My Three Pillars of Happiness

I recently decided to try really hard to be less materialistic and letting go of Heck of A Lot of things. For a while now, I’ve been wanting to focus on three main pillars that my Happiness is based on, but simply couldn’t narrow it down. Now, I finally managed to narrow down my list, and I feel comfortable and happy with what I have.

My Three Pillars of Happiness

My Family & Friends

Travelling

Harry Potter

Some might think that the first one is pretty obvious, but, out of experience, I am one of the lucky few who has an amazing relationship with their parent(s) and/or step-parent. I get on really well with my mum and my stepdad and know that I’m ridiculously lucky. The same kind of goes for my friends. I have amazing friends who I can talk to about anything and everything and they just put up with me and make me feel liked and loved as a friend. I never seem to get on their nerves, and they certainly never get on my nerves.

I realised that travelling is the second pillar, while travelling. While on holiday in Malaysia, I realised how happy travelling made me. Experiencing different cultures and food is exciting and always an adventure. Speaking to different people from all corners of the world is equally amazing. Coming home always felt like I was leaving happiness elsewhere. I’m really glad I finally, finally realised that travelling is my second pillar. It’s giving me a real aim to save money and made me realise how important travelling is to my mental health.

The third pillar of my happiness is Harry Potter. Harry Potter got me into reading books and makes me feel part of a community without having to fit into certain criteria regarding gender, skin colour or language. The world of Harry Potter has kept me alive for many years and always puts a smile on my face somehow.

Photo of the Day

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Ryo Mukae

Video of the Day

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 13

Day 13: What are you excited about?

I’m currently on holiday, but whilst scheduling this, I am VERY excited about the holiday. I can’t wait for the food, the (sandy) beach, the (warm) sea, and the wildlife. I just really love Malaysia. I also look forward to making plans with friends, and hope that some friends will be able to come over from Germany.

13 Things I am excited about on Holiday

I thought about doing a separate post for this, but it would be a shame to waste this opportunity to tell you some things I am excited about regarding my holiday in Malaysia

  1. Malaysia itself: Every time I visit Malaysia, it just feels like I’m going home.
  2. Food: The food in Malaysia is so delicious. I have not once had a bad meal. I can’t put it into words, quite how much I love the food in Malaysia. There, you can find so much different food: Malay, Chinese, Indian, and its all SO amazing.
  3. People: I also get excited to meet Malay people? They’re super nice and I just like being around people in Malaysia. They’re really friendly and kind.
  4. Photography: I actually really hope to try out Street Photography there. For some reason, nothing in the UK excites or inspires me. Hopefully, I am going to be inspired in Malaysia.
  5. Beach: I’m excited to sit on a sandy beach and enjoy the waves. I live by the seaside anyway, but a sandy beach in Malaysia is just that little bit more exciting and special to me.
  6. Pool: I actually really look forward to swimming in a pool? Pool, beach and Palm trees are like THE holiday aesthetics.
  7. Book & Beach/Pool: Weirdly, I also really look forward to reading a book either by the pool or by the beach, under some neat palm trees.
  8. Breakfast buffets: They’re amazing and diverse and just so good. I am going to eat ALL the food (apart from bread and the stuff that has very obviously got gluten in).
  9. Wildlife: The wildlife in Malaysia is amazing and I can’t wait to visit a nature reserve. There are also many geckos around, if I remember correctly. I love geckos, they’re super cute.
  10. Snorkelling: We’re going snorkelling, which I am super excited for. This kind of works with the last point. I love snorkelling in Malaysia. Once, I saw two baby sharks and they were adorable!
  11. Shopping: I used to get more excited about the shopping than I do now, since I am way too big to fit into any clothing there. But, I still enjoy the night markets there.
  12. Weirdly, even the flying there and travelling within Malaysia excites me. I’m scheduling this ahead of time, so I will probably feel differently about this at the time, but right now I am very excited about getting on a plane.
  13. Not being at Home: Just getting away from the usual surroundings is going to be amazing to relax and enjoy myself.

Photo of the Day

last train from the castle 2
Michael Marsh

Video of the Day

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FehOtOytxKU&w

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day One

Day One

Inspired by this pin on Pinterest, I thought I’d do the 30 Day writing Challenge. Day One is listing 10 things that make me really happy.

So here I go

  1. The Harry Potter series
  2. Remus Lupin / David Thewlis
  3. Cats
  4. Dogs, especially puppies
  5. Bats
  6. My friends
  7. Going on Holiday
  8. Historic Things, e.g. visiting castles
  9. Going to the beach
  10. Going on a walk in a Forest.

Well, that was easy and quick. I can already tell that day two is going to be really difficult, though. Otherwise, this challenge is going to be super interesting and is going to keep my fingers typing.

I’m also going on holiday, so I’m actually not sure how frequent I will be able to post stuff. At least four days will be super difficult because we’re going to be island hopping.

I have time and energy to pre edit some posts now, so writing them up will hopefully not be the problem.

Photo of the day

Empty seat lonely at a 45-degree angle

C Y

Video of the day

Blogmas Day 11: TB Thailand and Vietnam

It’s been two years since I’ve visited Thailand. We went for Christmas. Last year, we went to Vietnam. This year, we aren’t going anywhere for christmas. It feels weird, but nice. Nice, but also weird. It was the first time we went on holiday over Christmas. As a child I used to hate the idea of travelling abroad over Christmas (what would you do with all the gifts?!) Now I actually really like the idea of being away over Christmas.

I loved the experience of visiting Thailand in general. All of it was a great experience and I really want to go again. Bangkok is a city I really want to visit again.

In Vietnam, I loved the food and the people. I really miss the coffee, and I would love to explore more of Vietnam.

The next family holiday is in June, back to Malaysia.

Thailand pictures:

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Ciaran Rhys
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Ciaran Rhys
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Ciaran Rhys

Vietnam pictures:

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Ciaran Rhys
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Ciaran Rhys
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Ciaran Rhys
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Ciaran Rhys

Videos of the day

Queueing

Queueing at Airports is always a little different than anywhere else. Mainly because queueing at airports doesn’t just involve people queueing up to get to places or to drop off their luggage. 

Planes also queue to take off and to land. In the past about fifteen minutes or so I have watched at least seven planes queue up to land, spotting their distant lights coming closer and closer, always three at a time. As one disappears, another light arrives in the distance. It’s very amusing, more than people might think it would be. After having a rough night and barely any sleep, watching planes requires the least amount of energy.

I’m currently in a lounge at Heathrow waiting to go to paris, then Hoi Chi Minh. It’s going to be such a long day.

Tired waves (don’t try hugging me in the mornings unless you’re leaving the country),

Ciarán 

Preparations for Vietnam

Considering how prepared I was for Thailand, I haven’t really prepared myself hugely for this family vacation.

I look forward to Vietnamese food, so we visited Pho Restaurant in Brighton, which serves traditional Vietnamese food. It was very lovely and I definitely look forward to trying out more in Vietnam.
Out of experience, the Asian food I have eaten in Europe is nothing compared to the actual food in Asia. My favourite dishes are those cooked in Malaysia (all of the dishes I’ve eaten there have been delicious and there are SO MANY). For example a version of the Malay Laksa (I’m not sure from which region it is) and a Lemon Chicken dish. My favourite Thai dish was the Massaman Curry.

Otherwise, I checked up on the currency, the Vietnamese Dong. I checked Lonely Planet. I also had a look at the language, not just because I wanted to see what phrases and words such as “yes”, “no”, “thank you” and “please” meant, looked like and sounded like, but also to see how it varied to other languages I have seen. So I did in fact want to see how it looked and sounded like, from the view of a curious linguist.

Furthermore, I pretty much briefly skimmed through other links on Vietnam, but only briefly. As I said, I hadn’t prepared myself for the trip to Vietnam, I only just realised how long we’re flying and we’ve been planning this for quite a few months now. A lovely summery is given by the BBC Vietnam Country File which also links to a timeline about the history of Vietnam.

Sometimes, I can be quite observant and I notice small little things. I love to travel for this reason. To observe and learn and experience.
Since my interest in Buddhism has immensely grown in the past year, I am also hugely fond of experiencing Vietnam on a spiritual level. This, however, might be a bit more difficult travelling with a family who is not so interested in spirituality. I am not going to give up though. I am a little worried about how religious Vietnam is, only because of who I am -bi and trans. It’ll be interesting.

I cannot wait to observe small parts of Vietnam. Things I would love to observe are how they deal with tourists, such as my family and myself and towards each other, etc. I don’t want to presume anything. I am genuinely travelling there with an open mind.

The most I have done in preparation for Vietnam is packing my suitcase, letting every one know I’m flying, sort out my medication and mentally prepare myself for a long journey. That is about it. I just rushed to scribble down some facts about our flights and the addresses of my friends in the travel journal I also used for Thailand (it was half empty).
I don’t even know why I feel stressed. Probably because everybody else is stressed and I’ve got University in between and assignments and essays due when I am back and mainly because I am just not prepared for holiday.

Anyway. Soon I’ll be relaxing by a pool, so, yay.

I’m writing this on Tuesday and we don’t actually travel to Vietnam on Thursday so I don’t know if and when I’ll update ya’ll on the actual flight, which is pretty much the boring part, even though I am trying to write short stories involving airports and air planes. I hate the actual flying, especially because its around 12 hours… UGH

My point is, I’ll most likely post this on Thursday. The reason why it hasn’t got anything in it about flights, etc, is because I planned ahead.

Packing wise, I find it incredibly easy to pack. I know what I love to wear, what I find comfortable when it is warm and I know not to pack too many things. So packing is very easy for me. I hate packing when I come back. Even if I don’t buy a lot there, I have incredibly huge difficulties to fit everything into my bag. My hand luggage is another story. What bag, diary, Ipad, something to write on, pens, something to read, kindle, chargers, Nintendo 3DS. And my DSLR in its own bag. It doesn’t sound a lot but it looks a lot, especially this year. But it all fits, and I think I can manage carrying it from pillar to post. Most of the time we’ll be sitting anyway…

Kind (and by now probably disgruntled hugs),

Ciarán

Featured Image: The Vietnamese Flag; Source (x)

Summary: Days Home Alone

My stepdad won this thing at his work. He won a trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia, where parts of Game of Thrones were filmed, hence the Game of Thrones tour and all the merchandise. I do watch this particular series and was awfully jealous I couldn’t go too. He could only take my mum. Although I’m now planning on going there in the near future, I did have quite a few nice days home alone.

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I took care of our family pet, Molly. She missed mum a lot!

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One of the packages that arrived was this one from here. I’ve never been so excited about post in my life.

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I obviously had to have some fast food. Domino’s was my choice for one of the evenings. And possibly another evening… I just love pizza, especially tuna pizza. Domino’s is the only place I can get tuna pizza from.

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And, last but not least, my dear mum gave me some gifts. They are adorable and cute, yet I still have to see if the t-shirt fits (if not, it will soon!).

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That’s all for now, personal thing over, have a great day/evening,

Ciaran

Feeding Interests: Japan

I am highly interested in travelling. One of the countries I’d love to visit is Japan. To help feed my interest about this country and the Japanese culture, there are a few things I do.

NHK World
One of the things I do is watch programs on NHK world. The programs vary and are very interesting. The webpage even offers Japanese lessons. One of the programs I recently watched informed about Sky Greens and vertical farming in Singapore.

Kawaii!
One major thing that got me interested in Japan was actually the word kawaii and the kawaii culture in Japan. Websites such as this one and this one are websites I frequently visit. I never thought that Kaila would have a huge effect on my interest in Japan, but she has.

Youtube videos
I follow Rachel & Jun‘s youtube channel and personally find it very interesting.
Another channel I follow is Texan in Tokyo.
I actually really enjoy videos where people walk through Tokyo, such as this one. These kind of videos give me the feeling of being the person walking through the streets of Tokyo, which I think is awesome.

Travel in general
A favourite traveller whom I follow is Nomadic Matt.

Feature Picture belongs to Sohei Nishino