that BIG round the world trip

My husband and I are not really the type who would lug around our young children on a long and tiring trip. It would be too taxing for the little ones and for us parents too! I do know a lot who would not mind bringing the young kids on trips to different cities and countries for months on end. However, we prefer to take our kids on a big trip in a few years time when they are a bit older - still young, but no longer an uber whingeing toddler. And as early as now I am dreaming of that time! Haha!! Sometimes I wish it was sooner than later, but I suppose later just means more time to save up and plan. Being the travel agent that I am, I am super dooper looking forward to planning this eventful trip. I will be jotting down my thoughts between now and then, about our "big round the world trip". I am thinking at least 6 weeks and at the most 8 weeks, or even 10 weeks - depending on the budget of course! 
As much as I would love to "lock" a hotel rate down during our dates- it is too far out and with the fluctuating exchange rate it would be impossible. So, I would have to be happy with putting my general ideas down to categories/pegs : 

1) City - Duration of Visit
2) Accommodation
3) Mode of transport (optional)
4) Must see attractions
5) Must places to dine in
6) Shopping (optional) -- I am not a big shopper usually (plus we came to experience the city and not shop!) 


Which sense rules you?

And I don't mean common sense! Hahaha! As I grow older I find a lot of my memories are triggered by my senses. Visually - obviously pictures, mementos and other tangible things. A lot of times songs I grew up with invoke nostalgia as well. Whenever I listen to songs I am transported to my formative years - I am not good with lyrics so sometimes I search for the lyrics online. I wouldn't go as far as searching for guitar stores near me to make a point about my nostalgic sense.

I also find my olfactory sense can trigger a lot of memories which I associate with events or moments in my past. I know a few people feel this way too, but I wonder if this is true for most people in general. Hmm.

At the moment, I am listening to my playlist which includes "Fields of Gold" by Sting! My ultimate favourite! Oh, I am now on a road trip. Just like how it used to be before.

Catching up

When I went home last month I didn't get to see my high school friends. Shame I wasn't able to catch up on the new goss and meet my friend's musicians friend usa who was visiting the islands as well. Luckily for me I am coming back next month and surely I would see my old friends then. Sometimes I wish we all lived in the same city again just like when we were in our teens. Living far from friends used to be harder, but with technology now we all can keep in touch virtually. We have our viber group for instant messaging, and that's just one way of keeping in touch! I remember the time when we used to snail mail each other during summer break! Oh, those were the days!

Complete.

Complete is such a big word- especially when talking about being "done" with having kids.

I would love to have lots of kids, having come from a large family myself. However, there are a few important reasons which hubby and I think/agree/decide(d) on about having more children. (Note: We both would LOVE to have more, but with the way things are we don't think we will have any more).

(I've just realised now that a lot of my posts recently involve inumerations or lists of some sort - I just love, love, love lists!!) Here are two throw back posts fromlist loving 'me': Bursting with Ideas, and A traveller's check list.

Here are some of the reasons why hubby and I think our family is now complete:

1. We have two lovely girls with us, and a little boy in heaven watching over us. Our two girls have each other and we are beyond thankful that they will grow up with a lifelong friend/each other. As much as I would really love to have them be a part of a bigger sibling friendship..............

2. I am nearly 40 years old, and my body seems like it cannot cope with another pregnancy - having lost our little angel in 2014, having had 3 rather difficult pregnancies and deliveries. To have another pregnancy may not be the safest way.

3. Living overseas without family to help will drive me insane if we have another one. Although this one can really be overridden and only would be extremely difficult on the first year or two. Once the children reach 2 years old it usually is more cruise-y and enjoyable.

4. Serious financial issues must be looked at soon, and having another little one means our 'saving' mode will be delayed. We have decided since having our eldest that we would be the primary carer for our children and not put them in childcare for so many personal reasons. And having reason #3 to add to this situation, we have defaulted to being a one (regular) income family. I do have my business and sidelines, but that is very dependent on season and effort I put in (intentionally or involuntarily-- family comes first obviously).

These are the main reasons which I can think of now, but I am sure there are a few other compelling reasons to make us say our family is now complete. Although. while we were at church yesterday I felt this yearning to try for another boy. I think I saw a little boy seated (or lying on the floor mostly, actually!) and I wondered what it was like to be a parent of a little boy (on earth). They (boys) are a totally different specie to girls is what they say! I mentioned it to hubby but I don't think he felt the same yearning as I did. Although the feeling was real and true, I am set back by the above reasons.... and so I am just focusing on being happy and thankful for our girls.

Tonight, while scrolling on Facebook I came across a lovely page and store (etsy!). Just made me think even more about our family being complete and about my girls growing up as sisters. I myself have 3 sisters and so seeing these artworks put a smile and a tear at the same time.... for so many reasons. (And probably also due to my hormones!!).

Anyway, I came across Heather Stillufsen on Facebook, Blog and on Etsy. I love her work! Here are a few of her works which I find appropriate for this entry!

Photo from Heather Stillufsen's page

Photo from Heather Stillufsen's page

I have this thing for Quora

I have this thing for Quora. I read Q and A's there every now and then and it is quite entertaining and possibly I learn a few things sometimes (whether they are true or not, well, is another thing).

Today while reading I picked this up:
If you don't appreciate your freedom, you don't learn to appreciate (or make) your good decisions.

Those are in my words and my interpretation of what I read. Growing up, I felt I didn't have much freedom. Being the eldest, like a lot of first borns, I was the guinea pig of my parents. They were more overprotective of me when I was young. And as I grew older I felt they didn't really give me much freedom, which my younger siblings had when it was their turn to be a teenager, a young adult, etc. They were stricter with me- which made me a bit more uptight I think as an adult. I was not 'trained' to think that I could make good decisions. Whether this was because of how I was brought up or my personality, I don't know.

So, when I read the Quora answer it kind of struck a chord in me. Perhaps the reason why I sometimes question my decisions (whether I was making the right choice in life) was because I never appreciated my freedom- because I didn't have one before.

When I moved out of home at 25, and moved to a different country- I was seeking freedom. It was the biggest decision I think I would ever make and have made- in my entire life. It was a life changing decision that would pave way for my future life, the future life of my (immediate) family, my kids and the future generation.

Change is happening

For SO long all I wanted was for little miss to have a sibling. I come from a huge family and would have wanted to have a big family too-but I started having kids quite late in my adult life....

After losing our little boy last year I yearned to try for another baby when I was ready and this year it happened. I am now at 37 weeks and ready to pop anytime now! A girl again this time. As much as I miss our little angel- I am still trying to accept the surreal reality that I may actually be bringing home our baby this time. Soon. There are still some raw emotions I think which I will have to deal with when this baby comes out and as much as I am trying to just take things one thing at a time and not overthink it is difficult.

I am wondering what kind of change I would have to go through when we have another addition to the family. Surely lots of changes will happen. And ideally here are some changes I hope to achieve for the best:

*Routine- Having a daughter already start school I have had a bit of a routine going for the family for a while now. This will change and hopefully I would get to incorporate a good new routine eventually while keeping what we already have been doing. Tweaking here and there I guess especially in the beginning.

*Freedom- I've had some freedom for a while now after going on a break from the 'corporate' world in 2014. I know I will encounter a 'shock' of some sort when my recently acquired freedom will cease to exist for another 5 years. Someone will depend on me 24/7 again- clinging to me and depending on me for everything small and big. I will have to activate that extra 'sense' and mother's instinct overdrive again. It's a different extra 'sense' when there is a newborn involved, and a different one with a school age child I think. I need to be 'extra sensitive' again as a mum. If that makes sense.

*Physically- I expect to be more tired (yet again). I will have 3 people to look after, after all! And a house to keep, meals to prepare, etc! I will need to get that extra vitamin boost I think!

*Emotionally- As with all births there is an emotional and hormonal change happening immediately and sometimes not so immediate after delivery. I would have to be open to the change that would follow the physical change happening with the family. New dynamics within our family would take place and learned.

*Time Management- I hope to be able to manage my time better with a new little one. I know the mistakes I have committed when our first was born and hopefully I would have learned how to go about with better this time around! I have to think strategically and think up ways to save me precious time!

*Effort- This would be a big change. If in the past I could wing it here and there, I guess having another little person would mean I would have to be wiser in my efforts and choosing priorities.

*Priorities- Linked with everything above I would have to adjust my mindset and choose my priorities wisely. Obviously it would be good to have some sort of income coming in while I am on leave caring for the new little one, but I should have that same focus when we had our first born where I could anticipate how she was feeling even before she felt it. And I have to be ahead of the game once again.

Oh the life as a parent- as a mum! Always full of challenges, changes and planning involved!

Brazil’s Best Beach Destinations for 2015

When most people think about Brazil, Rio de Janeiro probably pops into mind first. With its alluring beaches, famous carnivals and other activities, Rio de Janeiro is a tourist favorite. However, there are several other destinations in Brazil that have just as much to offer, including nature, great food, water activities or walks on the beach.

Corumbau, Bahia, is the ideal destination for those who want to take advantage of the beautiful Brazilian beaches, but prefer a quieter and less-crowded atmosphere. This is a small fishing village that is known for its stunning sand and its clear blue water. The underwater coral formations are also popular, making this a perfect snorkeling spot. Swim with the fish and get up close and personal with the exquisite coral formations. Nature lovers will be in awe over the variety of birds that call this area home and will take full advantage of the walking trails. Since it is small, it is limited to only a few beachside hotels, but travelers will not be disappointed with what they find once they reach this beach destination.

Praia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, is another hidden gem. This destination is even more remote because visitors must take a boat or walk across the island to get to the beautiful beaches. This area is part of a protected nature reserve, perfect for those looking for a little nature and some adventure. Enjoy breathtaking views of the sand that seems to flow right into the crystal clear water and of rock formations that give a spectacular view of the beach and land below.

For those looking for a little more excitement, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, is where to find it. The locals here are very active, so guests can join in a friendly game of beach football or simply sit back and watch the action. Food and drink vendors line the road during the day, ready to serve up great local cuisine. At night, guests can head to the strip located just across the road to enjoy the lively restaurants, cafes and bars. With all the choices, there is definitely something available to please even the pickiest guest.

Taipus de Fora, Bahia, is located along the coast on the Marau peninsula. This area, which faces the Atlantic Ocean, is a great family location and a big lure for surfers. The kids can head over to the lagoons and the calmer areas to enjoy a little swimming or snorkeling. This area is known for its large coconut trees, which definitely give the beach a tropical vibe. Those looking for a little relaxation can head over to the lounging area to sit under an umbrella. This is the perfect destination for those who want water activities and beach relaxation.

Jericoacoara, Ceara, is ideal for those who want the best of both worlds. This area features a remote beach for those looking for a little peace but it’s also close to the bustling destination city, Fortaleza. Guests can relax all day on the appealing quiet beach, and then head into the city to see what the nightlife has to offer. Rock formations found at the end of the beach provide a picture perfect setting. Areas of the beach closer to town offer food and drink options, including some well-known cocktails. Be sure to try kite surfing, a popular sport in this region.

Although Brazil is known for its tropical weather and great beaches, it has so much more to offer. Take a break from your beach adventures to enjoy world-renown cuisine, famous nightlife hotspots and cultural excursions.