…….The World Without Boundaries

Looking back at 2017

Written By: jipp - Dec• 31•17

Another year is coming in. And of course another is passing by. I’m not sure if 2017 was even an eventful year. I think it was quite slow compared to the previous years. I didn’t even do much traveling. Perhaps the only travel trip that is worth highlighting is my 2-week road trip all over New Zealand. New Zealand was great, but I was expecting more. The country is quite monotonous with the exception of the far South. It was beautiful – no doubt – but again I was expecting more. But of course the road trip was something that I had to do at least once in my life.

Then my solo trip to Chiang Mai. It was more like to tick something off my bucketlist. Again, I was expecting more from the Rose of the North. I was only there for 6 days but it felt too long. I decided that 3 days is enough for a place like Chiang Mai. I’ve been to Bangkok several times and still I couldn’t get enough of it and that was not quite the case when I was in Chiang Mai. It also made me realize that my bucketlist probably needs some revision.

Chiang Mai

Then I did something that I had long wanted to do – to conquer the highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia. Mount Tahan really surprised me. It was tough but it really was worth it in the end. I had never been to a climb where I had to bring everything on my own – from tent to food stuff – everything. It really felt like such a fulfilling accomplishment. It felt like such a real mountaineering. And it felt so good to be standing at the highest peak of Semenanjung – the part of Malaysia that I had spent half of my life settling in.

Then my trip to Manila. It was my 3rd time to Manila but this time I landed at the capital city of the Philippines probably at the worse of time. I had to wander the streets of Manila in knee-deep water through incessant and howling rain. In my effort to avoid floods, I ended up walking in the dark streets and back alleys, across squatters and packed neighborhoods that I had never expected existed in what appeared to be a posh area in Manila. All the towering 5-star hotels are only a front facade that covers the reality of what lies behind.

The looming images of people drinking and smoking and chattering on the front verandas of their rickety houses while I was walking hurriedly past with my backpack in the rain are still vivid in my head. There were times when I felt like I had taken a wrong turn and was lost and I had to contemplate whether to turn back or keep going. What appeared to be quite a short distance from EDSA LRT Station, it took me 3 hours to reach my hotel in Guerrero Street. It really was quite an experience.

Perhaps my biggest accomplishment this year was the acquirement of a Master’s Degree – something that I had never thought of doing since I really thought I had had enough of studying when I did my Bachelor’s.  I’m not even sure how the idea came about and before I knew I found myself burying my face in countless journals, research papers, books, and whatnots.

Doing Master’s really involved a lot of thinking – and lots and lots and lots of writing. Thanks to all the blogging that I did over the years, I could finally put all the skills to a good use. I found writing was much easier than how it would have been if I did not blog at all. Then I think of all the driving that I had to do going back and forth between KL and JB. It really felt lonely at times, especially when I had to be on the road for 4-5 hours on my own. It really involved a lot of sacrifices, be it time, energy or even money.

When it was finally over, it felt like I had whole world all to myself. The relief and sense of accomplishment were massive. For me doing a Master’s is not really about the certificate itself, but more for the journey that I had to go through while acquiring it. It taught me to be patient (very very), meticulous (very very), pro-active, independent and perhaps a dozen more of other things. But above all it taught me to really really think and make full use of my brains. LOL.

I’m not really sure about what lies ahead for me in 2018 but somehow I can sense that it is going to be a very very interesting year. I have my fingers crossed to that.

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One Comment

  1. thomas lee says:

    Looks like an eventful year

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