Happy 2019! I love new years because they allow me to reflect upon the past year and it also signifies a new beginning. A start on a clean slate of paper.

Let’s begin with the recap of what had happened in 2018.

Review of 2018

Not gonna lie, it was a challenge to top fabulous 2017. Sure, the first two months of the year were awesome as I continued my exploration in South America. No deny those carefree days were the best time in my life.

Bogota, the city where my adventure began and ended.

In March, I returned home, back to reality. It sucked, real bad. The 1st month back home was MISERABLE! I cried every single day. Every little thing triggered those tear ducts, it was the closest to depression I ever got.

The reverse culture shock was not something I anticipated. It was difficult to let go of the South America adventure while I tried to reconcile with the present. I had a hard time adjusting back to normality.
It was at that time I began to question what I really want in life. Although I may not be certain of my answers, however, I knew without a doubt of what the things I do not want. 

I was searching for a meaning. A meaning that I could give to my life for I did not want to be just merely living, going from day to day, living my life like a lifeless soul. I was looking to live for a cause, to do something I deemed meaningful. Holding on to the belief, I eventually landed in something I was able to resonate with.

Day by day, I came to terms with feeling okay being home, in the comfort of familiarity and my love for the diverse food culture.

Just as I thought the year will end alright, life threw me a curveball. Or rather, something at work threw me a curve ball since work does not equates to my life.

Life is full of surprises, isn’t it? Some surprises are pleasant ones while others are nasty. Unfortunately, this time it was the latter. A turmoil caught me off-guard and let’s just say it was not the greatest way to end the year.

Moving on, it is the moment of truth to face up to those resolutions I have made for 2018.

Review of 2018 Resolutions.

1) Rebuild my savings – No, this did not happen.  

2) Travel South East Asia – I squeezed in a holiday to Melbourne in May and as my  go-abroad-during-new-year ritual, I visited Hanoi so I guess it was good enough. 

In Melbourne for the second time.

3) Have some standards – I may not be the Miss Nice but there were still situations where they were clearly not in my favour or when I could just be firm and make my stand but I did not.  

4) Improve my Spanish – Instead of improving, I am more at the stage where I am trying to retain the vocabulary and grammar that I had learned. 

5) Master the piano pieces, Marriage D’Amor – Nope, I did not even touch my piano for the whole year! 

Just 1 out of 5 is not great. Well, they weren’t bad resolutions, I just did not make an effort to keep them in check regularly. To be completely honest, I felt pretty unaccomplished.

On the brighter side, I have also observed some changes in me since coming back home.

  •  There is little or no desire for material goods. I became more rational over functionality and practicality of things – not that I had not been before but I became better at it.
  • I wore less make-up. Part of me is caring less about the superficial world.
  • I am getting better at withdrawing myself from the Internet and social media to just enjoy the present moment. The earth continues to revolve and life goes on even though I am disconnected from the Internet world. Some may not even notice that I was gone for a while so life just resumes once I connect back again.
  • I developed a habit of not replying text messages as promptly as I should. There are times conversations do not demand my immediate attention so I prefer to leave them till I have some time to reply. Often, I got distracted and forgot to reply.  Or simply by the time I open the text, it was weeks later and it became pointless to reply anymore. While I have to admit that it is an annoying habit, it is not something I plan to change anytime soon.
No Wifi? Don’t fret!
  • Also, something really trivia, I became more “aware” of the beers I am drinking. I start to categorise and “judge” beers or rather, I gain a deeper appreciation for the finer beers and develop an “expensive” taste for the occasional indulgences.

Now that 2018 is over, there is no use harping over and this is the time to write a new chapter in 2019.


New beginning 2019

This year, I am going to bounce back better as I am still on the journey to creating a better self.

On a side note, I should really make an effort to keep up with my blog posts! I have been neglecting this space and it seems like the only time I get my writing inspirations is when I am on the road. But then, I never like to write anything when I am having fun. Then, when I am back, I can never seems to complete any piece of article. I have to break this vicious cycle with some discipline!

As usual, I have also set some new year resolutions for the year for they serve as guiding lights and goals.

New Year Resolutions, 2019 edition

1) To declutter.

Last year was about all about stop buying the unnecessaries. This year is all about decluttering the existing.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not turning into a minimalist. I just know and have been proven that I do not need that many things to get by. It is time to discard or find new owners for things I do not need or never will need.

I wish decluttering is as easy as just getting rid of everything. It is challenging considering that I tend to have sentimental attachments to my stuff. I seriously need to stop feeling attached to all these non-living things!

Decluttering also means that I will be more mindful of the environment impact on consumerism which brings me to my next point.

2) Make a conscious effort to be more environmental-friendly

More often than not, we purchase/take  items without knowing what are we going to do with it or out of convenience.

This year, I will do more on my part for our lovely Mother Earth. Reduce my usage of single-use plastics Which means, fewer takeouts, or if I do, try to use a reusable container. I need to be more conscientious with my everyday habits. That said, I will try to bring my recycling bag with me more frequently.

Maybe it would be a perfect reason to start buying metal straws, containers for food and drinks too! ????

3) Make healthier & wiser choices

Consume less sugar, less processed food and more greens and fruits.

Having said that, no, I am not going to cut down on beers. That is a non-negotiable!

4) Read

Read more non-fiction books than fiction books.

5) Run Standard Chartered half marathon

I stopped training for runs since March 2017. These days I run sporadically as and when I am not too tired or lazy. With this resolution, I have to be more consistent in my training. I am challenging myself to be at least on par or better than my Sundown 2017 half marathon timing – which was my personal best!

With 5 resolutions, I need to perform better than last year!

Majulah 2019

Moving along, the year can only get better right? Could time prove me right? I need the constant reminder to be patient, trusting myself and trusting that life would work itself out. So when I look back one day, I can see how the dots connect where everything makes sense again.

First trip of 2019, Hanoi!

2019, it’s a new beginning, let’s go!

Pamela Loh

Pamela, born and raised in Singapore. She is a dreamer, explorer, traveller and local tour guide.

A perfect day for Pam would be being on the road, having beers and endless of great conversations that shape a wider perspective.

Come say hi!

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Pam goes travelling