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My 43 Things, 2009 – 2014

October 19, 2015

I was a little bit upset that 43things.com shut down on New Year’s Day this year. I started my ’43 Things’ (or life list) in 2009, after buying the book for then good friend, G, for Christmas.

Granted, I only visit the site maybe once every year (when I remember!), but it is always fascinating to see how one is tracking towards the goals you have set at that point in your life, even when you are not consciously pursuing it. 

Case in point, as I visited the site at the end of last year and discovered it was about to be shut down, I was also preparing to relocate to Kuala Lumpur for a two year assignment. Coincidentally, this was the first line item my 43 Things list : Live in a foreign country for at least two years.

So I was just reflecting :

At the point of putting that item down, I’m damn well sure I was not thinking of Malaysia as the foreign country of choice (while there was no specific country, it was a much more romanticized notion in my head). But this just goes to show that opportunities don’t always present themselves in the way that you think they will. 

And embracing this opportunity – I was never going to say ‘No’ – has also led me to be well on my way to fulfilling Item 14, Learn to ride a Horse (well), and even considering getting a horse of my own (it’s not as ridiculous as it sounds when you are in the right environment).

Not quite sure how these ‘dots’ will connect in the future, but I know they always will!

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

~ Steve Jobs

43Things.com, 2009 – 2014

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 I’m doing 20 things

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1. Live in a foreign country for at least two years. 1 cheer 

2. Go on a road trip with no predetermined destination. 

3. Travel to antarctica. 

4. Ride the trans-siberian railway. 

5. Bowl a 200. 

6. Learn to play golf. 

7. Visit angkor wat. 

8. Improve my badminton skills. 

9. Learn to bake. 

10. Identify 100 things that make me happy. 2 cheers 

11. Lose 5 kg. 

12. Learn to play the piano. 

13. Ballroom dance. 

14. Learn to ride a horse (well). 

15. Go back to ithaca. 

16. Visit 100 great cities (and towns) before 40. 

17. Learn to play the drums. 

18. Get an mba abroad. 

19. Take more (and better) photos on dslr. 

20. Travel on a round the world ticket. 
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 I’ve done 6 things

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1. Visit india. 1 cheer 

2. Buy a house. Worth it 

3. Sky dive. Worth it 

4. Start blogging again. Worth it 

5. Start an environmental programme in the office. Worth it 

6. Go to the arctic. Worth it 

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#55 – #65 in 2011 and Jan 2012

February 4, 2012

65. Jodhpur (Rajasthan), India
64. Osian (Rajasthan), India
63. Jaipur (Rajasthan), India
62. Agra, India
61. New Delhi, India
60. Queenstown, New Zealand
59. Wanaka, New Zealand
58. Tekapo, New Zealand
57. Christchurch, New Zealand
56. Auckland, New Zealand
55. Taichung, Taiwan
54. Bali, Indonesia
53. Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway
52. Bergen, Norway
51. Oslo, Norway
50. Batam, Indonesia
49. Mevagissey, United Kingdom
48. St Austell, United Kingdom
47. Ventimiglia, Italy
46. Monaco
45. Nice, France
44. Paris, France
43. Cambridge, United Kingdom
42. London, United Kingdom
41. Freiberg, Germany
40. Osaka, Japan
39. Hong Kong
38. Chiang Rai, Thailand
37. Margaret River, Australia
36. Kalbarri, Australia
35. Geraldton, Australia
34. Cervantes, Australia
33. Perth, Australia
32. Salzburg, Austria
31. Burghausen, Germany
30. Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany
29. Fussen, Germany
28. Nuremberg, Germany
27. Munich, Germany
26. Hualian, Taiwan
25. Taipei, Taiwan
24. Toronto, Canada
23. Orlando, USA
22. Miami, USA
21. Pennsylvania, USA
20. Syracuse, USA
19. Ithaca, USA
18. New York, USA
17. Melbourne, Australia
16. Sydney, Australia
15. Brisbane, Australia
14. Beijing, China
13. Nanjing, China
12. Suzhou, China
11. Wuxi, China
10. Shanghai, China
9. Redang Island, Malaysia
8. Fraser’s Hill, Malaysia
7. Genting Highlands, Malaysia
6. Johor Bahru, Malaysia
5. Malacca, Malaysia
4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3. Los Angeles, USA
2. San Diego, USA
1. San Francisco, USA

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2010 Top Ten

January 8, 2011

1. Top experience : Travelling to the top destination on my wishlist – a cruise to the Arctic aboard the National Geographic Explorer.

2. Biggest purchase : Apart from the payment for the experience noted above – which was the single biggest transfer of money I have ever made in my life – buying my digital SLR camera was costly as well. It was not so much the camera itself that was expensive, but the sudden escalation of “wants” of related paraphernalia, such as $3000 lenses, that really take the cake. I blame @hanshoots.

3. Best film : Christopher Nolan’s Inception, hands down.

4. Yummiest new TV character : Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), the hotter (read : bad boy) of two vampire brothers in The Vampire Diaries. Ahhh… so deliciously malevolent.

5. Most antagonizing Season cliff-hanger : Chuck Bass getting shot at the end of Gossip Girl Season 3.

6. Top proud-to-be-Singaporean moment : Being at the Singapore Night Race for the first time, thanks to Desmond Tay.

7. Best comfort food : Bak chor mee from Tai Hwa Coffeeshop at Crawford Lane is still the choice for the boyfriend and I.

8. Newest healthy past-time : As part of the year’s resolution to exercise more, I started playing basketball again. I’m glad to have re-discovered old friends as well as found new ones who are wildly enthusiastic (and that already is an understatement) about the sport. Unfotunately,  it has been quite a crappy year for me healthwise, and I missed out quite a number of games from spraining my ankle (twice), breaking a couple of my fingernails and spending the year-end holidays hobbling around with chronic back pains.

9. Most terrifying decision : Leaving my first “real” job after more than three-and-a-half years. I joined the Company soon after graduation, and I didn’t think I would ever be able to leave. Till now, I’m not sure it was the right decision, but regardless, I sure am proud of myself for making it.

10. Most unlikely event : Adopting a kitten. My parents have always been anti-pets of any kind, and I never thought we would have one while living under their roof. But when a stray kitten was born in our garden and had been wailing for its mother for days, my mom grudgingly gave her food and shelter from the year-end monsoon rains. Now, Hersheys is well-loved and has plenty of treats and toys. With all the nipping at our feet and sneaking into the house when we are not looking, I’m amazed (and grateful) they haven’t killed her yet.

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House-hunting 101

November 21, 2010

When it comes to buying a house, I am a strong believer that everything has to cosmically come together.  location, layout, size, view, facing, airflow, price, and most importantly, the ‘feeling’ you get when you step in. Sure, I have a (long) list of criteria which I have shared before on this blog, but there really isn’t any science to it.

I was brought up in a household where going to view houses over the weekend was considered quality family time, and probably saw more than a hundred properties by the time I was 10. Only a couple of them eventually materialized into purchases, but when they did, we knew they were the crème de la crème.

That’s why I get awfully peeved when housing agents drill me for a reason why I’m not interested in a certain property, and then try to rationalize it away.

The traffic’s too loud. No lah, you just need to shutter your windows and turn the music up.

It’s too small. No lah, it is actually quite ok if you threw out your entire closet and kept just two articles of clothing.

The location is too far away. No lah, it’s way better than Pulau Ubin already.

Some one seriously did try to argue that last one with me.

As if I would be getting the biggest investment on my life based on some crazy compromise.

Today, I read in a magazine News correspondent Glenda Chong’s interesting theory on buying a house; she said : You don’t choose a house, the house chooses you. What a nice, concise way of putting it. I should try that on silly agents next time.

Unfortunately, the houses that “choose me” are often way (and I mean WAAAYY) out of my price range. :p

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Sticky notes

November 14, 2010

I have been feeling terribly overwhelmed and uninspired these days. But when work sucks up so much of energy that you can’t bring yourself to pick up a camera, rummaging through old photos to process can be rather therapeutic.

You can always count on Post-it notes.

P/S : The top photo was my rather lame attempt at “Clarity” and sole entry for the Canon Photo Marathon 2010. That was one embarrassing experience, although the Little Sister and her spanking new 60D prize would beg to differ.

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When the going gets tough…

November 14, 2010

Most Gen Y-ers I know would quit the job. Or at least, make the most of their sick leave days.

Me? I just quit having a life. :s

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Right now, Pig is slogging away in the Office (Yes, at 12:10am on a Sunday)

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Talent?

October 22, 2010

Someone said today that I have “talent” for photography.

Well, I’m not really someone you would call talented in anything in particular (unless you count the corporate world, where talent usually just means being able to work your ass off).

In Sunday school, they used to tell the parable of the ten talents. I would fidget in my seat thinking – rather guiltily to myself, because that really isn’t the point of the story – that I don’t really have any.

Not art. Not music. Not dance. Not sports.

Talent is defined as a natural endowment or ability that is of superior quality. I, however, am the epitome of mediocrity.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t suck at everything. Just the contrary, I can pick things up really quickly, but then it plateaus just before I can become great. A sort of “Jack of all trades”, if you will.

And I’m not complaining, because it’s all great fun.

So anyway, all things considered, I’m awfully flattered by that comment. But unfortunately, that’s not really true.

I just have good lenses (rented usually) and Lightroom.

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