Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts

Tiny Traveller: Little Girl vs. World, a 7 year old's Europe road trip

Little Girl vs. World, a 7 year old's Europe road trip throughout Brussels, Rome, Florence, Venice, Disneyland Paris, Lucerne, Bavaria, and Holland

The wanderlust is strong in this (little) one.


FIRST, AN EXPLANATION FOR MY DISAPPEARANCE...

Hello, it's me...before I invite you to dive into my archive (arc-dive?) of some of my earliest travel memories, I feel like I owe an explanation for my absence of late. It's relevant to this post, I promise. For the past 3 weeks I've been so uncharacteristically silent on social media that a worried Aftab showed up at my house to make sure I wasn't dead and had my face eaten by cats. I've been sort of in a bad way, mentally and emotionally. Without going in to too much detail (have to keep my head doctors in business, eh?), for almost a month I've been struggling to keep my head afloat in the mire; a perplexing mix of ecstatic highs followed by extreme lows and then apathy, despite having exciting new prospects to look forward to. All of this wild oscillating between both ends of the emotional spectrum have been overwhelming to say the least and not helped by unrelated daunting tasks at hand. As always, I choose isolation rather than burden friends and family with my feelings until I 'sort myself out', so to speak. How very East Asian. 

Little Girl vs. World, a 7 year old's Europe road trip throughout Brussels, Rome, Florence, Venice, Disneyland Paris, Lucerne, Bavaria, and Holland
Me in a more innocent time and with far better eyebrows.

One of the places I've been retreating to is memories of my childhood: a simpler time, carefree and untainted by troubled thoughts, when my greatest fear was not being able to take my favourite stuffed toys - I had 2 plush turtles: a small one with a yellow, red, and blue shell; and a oversized pastel pink one - with me to dinner. In the spirit of #THROWBACKTUESDAY (is that still a thing? I wouldn't know, I've been AWOL from the internet for, like, forever) here are some photos from my earliest travels which might be the catalyst for my serial wanderlust, and also proof that I've been throwing shapes since before social media was a thing. Are travel bloggers born or made? Take a look at 7 year old me, then decide.

June 06, 2017

Tiny Traveller: Little Girl vs. World, a 7 year old's Europe road trip

The wanderlust is strong in this (little) one. FIRST, AN EXPLANATION FOR MY DISAPPEARANCE... Hello, it's m...

Melbourne, Australia: St Kilda, Matcha Mylkbar, Luna Park, & more

Melbourne, Australia: St Kilda, Matcha Mylkbar, Luna Park, & more


With family living in Melbourne including an aunt who lives in St Kilda, it’s a given that I spent many a childhood summer there. During my recent visit to the seaside suburb, which ensued in an observation of characters best described as straight out of a Ginsberg poem, the extend of a parents’ ability to shelter their children became apparent. 
   
For beyond the Victorian mansions and fairy penguin-watching of my childhood, St Kilda is what Lonely Planet dubsMelbourne's slightly tattered bohemian heart” - an amalgamation of families, punks, drunks, and hipsters.  

A jumble of contrasting architecture styles - Moorish apartments clash with Art Deco theatres while colonial houses that line leafy residential streets almost seem to disapprove - dot the landscape of what started life as a 19th century seaside resort. A crusty junkie wanders out of a seedy side street to jump in on a ladies' Zumba class on the promenade before being chased away to the nearest crumbling pub. Instagram-worthy vegan cafés and Pinterest-perfect wine bars with their perfect culinary creations threaten to break the internet. Buses and trams spit out tourists, day tripping families, and teenagers on dates into the open mouth of Mr Moon, where the hordes will descend upon the creaking rollercoasters of Luna Park. It’s brash, it’s bohemian, it’s as chaotic as the gigs a young Nick Cave played at what was once the Crystal Ballroom (now the George Snakepit).  St Kilda is the best of the Mediterranean, Brighton, and Venice Beach - it’s all of these things and yet none of them, but rather a one-of-a-kind enclave with a thousand faces that inspired many a pop culture creation and captured countless imaginations.

May 07, 2017

Melbourne, Australia: St Kilda, Matcha Mylkbar, Luna Park, & more

With family living in Melbourne including an aunt who lives in St Kilda , it’s a given that I spent many a childhood sum...

My Cosmetic Surgery Journey: Part 1 - Mastopexy (Breast Reduction + Lift) & Liposuction, 1 Month Post-Op


It's hard to believe that only a month and 3 days ago I underwent full-body cosmetic surgery when I've spent the past 3 weeks traipsing around 4 cities in 2 countries - Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Sydney, Melbourne, back again to Kuala Lumpur - all while eatsploring (eat + exploring) up a storm in my leopard-print Aquazzuras. Last month I announced my decision and my reasons to be as candid, honest, and informative as possible regarding my choice to go under the knife. I compel you to read that post in its entirety but the TL;DR is that there is the lack of transparency from public figures who've had a helping hand which is not only shameful but dangerous in a culture and society that promotes and rewards unrealistic standards of beauty and perfection. I may lack many qualities (for one: the ability to take a taxi ride without falling asleep with my dribbling mouth open) but candour has never been one of them. So in that 'inform, inspire, and entertain' spirit of Posh, Broke, & Bored; here is the 1st installment of my plastic surgery diaries - the first 4 weeks following a mastopexy (breast reduction and lift) and upper body liposuction...

THIS BLOG POST IS NOT SPONSORED IN ANY WAY OR FORM (HEHE, FORM). ALL OPINIONS ARE SOLELY MINE AND FROM MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. NONE OF MY BLOG POSTS ARE INTENDED TO BE NOR SHOULD BE TAKEN AS PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE.
April 21, 2017

My Cosmetic Surgery Journey: Part 1 - Mastopexy (Breast Reduction + Lift) & Liposuction, 1 Month Post-Op

It's hard to believe that only a month and 3 days ago I underwent full-body cosmetic surgery when I've spent the past 3 wee...

Fendi Birthday Lunch at The Majestic Kuala Lumpur

A Birthday Lunch hosted by Fendi at The Majestic Kuala Lumpur


BREAKING MY POST-PLASTIC SURGERY CONFINEMENT AND RECLAIMING MY SOCIAL LIFE 
WITH MUMMY'S FENDI BIRTHDAY LUNCH AT THE MAJESTIC KUALA LUMPUR
💐 🥂 🍾 🎂 ✨

Oh, the sweet, orchid-scented air of freedom! What a fragrant, welcome change from the antiseptic-tinged pall of hospital wards and stagnant shroud of self-imposed social fatwa following my cosmetic surgery. As per doctor's orders, I had spent a week convalescing at home with my social life* as existent as my stomach fat post-liposuction - in other words, none at all. It was my mother's birthday week and as you know, fashion brands love to throw birthday parties for their favourite customers (case in point: Dior and Louis Vuitton). I had to miss the birthday lunches/brunches/teas hosted in honour of mummy by Miu Miu, Prada, and Louis Vuitton for the sake of my health, but happily I was well enough to attend the last of her fashion birthday celebrations - hosted by Fendi at the orchid conservatory of The Majestic Kuala Lumpur

*I DID GO OUT TO GET MY EYEBROWS AND NAILS DONE THE DAY BEFORE, BUT PERSONAL UPKEEP DOESN'T COUNT - THAT'S JUST COMMON DECENCY...
April 03, 2017

Fendi Birthday Lunch at The Majestic Kuala Lumpur

BREAKING MY POST-PLASTIC SURGERY CONFINEMENT AND RECLAIMING MY SOCIAL LIFE  WITH MUMMY'S FENDI BIRTHDAY LUNCH AT THE MAJ...

Kuala Lumpur: Mandala-making, meditation, & an introduction to yoga with Yogatara

Kuala Lumpur: Mandala-making, meditation, & an introduction to yoga with Yogatara
GETTING MY MANDALA ON AT YOGATARA WITH LINA TARA
SECRET BANDAR UTAMA LOCATION, KUALA LUMPUR
March 28, 2017

Kuala Lumpur: Mandala-making, meditation, & an introduction to yoga with Yogatara

GETTING MY MANDALA ON AT YOGATARA WITH LINA TARA SECRET BANDAR UTAMA LOCATION, KUALA LUMPUR

Life, Lately: The Finale, and an Announcement

I am happy to announce that my application to settle indefinitely in the United Kingdom has been accepted. Read about my immigration process and plans for the future as a British permanent resident.

CHAPTER 5 of LIFE, LATELY: SWIM - IT'S ALL SETTLED
PREVIOUSLY: LIFE, LATELY CHAPTERS 12, & 3, & 4

I am thrilled to announce that my dream, after a decade in the making, has finally come true - my application to settle indefinitely in the United Kingdom has been accepted.

You know the story by now: sheltered girl from the Malaysian suburbs moves across the world to a cosmopolitan city to study at one of the more famous - if not prestigious - art schools; and in the process learns how to fend for herself, parties day and night with the international jet set and somehow manages to graduate with a pointless degree in illustration, then starts a satire blog which evolves into a not-unrespectable lifestyle brand with some influence. It's a character arc as old as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey (just replace jealous deities with bitchy bloggers and unreasonable PR reps).

Much like the siege on the city of Troy, my British invasion spanned ten years, the likes of which saw me staying in the country on four different types of visas. Last September marked the 10th anniversary of my long affair with London, so in November I submitted my case to the Home Office and asked them to consider this humble Anglophile's application for the right to remain in her beloved adopted country...forever.

Traditionally the application for this process - called 'Indefinite Leave To Remain' takes six months for a decision by the Home Office. Which is why I had resigned, with great heavy-heartedness, to be grounded in the country until May 2017. Surely, a small price to pay for my ardent dedication to the British Isles?

Therefore when my application was approved in half the usual time, it came as an enormously gratifying surprise! I found out two weeks ago, funnily enough; just a few hours after I blogged about how I was then bogged down by a sinking feeling: "...In the middle of this whirlwind of activity is the one thing I wish would move along - acting as the eye of the storm, ever still and ever impassive." This was the 'dream coming true at afternoon tea at The Wellesley London' that I alluded to, the big fat cherry on the top of the double scoop sundae that is the encouraging progress my life is making in 2017: one being my detoxing the remnants of my last toxic relationship and donating them to a charitable cause, the other being my moving into an exciting new home in Battersea Power Station...!

FURTHER READING:

"When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are...Anything your heart desires will come to you..."
- THE GREATEST DISNEY ANTHEM EVER, OBVS

Wearing my heart on my sleeve or rather, on my handbag...

Immigration is a hot topic now in the Western world, or at least in that web of nervous anticipation of what the future holds for the globalised, liberal generation of Britain and the USA. I said it in the wake of Brexit and I'll say it again - I would've never imagined that my right to remain in the UK would be more certain than those from the European Union countries. It's no coincidence that some of my friends; both British and EU expats (incidentally, why are white people expatriates but everyone else are immigrants/migrants? Food for thought...) are looking to move beyond the British Isles. Their reasoning was that, aside from the uncertainty of their right to remain when Article 50 is invoked, was that the potential process to apply for immigration status had made them feel unwelcome.



Of course, not being from an EU country I have never enjoyed that privilege of free movement, so I am somewhat accustomed to the strict, demanding, and complex process of immigration. Now, I am no expert on the subject even if my blog post on my understanding on how to gain PR in the UK is one of my most asked about/read (to this day I still get emails and messages about it). But...!

...If you'd like me to share my experience on how I obtained the next best thing to a British passport, let me know in the comments below and I'll blog about my immigration journey.
Ironically, the moment I was granted the right to stay in the UK indefinitely, I booked my flights out of here! Being a travelling blogger and serial wanderluster without a passport for 3.5 months had taken a serious toll on my mental state as well as work. This coming Tuesday, I'll be making up for lost time with two months of travel. My housemate, thrilled about having the place all to herself, has announced that she'll be doing all her work from home and will be turning my empty bedroom into her office (joke's on her, I've ordered about a thousand things for my new flat - including a HUGE sofa that will apparently not fit in my building's lift - to be delivered while I'm away, that she's going to have to sign for in my absence...)

FURTHER READING:
OH, THE PLACES I'LL GO!

Throughout March and April I'll be travelling to Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, Singapore, and Melbourne to see my friends and family, and for work; Sydney to see Luxy, and then we're heading to Hong Kong together before I head back to London in May to take delivery of my spanking new home! And just like that, half of the year will have gone by. It's insane how slowly time seems to drag on when you're waiting on something to happen, but as soon as it does everything seems to move at the speed of light. The saying goes "When it rains it pours" - I don't know about rain, but this turn of events is certainly the windfall of progress, achievement, and excitement I was hoping for. x

How has your 2017 been far? Any proud achievements, exciting plans, and upcoming travels to share? 😘

February 22, 2017

Life, Lately: The Finale, and an Announcement

CHAPTER 5  of  LIFE, LATELY:  SWIM - IT'S ALL SETTLED PREVIOUSLY: LIFE,  LATELY CHAPTERS  1 ,  2 , &  3 , & ...

House Tour: Battersea Power Station, London


February 20, 2017

House Tour: Battersea Power Station, London

Life, lately: That sinking feeling


February 09, 2017

Life, lately: That sinking feeling

Seven things for 2017





























Look, everyone knows that that the road to disappointment is paved with New Year's Resolutions - Snap back to reality, oh there goes gravity; oh, there goes Rabbit, he choked - but allow me the beautiful fallacy that is the blank slate we dub "a fresh start & the chance to not eff this one up". In this very spirit of wide-eyed optimism (no doubt partly fueled by hunger pang-hallucinations. Ah, Dry January) I present to you my 
7 THINGS FOR 2017...
THANK YOU AFTAB BB FOR THIS BAE PHOTO OF ME
                          









January 06, 2017

Seven things for 2017

Look, everyone knows that that the road to disappointment is paved with Ne...

One last look at 2016

December 31, 2016

One last look at 2016

Unboxing Day: A Sneak Peek at My Christmas Haul


Look, today I'm not even going to try to English - I know that most of you come, you see the pictures; you conquer or rather, close tab. Besides, I'm knackered. Perhaps it's the exhaustion of hauling ass from dawn to dusk volunteering at the local homeless shelter on Christmas Day. Maybe it's from attempting a 60 person-strong Mannequin Challenge during a boozy Christmas dinner. Possibly from running around London on Boxing Day to make the most of the Pokemon Go Christmas event (plot twist: Niantic makes Santa-hat-wearing-Pikachu the new norm. Trainers who transferred their hatless Pikachu to make room before hoarding festive 'Chus as collectibles weep en masse).


Whatever it is, I've got a cold, which I'm sure is appropriate on some level because 2016 has been a real clustercuss of a year and that bitch just won't quit. Much like my favourite present this Christmas: a very loud, so terrible-it's-amazing Gucci Lilith handbag in a very limited edition - only 27 in the world, and only available in-store so if you fancy one head down to the flagship on Bond Street. I'm rather less taken by the Gucci loafers, but I've included them for posterity anyway before exchanging them for a Harrods Gift Card (see what I swapped them for on my Dayre microblog). 

Fun little stocking stuffers - festive Yankee Candles that smell uncannily like Christmas trees and candy canes, a little Fendi purse, an Anya Hindmarch Rubik's Cube I forgot to actually take a photo of for this post (see, I told you I'm tired) - padded out an otherwise sparse Christmas present haul. You'll have no complain from me otherwise. 

The bird-song outside my window (the poor buggers are confused by the city's light pollution, it's only three in the morn...) is my cue to turn in for the night. I'll do a proper 'What's In My Handbag' post to get you acquainted with Lilith, but for now I leave you with photos of my Christmas present haul, sans witty repertoire because a) I'm tired and ill and b) does anyone actually read this anyway? If you do, comment below: "I am the Loch Ness monster".
How was your Christmas? What did you get up to? Were you naughty or nice? 
What did Santa slip in your stocking, the dirty devil? 

December 27, 2016

Unboxing Day: A Sneak Peek at My Christmas Haul

Look, today I'm not even going to try to English - I know that most of you come, you see the pictures; you conquer or ra...

Dealing with Depression During The Festive Season

Christmas Confessional: Dealing with Depression During The Festive Season






The flip side of festivity:
How do you cope with depression during 'the most wonderful time of the year'?

It's the most wonderful time of the year...is it though? The truth is, I've been battling the blues ever since I fractured my foot - read the gruesome story on my Dayre microblog. Now, I've always hesitated discussing mental health on this blog because, well, admitting to struggling with depression isn't terribly aspirational. Shiny it isn't but real it is, and while the causes of my current mental state may seem relatively 'first world problems' allow me to politely point out that I have the right to feel the way I do as much as anyone has the right to an opinion. 

HO, HO, NO

Opinions aside, the facts are: I've had to take extremely strong painkillers for the good part of a month while recovering from a broken bone. I've just about managed to free myself from its side effects when I had to face a new set of chemical imbalances to my system (I'll explain below). Add to the mix a figurative 5 month prison sentence + not even the soothing salve of shopping to ease the pain, and I've found myself suffering episodes of insomnia, depression, and anxiety attacks. Add the aggravation of festivity forced down my throat and eventually the Christmas lights on Regent Street begin to look less like twinkling stars and more like mocking leers (top marks for mulled wine-scented toilet paper and prosecco crisps, though). 

Anyway, that's a long enough introduction. It's time for my Christmas confessional...



NO... TRAVELLING

Would you ask a bird not to sing? Or a fish not to swim? So why, in the name of all things sacred would you withhold a travelling blogger's passport for half a year while you deliberate on whether to hand her the keys to the country she's made her home in, paid taxes to, and provided employment to the nationals of for the past ten years? The decision to grant me with Indefinite Leave To Remain should be a no-brainer really, but I respect that there's a process. 

What I find perplexing is why I have to be grounded in the country during the process without any of my photo ID - I can't board a domestic flight let alone join my family's annual trip. Right now, they're chasing the Northern Lights in Iceland.


My despondence is not helped by the many photos they're spamming the family Whatsapp group chat. The glaciers aren't the only thing that's blue. My misery at not being able to travel abroad for another five months is only going to get worse, to say nothing of affecting my work as a huge part of my blog content is travel-related. It's safe to say that the time between now and when I get my passport back is so far the greatest personal and professional challenge I've ever faced in my life.

NO... SHOPPING

The run up to Christmas is most profitable for peddlars of conspicuous consumption, including "social media influencers" (I shudder to use that phrase, but alas - a spade by any other name would sound just as twee) frantically going on Net-a-Porter shopping binges to shoot for their blogs (gotta get those 'Gift Guides' with affiliate links up in time for Christmas, amirite?) before quickly returning the loot to get their money back for spending on the things that really matter, like...gin. Or buying followers. Not naming names. You'll have none of that from me, because one: I can't be bothered with disguising money-grubbing as care for my readers, and two: gifting is too personal to simplify down to the lowest common denominator. 


Besides, the only purchase on my mind right now is my new apartment in Phase 1 of Battersea Power Station. I bought the flat before it hit the public market (good job I did, too, because the units sold out in hours) back in 2013 and completely forgot about it even though I've apparently blogged about my Circus West pad. Unfortunately, my lapse of memory and blissful ignorance left me with the sudden prospects of having to renovate my current place (before I put it up for sale) and redecorating the new place. These things cost money, so I've had to prioritise practical over Prada. Save for a very versatile, sure to be 'hero piece' pair of black snakeskin Lucy Choi pointed pumps (above) and some books, all recent shopping has to be home-related...if any at all. The concept of saving vs shopping is as depressing as it is alien to me, but hey, what's the point of "having $40,000 of shoes and nowhere to live"?

NO... SMOKING

...and here it is, the real reason why I'm as morose as I am. You didn't really think that lack of foreign travel and non-home-related-shopping was enough to tip me into a dark place? If yes, wow, give me some credit. Of course those two temporary lifestyle changes have contributed to me not feeling my best, but the straw or rather filter that broke this camel's back is the last cigarette I stubbed out, hopefully forever.

That's right. I've quit smoking. Allow me to rephrase: I am becoming a non-smoker. Not "quitting" - I hate that word. I blogged in greater detail on my Dayre about how painful the withdrawal symptoms were during the first week (I'm on Day 11 now) which I expected... 

...what I did not see coming was the clinical depression that followed when the nicotine left my system, taking with it the 'happy chemicals' of vasopressin, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Yet I insisted on going cold turkey rather than wean myself gradually with a nicotine replacement therapy (vapes just look...pretentious).

Despite the hell of painful cravings plus my mind and body being caught in a chemical-based storm as my system struggles to cope with the sudden, shocking expulsion of five years worth of ingested poison, I hold steadfast that I'm doing the right thing for my health both short and long term. Plus, every penny I save helps the 'new home cause'. I apparently used to spend £300 on cigarettes a month. Shocking.

The true test of willpower was last Saturday, at my friend's star-studded birthday party. Literally star-studded (not just in the full of celebrities and Rich & Aristocratic Kids Of Instagram way): it was India's Cosmic Birthday, complete with its own sparkly unicorn Snapchat filter. I'm so proud of myself for resisting a cheeky puff despite being surrounded by dozens of London's more glamorous smokers.


READ MORE:
Smoke Free Me: 
Day 3 and Day 7


Now you understand the three greater causes that I'm fighting for: a good home, a good house, and good health. Spending Christmas alone, without friends or family, wouldn't usually be a big deal to me. But when faced with the chemical rollercoaster that supposedly is the worst during the first 21 days from when one stops smoking, and no travel + no company + no money + no drugs to ease the pain my situation quickly escalated into full-blown depression. On the plus side though, I started my 'Smoke Free Me' journey on the 3rd, which means that the worse of this clinical depression should be over by the end of the 24th. Just in time for Christmas then. This year, my present to myself is good health.

I may not be in a position to shower myself nor friends with lavish and decadent gifts this year, but I have something rather more special to give. As per my annual tradition, I'll be volunteering at my local homeless shelter on Christmas Day. If you'd like to do the same, you can find out from my posts below on how to make a difference this festive season.


Do you or have you suffered from depression and/or other mental health issues during the festive season? 
How did you cope?
December 13, 2016

Dealing with Depression During The Festive Season

The flip side of festivity: How do you cope with depression during 'the most wonderful time of t...