Grounded in 2020 vs. 2019 in a blink

This space has been neglected but not forgotten. Last update was more than a year ago, where did all the time go? 

I have always imagined 2020 would be a year full of celebrations celebrating the milestones humans have achieved. In fact, it is far from what I have imagined. With the most prominent historical event affecting us. COVID-19 have caused so much change in our lives – from the way we live and interact, and the transition in the way we work. 

I am not here to start a war, just wanted to express how devastating the whole situation is right now. I felt so sad for those that lost their loved ones to the virus. 

There is no sign of slowing down still, yet there are a bunch of careless and selfish people that took it so lightly doesn’t help with the whole situation. Somedays watching news makes me realise how selfish humans can be – wanting freedom at the cost of other healths. I mean we are free to do anything we wish, all we need now is be patient and wait out for a little longer. The utmost priority is containing the situation and freedom to roam anywhere we wish the way we like will come our way.

When it all began, I wasn’t overly anxious. I have so many trips planned and booked in the year 2020. Fortunately, I managed to make a trip home, Malaysia to be friends and family. Even then we were following the news about COVID-19 closely when we travelled. Took all the precaution we could like putting on a face mask, wiping down our seat and tray, and sanitising our hands from time to time. A lot of people might have thought we are overdoing it. We fear for our loved ones we are seeing back in Malaysia.

We were so lucky that we managed to make it back to Sydney safely and healthily. We settled into our new place just in time before everything unravels. Though we have to call off the planned trips, I was happy to do so. Fortunately, this part of the world has gotten it controlled so well we get to go out for fresh air and free to do groceries run anytime. We are still extremely cautious when we get out of the house, without mask though. Everyone has to play their part for our betterment.

I have to stop ranting, let’s switch to a happier note. Since I am pretty much grounded for the year, perhaps a good opportunity to clear my photo galleries. Scrolling through my phone galleries and decided I should start in 2019 *coughs* I will try to be short.

January ’19

If you were following this space, you should have known that B and I have moved into Sydney. If you don’t, now you know that’s the first thing that has happened in 2019 for both of us. It was an easy decision as we shared common thought of whoever land a permanent job first gets the say to move to whatever location. B was offered a job in Sydney when he was offshore, lucky arse, so that’s the reason we landed in Sydney.

February ’19

We went home – Penang for CNY in February, can’t miss that. It was pretty full-on and we were more exhausted than we were before we went back. Met friends and families every day for 12 days. We had a good time catching up with friends and families.

March ’19

B and I went for our first hike ever since we have moved to Sydney. Reason of not doing so prior in February, we bought a car in February after we return from Malaysia. It was a nice hike to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse and a beautiful view up there overlooking the Palm Beach. We explored more places but this one is my favourite for the month.

We celebrated our solemnisation anniversary in Sydney for the first time. It’s the third one and the first one in Sydney for us. I was still jobless, so had the time to whip this up for a mini celebration. We celebrated in the room because we were renting a room back then.

April ’19

I joined Workday, a cloud-based software provider that specialized in human capital management and financial management. Joined on the April fool day, B was teasing me before that if it’s a joke from the new company I am joining – I might start my April horribly LOL. In fact, it was a buzzing month for me.

The new role brought me to Hong Kong for a certification. I went there a day ahead so I get a day to myself. Never had the time to think of anything else but living every waking hour for the certification.

It’s also the month I turned 30, and I spent the day in the hotel in Hong Kong churning out a masterpiece like an artist. It would be the end of the day if I couldn’t manage it – I am just being theatrical. Managed to got through it and make it home for some surprised prepared by B.

I had 3 mini birthday cakes waited for me at home while I arrive and mini present. Obviously, I got a treat from B as well. Extremely thoughtful, we went for Sunday roast but I wasn’t impress with the Yorkshire pudding. Love all the small gestures the boy brought.

May ’19

In May, I was busy catching up at work as one of my colleague departing from his role and I was tasked to fill up the gap. It’s great to be put into the situation whereby I have to learn on the go and be independent. Worked extra hard as it is new software to me moreover a role that requires more customer-facing.

In the land down under, especially more in Workday, they emphasize work-life balance. I have a manager constantly checking out if anyone of us is overloaded or we would like more to be put on. Everyone gets a say in how much they would like to put on.

Apart from busy, there’s a light festival during the month and we went out a couple of nights during the festival. It was fun and this is when I realised I am starting to love Sydney. There’s a story behind this that I have to tell. On my first month in Sydney – B loved it, me on the other hand, wasn’t so sure about it.

June ’19

We whined over the lack of holiday in the land down under and we finally get one in June – The Queen’s Birthday. Everyone has a plan for the weekend and we are too late for the party. We went to Newcastle rather Hunter Valley.

I’ve been wanting to go for sandboarding, so we made a trip to Port Stephen. I was so excited sliding down the slopes on the desert. Unfortunately on the fifth or maybe the sixth ride down, I was thrown out a little and the board struck the back of my ankle. I got a bad board cut, so bad that I had to limp for 2 weeks. Took ages to recover and an ugly scar.

Nothing stop me from limping, we had our first skydive booked and we went ahead the next day. Did I just say Skydive, yes SKYDIVE! B fretted before the skydive and would do it again. Compiled our recordings into video – play the video below if you would like to watch it.

I hope you enjoy it!

We also made a trip back Penang to attend my cousin sister’s wedding. The extended family is growing rapidly!

July ’19

Few days prior to the planned date to return to Sydney, I received an email that there will be a learning session which I am interested and will be conducted in Singapore. Made a detour to Singapore for that before I headed back to Sydney.

While I was in Singapore, I had my cousin sister around to hang out more like staying over with me. She was delighted as it only took her 15mins to reach work.

Back in Sydney, we had two guests visited us from Melbourne! As a dedicated host, we brought them to the Blue Mountain. It was B’s first Blue Mountain trip and everyone enjoyed it so much as we did a short trail to the fall.

August ’19

Finally claimed my birthday gift from B – Hugh Jackman’s Concert! It’s our first concert and I can’t stop myself from drooling during the opening. I am in awe how much artist has to learn to get to where they are.

We made a trip to Kuala Lumpur on one of the weekends to attend our best friend’s wedding. One of the most attention to the details wedding I have attended and they are really the high achiever couple.

Can you believe it? All of these was made happened with only 2 months of prep from looking out for venue to planning. Put me into shame that I just wanted to get over my wedding and put in little to no effort. Now I wish I can plan out my dream wedding LOL too late for that I guess.

Always fun to be with them – we met the groom when we were studying in United Kingdom. He was one of the closest, and we actually drove him around to pick out the proposal ring in Penang years before the proposal.

September ’19

Attended a conference in Madrid, Spain. It was fun-filled and really put me up there to social a little more. Honestly, I am bad at this but I am trying. Even get a day to go around Madrid a little before I leave.

The trip was full-on and I have to stay at home for a weekend to recover from the jetlag and sleep deprivation.

The most exciting part was I get to squeeze in a few hours of London with 8hrs of layover in London.

So nice to be back there even just for a couple of hours. Had an English Breakfast, a walk by the River Thames, walked around the blocks to Trafalgar Square reminisced B and my first date in London.

October ’19

October was a hustle-bustle month for me.

Made a trip to the States for another training and this time it is in Atlanta, Georgia. I get a day to go around before everything starts, that’s how I roll. The infamous Coca-Cola originated in Atlanta and obviously I have to visit the World of Coca-Cola as the first time visitor.

Love it and I got so excited when I saw the Coca-Cola Polar Bear. I am not paying for them to be printed, so I got screenshot them instead.

There’s a tasting area where we get to taste the Coke worldwide. Everyone went crazy with that and I was practically stuffed at the end *burp* It was an interesting experience.

As soon as I touched down in Sydney, headed home and repacked my luggage for another work trip to Adelaide. Craziest so far, adjusting time and staying alert while I was at the customer.

November ’19

November saw me travel to Christchurch for work and a trip to Auckland a workshop. My manager decided to hold a team-building in Auckland. We had a day out bushwalking, spend an hour at the beach, had some yoga fun among the few of us and visited my colleague home-office which is a shed at the backyard.

It was the best ever team activity we have done and hearing funny stories from each of them. I love them so much, forever grateful for what I stumbled upon along my way in Australia

On Black Friday, we made the biggest purchase of our life. We made a deposit to get an apartment of our own. Fell in love with the environment when we went for the first time and went for a subsequent open home to check it out again. The location of the property wasn’t the best but it is ideal – 5mins walk to the mall nearby, 12mins walk from the train station and 25/30mins train ride to the city.

December ’19

It is the last month of the year and everything has started to slow down, B can tell as I have got out from work early on most days.

A Christmas party was held a week before Christmas week. We have mountains of drinks, great companies, and kris kringle that everyone was excited for. Organizer engaged photo booth service and we went crazy at the photo booth.

During Christmas week, I was in a relax mode and even went for a short trip to Mount Kosciuszko, one of the highest peak in Australia. It is a 13km return hike and we detour a little on the way down which added 3.4km. The hike was manageable and it was beautiful day amidst the bushfire that we have been in for almost a month now. I got sunburn on my face and scalp but everywhere else was fine.

It was rather a busy year for me in 2019, and how I wished it would be an equally busy and fun year in 2020. It’s not the case, so I am contented and thankful we are healthy now. I hope everyone reading this stay safe and healthy. I will be back to update soon! xx

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