20 Things I'd Learned Before I Turned 21

 This post is a little late but nonetheless sharing is caring. I reckon 'My top 20 lessons I'd learned throughout the years' will be meaningful to ponder on. 24 hours of birthday is a lot of time to shape meaningful moments (which I thought was quite insane as I was born within that few seconds and demanded for a full day to celebrate) with friends and family. I was so blessed with amazing people around me and I will never forget this decade of my life.  Hope this inspires and encourages you somehow ;)

1 Prayers are the backbone of my life. Prayers made me strong in believing that God is there with me in all circumstances, good or bad. He is my best friend and He will always be. He is my wonderwall, the beginning and the end.

2 Beauty does not comes from your flesh but your heart. Beauty is something that you can genuinely feel deep down that appears externally on a person’s life. You are beautiful, remember that. “As water reflects the faces, so one’s life reflects the heart.”- Proverbs 27:19

3 Love is the greatest of all things. You can’t love if you don’t have love. Love is a feeling with action. If you love someone, do something for them like help them to fix their chair even when you’re busy. You do it because you love them. Love is for everyone-friends, family, random strangers and even your enemies. If you have love in you, you’ll love everybody without even you realising it. Never hold grudges because love fights all multitude of sins. 

4 “Surround yourself with people who will lift you higher.” Yes. Positive minded people can encourage you to reach your maximum potential or even more. Positive friends are always together to bring each other up without saying “I’m the best amongst them”, but rather, “We are the best together”. If your friend’s presence lowers down your self esteem, you should let them go and move on. I’m not saying to hate them. Everyone has different personality and each of us clicks to different friends that share the same interest and similarities. Trust me, you have at least one friend-even if he/she is your brother or sister.

5 Put yourself last. Think of other person’s importance first rather than yours. If I am being selfish to constantly be the first to get attention or speak, I will not be able to enjoy other person’s life and company. 

6 Life is imperfectly perfect. Embrace the imperfections of yourself. When things are prefect, you will never understand what are feelings and emotions. You’ll be lifeless. Think less of fixing the imperfection. Fix only weakness. Embrace your flaws. Put more effort in improving flaws rather than hiding them.

7 Be a person you admire to be. If you want to be a writer, be one. We tend to get hopeless when we think of reaching our goals or dreams. Nothing is impossible. You can do it if you have the passion and willingness to sacrifice your time and sweat for it. It takes year but I know it’s worth it. 

8 “Your character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.” This is one of the toughest quote to live by. Once someone treats me badly or act as I never exist, and to do something sweet for them is definitely beyond a normal human response. Nonetheless, I choose to think more simply Smiling towards strangers can be a treat and encouragement to that person that day. Helping someone to open the door can be a small great act as well.

9 Confidence is the key to be original. Ignore those people who give nasty comments or looks on you because they don’t give a damn of what you’re trying to do. This sounds clique, but just do it. There will be people who will appreciate your artistic expression. You don’t have to act different because you are already different. Express your own thoughts and differences to the world. There will be people who wants to hear your story and shares same personality as you. “Confidence comes from not always being right but not fearing to be wrong.”- Peter T. Mcintyre

10 Value is worth more than the price. Once you nurture a habit in lives, it stays on for the longest time. So, if you practice positive values in lives, it stays on forever. It's the worth that matters most when others see in you. Others will see only the value in you not how much you spend to get that value.

11 The people that you should never sacrifice: Family, your heart and dignity. Family is so important in building your self growth and characters. Family members are those people who tells us how to live and steps to carry ourselves up when we fall. Family are those people whom you love and who love you dearly. Take care of your heart because what you do comes from your heart. Never loose your own dignity. Dignity is your pride.

12 Friends are a part of your life. I understand that not everyone has friends or has the right friends to be with. But I’ll have to say that friends are important in your growth because in everything you do, you are part of a team. At home, you are a team with your family. In school, when doing assignments or talking to new people, you are a part of your group of friends. You will never be able to walk alone in this world. You are always a part of a team everywhere you go. Be wise when choosing the right friends because they are the ones who support and trust you in your ups and downs. 

13 Do what you love. Never restraint yourself from doing things you love. Try them out before declining or saying “I’m not good at it”. You have your own talents. Discover them.

14 Self reflection is a good habit. Too often I overlook my own attitude and I don't realise who and what I have become until people pointed out to me. I find it difficult to digest what people has to say about me but I know they're genuinely helping me to realise my individual self. I learnt that reflecting what others have to say about you can help you change to become a better person.

15 Never overthink. Our mind is the strongest piece of our body. Overthink kills. Once you overthink, your action stop performing what it should do to move you further. Talk to your mind once in awhile. Let you control your mind and not your mind controls you. 

16 Weakness means strength. Never let your weakness turns you down rather transform them into strength. Never let others' negative opinion or judgement disappoint or stop you from becoming stronger. Accept constructive criticisms and positive notes. 

17 Listen to yourself. Take good care of yourself and listen to your body. Never body shame yourself. Keep a healthy lifestyle such as exercise, consume nutritious food, and meditate. Have a 'me' time. 

18 Be positive & patient. Stay positive even when life's shaking. Waiting is never a failure. Never rush to get to the peak rather walk your way up especially when making decision. Learn new things along the way. Spread and share positivity. 

19 Travel. Plan goals. Keep a journal to organise and jot down the activities coming up or to plan ahead. Set goals within a year and try your best to achieve it. 

20 Never give up on your dreams. Dreams are for dreamers. Dreamer's dream can be reality if you work hard to achieve it. Never say never before you try it.


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Hot n Cold

Wearing: thrifted wrap/tie up blouse, H&M denim skirt, old trusty converse
All photos by Phoe



Study Trip In Kuala Lumpur

Snug under your blanket and drink a cup of hot tea for this will take quite some time to digest the entire story.

I was filled with dread thinking about this excursion on the accommodation, food, company and    safety for the next two weeks. My mental health will be exercised for homesick and jet lag symptoms will manifest themselves. This was my first independent travel across south china sea which was nerve-wrecking as I was with other 3 girls and I formerly never travel with less known friends. On the positive note, three anticipating events that were installed for me and other students were to meet the professors from America in person, introduce new friends and get acquainted with my roommate. 

My flight took off at 8 a.m., the earliest flight for the day. My coursemates and I gathered at the duty-free zone, waiting to depart. We were mentally tired but our pre-booked nasi lemak had slightly subdued our weak emotion. As soon as we landed at the Kuala Lumpur airport, we took an Internet break to update our families and friends on our whereabouts. We carpooled into a 5-sitter car by Riding Pink. I highly recommend their transportation service for ladies who travel alone or group of girl friends. The drivers were ladies, customer service was great and price was reasonable.
We soon reached at our own accommodation, refreshed ourselves, settled down, unfastened our baggage and organised our bag for our class the following day.

Our lessons went well everyday (weekdays) from 8-1:30pm. The lessons were interestingly instructed with various interaction such as discussions and video calls. My focus power drained more and more each day which perhaps was due to jet lag and homesick. My catnap in class lasted for approx. ten seconds and I felt more revived after that. I was exhausted mentally but I managed to listen and absorb as much information as I could. This was a my life of a college student studying abroad (not as far as you think but still I have to travel across the air anyways).   

Sections below will be dedicated to places and food that I'd enjoyed. 

Nu Sentral
I'm drawn to these reflective ceilings in one of the stores. 

Wins Cafe
This is a fancy dancy cafe/bakery. The food is average but the decorations are artistically designed on every corners of the cafe. I find the fanciest section of this cafe is the toilet. The hallway to the entry of the toilet is surrounded with fancy pop art and a mini walk of fame. How cool and fancy that is. I especially love the Marilyn Monroe tile art. They put so much thoughts in their design.

These cool t-shirts from the popular bands are hung up on the walls of the hallway in one of my course mate's hotel. Iconic. Love their musics. 

Rainbow raysssss

I never tried a full Korean set dish that has lots of cheese in them, and I'm intrigued. The waiter asked us to take pictures of all the cheese pulling moments. The food served were cooked on the spot which is interesting and the portions of these two dishes were huge. The three of us had hard times finishing the food but we managed to do so after we sat in that cafe for about 2 hours. 

Aesthetically pleasing arrangements of homewares and body care

4 fingers
You may be thinking why isn't I ordering chickens at a cafe that is popular for their chickens. Well, I wasn't so keen on fried chicken, so I ordered a vegetarian, but chef hat approved, tofu mushroom salad with seaweed French fries and cold drink of choice as a side. I love that the skin is crispy and crunchy, which blends well with the soft and tender tofu. I'm not a fan of the mushrooms but the dressing is fine. This is a raved fast food chain by my course mates and I understand why- the chickens are the difference.

Amarin Heavenly Thai
I never try the actual Thai food but this is one of the best place that serve genuine Thai food in Malaysia. I ordered their chef-recommended pineapple rice with chicken floss and they taste divine. A bonus for the fancy decoration and cozy ambient.
If you ever look closely at signboards above you like I do, you'll find interesting Malaysian term signboard. I never know "Makan Place" is a term to describe an eating zone. #truemalaysian

Big Spoon
This was located at the far corner of a dining area in Berjaya Times Square. The portion of food here is huge (this only applies to the set menu). However, I find this cafe uses the concept of presenting their food in a huge spoon. I'm confused by the cuisine they are serving but I guess they're a fusion of different Asian cuisine. Each spoon costs around RM2 which is a bargain if you're only interested in trying out various options at once. I am not completely sure about the taste of their food but if you're food hunter, this place might be for you. 

Blues & Bees
So punny. This restaurant serves western cuisine, more specifically American inspired cuisine. Most of their menus serve cheese. The portion is gigantically huge for single serving, which I end up not hungry for dinner anymore, score. 

Ding Tai Fung
Chinese cuisine.  The icon is too cute not to take a picture (btw, after we walked out of the restaurant, the icon wasn't there anymore. Glad I snapped it before it's gone). I ordered a sweet and sour soup noodles (I totally forgot the name, opps). It was served in a huge bowl. I can't emphasise enough how delicious the noodles are. The soup is a mix of egg whites, mushrooms, and mini pork slices. This was a comfort food as I missed Chinese home cook food too much. 

Telecom Museum
We visited two museums on the second week of our trip. This was a part of our assignment so we took tons of pictures for reference later and learnt the history of telecommunication in Malaysia. Wish I could take back the old classy black ringing phone.

Textile Museum
I wish I can live in this Museum all day as they display the best historic textile and accessories of the past in Malaysia.

Eat all you can Japanese seafood buffet. This is located in Starhill Gallery, a fancy high end mall that display most of the items in glass boxes. This was my first experience eating different sort of salmons, fishes and seafood that I'd never tried before. I especially love the salmon satay, crabs, eels and oysters. They serve almost anything you can possibly imagine such as soft serves, cocktails, fountain chocolate marshmallows, mochi, cakes, fried tempuras and sushis. I'll grab something to stuff my stomach as soon as I complete writing this.

Peach tea <3 My peach obsession has been fulfilled once again with this glass jar of peach tea. This tea comes in a set of main course (third pic). The topokki served here is beyond amazing. I ordered the beef soup rice set (and again I forgot the actual term), comes in a huge portion and taste divine. Best Korean set meal I'd ever tried. There's an egg hidden in the soup, delish. 

The plan progressed flawlessly despite a few slight hiccups particularly rusty sink water and one-chair-per-room policy. Me and my roommate had the first experience of rushing out a mall due to a shop caught on fire and ordered the most expensive Uber car back to our place of stay. I am grateful that despite the flaws, I have a safe place to stay and have fun without worrying. As time ticked, our journey had come to an end, we packed up, ready to head back to the airport. Our flight was delayed an hour but we safely arrived at our hometown at 7pm.

Review of the entire trip: I met new friends and course mates. I explored the city with much excitement. I met two lovely professors that shared their time and interacted with us well. I built a new friendship with my roommate. I ate food that I'd never tried before. I visited places I'd never been before. I learnt new knowledge. The uber and grab drivers were friendly, some of them even recommended us to places to visit whilst there. The weather was never a disturbance to any of our activities. The sky was lined with two stripes of puffy clouds on the day we left. All these moments are truly beautiful.

Group photos
Courtesy of my professor

This wraps up my experience of a 2-week study trip. Every people I meet, every place I go, and every food I taste, comes from God. This trip is even more memorable and worthwhile with my amazing roommate who'd been a blessing to me. I appreciate all the prayers, love and support from friends and family that made this trip impossible possible. Hope you view the short clip below and have a great weekend! 

All photos and video by yours truly


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