All About Me – Pacific Panorama (DP)

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.

All About Me

Because I Can

I came across this quote:

“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithlessand therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”

― Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Photo credit: Moyan Brenn

Travelling makes me learn that I can follow my dreams. I CAN.

I am privileged to be able to test things out. To have startups, to fail and to learn from my mistakes. What about those who cannot risk as such? Travel made me realize that. Travel makes me think about how lucky I am. I never put it in perspective before.

I have a family who can support me if something happens. I have relatives that can help me. If I really fail, I can flip some burgers at the local McDonalds (provided that I have related customer service experience).

What about others who are less privileged? Some cannot due to their circumstances. When you are in a country that is going through a lot of political turmoil, you would be more worried about having ANY job.  Would you risk it all if you have a family to support in an economy when it is next to impossible to switch to more satisfying job.

I challenge you to follow your dreams too. So what if you fail? Live it. Experience it. Learn from it.

The Happy Wanderer (DP)

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?

The Happy Wanderer

Where is the Most Relaxing Place in Egypt?

May is just around the corner. It is never too early to think about the beaches. When people think Egypt, they think about the pyramids, mummies, and the various temples. At the end of the day, my most visited destination had to be the beaches.

Red Sea

I have mentioned the Sinai Peninsula in a previous post. Needless to say, it was one of my favourite vacation place while in Egypt.

Sharm el Sheikh – The most famous destination that has its own international airport. I don’t recommend staying in Sharm el Sheikh unless you are there for the clubs. Unless your hotel is at the central area. It would take some taxi rides to get around. I don’t like it for how touristic it is. Though if you are there, make your way down to Ras Mohammad for snorkelling.

Dahab – I cannot count how many times I went to Dahab. It has a little bit of everything. Everything you need is within walking distance (hence no haggling with taxi drivers).

I like choosing accommodations that has a balcony, because you can buy and drink your own liquor, and play your own music. Just note that all tap water is salted and cannot be consumed. Always buy bottled water.

There are so many restaurants. My favourite restaurant/bar is “Yalla Bar”, which I stumbled upon randomly by chance. They have tables for eating, sun beds for sunbathing, or you can rent some goggles and snorkel for a bit while waiting for the server to make your drink.

Blue hole, one of the most famous scuba diving and snorkelling spots in the world, is only a few kilometers away from Dahab.

Mount Sinai is a must go because it is where Moses received the Ten Commandments. In addition, seeing the sunrise/sunset is beautiful there. I ended up going on January 7, a cold winter today. It was snowing at night (which is very rare, it hasn’t snowed for a few years). The early morning of next day, I saw the beautiful view of Mount Sinai covered by snow.

Nuweiba – You stay at a camp – they have huts along the coastline of red sea. Sunbath, snorkelling, drinking tea are some of the activities to do during the day. When the night comes, don’t put away your beach towel yet. Lie down on the beach and stare at the sky: you won’t believe how many stars you can see.

It is nice to go with some friends or you can make friends while there. It is so calm and relaxing. This is the perfect getaway if you are tired of all the noise in Cairo (or any major metropolitan cities around the world).

My personal recommendation would be Dahab for all purpose, Nuweiba for some isolated time with mother Earth, and  Sharm el Sheikh for nightlife.