TheNewbie: Series 10 (Mykonos)

Mykonos!!!! (This was back in May, so technically this post is exactly 2 months overdue..eek)

I was in between tons of papers, projects, exams, and just wanted to cool off. So I had planned a Mykonos trip with a friend (she later bailed on me..judge yourself when you read this..lol). I mean what better way to cool off than by visiting the popular destination Greek island.

Leaving Athens

Well, my trip didn’t quite go as I imagined. I stayed up the whole night, yes the whole night from 10 pm to 6 am trying to finish up a 30-page coursework. My boat ride was by 7:30am and the port was about an hour from me. So I basically shut down my laptop, took a shower, and rushed out to the metro station. Arrived in good time, and then tried to settle in. And then it started, it was so windy, I was so unprepared, I got cold, shaky, and then started feeling dizzy and nauseous.

Goodness, it was the weirdest thing ever. I tried to puke but I couldn’t. Luckily, there was an Argentinan lady (Jenny) who was kind enough to offer some help. She made me sit still while raising my head, and then called the first aid officer who gave me some lime and a pill. We went inside and tried to get some seats (got the free seating arrangement..what a disaster), and then the pill kicked in, I slept like a baby and the nauseating stopped.

Hello Mykonos

We finally arrived Mykonos at 12:40pm (yes it was a 5-hour boat ride) but I forgot about everything as soon as I saw the blue skies and the white walls. I stayed at Paraga Beach Hostel, which was a 30-minute shuttle ride from Mykonos port. I checked in and took a time out to visit the city center – Fabrika.

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Local shop owners became my photographers

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Bump to Delos

I strolled for some more, and went to the travel agency to try to change my ticket dates (but it was overbooked). The agent told me about the Delos tour which was only 30 minutes from Mykonos. By now, you’ll think I’d have learnt from the boat ride to Mykonos, but I totally forgot. I got on the Delos boat before I remembered how badly sick I got. Luckily, the ride was shorter and I tried to suck it up this time.

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Can my dress stay still..haha

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Hello Nightlife!

The weirdest thing happened on my way back to the hostel. Our shuttle bus (the last one for the day) wouldn’t start and so we all had to get on another shuttle. Twas scary because I didn’t know anyone or know my way around. Luckily, there was another girl who wasalso going towards the same area, we walked together annnnndddd it was her friend’s birthday so I got to hang out. You’ll think that I’d be tired already from a sleepless night to a full adventrous day. I just figured I’ll find some time to sleep anddd off we went to Semeli bar. Goodness, the nightlife in Mykonos is something else, this is where I basically almost lost my home training. No no no, I’m not saying anything more (what happens in Mykonos stays in Mykonos).

Bye Mykonos!

By Sunday, I was bidding Mykonos goodbye. In these two days, I had met lots of strangers, made new friends, and ticked something off my “not-so-long” bucket list. Oh, and I got some pills for the boat ride this time so I sleeeepttt throughout the entire ride.

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Bumped into Jenny at Fabrika

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Sunset as we arrived in Athens
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The Newbie Series 9: Eurotour

We went bag packing.

3 countries x 3 nights => Series 9

This episode is quite an interesting one (albeit late). I had been planning to do some sort of Eurotrip with my colleagues for a while, after all, it’s all about putting our Schengen visas to good great use. But finding the right time and planning the trip became cumbersome by the day so we just parked it aside.

Anyway, we finally felt relieved after a while, looked out for free times on our schedule and looked out for price tickets (Skyscanner and Google Flights thank you). The plan was really to go during Easter since we were sure of being free buuuuttttt ticket prices were not smiling and then the unthinkable happened.

20€ oneway to Berlin, hell yes! That was the real push. This was a budget trip… you’ll see how much I spent at the end.

Germany (Berlin, Hamburg)

We set out on Friday for a 3-hour flight to Berlin Schönefeld. Arrived at the airport (pretty quiet or maybe it was the time of the night at 12:00am), strolled around for a bit, and came back to snooze at the airport. Our next trip was by bus 4am to Hamburg. We slept for the most part of the trip, it was cold and cozy and super comfy (shoutout to Flixbus).

We were super hungry when we finally got to Hamburg, so we found a corner shop (there were lots of food shop), had some burger and pizza, saw a movie (covers face, it was raining so we stayed in and just saw a movie on my tab).

We took a good 2-hour walk around Hamburg city center and it was such a lovely view. Might I say, they had so many stunning cars, it was hard to keep up with the chrome and shiny models we kept seeing? Indeed, Germany is the home of car automation.

By 4:15pm, we set out for another long (7-hour bus trip) to Amsterdam Sloterdjik. Goodness, I couldn’t sleep much and the internet was crappy this time. Nonetheless, I did a lot of reflection and eating lol. We arrived at Sloterdjik at about 11:30pm and just took a cab straight to the hostel.

Netherlands (Amsterdam, Heemskerk)

The hostel we stayed at (Heemskerk Castle) was about 15mins by car from the station (and about 30mins by foot). The staff members were so courteous and it was indeed a castle, so beautiful. Well, technically didn’t even know this until we saw the castle in broad daylight the next day.

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The next morning, we had a breakfast buffet and some more sleep. After a good day’s sleep and food, we were more than ready to explore Amsterdam. We set out at about 11am for the city center by train and then did a hop-on-hop-off tour (CitySightseeing Amsterdam) around the city (lasted pretty much the whole day)

Did I mention that I lost our hop-on-hop-off tickets? Oh gosh, you should have seen my face when I realized. We had just got on the bus from Gassan Diamonds, and they let us in without checking for the tickets because it was really a private place. Alas, I had left the tickets on the counter at Delft Blue Store (a souvenir store just in front of Gassan Diamonds). I was so flustered because I still had a couple of places I wanted to go and it was going to be technically impossible without the tickets. Thankfully, I spoke with the staff on the bus, they found the ticket at the shop, and I picked it up from the central station much later. Whew.

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My highlights: The Iamsterdam sign, Gassan Diamonds (Father, provide a boo haha), and of course the history (most of which I have now forgotten).

Belgium (Brussels)

I’ll be honest we couldn’t explore Brussels as much I hoped we would. Bag packing is really not an easy one and the bus rides made it more tiring I guess. After three long days (and nights) of touring these countries, I was absolutely exhausted.

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Best Asian takeout

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Overall, spent 235€ (or something around this figure, I may have lost my actual expense sheet, yes I wrote down everything I spent). Just 35 above my initial budget travel plan, but absolutely worth it!

Thanks for stopping by. Toodles.

About Hunger and Relationships

Sometime back, I had been going through a rough season where God was asking me to do something and I was trying so hard to say no. When I realized I couldn’t fight any longer, I went back to God in fasting and prayer to help me deal with the pain and courage to go through.

During one of the days just before my fast ended, I started cooking some rice just so it’ll be ready in time when I was ready (I’m an over-preparer, like I worry about things even 5 years ahead haha and I like to plan ahead “be in control a lot of times”). When I was ready to break my fast, my rice wasn’t but I wasn’t even having it, I tried to start eating and oh boy it was worse than the hunger. The taste of the hard unboiled rice overcame the feelings of hunger I thought I couldn’t suppress.

P.S: I didn’t make this, but I particularly like this picture hoping I can whoop up something like this soon

So I had to wait till the food was ready before I could try to eat. A few days later, I was praying again and I heard God say in my spirit, it’s not yet time. He made me remember the food episode and how no matter how hungey I was, I just could not enjoy the food because it was undone. He helped me see that the relationship He was asking me to break off was simply because it wasn’t yet time, and so I could not enjoy the benefits I wanted instead it was going to do more harm than good at the time.

That singular explanation/analogy helped me muster strength in ways I could not even imagine, it opened me up to a completely different level of understanding and helped me say Yes faster to God.

What are you struggling with? If it’s not yet time, let God make it and form it properly before you start to trying to eat or savor the moment. Let Him take the reins.

Image Credit: Unsplash.com and YouVersion Bible

P.P.S: Don’t let the food pictures distract you from the message.

The Seed: Lessons from John 12

What is a seed? According to Wikipedia “A seed is an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering.”

Have you ever wondered or taken some time to figure out what really happens to a seed before it becomes fruitful? Light, good soil, water, etc right.

Seed  =====>   Plant =====>  Fruit  =====> More Seeds

Now in a nutshell, for any seed to grow, three things are important: viability, proper environment, dormancy. In relation to our spiritual lives, these three things which I explain below are also vital to helping us grow.

1. Viability – This is basically our willingness to and for the things of God. It’s about being open and vulnerable to allowing the Holy Spirit have his way every single day/moment. I know I used to be very confused about the need/importance to pray every single day/moment. Sometimes I’d get weary just having to pray or worship every day asking deep down, God wasn’t yesterday’s prayer/worship enough for today haha.

One day, as I was cleaning up after my bath, the Holy Spirit asked me how come I didn’t miss a day of bathing. Like I mean even if I washed in the purest waters or finest soap or had the best bath or even had the best and most successful day ever, I still had to take a bath on the next. Now before I digress, you can read up the rest of a recent article I wrote on being refreshed.

I tell you the solemn truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces much grain. The one who loves his life destroys it, and the one who hates his life in this world guards it for eternal life. If anyone wants to serve me, he must follow me, and where I am, my servant will be too. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. (John 12: 24 – 26, NET)

2. Proper environment – This is about our enabling environment including where we are, our families, church, friends, surrounding community, what we listen to, what we watch. This is sort of like the soil: the foundation upon which our seed of love, faithfulness, and commitment take root. This is also where we imbibe, sort of affects how deep our roots are, and ultimately critical to how fruitful we become as His children.

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Photo Credit: Daniel Hjalmarsson on Unsplash

3. Dormancy – Essentially this is about losing self. In a much grimmer way, this is death to self. It is a daily walk and a constant reminder of God’s word that he who loses his life here on earth will find it (paraphrasing). I listened to a sermon yesterday and this particular scripture got clearer. You see when we are willing to lose our life (our fleshy thoughts and selfish ambitions essentially) for His sake, then we gain the life that He has established for us (purpose-filled, Spirit-led, fulfilling).

In conclusion, as children of God, our character development is far more important than comfort. It’s important for use to keep abiding and when we get weary, we should constantly renew ourselves in the Spirit.

Bible Verses
Design Credit: Me 🙂

Photo Credit: Featured Image by Kyle Ellefson on Unsplash

ShortPost: Refreshed

There was a time I used to think all it took to arrive at my Christian altitude was one super revelation/rhema, and so in my prayer time I used to ask God to show Himself to me just this once. Sometimes I’d get weary just having to pray or worship every single day thinking deep down – God wasn’t yesterday’s prayer/worship enough for today haha.

One day, as I was cleaning up after my bath, the Holy Spirit asked me how come I didn’t miss a day of bathing. And that was my turning point. Think about it, I mean even if you washed in the purest waters or used the finest soap or had the best bubble bath or even had the best and most successful day ever, you still had to take a bath on the next day. It basically has nothing to do with how you’ve had a bath in the past.

 

For bodily exercise profiteth little, but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

1 Timothy 4:8 (KJV)

I don’t know about you but every time I take a bath I feel a lot refreshed. Oh well when I take a bath knowing I’m not rushing anywhere lool. I dare say it’s the same thing as spending time with God, I mean just because we had one beautiful encounter,one dream, one trance, one revelation, one breath-shaking worship session does not mean we have arrived.

Just like we take a bath everyday, we do need to take a spiritual bath daily too. Don’t get tired of seeking, stay consistent and you’ll end up more profitable.

 

Featured Image Credit: Frank McKenna