That girl who chose to travel

She has the inner desire to explore and see the world.

She embraces her life today but still plans for the future.

She is sophisticated but still edgy. She is open-minded. She sometimes doesn’t make sense.

She saves up for another adventure.

She is often times dreamy because she is plotting her next destination.

She wants to break-free but knows where she’s going.

She refuses to party but wants to go out. She is up for something new.  She feels the need of that thrill of experience.

She gets involved with different activities. She gets sunburn but doesn’t seem to mind.

She knows what she wants and knows how to get it.

She is unpredictable. She is random. She is spontaneous.

baggage

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My Paris Diaries: Corpses and crows

Walking around the graveyard may be a strange thing to do when visiting Paris for the first time. However, it was fun to leave the touristy area and head down to explore Paris’ largest cemetery – Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise (Pere-Lachaise Cemetery).

An odd experience for a morning walk on the cobbled pathway, but also a place of interest where you stumble across few famous graves. Those of Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Edit Piaf, Frederic Chopin and many more were buried in this graveyard. Even regular people have fascinating epitaphs and monuments.

The place is huge and not well marked therefore finding a specific grave was a challenge – map always helps. Jim Morrison’s grave was difficult to find.

Background:

Pere-Lachaise Cemetery – Established by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804, Pere-Lachaise Cemetery is the world’s most visited cemetery. The name has its origin from Louis XIV’s confessor, Pere Francois de la Chaise.

Entrance: Free

Hours :

6 Nov to 15 March Mon-Fri: 08h00-17h30 Sat. : 08h30-17h30 Sun. Holidays: 09h00-17h30

16 March to 5 Nov Mon-Fri : 08h00-18h00 Sat. : 08h30-18h00 Sun. Holidays : 09h00-18h00

There are many famous people buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery. Some of them are:

  • Antonio de La Gandara, painter
  • Guillaume Apollinaire , Poet
  • Jean-Pierre Aumont, actor
  • Honoré de Balzac , writer
  • Henri Barbusse , writer
  • Paul Barras, statesman during the French Revolution
  • Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, musician & more
  • Gilbert Bécaud, singer
  • Vincenzo Bellini, composer of operas
  • Sarah Bernhardt, actress
  • Georges Bizet, composer
  • Alexander Brogniart, architect
  • Ettore Bugatti automobile manufacturer
  • Gustave Caillebotte, painter
  • Maria Callas, Opera singer
  • Jean-Joseph Carriès, sculptor
  • Pierre Cartellier, sculptor
  • Jean-François Champollion, Egyptologist, decipherer of hieroglyphic text
  • Frédéric Chopin , composer (although his heart is entombed in a pillar in the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw, Poland)
  • Colette, Writer
  • Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, painter
  • Thomas Couture, painter, teacher
  • Edouard Daladier, statesman
  • Jacques Louis David, painter
  • Eugene Delacroix, painter
  • Gustave Doré, graphic artist, lithographer
  • Michel Drach, film director, producer, screenwriter
  • Paul Dukas, composer
  • Isadora Duncan, American-born dancer
  • Paul Eluard, poet
  • Max Ernst, Surrealist and Expressionist artist
  • Jean de la Fontaine, poet and writer of fables
  • Théodore Géricault, painter
  • Stephane Grappelli, Jazz violinist
  • Samuel Hahnemann, creator of homeopathy
  • Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, painter
  • Jean-Baptiste Isabey, painter
  • Allan Kardec
  • Rene Lalique, artist in glass
  • Nestor Makhno, Ukrainian anarchist, revolutionary
  • Constance Mayer-Lamartinière, painter
  • Amedeo Modigliani, painter and sculptor
  • Molière, Dramatist
  • Yves Montand, actor
  • Jim Morrison, American singer, songwriter, and poet. Morrison moved to Paris in March 1971 with the intention of concentrating on his writing and to quit drinking. He died in Paris on July 3, 1971, in his bathtub at the age of 27; many fans and biographers have speculated that the cause of death was a drug overdose, but the official report listed “heart attack” as the cause of death.
  • Anne de Noailles, writer
  • Charles Nodier, writer
  • Victor Noir, journalist
  • Édith Piaf, France’s most famous singer
  • Christian Pineau, Resistance worker, statesman
  • Camille Pissarro, “Father of Impressionism”
  • Francis Poulenc, composer, member of “Les Six”
  • Marcel Proust , writer
  • Mlle Rachel, (Élisabeth Rachel Félix) Swiss actress at Comédie-Française
  • Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, painter
  • Norbert Rillieux, inventor
  • Georges Rodenbach, Symbolist poet and novelist
  • Gioacchino Rossini, Italian composer
  • Georges Seurat, artist, founder:pointillist style of post-impressionist
  • Simone Signoret, actress
  • Alexandre Stavinsky, notorious embezzler
  • Gertrude Stein, American writer
  • Alice B. Toklas, American writer
  • Marie Trintignant, actress
  • Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, Dominican dictator
  • Charles Henry VerHuell, Dutch Admiral
  • Oscar Wilde, Irish writer
  • Richard Wright, American writer
  • Achille Zavatta, circus operator and famous clown

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jim morrison

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oscar wilde1

oscar wilde

a french artist

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Prague – checking the Czechs

Whilst this article is titled as Prague, my adventure actually began in Vienna.

It was a gruesome fight over the last few seats for the Prague flight when finally the counter announced that nobody were accepted! Bugger! The cheap airline staff tickets pay its toll! All my plans suddenly fell apart.  Good thing Vienna – scheduled 50 minutes later than Prague – was slightly open.  I got in alright but with no hotel, no itinerary, no plans!! – good job for a first time traveler to Europe!

I was nervous but I know I’ll be fine. True enough my arrival in Vienna went well. I had to seek help with few strangers (information counter helped) then I eventually got into a train to Prague.

So again, i was heading to Prague without hotel booking.  I thought i can book the hotel whilst in train but alas – No wifi!

I had to write down my itinerary on a piece of paper as my phone battery was running low. At 9:45pm, it was a nightmare finding the hotel with no internet. I had to find it the traditional way – hardcore 2-Euro map! And since i was a genius of not booking my hotel prior, i got refused check-in as they were full.  Thankfully my sanity was still intact and i still remain my cool.  Before i left, reception called me and offered me a room for one night.  What music to my ears! Luck was still on my side after all.

The following day i braved the streets of Prague alone.  The timeless buildings amazed me.  I visited the remarkable Prague Castle, walked across the Charles bridge, visited museums and walk around the city.  I bought a slice of pizza and a bottle of orange juice and took them by the river bank.  I sat down by the bench and had my lunch while watching the river flow, the swans gliding and the picturesque view!!! Priceless moment!

I went at a restaurant in the old town Prague for dinner.  I had their Old town ham which was the yummiest pork i have ever eaten.  Drank pilsner – their local beer.  Then listened to street performers nearby.

Hotel booking got sorted out and gave me room for the rest of my stay.  Thanks to the one who cancelled last minute.

I managed to explore the rest of Prague by foot, tram and train.  I skipped the tours to save money.  It was lovely walking around town and even dining alone al fresco way.

View of Prague

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Hong Kong Express

early morning walk in the park

Mid morning.. I’m just about to start my second meeting.. my unread e-mails rose up to 437.. deadline of tasks were an hour away.. multiple reports to close.. not to mention, I’m drinking the last gulp of my ‘already cold’ coffee over a growling stomach.

Yes! A typical Thursday for me. But the thought of yet another boring weekend added the pressure.  What shall I do? Where shall I go?

Two hours later, I was on the plane bound to Hong Kong.

The 7-hour flight from Dubai to Hong Kong was enough to figure out a plan when I arrive.  At least I got my hotel booked based on an “eeny meeny miny mo” choice online.  With me also was a random one day itinerary I also got from google.

The goal for this trip is to DE STRESS.  Me over thinking of a plan isn’t distressing.  So I put down my pen and rely on fate!

DINE STROLL SHOP

These were few of the things I did on my brief stay in Hong Kong.  What happens to my one-day itinerary that I googled? It became a my flip flop wrap.

Sometimes in life, we must learn how to trust our surroundings rather than technology.  Talk to people to find out directions, look up the sky to check the weather, listen to nature to hear it’s music.  Get lost, get dirty, get excited. Hong Kong never failed me.

WHERE I STAYED: Harbour Plaza Resort City Hotel Tower 1
PLACE: Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong
DURATION: 2 days (Friday and Saturday)
TRIP: Going Solo
LIKES:  The food, the park, the community, the hotel, the mall
DISLIKES:  Communication challenge – it was hard to order food

loving the serenity of the place

loving the serenity of the place

eat like there's no tomorrow

eat like there’s no tomorrow