Tag Archives: holiday

Cairns – Day 1

Monday, 27 November 2017

4 am – Waking up at this hour on holiday = death.

5:15 am – Uber to Sydney Airport.

7:25 am – My brother and I had one backpack each. This is worth mentioning because I usually “pack the whole house”. It felt so good to travel light!

Thank God our flight was ON TIME! I was prepared for a possible delay. Our plane took off at about 7:50 am.

2 hours and 45 mins later…

9:45 am – Arrived at Cairns Airport. Just FYI: Queensland is one hour behind Sydney. So, we “gained one hour” (YAY!). Our shuttle bus (free service) to our accommodation was already waiting for us at the pick up area.

10 ish am – We stayed at Caravella Backpackers (The Esplanade) which was at the esplanade (obviously). There’s another branch (Caravella Central Backpackers) right smack in the city where all the shops are. In terms of which one is better, you decide:

The Esplanade – Opposite the sea, park and play area, peaceful and quiet, 15 – 20 min walk to main shopping/food area.

City Centre – Near shops and food, not as quiet and peaceful, nearer to the reef fleet terminal (meeting point for most tours).

Thank God our room was ready when we got there. We settled down and asked Mr Google/Instagram for the best place to have FOOD!

11:30 am – We made our way to Caffiend for brunch.

It was about 20 – 25 mins walk from our accommodation.

Eggs, salmon, beetroot and avocado on toast.Breakfast burger with bacon and egg.

This was our first proper meal of the day (since 4am).

                                                                         We were FAMISHED.

Of course, there was COFFEE! To be honest, coffee from Caffiend was not great. Way too acidic for me.

We spent the entire day walking around the city centre. Safe to say we covered EVERY corner!

The town is everything you can expect from a typical tourist area with loads of coffee shops, factory outlets, Aussie brand stores, souvenir shops etc.

4 ish pm – After all that walking, we were hungry before dinner time. We were deciding what to eat when we stumbled upon this local pizza place. The smell was incredible and they were offering special deals! #winning

15 dollars for this fresh family-size handmade pizza loaded with toppings! So worth it!

Pizza with a view.

5 ish pm – Went back to the room for a short rest.

6:30 pm – Played around in the park. We squeezed in a super short workout (mostly play)! We then walked along the Esplanade all the way to the reef fleet terminal. We had to go there the next day for our tour so we decided to check it out to avoid getting lost. It was a lot cooler at night with the breeze (35 degrees during the day).

Took a dip at the The Esplanade pool.

Had gelato at Devine gelato. The shop was not as fancy as the other gelato places but we decided to trust the ratings (4.7/5). It definitely did not disappoint! We found out that the place was run by a family and they make fresh gelato every day! So, never judge a book by its cover (HAAAA!).

The rum and raisin was SO GOOD!

Picked up some snacks at Woolies before heading back to our room. We were super tired and slept before 11pm.

Stay tuned for Day 2 – The Great Barrier Reef Tour!

*Accommodation was booked via booking.com

*All tours were booked via lastminute.com.au

These websites made it easy with loads of deals, free cancellations and no commitment or upfront payment required. This is NOT an ad or sponsored post. Just my honest opinion after going through MANY different websites.

5 Tips to Help You Through the Holiday Feasts

December is my favourite time of the year – holiday season! A time to rest, relax, reflect, spend time with loved ones and EAT!

Do you get anxious around the holiday feastings? Are you worried that it will ruin your fitness goals?

Read on for a few tips!

Before we dive into it, I just want to say that it is COMPLETELY ok to relax over this season. If keeping up with your goals is stressing you out, DROP IT! A few days off is not going to ruin your progress (unless days turn into weeks). Having said that, you should not adopt the ALL OR NOTHING approach, thinking that you should go all out till 2018 since you’ve “broken” the rules.

Here are a few things that you can do to have the best of both worlds!

  1. Avoid skipping meals – I know it can be tempting to skip meals because you want to save your calories for the main feast! But this trick can work AGAINST you! You might feel overly hungry and end up binging on ALL the FOOD! A tip is to eat when you’re hungry and focus on having foods that are higher in protein and fibre to help keep you fuller for longer. Also, remember to stay hydrated!
  2. Pick your treats and meals – Look at everything that is provided and be picky about what you want/feel like eating! That way, you can enjoy your meal AND dessert.
  3. Unstructured physical activity – You will probably be too busy running around, getting things done and spending time with your family to fit in a proper structured workout. IF you happen to find the time to do so without much stress, then by all means, GO AHEAD! But if you don’t, something is always better than nothing! Stay active and walk when you can. Running errands, shopping and cleaning up the house all counts! Killing two birds with one stone – WIN!
  4. Go easy on the liquid calories – It is SO easy to drink energy dense drinks that do not fill you up. And these drinks can really push you above and beyond your daily energy requirements. Drink water instead! If you HAVE to have a flavoured drink, opt for diet/light options. As for alcohol, go for high quality ones. Drink in moderation and responsibly!
  5. Focus on your loved ones – The holiday season is about spending time with your loved ones. Focus less on the food and more on creating unforgettable memories.

If ALL else fails, it is NOT the end of the world. You don’t have to fixate, stress or get overly obssessed with what to eat or have already eaten. One meal is not going to make a huge difference.

The next day is a new opportunity to make BETTER choices! Pick yourself up and don’t give up! It is a life long journey.

Happy holidays!

xx

SUMMER BREAK 2016 – MALAYSIA

Hello from the OTHER SIDE

… again!

Reporting live from Sydney! Thank God I made it back in one piece (barely actually. haha). I FEEL SO EXHAUSTED. Sorry for being MIA (again!). I was busy with moving (2nd time and counting), work and most importantly, I HAD NO WIFI! #toughlife


The days leading up to my flight back to Sydney were absolute chaos (the good and the bad kind). Good because I had a lot of catch ups and meet ups. Bad because well, panic packing (HAAAAA!).

Leaving home for the second time was tough. You’re no longer going to a new place. While I have many other different things to look forward to (placement program, new temporary accommodation, meeting new ppl etc), there’s still that sense of familiarity. I’m not too sure if that’s a good or bad thing. Maybe it is neutral. I guess I’m anxious and excited at the same time. Excited that I’ll be going back and starting a new sem but ANXIOUS BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT. GAHHHH!

But either way, I MISS HOME!

This is going to be a tough semester. It will be a steep learning curve on my end. Praying that I’ll stay sane and that all goes well!

NOT ready to do life (HAHAHAH!). I hope I will be able to update my blog and write as often as I would like to.


Let’s jump back to my summer break in MALAYSIA.

It was a good 2 months back home. I was able to do whatever I wanted to do and also catch up with family and friends.

My last 2 weeks in Malaysia (felt like dejavu from the last time I left) were “difficult”. SO many things had happened in that short span of time that I cannot even begin to describe what I went through. It felt like I was stuck in a blackhole. When you’re feeling everything between the extreme ends of the emotional meter, you just feel detached from reality. #lostRomans 15-13

In between the series of unfortunate events, I was able to see the silver lining (THANKFULLY!). There were also many things to be grateful for.


 

Shoving all unhappiness aside, I was VERY productive. I had written a long to-do list the minute I came home. I did not get through half of it until the last 2 weeks! We seem to able to function under pressure.

I felt a sense of urgency. Humans are funny. We only seem to appreciate when we lose/about to lose something. Just like how we only start to take care of ourselves when something goes wrong (sickness, disease etc) or how we seem to be able to complete an assignment 5 hours before it is due.

For me (and others), I felt the NEED to DO things and to SEE people (before going back to Sydney). Thank you to each and every one of you for spending your time with me (you know who you are).

make_it_happen_motivational_quotes

I guess my point is that we don’t DO enough or APPRECIATE enough until we don’t have the luxury of it anymore (whatever “it” is).

Don’t wait till it is too late. JUST DO IT!

This year, I am trying to make a conscious effort to just be present. I still find it difficult to BE in the moment. My mind is always in the future, worrying and thinking of what is ahead.

Ok, I shall not bore you with how I feel.


HIGHLIGHTS of my summer break:

IMG_1669First meal back home!

Had an extended family dinner the day I arrived! ALL THE MALAYSIAN FOOD! SO SO SO GOOD! Catching up with family over food is the best.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetSIEW BAOS! Only the best from Jln Imbi. OH How I’ve missed you!

IMG_1955And of course, POPIAH! This uncle still remembers my special order.

IMG_1906Seafood dinner for my aunt’s birthday.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetFamily Wefie! It’s a thing now.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetTHUG LIFE with the granny.

FullSizeRender_1 copy 4Made it back in time to celebrate the life of this VERY SPECIAL PERSON. <3 Thanks for ALWAYS being there and having my back.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetOverdue massage sesh. Too much walking in Sydney. #toughlife haha!

IMG_1975Very old issue of Running Malaysia but I was still able to have that 5 seconds of fame-fan-moment.

IMG_2208Camp commy for this year’s VBSJourney Off the MapSORTA. Fell sick for the FIRST TIME in 2016 on the VERY first day of VBS! Talk about good timing (I BLAME ALL THE FOOD!).

On that note, I really thank God for my health throughout my time in Sydney. I had ZERO signs of sickness. #blessed

IMG_4473Tres Amigas Buenas! <3 ALWAYS a good time with these 2! #forlife

IMG_2429Trio! So good to catch up on each other’s lives. We’ve changed so much over the years but glad to know that some things still remain the same. 🙂

IMG_2258TT – Track Tuesday! I can ALWAYS count on them to crack lame jokes and to provide relevant updates on running/non-running/useless info in our group chat! I literally LAUGH OUT LOUD every time! So good to have them around.

IMG_2821MMT’s Tom, Dick and Harry’s 7th Anniversary! WOOHOO! Always feel right at home with this bunch. 🙂 Ever so supportive!

IMG_2828The girls <3

IMG_2830Trying to recreate our last pose. 😛

IMG_2714And of course, PUMA! <3 So much has changed. A lot of our “old” members have grown out of the group and moved on in their running life (very happy for them!). It was good to see the “new wave”.

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These 2. When we are together, we’re the loudest. #noshame #goodtimes!

IMG_3785MONASH-ians! <3 We haven’t seen each other in a long time but it felt just like our uni days. And hello JANEY!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetSummer job at Fit Orange! I wouldn’t call it a “JOB”. More like PLAYTIME!

 

IMG_3582Decided to dedicate my time to training my brother. 2 months of working out consistently! #gains He is so much stronger and healthier now. I will definitely miss our training sessions together! I am glad to know that he has kept the momentum going. Always asking me for workouts and a plan. #happytears #allthefeels #proudsis

IMG_4140Getting my legs fixed at APPLE PHYSIO! Happy to announce that I am FEELING A LOT BETTER! Slowing getting back into the swing of things… VERY very very slow that is. I have come to realise that I am in it for the long run. Why rush?

Just enjoying every moment I get to MOVE! #grateful

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetThese guys… JOKERS! So full of themselves. #runningbrunchbuddies

FullSizeRender 2Christmas family wefie!

FullSizeRender copy 3More runs with MMT!

FullSizeRender_1 copyThanks Jason for the invite! Got a chance to try my very first spinning class! SO MUCH FUN!

Seriously, give it a go! You’ll be sweating buckets. Oh, and you are required to strap on a HR monitor… NO CHEATING!

PUSH! No pain, no GAIN!

IMG_3995Gong Xi Fa Cai with the #Garminbuddies

FullSizeRender copyMore session at Apple! I have a long way to go! THANKS JESS! <3 If you’re looking for a good physio, well, you’re looking at one! 😉

FullSizeRender copy 7With my fav kid! <3 Board games night with the church mates till… 2am?

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetHeart to heart talks and pigging out with Sylvia. What we do best! <3

 

IMG_4005Crab feast courtesy of Colin @ Crazy Crabs!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetIndian food. 30 ringgit for a roti in Sydney… I’ll be missing this!

FullSizeRender copy 5Lou sang with TT. So much laughter... my tummy was hurting!

FullSizeRender copy 2Brother’s 15th Birthday! <3

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetI miss having my kakak around! She has been with me for 27 years and counting! She is ALWAYS looking out for me and cooking all my fav foods. She knows me too well. <3

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetSpecial thanks to Garmin Malaysia for all their SUPPORT in my fitness journey. From running to gym based workouts. These watches are so versatile, there is a function for everything! When I got injured, I was still able to track my HR, workouts, cycling etc!

IMG_4301Catching up with Lucas and his #rants. #jokes!

IMG_4261Always fooling around and having a good time at Fit Orange, talking about all things HEALTH and FITNESS!

FullSizeRender copy 4The bosses behind Fit Orange! Thank you once again for this awesome opportunity to explore EMS!

FullSizeRender_4Already missing this kid T_T!

FullSizeRender_3Lou sang with runners and someone who plays a crucial role in a runner’s life (physiotherapist!). Haha! Special thanks to Kian Ming for dinner!

FullSizeRender_2Special Lou Sang set @ Runner’s Cafe! It was really good, something different! If you’re a runner and live in Malaysia, CHECK THEM OUT!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetKC girls unite! I love how we just… CLICK! <3 #friendshipgoals

FullSizeRender_1ICE CREAM! #shamelessselfie #selfiestick #notmine

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetLast run in KL before I leave! Shoes were washed and ready to go! Oh, and thanks to Puma Malaysia for these AWESOME minimalist kicks!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetFinally got to meet Kian Ming and his wife, Ee Leng! Before this, we’ve only ever “seen” each other on social media. I love how that brings people together! Thanks for being so genuine, down to earth, supportive, encouraging and #real. 

Somebody has got a goal to hit this year. 😉 Watch out world!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetRunning TWIN! She’s always keeping me up to date about ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING! I’m still amazed at how similar we are – food and running! I miss running with you! Come to Sydney for a run kay? All the best to your #roadtosub345! That goal is yours, go get it! 🙂

IMG_4552MCKL-ians! Missing our Skype sesh! This bunch will ALWAYS be there when you need em. LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH! <3

IMG_4563Last yummy dinner before I left for Sydney!

Pre-CNY family dinner! <3 MISSING YOU GUYS! <3


Just some of the BEST bits of my Summer! I’m sure I’ve missed out on many other things. I apologise in advance if I’ve left you out (def not intentional)!

SO SORRY to those that I’ve not been able to catch up with! Next round.

Back to reality now. Back to the grind!


Keep an eye out for another update…

because HELLO WIFI!

 Till then, keep doing #YOU!

Staying Active on Vacay

I am back! Phew, CRAZY few weeks. We’re talking about endless assignments, presentations, studies, work, chores, sleepless nights and some running + strength training.

Final week of class before the exams and then SEM BREAK! So keen for it to be over! 😉

How is everyone else? 🙂


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Anyway! This post is on how to stay active when you’re on a vacay (speaking of which, I need a vacay!):

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Are you a routine junkie? Workout junkie? Vacay junkie?

*ME!*


The thing about being a routine junkie is that going on a vacay will potentially ruin it. I must admit, I get a little anxious about that! I am all about routines.


I’m here to talk about BALANCE: Not completely throwing your routine out the window but also not sticking to it like a junkie

It is not always easy to find a gym or a safe place to run (depends on where you go). So that might make it more difficult to get your usual workout in. If sticking to your routine stresses you out, what you need to do is throw THAT out the window. But not the working out part.


Staying ACTIVE on vacay:

1. EXPLORE

You’re on vacation! Take this time to get out there and EXPLORE the new city/place. Take it as an adventure.

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The best way to explore: WALKING/RUNNING/JOGGING

You get the best of both worlds: A chance to explore AND get your workout in!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

My Garmin FR235 has been my best friend! It makes working out SO EASY! Just PRESS and GO! So fun to look at the stats after, even if it was just a walk in the park. 🙂

2. Free and Easy

It is always good to have a PLAN but if you’re like me and you get upset if you don’t get to stick to your schedule/plan, get rid of that!

I tend to have an “all or nothing” approach. If I fail to stick to my plan, I’d do NOTHING at all. I try to balance between having a plan and being okay if I don’t adhere to it.

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Take it easy and go with what you have. If you have time, GO! If not, CHILL… with coffee! Your body probably needs the rest.

3. MIX IT UP!

I like running, but it is not always convenient to do so.

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Get creative. Do a short HIIT workout/sprints that can be done anywhere! Anything that will get your heart rate up. Set your alarm, get up to catch the sunrise and WORKOUT! I LOVE that fresh feeling after my workout. If you’re the same, then just do it!

Trust me, it will be worth it!

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Example:

4 rounds of:

-Pulse jump squats x20

-Cross mountain climbers x20

-Elevated Push ups x20

-Leg raises x20

1:30 min break

4 rounds of:

-Burpees x15

-Tricep dips x20

-Russian Twists x40

-Jack Knives x20

REPEAT x2!

4. To GO GET FOOD!IMG_3092

OH YEAH! The best kind of workout/activity is going to get FOOD! Walk/run/cycle to your favourite breakfast/brunch/coffee/ice cream place!

Explore local cuisines!FullSizeRender_1I earned my ice cream!

5. Try a NEW sport/activity

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Cycling is a fun way to explore a new place! I don’t normally cycle, so this was something “new” to me.

IMG_2402Triathlete in the making. hahahhhahahhaha. JOKES!

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Go on a hike! Walking/hiking is so good for you. My favourite aerobic workout! Get your heart pumping with a few inclines/climbs. Trust me, your heart will thank you for it. 🙂

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Soak in your surroundings. God NEVER fails to amaze me. His creations are breathtaking.

DCIM102GOPROSnorkeling. Swimming. Underwater fun! There are SO many ways to stay active!

DCIM102GOPROJust. AWESOME.

<3

Enjoy your next vacay + getting your heart rate up!

PS: If you happen to be planning your next trip, check out HotelsCombined to help you find and make the best accommodation decisions + great deals!

For more info on my Garmin FR235 or any other models, check out http://www.aeco.com.my or like their FB page !

Do let me know if you’re interested in any of the models. 😉

Cheers!

Kona Town, Hawaii – Last Day

Day 9 – 26th January 2016, Tuesday

Journey back to Kona Town

Wake up time: 7:30am

Some shots of our accommodation at Volcano Hale:IMG_4008

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Living area with fireplace.

IMG_4007The kitchen area.

 

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Up the stairs!IMG_4005
The entrance to our room.

It was another early start! I wanted to put in a run at Volvano park just before we left but when I woke up at 6am, it was below 10degrees and it was PITCH BLACK! No street lights, nothing! I didn’t bother moving from my comfy bed.

IMG_4014We packed up, checked out and had coffee and cup noodles before driving back to Kona Town.IMG_4018

Our first stop: Papakolea Green Sand Beach (one of the two green sand beaches in the US)

We heard a lot about the Green Sand Beach and apparently, it is one of the MUST-SEES in Hawai’i.

Green Sand Beach is not Green Sand Beach without GREEN SAND! Yes, the sand IS GREEN. It is green because of the glassy crystal Olivine. Olivine comes from olivine-rich lava that spewed out of cinder cones years ago.

Olivine is locally known as “Hawaiian Diamond” and it is denser than the other rocks/lava flows. The ocean current separates these heavier particles and concentrates them to form this beach!

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My first “outdoor” toilet experience. It was HORRIBLE! T_T

Like all things in life, good things don’t come easy! And that includes getting to this beach! It was quite remote and not easy to reach!

We drove to a harbor where they had parking lots.

2 ways to get to Green Sand Beach:

-Take a 4WD car

-HikeIMG_4759Loving the Garmin FR235! 😀

Distance to beach: 4.5km one way

We thought we’d hike/walk/jog there and take the 4WD back (to save time). On the way there, the guide in the 4WD told us that it was easier to take the 4WD THERE and HIKE back because heading there was mainly uphill! HE WAS RIGHT! It was not easy! IMG_4054The hike was hot with the sun blazing and shining directly in your face with no cover from trees/clouds. The terrain was also not easy to navigate with lots of rolling hills, sand, rocks and dried out grass. IMG_4024BUT, the view made it ALL worth it.IMG_4020 IMG_4050 IMG_4056 IMG_4059

IMG_4053I thought it was a really tough hike but my mom made it all the way! SO PROUD OF MY MOMMY BEAR!

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Enjoying the view!

IMG_4068The cliffs above Green Sand Beach.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

You can see the GREEN sand.IMG_4069I climbed down the lava cliff to get to the bay. I made a mistake of NOT wearing my shoes! IT WAS BURNING HOT! I had to rush to the sea to cool off!

IMG_4070 IMG_4077It was a steep hike down!

IMG_4078 IMG_4071 IMG_4072 IMG_4074 IMG_4079 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset IMG_4080After enjoying the beach and the view, we took the 4WD back which cost $15 each! It was worth it because by then, the heat had gotten to us. We were exhausted and hungry.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetGarmin Panda says it is Kona Coffee Latte O’clock!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe settled for a cafe along the way to Kona Town. I cannot remember the name of this place but they had decent food!

We were so tired, we drove straight to our AirBnb accommodation in Kona town. IMG_4128Kona town Oasis!

IMG_4127It was a really nice place that was super central! It was just 300m walk to Ali’i Drive (tourist area). It was also just 10mins away from the airport, shopping malls, food etc. The couple who runs this place actually started it to accommodate athletes that were competing in the Kona Ironman!

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Perfect day out!

After resting for a bit, I went for a run! It was one of the best running experiences along the Kona Ironman route! I didn’t know that that was THE Ironman route! Our Airbnb host, Marc, said that you can see 100s of swimmers training every morning! I ran to the pier to check out the place where they do their bike transitions. It is a big event and there were many permanent signs everywhere.

It was a pleasant run along the killer tough route! It was hilly and windy. I ran right along the coast and occasionally, sea water would splash and burn your eyes and skin. Too salty! There were SO many people out there training, running, swimming, biking, surfing etc. I followed a guy who was doing his brick training! It was fun to pace with someone else. Great way to connect with people too! I loved every bit of running in this town. Kinda miss it now.


Day 10 – 27th January 2016, Wednesday

We didn’t do much at night, mainly packing. Our flight was at 7:50am the next day and we had to be up by 4am! IMG_4172The al fresco style airport at Big Island! Yes, that’s the waiting area.

IMG_4186Coffee and breakfast at Honolulu airport.

IMG_4177Mahalo Hawai’i!

I am very grateful to be able to visit such a beautiful place! This trip was fun (SO FREAKIN AWESOME OMG!) and it also made me appreciate the beauty of nature (even more!) and the wonderful hands of our CREATOR.

Just. Too. PERFECT.

W.O.W!