The best of 2016.

A look back at some of my most popular posts in 2016.

Until yesterday, I was without both my camera and laptop for three long days. I had to send them both for some TLC, and I regret to announce that only one of them came back to me.

My camera, that I often affectionately refer to as my baby, went through some sensor cleaning and is now back with me safely. Considering I never left my flat without it for the past one year or so, having it taken away from me for full seventy two hours did give me some separation anxiety.

My laptop, however, suffered from a much more unfortunate fate. I will let the picture below speak of what had happened.

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And of course it went beyond repair one day before a big deadline.

The cost of repairing it would almost be equivalent to buying a new one, so after fighting furiously for its life, I had to make one of the most difficult electronic decisions in my life: I had to let it go.

You may find me weird for having such a strong attachment to a piece of technology (let alone sharing my sentiments for the whole world to read), but that laptop has gone through so much with me.

It was one of the main reasons for the birth of this blog. I typed every single post (129 of them to be exact) of this so-called travel blog on that laptop – it practically gave me back my flair for writing. My mediocre pictures appeared twice as sharp and brilliant thanks to its screen resolution that was way ahead its time. It travelled with me to all the different countries that I have been to since the end of 2013 (there were a lot of them).

So it does feel extremely weird that I am now writing this very post on a new laptop that I had just purchased in a rush to fill in the gaps so I can continue applying for jobs during my winter break. For one I kept touching my screen to try and scroll down since my previous laptop came with that function (I was spoilt I know).

But in the words of G.K. Adams that I recently came across in the book “After You” by Jojo Moyes:

Sometimes in order to keep moving forward, not only must you take one step at a time, but you must be willing to look back occasionally and evaluate your past, no matter how painful it is.

As a tribute to the enabler of this blog, I have decided to use this post to look back at some of my most popular posts in 2016, all of them came to life thanks to my now defunct Lenovo Yoga Pro 2.

Continue reading “The best of 2016.”

Appreciating Aarhus.

I still have a lot of things that I want to write about my trip in December. There is a story about my first encounter with the whales somewhere in the Norwegian Sea, there is something to say about my visit to the charming city of Bergen, or when I somehow found myself in Paris for the last day of 2015 and the first few days of 2016. And I haven’t even talked anything about my (almost) annual ritual of visiting Stockholm yet.

But something happened that completely snatched my attention away from all these things: the arrival of February.

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Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing bad about February. In fact, February is generally an excellent month: a lot of my close friends’ birthdays are in February, Chinese New Year often falls in February, and 2016 is a leap year, how exciting!

There is just one tiny little detail that is different about this year’s February compared to the previous years (apart from the fact that I am spending Chinese New Year away from my family for the first time in my life): I’m moving to a different continent at the end of the month.

It certainly does not feel or seem like it at all since I don’t have anything sorted out for the big move yet. I have no visa (hopefully it is on its way), no flight booked (although I already have a very rough idea which one I am going to take), no accommodation (okay, this is the real problem I think, although I have a few kind souls who are on the lookout for me).

But I’m not here to complain about my administrative problems. Instead, what I’m trying to say is that the realisation that I’m leaving this month brings in another sinking fact: my time in Aarhus from now on can be counted in days.

It felt just like yesterday when I wrote this post about my first impressions of Aarhus just after my arrival here. But when I read through the post again, it felt like ages ago since my first visit to ARoS, when I lost my wallet and found it back thanks to Danish people’s astounding honesty, when interactions with my class mates were mere awkward exchange of conversations with strangers.

But how times have changed. Back then I had no clue that I was going to leave the place so soon and that some of the people here would be very dear to me.

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And as for Aarhus, after almost 6 months, I have managed to take the place for granted – for a good few months up until before Christmas, I had formed a view that the place is a mere small ‘city’ where you could get nothing done and nothing much to do – accompanied by perpetually horrible weather which ‘sucked the energy out of you’ (to quote a friend), you would practically want to do nothing else but escape from the rain and get into the comfort of your room (although I have to admit I’m extremely fond and proud of my room – see above picture). For someone who had previously lived her whole life in the world’s capitals (Jakarta, Beijing, Singapore, Copenhagen), I found this change in energy level unexpectedly hard and unsettling.

It was not until my last day in Aarhus in 2015 before I left for Oslo for my trip that I realised I had not taken enough time to appreciate the city and its beauty. I had been so engrossed in my little bubble at the outskirt of the city (hereby known as ‘the countryside’) that I failed to notice some of the beauty it had to offer.

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This practically looks magical.

Continue reading “Appreciating Aarhus.”