Saturday, January 6, 2018

THE BITTER-SWEET TRUTH ABOUT SOLO TRAVELLING

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I know you're probably trying to tell me if I have misspelled "Travelling" as it is supposed to be "Traveling" with a single L. You're welcome to have your own entitlement of that but really that's not what I am trying to discuss about here. Bye, Felicia. 
After juggling between what should I write as the first official post of 2018, I came up with this. I recently put up an Instagram-story polling (oh please, it's 2018 and if you still have no idea what it is, I'll be more than happy to give you a lecture, just email me). On my polling, I asked if the majority of my followers would travel with a partner rather than travel solo.. And the result keeps coming in, and I have more people voting for 'travel with a partner' rather than going on their own. 

Why did I end up choosing this topic?  
Well, as a youngster who has traveled solo during 2017 even though I am not a pro, I feel like sharing this experience might help those who ever thought of starting to travel on their own or to encourage my fellow youngsters to book that ticket and pick up their bag and leave to their dream destinations. 
The truth is it doesn't sound that easy. Not everyone has the gut to just pick up the bag and go travel. I understand the insecurities and fear and all the second guessing in making such decision because let me tell you, it ain't easy. I travelled solo by accident, my boyfriend had to cancel his trip and I can't just let the part I paid burnt off just like that. So I picked up my bag and just go. Guess what? It was the best thing that's ever happened to me and changed my perspective completely in seeing places.

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Let me get to the point why it's bitter sweet, the break down is here.

THE BITTER TRUTH. 
  • Everything about traveling solo is you are going to be in the journey alone, all by yourself.
  • You'll be sitting alone in the airport waiting room and on the plane with only your latest gadget(s). 
  • You will have to trust your instinct discovering certain places and your ability to read city maps is really needed here, if you're just like me who got lost easily, you'll have to ask local about where you're going. That means, when visiting a non-english speaking country, you should really try your ultimate best. 
  • The hardest part is to have the hotel room all for yourself. I know it sounds exaggerating and some people probably wouldn't mind that at all and as much as you're telling yourself it is okay to be alone at the hotel room because you're a grown up, it still is empty. When I say empty, I mean it. You are longing for a company and you might say 'oh call your significant other, friends or parents'... that works, only during the call period and not after they hang up. Your heart is missing a partner or a person to talk to right at that moment. When it comes to me, no matter how strong or brave I think I am, I cry at my hotel room sometimes. 
  • You have no one to talk to on the street/getting from one point to the other. Unless you're on a day tour or group tour which probably can get you one or two friends if you decided to be friendly or make some friends that day. 
  • Expenses are all at your own costs. Say you book a hotel, you can't split the payment because obviously you are on your own. You also unable to split any food bill, or even share a meal. You have to  pay everything on your own, even though splitting it in half would make all cost a lot cheaper. 
  • Securities. This is the important issue. When you are by yourself in a big or small city, you're in charged of your own safety. It can be a lot scarier to walk to your accomodation at night at some cities. You have to pretend you look scary too (not trying to look like a ghost) and you ended up having to at least have pepper spray or in my case I carry nail chipper just in case of protection. I might make this sounds funny (or not) to you because you might think it's like one of those movie scenes, but it is all for your safety. It's better to have an umbrella before it rains, isn't it?
  • No one is going to take photos for you, unless you asked a stranger/offered a help by a stranger or you carry a tripod, like me. 

  THE SWEET TRUTH

  • An instant confirmation. When you find a cheap ticket to your dream destination or just a cheap ticket in general and you have a leave you can take or a matching time but not your friends, you can just book that ticket and go.   
  • A personalised itinerary. You're free to do whatever you want, go wherever you want. Sometimes when you travel with someone else, it can be hard to arrange itinerary based on the likes of each individual and in this case, instead of being an asshole for not going to where they wanted, you can be a complete selfish person and just head to the places you wanted to. 
  • Eat whatever you want or feel like at that moment. Love a burger? Go ahead. Feels like chicken nuggets? Yes, Maccas is right at the corner. Eat whatever you please.
  • You actually train yourself to know people and make friends with strangers. Out of all the day tour you went on, it is impossible if you don't gain at least one friend. There will be people who are also traveling on their own and just go and say hi. You never know who you're gonna meet. Be friendly. 
  • I mean just like the bitter truth, the sweet truth of solo traveling has its own importance in the matter of self-growth. Again, it may sound dramatic. During my solo traveling, I find a part of myself that I never knew existed. I personally felt an internal growth and appreciation towards myself that I forever thank my solo travel for.


To end this very personal article, I would sum up that solo traveling is a life changing experience that we should all experience at some point of our lives to help us discover ourselves in a whole another level. It may come with risks and bitter sides, but we won't grow without challenges and adventures.


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With all love and supports,




Lenny xoxo

Monday, December 4, 2017

Things I Learnt at Twenty Three.

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TWENTY THREE
and things I have learnt through out the journey. 



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It seemed like forever ago when I celebrated my seventeenth birthday.
I remember the feeling of being seventeen and graduated high school months earlier at the same year, not knowing what I wanted to do, not knowing where I'd be in the next five years, not knowing if the heartbreak would heal or if I would find somebody to love, or to simplify it, lost.
Fast forward to six years later,  year twenty-seventeen, I turned twenty-three (couple weeks ago). Nothing crazy.
I celebrated my birthday week with close friends and on the weekend (which was the actual birthday), I flew to Byron Bay for 24 hours with a stranger I met in Cairns, which later I call a friend. As I said, nothing was crazy but it was just what it needed to be; surrounded by the people I value the most and being fully myself to welcome twenty-three. *raise the glass*

I know it is too soon to give a speech about life but I believe it is never too early to share the things I have learnt through out my teenage years and the transition to adulthood, because I was once very young and anxious about the future and confused on dealing with things. I was once too young to call it a self discovery but I think no one knows you better than yourself. 


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So here are the things I have learnt at Twenty Three.


  1. It is okay to be lost. I have realised that many of us have envisioned what we want to be when we grow up, doctor, businessmen or women, pilot, you named it. But through-out the process, you start to discover more interesting things about yourself and the things you want to do or the one that's gonna be your career/job. Some of us are lucky enough to discover the passion real quick, but some are still wondering around juggling the possibilities of careers or focus on your calling. Some people have a full time job at fancy office and not happy because they say it's not their passion or what they wanna do, meanwhile some of us are still searching for the call while working as a waitress or barista or sales assistant at Nike (etc). It is okay to be confused, it is okay to be lost. Because when you're lost, you tend to push more boundaries to find yourself, and girlfriends, it doesn't happen overnight. 
  2. You are going to lose people along the way. Yup! You are going to lose a lot of friends. The people you thought you'd be friends forever, the high school mates, or anyone you have encountered with. The older you get, the more you understand yourself. The more you understand yourself, the more you value it. You no longer have time to deal with toxic unnecessary conversations that has nothing to do with you or your growth. You no longer have time to hang out to kill time. You no longer have time to manifest your friendship by being there in person every single day, no. At twenty three, you will find the way you value your time and for the people who do not get it, frankly, they have to go. 
  3. Heart breaks, darling, it's not the end of the world. Remember your high school crush? Remember that guy who took forever to reply your text message? Remember the guy who told you he likes you but did nothing to prove it? Remember the guy who cheated on you? Remember all the heart breaks that you possibly can and how you thought it was the end of the world, you were extremely broken and sad about it. You thought it was everything and he left and suddenly your world crumbles because you think he was your everything. Okay, you need stop now! It is not the end of the world. I understand the pain can be extremely terrifying that to the point where it can change you completely. But you have to remember that it is not the end of everything. You will still wake up the next morning to a whole new day and you will still fight through. You will get things together and there will eventually be someone out there who will put the pieces back together and love it. There will be a person who will love your broken pieces as whole and love you for who you are like you've never been loved before. 
  4. Never compare your journey to others. This millennials era is really daunting. We tend to compare what we have done to other people's milestone. For example, your friends in high school are getting married and some are having kids. while you're still sitting in front of the screen browsing where to eat next weekend with your friends. Or people are achieving this and that, and when you look at yourself, you have barely done any washing for the day. You get what I mean? Millennials tend to compare their achievements to other people's success. Let me tell you kids, at twenty three, you'll question your worth a lot more in achieving things. What matters to other people might not matter to you, vice versa. Focus on your own goal, tick your own list, give yourself 100% motivation to do it all. The more you compare, the more you pay attention to people rather than yourself and the more it happened, the further you are from your goals. 
  5. Happiness is an inside job. Darling, you can't expect anyone to make you happy, if you do so, they more likely have the control to take it away too. Your happiness is your responsibility. I don't wanna sound like a bitch when I say this, but I am comfortable enough to admit that I no longer want people to take control on how I feel. If this is the moment I have to be selfish in order to protect my self and to be happy, I'll do what it takes to let that be. What I have realised lately is that I am in charge of making myself happy. I expect less from people and more from myself. Because no one understands you better than you do. 
  6. Just do it. The Nike slogan is probably life's best advice. During your transition from teenage years to adulthood, you often find yourself in confusion on whether you should take that major or text that guy you've been eyeing on or start a conversation with a stranger while traveling or the list goes on. When you couldn't stop thinking about things and have been debating on whether you should do it or not, probably just do it. It is always better to look back and say 'I did it' and know the consequences rather than mumble 'I wish I did' in regret for the rest of your life. 
  7. Travel solo, at least once in your life. Solo traveling was one of the best decision that I took this year. I had to travel solo when my boyfriend could not make it to the trip. I really learnt about myself and my intuition, learnt how to trust myself fully and I learnt how to be alone with myself. At the beginning of solo traveling, I felt really lonely in such a big hotel room all by myself, having no one to talk to while visiting the most wonderful views, eat alone, navigate myself for the journey all on my own. Do they sound awful? I guess it is normal to share the bad side first than the bright side :) But then I realise that I can't be at a new city I have never been before and be sad about it. So I decided to change my mindset completely. That hotel room wasn't big at all and I learnt how to rest and prepare tomorrow. Having no one to talk to while discovering places wasn't bad at all, I paid more attention to my surrounding and met strangers along the way and even be friends with some of them and share my passion for travel to them (I even gave my Melbourne itinerary to a Chinese couple that shared the airbnb apartment with me while I was in Cairns). Little did I know, I have gained a lot by traveling solo, and it made my heart so full. 
  8. Love yourself. These days, it is very easy to hate yourself. We begin to question ourselves and lack of confident. Loving yourself doesn't mean your narcissistic. Loving yourself means taking care of your body instead of wanting to look like Victoria's Secret angels body. Loving yourself means be confident in your own skin, despite its colour or its size. Loving yourself mean let go of the things that are toxic to you; be it environment, friends, conversations, etc. Loving yourself means you respect yourself and every inch of your soul. We are all beautiful in our own ways and loving yourself is one of the main key to appreciate your beautiful soul.
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I am pretty sure I have 100 more lists I'd love to include in this article, but these are the major issues amongst millennials (including myself). I am not saying that I am perfect. I am imperfect and through my imperfection I wanted to share this with you, so you know that you're not alone in this midlife crisis. This is also a little reminder to myself, in case I would feel less excited about my life, I'd be able to look back at this article and be reminded. 

I hope this article can be useful to you and please share your thoughts about this by commenting down below :) I would love to hear your thoughts! Until then, xx Lenny.

Photo by Daryl Irawan
Outfit Black Dress - Zara, Hat - Sportsgirl, 
Outerwear - H&M, 
Necklace - Gregory Jewellery, 
Earrings - Lovisa Jewellery
Location Canola Fields, NSW


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A DAY TRIP TO CANBERRA

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CANBERRA, 
the capital city of Australia


Many of you may not know that Canberra is the official capital city of Australia, a lot of people might never heard of it. 
Couple days ago, The Lonely Planet just announced Canberra as one of their best city to visit in 2018 (came in the third place after Seville in Spain and Detroit in USA). It wins over big cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. 
What's the buzz?

In this blog post, I am not going to be a smart *ss and write you a whole guide about Canberra. It was a coincidence that I recently visited Canberra with some friends one week before the announcement came out. We went there just for the day (literally three hours) and visited some places and I thought because sharing is caring, here's what I did in Canberra.


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Canberra is approximately three hours drive from Sydney and also accessible by plane (45mins flight). The city itself is pretty small. I could not speak for the outskirt of town but the city centre is vibrant and filled with sophisticated hotel buildings (I am talking about legit architecture), gardens and parks, a lot of National treasury buildings and so on. Fun fact : there are many free parkings on the weekend!

My friends and I arrived in Canberra around lunch time on a Saturday. It was supposed to be 'spring' but I guess the weather wasn't really our friend because it was gloomy and cold (note that Canberra is colder than Sydney, on their winter days, it usually snow or hit zero degrees or even minus). 

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Our first stop in Canberra was The Cupping Room, noted as one of the top brunch to visit in Canberra. To order your coffee here, you choose the selection of blends then choose to add milk or leave it black, there's no such thing as latte or cappuccino. I had the Salmon dish, which was so tasty.


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Then we drove to visit the new Parliament House and I could not stop looking at every corner of its interior. It's basically marble everywhere and I am truly mesmerised. It is free to enter the Parliament House but you are not allowed to enter some spaces within the area, unless you are a part of arranged tours. If you are curious about Australian History, I would recommend to take an arrange tour or make a stop at Australian War Memorial just 5 minutes drive from the Parliament House.


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Last stop of the Canberra day trip was Mount Ainslie look out. From this look out point, you get the million dollar view of Canberra and your postcard moment.
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In my opinion, Canberra is a good short getaway for the weekend, especially if you are living in Sydney. The city is really small but compact. They have a lot to offer and it is perfect for people who want to do a lot of things with a short amount of time. The city is easier to be accessed by car or you can join arranged tours and it is a perfect getaway for families with kids. 

I hope my short escape to Canberra can help you or inspire you to explore the city as a whole. Let me know which places you visited so I might visit them in the future :)