Now

I haven’t blogged since July – I think. I’ve been occupied since I got out of uni and I just wanted to share what I’ve been up to.

Firstly, I moved to London. That’s probably the scariest part and it was hard because I had to do it alone – from booking a moving van, booking train tickets and making sure that I arrived before the moving van does, living arrangements, and paying monthly bills. Then a couple of days after I moved to London, I went back home to the Philippines for two months. Those two months were great. I got to spend time with my brothers again, taking the youngest one to school and checking their homework and projects. It was heartbreaking to leave that time.

And now, I’m back in London. I’ve been back for almost three weeks now and it feels like I’ve never even left. It’s a weird feeling but because you are familiar with your surroundings – and made a routine in that environment – it’s easy to adjust back. I also got the opportunity to tour around East London more. There are so many places to see in London – and I am telling you now, for a chill night out go to Shoreditch. (Make sure to visit Bull in a China ShopDrunken MonkeyQueens of Hoxton – Rooftop, and BLOCKShoreditch)

I’m enjoying every site, every experience, and the people I share it with but at the end of the day, I still feel like something is missing. Maybe I miss home, more than I expected to. A part of me wants to explore many more places but a part of me would rather go home and be with the family. It’s part of how I grew up and now I’m craving for the feeling of having the people I love just minutes away. But I know that whatever I’m doing right now, I’m supposed to be doing and it will lead me towards the right path.

Well, anyway, I’ve been reading this really interesting book: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg – it’s a good read. It changed my perspective on how my actions are affecting me now, and how I can alter them to improve my health, productivity, or anything you want to improve in life AND business.

I’ll end it here for now and WILL try to update from time to time. I guess it’s good that I don’t have time to update because it means that I am out there, and I don’t do that very often. I’m proud of myself for that, for interacting with the world – as others would say. Good night!

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2015

It’s a new year and I still forget to post at least once a week! *laughs* Blogging is really something you need to put time and effort on, I guess. And maybe, I’ll have more time once I’ve finished Uni and gotten a boring ol’ job in an office with a desk, and this will be my outlet for innovative ideas and thoughts.

Anyway, enough about that. So for 2015, I have started the oh-so-famous 365 days of Happiness, on my Instagram account mainly. And I’ve had an incredible start of 2015 as we were on a trip in London!

My friends and I got to see most of the sites that people crowd and line up for, and since it was a holiday, there were a lot, LIKE A LOT, of people from different countries and cultures but all wanting to do the same thing – sightseeing.

On our first day – which was 31 of December by the way, we familiarized our selves first with the tube. It was crazy confusing because they had a lot of tube lines from one point to another, having exchanges from one point to another as well. But I must say, the system in London for tube lines are great. It is color coded, labeled well, and there are maps provided on each station. We mainly used tube lines and undergrounds more than any other transportation because well, we didn’t know how. :’)

If you are planning to go to London for a long vacation, say a week or so, then I suggest you get a London Pass (all details here: http://www.londonpass.com/?aid=238&gclid=CMWRqcjygcMCFQHJtAodGQ8AYQ) because it would save you the trouble of queueing for a ticket and the queueing for the actual ride, and it would probably save you from costs as well. While you are at it, might as well get an Oyster Card for the Tube, Tram, Buses, and many more different transportation available for this card (all details here:https://account.tfl.gov.uk/oyster?App=8ead5cf4-4624-4389-b90c-b1fd1937bf1f&returnURL=https://oyster.tfl.gov.uk/oyster/security_check). It has a £5 deposit – which you can get back once you return the card, and you can easily load it up on any station.

If you are planning to go for a short period of time, then I suggest you weigh your options on getting an Oyster Card against getting an All Day Rider – unlimited all day travel. See, what we did was to get an Oyster Card even if we stayed for only four (4) days because we mainly walked around the city to see more of the sights, and to save on transportation as well.

So, yeah, we got to see a lot of places because we made a roadmap on what to see first and how to roam around without having additional costs. See the map below:

Map

We encircled the ones we wanted to see first and then we tried to see the other places that we were not able to see. Unfortunately, four days wasn’t really enough for a London Tour.

The highlight of the trip was probably the London Eye Experience. We rode the London Eye at night and the view of the city was just absolutely breath-taking. I did not have my camera with me so my phone had to do.

View From London Eye

So that’s how I spent my holidays. It was quite expensive but every penny worth it.

First Autumn Experience

Since I’ve forgotten to update my days here in Chester, AS USUAL, I decided to just write about the other days that I missed out on.

Autumn.

Prior to this, I haven’t experienced this season, because where I come from it’s either sunny or raining, but mostly sunny. I used to hate the heat because it gives me terrible migraines and the sticky feeling whenever you go out for even a minute. Now, I appreciate the warmth of the Sun because it’s so rare here. People would stare at times because I FACE THE SUN AND GREET IT WITH A SMILE. They must’ve thought that I was going crazy or if I’m a mental patient that got out for the first time in a long time, but no. It reminded me of a song by Passenger, ‘Let Her Go’ and one line of its lyrics says:

You only miss the sun when it starts to snow.

So far over the past few weeks, I’ve been attending class and it’s great so far. I haven’t started on anything yet, AS USUAL. Because I’m the kind of person that gets all the ideas and organizes it at the last minute – well, to be fair at the last week, still a bad habit though. Then, I went shopping (AGAIN!!) and this time I spent three weeks worth of food budget ON CLOTHES. They’re all A NECESSITY though, right? I bought a coat, and a winter jacket (which IS a necessity). I might be telling myself this to keep myself from feeling guilty.

Oh, also I’ve joined this Entrepreneurial thing (I do not know if it’s an event, a competition, or what) and we were given £10 to maybe start-up a business or do fund raising events and our goal is to reach £700 per person to get to Milan in March. This is really exciting because I’ve never been to Milan! Plus, the experience we are gaining from this is really good.

Finally, as part of my shopping spree, I bought books as well (I’ll be updating my reading list). They’re at a reasonable price, no worries. Plus, knowledge is investment!

I guess that’s everything that I’ve been meaning to share. I know it’s not really useful information, but it’s my blog so yeah.

I’ll leave you with Jeremy Passion while I eat my carbonara pasta with smoked salmon.

I love this song just because.

Day 11 and 12: Bruises, Cuts, and First Aid Kits

The title would seem like I have been in a bad situation. However, I was not. I’ll explain it in parts.

Bruises:

I think I’ve mentioned that I joined Volleyball Society here in Chester (yey sports!) and as a result of not being in shape and of not playing the sport for years, I got slight bruises on my arm. The taster was not harsh and not really intense, but what is up with the ball? It was inflated to be like a basketball or something, and I have the type of body that bruise easily.

Cuts:

Being away from home is tough; being away from home with people who KNOWS how to cook is tougher. You might say, oh you could just buy or take out food from restaurants and grocery stores. I would love to do that, not because I do not know how to cook but I sometimes get lazy, BUT it is costly. People tell me not to convert the currency here to the currency back home, but during the first few days – and it might take me weeks – it’s like I’m doing it by habit. And boy, is it expensive here.

So while I was cutting some veggies and meat, I accidentally cut myself. Fortunately, it’s quite small and nothing serious.

First Aid Kits:

Also, I have stocked medicines, band aids, and sanitizers. It’s in my upbringing that we keep a stock of those things. Especially pain killers. Oh my, what would I do without them. Migraines are terrible, but since I’ve arrived here I rarely got them. Back home, I usually get that really really painful-one-side-of-your-brain type of migraine for at least 3 days.

I think that’s about every thing I wanted to share. I’m about to clean my room and do laundry for the rest of the day.

I’ll leave you with some..clean up music? Lol

Cheers!

1. Oxford Comma by Vampire Weekend

2. Buddy Holly by Weezer

3. Stacy’s Mom by Fountains of Wayne

4. Pour Some Sugar On Me (The Maine version)

and finally,

5. She Moves In Her Own Way by The Kooks

Day 10: Trying to keep on track

Second day of classes for the week. We had business dissertation earlier, and like any other module we have, it’s at ‘100mph’ as they call it. I’m still thinking of a topic or a certain area to research on. All I have so far is this: The viability of Coffee Shops (e.g. local, Starbucks, or Costa) in the UK against the viability of Coffee Shops in the Philippines.

I chose to do a comparison for the UK and the Philippines, basically because it’s where I am from. However, I wanted to do something even more specific right now. I just can’t get on the right track or the path that I wanted. I’m still thinking though, any ideas dear friends? I usually run to my guitar for creative thinking. Sadly enough, I wasn’t really capable of bringing my guitar with me – with my huge luggage and hand-carry bag (includes my heavy laptop, camera, and the sort).

Then in the evening, it’s weird for me that they start really late too, we had a taster for Volleyball. I was thinking of joining Swimming but then again, I thought of the weather and temperature here (still not used to it). Bench-warming the bench because – haha – I did not bring my trainers (rubber shoes), not that I had any because a-duh I like wearing my converse when playing. So, I still have to buy one if I really wanted to play.

Well, that’s all I can really share for tonight or in the other parts of the world, today.

I’ll leave you again with another lovely song (maybe I’ll do this out of habit, I don’t know).

Cheers!

Day 7 to 9 (I think): First Day of Class

I keep forgetting to update this on a daily basis, and now I’ve literally forgotten how many days I have to cover, and which day I am on. Anyway, from Friday until Sunday, we obviously did nothing but to walk around the City Centre (again), and bought groceries that are good for a week.

Then, yesterday (which was Sunday), we attended a mass. It was really different from what I’m used to back in the Philippines. However, the ‘church community’ – I’m just guessing they already know each other for quite sometime now, was really friendly and they welcomed us with warm greetings and hand shakes. So overall, it does’t really matter for me how the mass was offered, as long as I was able to give thanks.

Finally, today was our first day of classes. It’s quite difficult to adjust to the method that they have here. It’s all very independent learning but I find it good and effective because it means that you really have to work hard and not expect everything to be spoon-fed to you. I quite like the library in Chester as well because they have a huge collection of useful books – which I’m afraid cannot be accessed in a Philippine Library (we have to work on that *wink*). Being the bookish person that I am, I feel so comfortable inside the Library.

Anyway, that is it for today. I only have one class tomorrow and it’s at 5PM. What am I supposed to do in the morning? Lol.

I’m still adjusting to the time here, because it feels so slow. So, when I go to sleep at 10PM, I keep waking up at 2 or 3 in the morning thinking I’ve had a good 8 hours of sleep already. It feels that long anyway.

I’ll leave you with The Narrative’s lullaby-like song Eyes Closed.

Cheers!

Days 4 – 6: More Shopping..

I got one of those trolleys now because it’s freakin’ hard to go back and forth to the city centre. Now that I got that trolley, I went on a shopping spree at Primark! Haha, impulsive buyer that I am, I bought lots of things but I really DO need them.

I haven’t taken pictures of the town and the sites here, probably because I’ve been too tired to take it all in but when we were resting at a bench, I got to see just how beautiful it is here in Chester. It’s quite old but it has a character of its own – if you know what I mean and if I’m even making sense.

Every time the sun was shining here I was really happy because it reminds me of home. Anyway, here’s what I’ve photographed so far.

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Things from Primark:

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Photos by: © Kashka Lantion; Canon PowerShot SX30 IS

DAY 2 and 3: Shopping til We Dropped

So yesterday, from Manchester, we travelled through Liverpool and saw Liverpool John Lennon Airport (awesome, but I was too tired to take out my camera, and I kept falling asleep at 4 in the afternoon! It’s because of my body clock) and arrived here in Chester! Finally.

So what we did when we arrived here was to buy necessary things such as a duvet for the bed in my dorm, towels, and a couple of ready to eat food. It was such a long walk from the dorm to the City Centre and it was as cold as when we first arrived in Manchester. Jeez. So I have decided that I am getting a bike, once I’ve learned all the traffic rules.

Then today, I continued my shopping. I recently bought two new pair of jeans, a laundry basket, a bath rug, and a blanket. I forgot to buy one yesterday so last night I was FREEZING, even though my windows are closed and we didn’t have air condition in the room. And it’s only autumn here. I’m terrified for winter nights.

Lol, that’s all for today. We’ll be going to a club later tonight, Rosie’s. The Global Guide rep for our group told us it’s one of the best places to go to for a night out.

Cheers!

Day 1: New Zip Code

Yesterday – September 25, I think, we travelled from Manila to Dubai for 8 hours and about 30 minutes, plus we waited 4 hours in Dubai and then we travelled 7 more hours and 45 more minutes to MANCHESTER! I have finally reached my first objective for this part of my life. It’s been such a tiring travel and I’m not sure whether I have the correct time with me, but the local time here is 11:55PM. On our way tomorrow – September 27 – to our University in Chester, settle our enrollment and registrations, buy the necessary things and then a couple of orientations. So now that that is out of the way, I would like to say MAN IT IS COLD HERE. I did not expect it to be really really cold because it was not winter yet. It’s already 13 degrees in Celsius here. Coming from a Tropical country, it’s weird and shocking because the only time I ever feel that cold is when I have the A/C and the fan on at the same time and both of them are directly facing me. Our first day here is okay I guess, being tired and all. The serving size of the meals here are so huge that I could share it with my brother. The hotel where we’re staying at – Premier Inn Manchester Airport – is nice. The bed is huge! There isn’t much to see right now but the peacefulness of the place is quite refreshing. As of tomorrow, I’ll be living for a full year inside the Chester Campus. From Manila, Philippines 1700 to Chester, Cheshire, UK CH1 4BJ Time to get some sleep to be able to carry those luggages. Oh, and a little reminder for those who intend to stay in another country for a year or more: don’t forget to pack wisely! I only have two trousers with me and I realized what a huge mistake that was. Lol, although I was planning to get my trousers here anyway. I will try twice as hard now to blog – if not every day – once a week. Cheers!