking. He challenged every fear that I had and pushed me into the lion’s den of my insecurities. He changed my perception about being alone, and the courage to stand up for what I think is right, regardless of whomever I offend or hurt in the way. He has the audacity to contest on my beliefs, and imposed on my soul the significance of privacy in every aspect.

For a long time, I have allowed myself to be an open book. People poked, flipped through my life’s pages and lived on how society imposed a millennial woman should with her life. It rendered me hurt as people knew my Achilles’ heels, and vulnerable to jabs of inconsideration, insecurity and impertinent dramas. But when I met him, he closed chapters every chapters and taught me to be a mystery, a conundrum, a puzzle. In a way, I have felt that he slowly immobilized the world I was so used to into pieces of me here and there, available, yet incomplete.

He taught me to let go of all that has hurt me like an elephant taught to perform in a circus- painful, slow and repetitive. He dug pasts, and incorporated in our present.

He is an enigma. He is my enigma.

He challenges everything in me. He takes a jab in independence. He disables me of some things I used to do myself only to enable to me appreciate his presence as my hero who would like to do everything for his damsel.

He made me doubt my decisions; he makes me think twice of my actions. I may have deliberately planned my decisions but when it comes to him, I always do a double take especially on matters that will affect him in any ways.

He is my weakness, but at the same time, my greatest source of strength. He is my oasis filled with cold, thirst-quenching water but at the same time, the same drought in the desert at the moments of intense fights and misunderstanding.

He dismantled my normal life, rearranged my plans and decisions and made me helpless and empowered at the same time.

He challenged my truths, loved me at my stupidity and devoured me in the intensity and magnitude of his love.

And why I know that I am in love? It is because no matter how head strong and independent of a woman that I am, I find myself willing to be caught in this disease of delusion and reality. I happily engaged myself in the forbidden fire, like the moth to the lamp even if I know that if this comes to an end, it will consume me and burn me to ashes.

Yes, damn me to hell. I am in love.

How My Scar Branded Me Beautiful

There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful than a woman being unapologetically herself, comfortable in her perfect imperfection. That is the true essence of beauty. – Steve Maraboli

I would like to know myself better. I felt that lately, I am drowned in hero worships of Victoria Secret Angels and fashion models here and there, and the sweet talks of advertisements for getting a slimmer body, a beautiful and fair complexion, or gorgeous flowing locks. While I know it is not wrong to take care of oneself, in my case, I am beginning to wonder if I have lost myself in extremes of vanity.

Do not take me wrong. I respect every woman’s choice. Every woman would love to look good and feel good. Every one of us would like to go to dermatologist and have our skin tested and treated for whatever we think is a flaw. We spent a lot of money on membership fees to gym, yoga classes or Pilates. Because we were taught that looking good is associated with a healthy body. But, while I bank on the physical aspect of beauty, I may have forgotten to cultivate inner beauty. In my rumination, I was struck with questions. What does it really takes to feel inner and outer beauty? Are society’s criteria of beauty dictates our self esteem and a place in the millennial world of evolving fashion and latest and expensive beauty products? Is being fair skinned the new measure to be accepted in society and viewed as cultures and a member of the upper class? What is really is beauty? And how can I, as a woman, empower other women to see themselves beautiful and accept their flaws as part of their attractiveness?

I asked few women around, some were my colleagues, some were my friends and I threw questions to random strangers I met in the train stations and malls. I did not make questionnaires or made definitive research methodologies. And I found out that these women, believe it or not, were greatly influenced by what was being advertised in the television or magazines. I have realized that society really played a great role in how we see ourselves and how we deem our esteem and beauty.

Young women I have talked to, claimed that being beautiful is having a slim and sexy body, that’s why it is imperative to go to the gym or have a healthy eating habit. Majority claimed that they have undergone dieting, missing meals and have taken pills to reduce their weight to achieve a skinny body. While it is difficult to lose weight unsupervised, many women succumbed to depression and harsh methods of dieting just to get skinny. Some would miss meals for a day, then eat the next day and go through yo-yo dieting. Others will simple collapse in the middle of their activities because of the absence of food which obviously fuels your body to go through the day.

Being fair skinned also is a major trend among Asian women. This has been greatly influenced by the olden Spanish culture that white skinned are royalties while the tanned, olive skinned or brown skinned are the slaves of the colonial era. In Korea, the rich spend thousands of bucks to get treatments for Botox and be dewy faced. Such vain practices were being received with such fervor among the neighboring Asian nations and in the US. In the Philippines, the use of Glutathione to achieve a fairer and smoother skin is being abused here and there, even by non licensed individuals. We have realized that being fair skinned, with good skin and good outward appearance will give you better customer advantage than that of the brown skinned Filipino. I have been an observant of such behavior in public and it is really demeaning.

Having a nice hair, color or texture is also vital in women’s view of being beautiful that’s why we see more colored hair than the natural black.

Some would attribute feeling beautiful when they have the latest arm candies, accessories or clothes that make them feel superior to others.

Sadly, being beautiful now has such fickle standards. Our view to feminine beauty has been distorted by what we see and read in the social media. You can’t be classified beautiful if you’re not fair and flawless or sexy and slim. You can’t feel beautiful if you’re being in simple garments. It has to be flamboyant, eye catching, revealing.

We failed to realize as women, being beautiful is innate. It is already within us, emanating from our being. We failed to see that beauty lies in our wisdom, our capacity to understand how complex it is to be a woman, but we try each day to face our flaws. We are flawed, yes – emotionally, mentally or physically. But our beauty lies in our acceptance and working towards becoming a better person than we already were. Our beauty lies on the strength from the pain we go through every time – rejections, ridicules and heartbreak as we wake up the next day, for a brand new courage to deal with things one step at a time. Our true beauty lies on our goodness, our genuine kindness and compassion for other people. It is when we lose ourselves in the process of empowering other people that we become empowered and beautiful as well. Our true beauty lies on the force within us to be able to carry an unborn in our belly, whether planned or unplanned, and our greatest gift to nurture the young and adults alike. Our beauty lies on our extreme patience to deal with the daily surprises that life throws in our way every now and then. Our true beauty is the acceptance of our physical deformities, hidden or visible, that we can bravely wear them like battle scars in public. Our true beauty radiates in all the good things we do, the kind words we say, and the compassion we extend to others. Our true beauty lies on our hands that helped our hearts that loved deeply, and our minds that pondered on positive and courageous thoughts. True beauty lies on accepting one’s self and never ever be swayed by criticisms or be lured by the media propaganda.

Sure, getting aesthetic support helps our sense of well being. But, we should never forget to cultivate the inner beauty within us. As they say, it doesn’t matter if you have a good face as long as you have a great heart. I’d say, it won’t hurt to be both, a beautiful face and a beautiful soul and heart.

Keep your shine on, loves. You are quirky, yet beautiful in your own ways. ❤

A Miserable Letter By A Vodka Laden, Brokenhearted Beauty

They say it’s a broken heart. But I hurt in my whole body. – Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl

Disclaimer: I have noticed a surge in checks of my posts whenever I write topics about being brokenhearted and being hurt. While this post today is about having a heart broken, this does not apply to the author’s state. Read further at your own risk of pseudo depression. – S

Dear (Insert name of ex lover here),

It’s past seven in the morning and I have been awake since last 8 in the evening where I spent the entire 12 hours on sleep after I cried and cried bucketful of tears.

My mind is in rambles, I cannot figure out any clear and precise thoughts. Maybe, this is my brain’s self defense to acknowledge that I am on my way to a severe depression or perhaps, I am just at the point of denial that we are actually over.

The entire time that we have been arguing put me into a series of highs and lows. I was high in anger, and extreme frustration and low moments when I realized that I am about to lose you in the process of bitter bickering.

You accused me of so many things. Things, I believed that you, yourself does not believe. You have known me quiet well, even though it took you some time to break the walls of my indifference and nonchalance to your affections. I know that you knew me too well, from my expressions, to my reactions, to my responses and I know that you have memorized me like the back of your calloused hand.

We spent so much time pushing and pulling each other. You, having all the energy to push me away with all your accusations, and your stubborn mind set to believe what you thought was right, and me, pulling you closer to me by my endless phone calls to reconcile, countless messages to explain and a thousand desperate attempts to hold you closer and never let go.

In the end, you coldly closed the doors at my face, at the moment where I plead for you to not let go.

Let me tell you how does that feel. The moment you said that I lost you and with all the other hurtful words you have said, I felt my heart was in the hand of a giant person with big hands, crushing it mercilessly and gleefully watching the blood ooze out from its crevices. I felt my ribs constrict as I held the urge to cry in the middle of the coffee shop. I literally felt my heart being stabbed with a cold knife. And they say it’s a broken heart, but truth is, I hurt in my whole body. I felt the unexplainable pain, from all parts of my body.

As I numbly took the cab back to my place, my fingers were shaking while I struggled between the need to cry so hard and my need to open my door. I cried in my bed, with my cries similar to that of a wolf howling to the moon for a lost lover. I did not think for the moment, I just cried and cried. I do not know what I was crying for. Maybe, I cried because I lost you. Or maybe because the pain was to intense to bear. Or maybe because we were already over. Or maybe because my fear of imminent loss finally materialized. I did not know for how long I cried. I just realized that I woke up numbed, with the clock that says I had overslept for more than 12 hours, and the unspeakable sadness that overtook me as I ponder on what to do with my waking hours.

My waking hours is miserable. I always end in state of blank stares, and bouts of hunger that I refused to acknowledge. I spent the entire time stalking your accounts, feeling my heart skip a beat each time I see you online. I know, it’s pathetic. And I spend a quarter of my time today researching Google on topics like “How to Move On”, “How to get over a Break Up”, “How to Let Go of a Failed Love”. They inspired me for a couple of seconds, and then I revert back to feeling so sad and miserable and wanting to start a conversation again.

I know, you may laugh at this. And I know that you think this is pathetic. I know you are having a good time with your friends right now, wherever you are. As I wallow here in my heartaches, trying to put into words the pain that I felt, I am also praying for anybody to take this pain away.

I am aware this may take me long. I mean, after all, I did love you. And I felt that I had this all-consuming, intense love for you. But, I also know that in due course, I will get over you. After all, nobody really dies of heartbreak, except if they chose to.

So, at 7:39 in the morning, I am desperate for sleep. My brain is actually teasing me. I think of you more. And I have this intense urge to stalk you again. But, I have this tiny mental caution that forces me to stop otherwise. After all, all the efforts that I did for us were futile. Should a message telling you that I miss you will work? I guess not.

But let me tell you one thing, I lost you for your stubbornness. But you lost me for all wrong reasons. I will never regret anything, because all through out, I really did try. And you also did your damn best – to push and push until it came to a kick in the face.

Until how long shall I be in this sleepless state? Only time will tell. But, ahhh. Let me take that vodka. It might knock me to slumber. Sure does, all the time.

Hurt, still in love and miserable but will eventually move on,

(Your name here)

Ten Lessons Esmeralda Learned From Her Gypsy Travels

Travels make one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world. – Gustave Flaubert

I think every person I have met has expressed the desire to travel, be it within the country or to the other countries. And I believed that there is an innate gypsy in all of us, the irresistible itch to wander, the need to be somewhere new. Travel, to me is both a learning medium and an escape from whatever stresses me out.

I am grateful to be given the chance to travel around the world as a part of my job. I might not be able to see the entire countries in all continents, but I was blessed with an opportunity to see fragments of the beautiful and enthralling bits of history and culture.

Flying was never in my five year career plan after college. I was more on the intellectual side, wanting to pursue other academic degree further. But due to a beautiful twist of fate, I found myself in the capsule 35 thousand feet after my three and a half stint as a Nurse Educator.

It has been quite a while now that I have been in series of take offs and landings, meal services on air and living in a suitcase. And I have learned bits and pieces of things about travelling, flying and dealing with people. Here are the top ten things lessons I have observed and accumulated over time with regards to travelling.

  1. If you want to see the world, you must have enough cash with you. While I admire people who sell their property and embark on a backpack and traverse to another continent and start a new life there for good, you, as a social traveler, you must have enough money for whatever emergency purposes you will encounter during your travel. As I pertain to the young, Filipino millennial, we prefer to travel on budget airline tickets, promo airfares, and we save for up about 6 months before we embark on that journey. I recently was on a trip to Malaysia when I decided to stay beyond my scheduled return trip and I paid from my own pockets. It might be out of whim but certainly, you can do a lot when you are not tight on a budget.
  2. You must learn how to pack lightly, even if you paid for an extra baggage allowance. Airlines here in the Philippines are capitalizing on baggage fees and seating assignments. While some airlines allow a free seven kilogram baggage allowance, the rest if pure BS. To travel comfortably and being able to bring all your necessities, learn to pack only what is essential. That extra baggage allowance that you paid for shall be reserved for shopping finds and souvenir items for your loved ones when you return home.
  3. Know your essentials. Learn to categorize what you need to bring. Toiletries shall include sachets of shampoos and conditioners. The Philippines is a good place for retail packs of almost everything – from milk, to detergent soap to shampoos. There are also small packets of soap of your choice that you can bring. Deodorants face creams and everything else that you deem necessary are sold in mini packs that it is so easy to stash in a mini bag. They are spill –free and carry less weight. While we are aware that hotels, even the budget ones provide toilet supplies, they are usually not the ones we prefer to use. I was in a budget hotel once that lets the guest use the old soap bar from the previous user. While it was only hand soap, I still feel that hygiene issues shall never be taken for granted.
  4. Know your destination comprehensively. While I for one prefer spontaneous travelling, I do search in as much as I can. What is important is for you to know the country’s culture and social norms. While I was in Abu Dhabi, I thought it was just like Dubai that I can flaunt my skin in short dresses and bare shoulders. Little did I know that conservative dressing was greatly encouraged in that country. True, we might be foreigners but ignorance of that country’s law excuses no one.
  5. Know your hotel, your mode of transport and currencies. It is vital to know whether your choice of place to stay is close to the city center, hospitals or establishments. I think it is quiet imperative as well to know how to get to and fro the airport, and the type of transport you will take per destination or tourist spot. When I first land in a specific country, I always check the regular name or brand of a taxi cab that passes by. And I always write down the name and plate number of that taxi cab and if I have a working sim card, I send those details to a family member. Always take note that exchanging your currency to local money is changed cheap in hotels and airports. While it is a common sense to have the intended currency before you leave your country, it is advisable to exchange in airports in minimal amount – only for taxi fares and tips in case you need a porter. It is also essential that you are familiar with exchange rates for shopping and tipping purposes. There are countless of applications in our mobile phones that can actually facilitate our conversion rates even without the need for internet.
  6. Know your country’s weather to assist your packing. There are some countries that may be in rainy season but is very hot and humid like Malaysia and Jakarta. Be very familiar with temperatures to help you with your clothes, specially winter seasons. There are some countries that may not have snow but is tremendously cold. I was once in province on Turkey where it did not snow, yet temperatures drop below one or two degrees and was extremely cold. My jersey jacket rendered me useless. The cold was able to penetrate through my denim jeans. Again, there are apps that can aid you with weather and temperature.
  7. Pack your necessary medicines and multivitamins. If you are a nurse like me, you will also be carrying a mini first aid kit with you. I always see to it that I have something for fever, pain, headache, and gastric troubles. Of course, those medicines are over the counter drugs and within reasonable amount intended for personal use only. I also try to make sure that the medicines I am carrying with me will not and does not violate my host country’s rule on prescribed or prohibited drugs. While in some countries, including the Philippines, Tramadol, of its lesser dosage is available over the counter, it is strictly considered a prohibited drug in Saudi Arabia. I have known of crew who brought the same kind with Tramadol and were terminated from their job.
  8. Familiarize yourself with basic and common words to help you easily. Words such as I need help, food, I am sick, where is (place, location), what is (thing, food). You do not need to know a great deal of the language, if you can communicate more, then much better. But as I said, a few words can go a long way. While I shopped in one of the cheap store in Bangladesh, I was given more discounts on clothing every time I haggle and say “Donobat” or thank you.
  9. Never, ever accept friendly rides from strangers. Or even drinks. Not even bottled water. We know what happened on Taken (the movie). Be street smart. If your gut feel gives you a bad vibration, then remove yourself from the situation.
  10. Ask questions. Never hesitate to ask. There will always be people who will answer your questions and ever willing to help you with your concerns. But, be wise with whom you ask your questions. Your safest bets are the security guards, or anyone in help desk counters in the mall or any establishments. Again, it’s a matter of using your common sense. You have to remember that you are a tourist.

Travel safe, my loves. You maybe a seasoned traveler or a first time, but it is always good to pay attention to every tiny details of travelling. May your restless gypsy soul find solace in your travels. ❤

The world is a book. And those who do not travel read only one page. – St. Augustine of Hippo

Waiting. My Restless Mental Musing on Another Human Quandary.

Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting. – Joyce Meyers

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. – Barack Obama

I hate waiting. I have this impatience for almost everything that requires queuing or simply waiting. I hate waiting for things to fall into the right places. I hate waiting for answers to my questions, and I even hated waiting for my prayers to happen. I hate waiting for future career plans to materialize. There is always the agony of hanging on a loose thread of going along your daily activities while mentally battling the antsy feeling of my desired future plan to happen. I hate the agony of going through my daily life as I painfully wait for my heart to heal from being broken.

But, truth is, time will and can never be dictated. One can never say “hurry up” and be there in a snap of the finger. There is always a transition in between to reach the present.

Waiting, if you are not enjoying what is currently happening in your life right now is a torture.

How do you describe the feeling when you are waiting for your heart to heal after it was being broken? I wonder if it applies to everyone – that mad need to cry yourself to sleep and then wake up feeling better the next day. And then go through the same cycle over and over again until you wake up one day tired from all the emotional drama and decided to move on with what’s left behind of your life. But, getting over it requires days after days of waiting for the pain to end, as you really try your damn best to go on with the activities of your daily living. Then, one day, the pain is no longer there and you feel better.

How do you describe that feeling in the pit of your stomach while you wait for a confirmation of pregnancy, or your partner cheating on you? How do you deal with the nervousness, and the gripping fear while waiting for the inevitable to happen, regardless if it is what you want or you don’t want to happen?

How does it feel to wait for a confirmatory reply from the job interview you did, whether you badly wanted the job or you just need the feel for a change? Does it make you impatient? Do you ever wonder if the HR responsible for it is actually doing their job and why is it taking them so long to send you that congratulatory email, contract or deployment details?

How does it feel to have a misunderstanding with someone you deeply love and that person refuses to talk to you, and has burned every possible bridge for reconciliation? Does it make your heart felt like it is being tightly gripped as you wait in agony for a single reply? Does it makes you shed tears and makes you think of every different scenario while you wait for a miracle to happen?

How about waiting for a loved one to wake up from a coma? How does it feel to continuously looking after a loved one whom you do not even know if he will wake up or not?

What about waiting for that cancer illness to go into remission as you painfully go through every bitter taste of chemotherapy?

Truth is, there is always something to learn behind the fact of waiting.

As you wait for your heart to heal, you have discovered certain facets of your life as a person in pain, the person in the relationship and the person after you have moved on. And you will concur that you are a strong person, and the love affair that has ended did not kill you a tad bit.

While waiting for that job contract, you are given the chance to actually rethink if you really wanted the job. It will make you reflect if you are courageous enough for a change of environment and career, and if you can adapt to changes, peers and work demands.

Having someone to disagree with and while waiting for the chance to reconcile – no matter how slim that chance for reconciliation is, it will give you the time to reflect your misgivings and the situation in general.

While waiting for your loved one to wake up from being comatose, the time you wait will give you the ability to ruminate your relationship with that person, the fights you have had, the great love you have shared, the importance of that person in your life and all the good and the bad things about that person. It will also give you the opportunity to obtain ways on how to make your relationship with that person even more beautiful.

While you wait to get better from cancer, you are given the chance to contemplate your health choices and habits, and it will give you the chance to map out your way to being healthy. I believe it will give you the perfect opportunity to re examine your life and makes you feel grateful the moment the doctor will tell you that you are cancer free.

I hate waiting, yes. But, if I get my answers now, or when I get the things I wanted at this every moment, will I be happy? I do not know. I might regret getting things in an instant, or making a decision on an impulse. Ahhh. The problem of being human. ❤