Happy 2023 everyone! It’s quite belated since it’s already close to end of January now. Oops.
My goal for last year is not to spend too much. I ended up failing at this goal terribly as I got my quota bag in 2022. I got a second Hermes bag in December during my trip to San Francisco but I have since sold the bag. That’s a more financially responsible thing to do given how much I spent in 2022. The other reason is that I don’t think it’s a good idea to have mostly evelyne bags in my luxury bag collection. I hope the new owner of the bag will be happy with the bag and cherish it in many years to come.
I’m not going to make new year resolutions or goals because I don’t seems to follow them. I want to focus on learning and saving this year. I also want to be very picky in the accessories I purchase this year. Some items are better to buy first if I know I can wear them for a really long time (more than 10 years). Some accessories whereby I know I will change it quite frequently – I will make them and change it up accordingly. It’s easier to buy less so that I don’t need to deal with clutter. My journey to decluttering is always ongoing and I have been doing better in 2022. Somehow I spent more but the items I got are of higher quality and I have less clutter to clear. 🙂
It’s going to be Chinese New Year soon so I’m here to wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year and may the Year of Rabbit be a good year for all of you! 😀
Categories: Birthdays, Food, Overseas, Personal life, Pictures, With my NEX
Hi everyone, I realised I haven’t blog about my birthday for this year so I’m back to blog about what I did on my birthday.
Some of you might know that I came back to Singapore after 2.5 weeks (actually 20 days, including travelling) in US. I went there for a business trip then I extended 7 days more for leisure trip. I feel incredibly fortunate that my first trip post-COVID is partially sponsored by my company. That means even the travel insurance is also paid by the company since it is a work trip. I always thought I will go South Korea once travelling resumed but it ended up to be US. Well, company is paying partially for it so why not? Haha.
I went to Scottsdale, Arizona for my work and went on to explore Gilbert (only 1 night), Chandler (thanks to my colleague and his wife for bringing me around after work), Tempe (day trip but it was raining) in Arizona. No, I didn’t go to the Grand Canyon or Sedona. Yeah, I am lowkey regretting my decision now.
Most people do not wear masks in the places I went to in Arizona and they also cough and sneeze out loud. Kind of scary given COVID is not completely gone.
I extended my trip to go to Los Angeles, California and also went to Santa Monica Pier for admiring the sunset. Took many great photos which I have yet to admire after I come back from US. Expensive hotels but at least it is cheaper than New York, which was my original plan. Public transport is really cheap with $3.50 metro day pass though haha. I feel that the public transportation in LA is quite safe but of course not as safe as Singapore. Tired office workers do sleep on the bus when taking the bus home. There are 2 CCTVs for the bus as well. Masks are also provided on bus and commuters do take it and wear it. People also double mask in LA.
I also went to San Francisco, California for shopping. Many thanks to Gulabi for the accommodation. I saved on the expensive hotel cost in San Francisco. 😀 People do wear masks and is cautious about coughing and sneezing in public. The city has gotten much cleaner as well. Public buses are cleaner than the ones in Singapore too. Their bus terminal looks extremely clean. I wish Singapore will follow what San Francisco is doing and their cleanliness standards. It’s a vast difference from my last trip in 2018.
Anyway, back to what I did on my birthday. I did lots of unpacking of the shopping loots that I bought in US. This time, I made a conscious effort not to overbuy stuff and only buy something I truly like. It helped that USD currency is quite strong when I was there. Unfortunately, this also means I bought some items from Hermes and Cartier which burst my spending quite a bit. However, even if I exclude the money I spent at Hermes and Cartier, I still spent quite a bit. My accommodation in LA was quite expensive. Food were quite expensive in LA and SF too.
I also had dinner with Chin Hau at Beauty in the Pot. Have to go back there since we couldn’t get Bread Street Kitchen booking. We went to Bread Street Kitchen on another day for early Christmas dinner and oh gosh, their food standards have dropped. I’m glad I didn’t go there on my birthday or I will be very disappointed.
I lost track of time and didn’t manage to get a birthday cake on my birthday but I managed to get it on another day.
I will post the photo of it once I sort out my photos. Haha.
Categories: Overseas, Personal life, Rants
I have completed the first overseas trip since the COVID-19 pandemic. Oh boy, it was my most intensive trip so far. I don’t know what gave me the courage or even the wild idea of even trying to do it. I only started feeling the regret after the first domestic flight. :sigh:
Basically I got a chance to go for a business trip to Phoenix (US – Arizona) in around a month’s notice. It is a work trip for 1 week so I thought of extending it another week to travel to nearby cities. I was thinking about New York and San Francisco but the hotel prices for New York are quite high. So I switched to Los Angeles and San Francisco. As a result, for 20 days, I will have 7 flights (4 international flights and 3 domestic flights).
Stressful event 1: Bad flight schedules
Due to my bad judgement and wrong trust placed on the travel agent, I ended up going for a 1hr 45min transit layover in SFO before flying to PHX. I had to delay 1 of my flight to PHX by 1 day just to make sure that I don’t miss the transit flight. Have to book a night’s hotel stay too. All these are done in around 50 hrs before my first flight. Can you imagine how stressful it was? I thought that is the last stressful event but it turned out to be the start of the series of stressful events.
Stressful event 2: Murphy’s law in action
The second stressful event is about my work laptop. In less than 24 hrs before my flight, my work laptop decided to die on me. I needed to bring it over for the work trip so that means I need to immediately get a replacement laptop. Fortunately my company’s IT department is awesome and they did wonders by providing me with a loaner laptop before I fly.
Stressful event 3: Aftermath of the first stressful event
The third stressful event is figuring out what and where I can go for food on my first day in SFO. I landed on Thanksgiving which means most shops are closed. Fortunately the hotel my travel agent recommended me has room service so I just stayed in the hotel the whole day to ensure that I get food and water. I didn’t manage to go to SF city area to explore since most places are closed. On hindsight, I wish I did explore places like Golden Gate Bridge on that day because I ended up having no time to go there.
Stressful event 4: Extensive security checks which I didn’t expect
The fourth stressful event is going through the extensive security checks for my first domestic flight. They have different lanes like Clear and Pre-TSA. People are rushing and there are dogs sniffing everyone who has to go through the checks. I feel that the checks are much more extensive than the ones I experienced on international flights. I was prepared for this by going more than 3hrs before my flight and was following what others and the customs officers were telling us to do.
Stressful event 5: Psychological battles
The fifth stressful event is more psychological. It’s basically my first domestic flight experience in US. Oh gosh, the planes are tiny and it was a full flight. The airline were very strict on the number of hand carry and personal item. It is strictly 1 personal item and 1 hand carry. They will force you to checkin your hand carry if you have more than 1 personal item. I didn’t expect it and was lucky that I have enough space to squeeze my sling bag into my backpack. Then during the flight, the plane was shaking non-stop which makes me really nervous as I have a fear of heights. I’m ok with flying since most flights are quite stable throughout the entire journey. I’m so glad that I got to select the aisle seat the night before my flight. I was originally assigned the middle seat by the system but had a few choices of aisle seat to select for free. I made sure I focused on the Netflix drama I was watching throughout the entire flight and didn’t eat or drink anything. I came out of the flight having weak legs. :stressed: I am still proud of myself for not panicking.
Stressful event 6: Damaged baggage
After my first domestic flight experience with United, I was quite worried about my next 2 domestic flights with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines respectively. Luckily I made sure I selected the aisle seat for then even if I had to pay extra for it. The one with American Airlines was a good flight experience since I was in First class. I booked First class because it was cheaper to go for First class with 2 free checkin baggage than Economy class and pay for the 2 checkin baggage. I got really lucky in this case. Unfortunately, it has more than 1 hr flight delay which means I don’t have time to go for Warner Bros tour when I land in LA.
I wasn’t that lucky for my third domestic flight though. 1 of my checkin luggage was damaged by Alaska Airlines. I later found out that 1 particular item was opened in the luggage, which probably led to the damage of the luggage. My Hermes 55cm silk scarf was opened but left alone (luckily!). After that experience, I didn’t put anything luxury or Hermes in my checkin luggage even if it is not that expensive. Since my luggage lock got damaged, I have to rush to get a TSA lock for it when I travel back. Luckily I was staying with Gulabi at that time and she helped me order it from Amazon and it was delivered in 2 days – just in time for my trip back home. This was my sixth stressful event for the trip.
Stressful event 7: Confusion over the checkin queue
My seventh stressful event was when I queued at the wrong checkin counter for my flights back home. My international flight tickets were all under ANA so I just went to ANA counter directly. It turned out that the first flight (SFO to NRT) is operated by United so I needed to queue at United counter instead. That’s something I didn’t expect because pre-pandemic, I always just go to the checkin counter of the airline company where I got the tickets. Apparently, the flight I am on have 5 different airline codeshare in the same flight. I guess airline companies are doing really bad for them to do that and still do not have a full plane.
Luckily the United counter was just the next counter and the queue is not super long. Security checks took longer than usual as some of my items have to be rechecked too. I ended up reaching the boarding gate at the boarding time. That was a close shave given that I arrived at the airport 2 hrs before my flight. Phew!
That concluded my 7 stressful events for my journey. 7 different flights, 4 different accommodation in 20 days. I also fell sick during multiple times in the entire trip too. Stuff like giddiness, severe lack of sleep (2.5hrs of sleep and clocked 26k steps in the same day!), diahorrea and eczema.
I certainly need a rest from this vacation. I won’t be doing this again for sure. 2 checkin luggage, 1 handcarry luggage and 1 backpack are just too much to handle when I have to travel around so much. I’m too old for it. Bleh. I highly doubt I will ever do so many flights again. Visiting 7 cities (Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Francisco) in 2 different states and in 18 days (excluding the time needed to fly back to Singapore) is simply too hectic for me to handle.
I will blog more about the trip when I get time. For now, see you guys again!
Hi everyone, I’m back again haha. Recently I have been liking gemstones, particularly jade, bracelets and pendants. A couple of reasons why I started admiring jade but the key reason is for its protective purposes.
Not sure why but I noticed an uptick in interest in jade too. Not sure if it is just me or what but 1 of my friend, Huiping, also mentioned the same.
I think I have enough jade for protection. I am wearing not just protection but also for fashion. Somehow the white/green ones look pretty nice.
I’m not sure how long this jade phase of my life will last but for now, I love my jade pendant from Lihong Jade the most. It’s going to be a piece that I will wear for a long time for sure since it has a 18k yellow gold hook to wear as necklace.
I haven’t been blogging much as I have been busy with my life recently. I also got COVID-19 when I went to the office last month and is still recovering from it. Fortunately, the COVID test is negative after 8 days of COVID.
I don’t think I will be blogging much today and I hope when I come back next time, I can blog more about my COVID journey. Just posting here today to let people know that this blog is still alive haha.