Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you.
As I mentioned in the About page, this blog commenced when I went to Australia for a year. The blog acted as a medium for me to communicate with my friends back home and for me to write/express/reflect about my experience.
Photo credit: Painted Names 2012
When I was thinking about the name of the blog, I thought about phrases like “Down Under”, “sun-burned” etc. Nothing strike as a good blog title. I can’t recall exactly train of thoughts leading up to Pacific Panorama.
Basically, geographically speaking, the term “Pacific Islands” refers to islands located close to Australia, such as Fiji or Tonga. And hence “Pacific”. It is a bonus that back home in Vancouver, Canada, we are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean.
In panorama photos, can you see the 360 degrees. It is way more than the angles you see from a normal photo. It is how I want to explore Australia. I want to learn all different aspects: getting to know the country in all different angles and directions. I want to capture more than what a photo can present.
What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide?
When I was younger and was travelling with my parents, I was the itinerary freak. I have Excel spreadsheet of activities that fit into different time blocks. I wanted to see as much as possible within the timeframe that I have.
That has changed since. My love for travelling is intensified. Instead of merely sightseeing, I want to get to know the culture, the language, the food, and the people (etc) as well. It is not about seeing as many touristic sights as possible. I don’t need to gloat how many countries that I have been in the world. I would much rather talk about what have I learned about the country.
Photo credit: Brandon Satterwhite
One of the best things that can happen when one is travelling is the unexpected. You can’t plan it. You don’t have to be a serial traveller to have been on a lot of trips. Think about some of your most memorable trips. Are they the ones where everything went smoothly and perfectly? Or are they the one where some or everything went wrong but you still managed to have a good time?
How do you communicate differently online than in person, if at all? How do you communicate emotion and intent in a purely written medium?
In terms of communicating with friends and family, I definitely prefer face to face. The body language and facial expression matters so much. When texting a friend, words can be so deceiving. Context is missing and there are none visual cues.
There is only so much one can write/type and read at one time. I feel I can never express myself fully to my friends if I’m texting. It is also a bad feeling when I don’t receive a response instantaneously.
Of course, there is also blogging/writing. It is my outlet to express myself. It is therapy. There were times I sat on the bus and my mind is somewhere far far away and I have the urge to write down my thoughts. Sometimes I’m sharing travel tips. But mostly, it is the stories and uncover what people normally wouldn’t know even if they travelled there before.
Over time, I have become more open to write about feelings and experiences that are personal (such as Too Big To Fail ?! (DP) – Fear to Fail Big & Resilience). For a long time, I was reluctant to post these “emo” blog posts and then share with the world while putting my name on it.
I believe life is a journey. I had so many stories in my journey thus far. Rather than bottled up inside, I want to express something, learn something, and be better at something.
Tell us about something you would attempt if you were guaranteed not to fail (and tell us why you haven’t tried it yet).
This is an odd daily prompt to answer. I always believe that if you try to fail, you will. If I get the “guaranteed not to fail” ticket, I’d move to one of the islands (yes, still obsessed with islands in all shapes and forms) close to the equator and watching money flowing into my bank account as I sip through drinks while sunbathing on the beach.
In reality, there is no guarantee that I won’t fail in anything. But that’s also the beauty of it, should I choose to embrace it. By nature, most of us, are scared to fail. I am never short of reasons not to do it. What helped me overcome (or temporarily overcome) my fear is to surround myself with those who are positive and inspiring.
According to the positive psychology course that I am taking right now, resilience, the ability to overcome adversity quickly, can be enabled and built, just like muscles. It is all about how we look at the negative things in our lives. Not to ignore it, but to face it.
Reflecting on my past, there were definitely things I would do differently if I were to go back in time. The outcomes couldn’t be more different had I pushed a little harder and don’t take people’s words on the surface. Those were lessons that I had to learn by experience. My wise ex-boss once told me that you can’t always merely tell people “the right way” and expect them to understand; sometimes you have to let people run on their ideas in order to for them to realize that what they thought was wrong.
There were some difficult, unexpected situations that had arisen while living abroad (due to privacy concerns for those involved, I cannot share details). Although all of it is water under the bridge, and I don’t see it as a bad thing that happened in my life, it still affect some of my decisions/choices since.
After these events, I avoided dealing with the aftermath of my emotions. I was obsessed and consumed with the fact that it had no controllable factor as I playback what happened. It made me agitate to think about uncertainty – the possible consequences of my decisions. A million “what-if” scenarios were stuck in my head and playing over and over.
Another thing mentioned by the positive psychology course is that thinking about the positive side helps overcoming the difficulty. One good thing did come out of this experience. I used to think if I can’t have it, I’d rather it not commence at all. I learned that I never know what will happen in life. Life is unpredictable and uncontrollable. It is full of uncertainty. After this experience, I realized I need to cherish every day. Even if I can’t have it all, it doesn’t mean I have to miss out on it while it is there. That would have been my loss.
I am often accused of having dreams that I wanna accomplish that are too insane or unrealistic. However, without dreaming of it first, it would never go to fruition. Thinking back about my decision to go to Egypt. I had doubts, fear, and worries, and concerns. I knew nothing about that part of the world. Whether it is backpacking in Southeastern Europe by myself or jumping off an airplane/mountain to experience the adrenaline rush, I’ve been dubbed by some friends as fearless. Moving forward, I need to continue to live through fearlessness and take risks when necessary. After all, in my personal experience, the good outweighs the bad, by far, as long as I look at it the right way.