facing fears- one breath at a time

[Part 1]

There are moments in your life where you ask yourself- why am I doing this?  It was 5:35pm and I was planning on leaving my home at 5:30pm. I thought to myself, it’s not too late now. I could just call my friends and let them know that I couldn’t make it. Even though my bags were packed, I had a throbbing headache and this was my last opportunity to back out. Every inch of my brain was telling me to not go. Do the smart thing and stay home. I had to keep telling myself that I was not a quitter, even though that’s all I could think about doing.

There are different levels of fear. And honestly, I don’t think I’ve been so scared to do something as I was that weekend. Tell me to move to a country halfway around the world that you’ve never been to, run a half-marathon after completing 3 days of training teachers in Cambodia, or teach a classroom of  32 middle school students in a NYC public schools at the age of 22 and I wouldn’t think twice about it. Tell me to dive deep into the ocean and depend on a tank of air for 50 minutes and my brain goes into panic mode.

I managed to get myself out of my home and to the location of where we would depart for our scuba diving trip. As I was on the van to Tioman, Malaysia, there was no turning back. (Well technically I could have gotten out at the border at Woodlands and taken a taxi back home, but at this point, I might as well go to Malaysia.) Worst case scenario would be to get there and not dive. Luckily, I had friends by my side that kept encouraging me as they could see the anxiety and fear written all over my face.

After a very long drive to Malaysia, we took a two and half hour ferry ride to Tioman and made it to our island “resort” around 2:30am. We had to wake up around 6:30am for breakfast and our first dive. I think I slept, but I kept waking up every hour or so to check my watch. I woke up before my alarm went off and felt that nervous pit in my stomach. It wasn’t the nervous, but excited feeling before a first date, or the adrenaline, but nervous feeling before an important race. It was the oh crap, I’m really doing this feeling.

To be continued….

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future world exhibit: where art meets science

There are always a few worthwhile exhibits to see at the Arts & Science museum.  Checking out the future world exhibit with my bestie from NY made this exhibit even more memorable in my mind. We went on a Sunday afternoon, which meant crowds and a lot of kids. However, we still had fun and managed to get some good shots in the Instagram-worthy room of lights. We made sure to reserve tickets beforehand because on the Saturday before, we were unable to go inside because it was fully booked.

This was definitely a kid friendly exhibit, so families with young kids should definitely go. All the exhibits were very interactive. I resisted the temptation to go down the slide, because I think it was meant for kids. However, I did go inside the area with the lit up bouncy balls and played around for a minute or so. I would recommend that if you are going without kids, probably the week night would be less crowded.

My final tip, be patient and wait for the lights to change. Make sure to go through the room of lights slowly. It’s a one-way exhibit.

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Rooted @ Railay Beach

One of the things that stuck out about Railay beach was the mangroves. When the tide was out, you would see the interlocking roots about the sand, and it was quite the sight. We stayed on the side of the beach with the mangroves at a nice and not too expensive resort (Bhu Nga Thani Resort), and I was reminded of a few things. God is faithful- like the tide comes in and out every day. God’s faithfulness in our life is constant and something you can depend on. Even when things look dismal, God is always working in every single moment of your life. Don’t lose hope. IMG_1024IMG_1264When the tide would go out, and the mangroves were exposed with their roots, I was pretty amazed at how twisted and intricate they were. I was reminded that the roots you have (the things that anchor you down) can make a big impact.  Often, these roots might not show on your outer surface, but these are things that keep you grounded (family, faith, friends, etc…). These mangroves didn’t get swept up by the ocean when the tide came in. I felt like God was reminding me of the importance of being “rooted” in Him.

In the end, I loved exploring and relaxing at Railay beach. Sunset was probably my favorite time of the day, as we watched from the beach the sun slowly going down in the horizon. Krabi, Thailand is definitely a place worth visiting, if you need a place for rest, relaxation, and scenic views.

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travel log: railay beach, thailand

“Not all those who wander are lost.” — Tolkein

I seriously love Thailand. I think this was my 7th time back in Thailand and I love exploring new parts of this beautiful country. This time I was able to travel to Krabi, Thailand for the first time with friends this past week. I will have to post more later on our adventures, because I’m suffering from post-holiday exhaustion and need my sleep. But before I go, here’s one of my favorite photos from my trip of sunset at Railay beach. thailand-0318.jpg

i Light part 2

So I got a chance last week to go back to the i Light exhibit by Marina Bay to check out the rest of the exhibits! Love that my friends are into this kind of stuff and so willing to accompany me. Here are some more photos from our night. You will never get bored in this small city-state, because there is always something going on.:)

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lights will guide you home

Last week, I checked out the light art festival at Marina Bay Sands, which is happening until March 27th from 7:30-11pm. You should definitely head down there and check out all the different light exhibits they have. I love how there are always so many different events happening in this city. We only got to see maybe half of the exhibits because we ran out of time. I will try to go back again before it ends and catch the rest of the exhibits that I missed. Shooting at night was definitely a bit more challenging and a lot of my pictures didn’t turn out as I wanted. However, it’s always fun being behind the camera and being with other enthusiastic photographers and models! Thanks friends for joining us.:)

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a saturday @ hort park

When I arrived (a bit late) in the morning to Hort Park, I was in awe of the beauty of the lucious greens, tall trees, and open grass field. Where was I? How come this was the first time I’ve actually ventured inside. I had only passed by Hort Park at the start of the southern ridges trail. As I was trying to figure out if I was in the right place and then I heard the worship music echoing from downstairs. I just followed the music down the spiral stairs to the multi-purpose hall. I saw some random people watching from outside through the glass walls as well. I was greeted by 200+ women of all ages and different backgrounds singing together in unison; a beautiful site.

Someone asked me afterwards if the retreat met my expectations. And I simply said that I didn’t really have any expectations. It was our first women’s retreat as a church, and I was definitely excited beforehand, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. The excellence that I saw in how the women of our church planned, prepared, and facilitated was an encouragement to me. Of course the decorations, food, and music were on point, considering the talented ladies that are part of my church!

It ended up being a Saturday well spent. It was a time of encouragement, worship, teaching, and fellowship. I felt so grateful for the women that organized and planned the retreat. I could see their love and heart for the women of the church and the Gospel throughout the day. A few key points that have stuck with me are:

  • We are free to live out the Gospel.
  • Our Christian life is about taking small steps forward.
  • Set your mind on what the Spirit desires.
  • Christians should be characterized by your waiting.
  • We are groaning for the new life to come. 
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