Without You

Taken as an excerpt from the one who feels lost amongst all

Have you ever had that feeling where you are so fixated on one object, you lose motivation to think about anything else?

That’s consumption done right.

There’s no need for desire of anything else. Your thoughts are consumed. You wish you could think about any or everything else; it’s seemingly locked down though. Everything suddenly revolves around this one.

Drained. Tired. Ineffectually helpless.

This is a new feeling for me.
Is this another one of those experiences where you overcome it and become a
stronger person?

Through the fire
I’ll persevere
I won’t submit to any fear
Where I’ll go you’ve been before
All my trust is in you Lord

Hold me close, Lord. Keep me sane.

FullSizeRender 2

All I need is you, Lord. Let me cling onto you as desperately as I may this week.

Advertisements

Care

You realize life’s many waves.

One moment you may be happy and carefree, knowing all is well. The next, you realize there are many shatters beneath the top; waiting to surface in those unpredictable moments. Why is it so hard for us to cling onto happiness and comfort?

Seeing you through the lens of this which I’ve called my own and destined for capturing those around me, I was happy. But as one retreated into the depths, there was no solace remaining.

Can you see? Or can you merely realize. Those who do not have, always pick out the gaping hole in that which they have. But those who have, never fully realize the extent of the value they hold. Lucky, aren’t they?

As the days go by, and the many setting of the sun’s, accompanied by the rises. Will I be the one who forgoes the desire that so easily roots and stems itself within me? Why do I let this pod take place, when I already know of it’s many disappointments and voids that it has frequented in the past?

Maybe it’s because my remembrance is fleeting, while my memories dwell. Memories that I let linger through the many captures that I take on a daily basis. Memories that engrain themselves within me, with the subject’s presence abiding; without permission, but encompassing reluctance.

He wanted people to like his mind again – after awhile it might be such a nice place in which to live.

This Side of Paradise. 

  • Fitzgerald

The mind is the dominating organ that intrigues me; above all else. Like a friend once mentioned, it is also the organ that can come to odds with your faith. Do you let this come between you and what your soul rests in, or do you choose to walk away? Isn’t it peculiar how one does not want to be questioned or left behind, but also cares for those whom she places her utmost respect in – to even want to obtain certainty from; those she realizes the displeasure that may result.

FullSizeRender

Someone far and locked up, may you find your own

Remember

Remember who you found among those winding streets and chilly frosts of air that stemmed from your chuckles as you gasped and laughed. Remember who you decided to leave behind – not by choice, but by another taking the reins for you. Remember.

Stray far from that person who used to be overtaken by so many fears and anxiety. Forget those that wrapped their hands around your lungs. Persevere. Strive. Smile. Move forward. No, even run.

Jump and feel those wings lift you higher and higher up. Away from that which bound you before and realize you aren’t the same; and will never be again. Because you chose our Father. You choose, everyday – to let Him lead your every step. There is certainty in what He decides, and that is where your calming heart is planted.

Dam Square

Brighton • Oliver

The week after Copenhagen, we as a group collectively decided: “Yep, it’s time we took a break from flying into the EU”. We wanted to explore a city close to our campus city. Funny thing is – there was a larger town close to Bath called Bristol: 15 minutes away by rail. After researching options such as: Cornwall (very beautiful – disappointed I couldn’t visit before disembarking the UK…) and Manchester (a tad far…) – we decided on Brighton; one of the most noteworthy cities to visit while in the UK. We somehow implicitly believed it would be close to Bath…

3.5 hours of rail later, we’ve arrived! It’s a coastal city, and we felt this right when we stepped out of the rail station. The air was filled with the sandiness of the beaches and freshness of the roaring waters. The day we went wasn’t the best as it was grey skies and mild rain; albeit this unpleasant weather, I do not regret this day trip. It progressively  introduced me to hidden gems that were scattered throughout the UK.

Brighton is a city of wonder. There are numerous small shops, delicious restaurants, and a mix of tourists and locals. We aimed for the coastline as we had seen the beautiful pictures of the Ferris wheel and amusement park by the sea.

B115E46C-F19A-47F5-8FF7-931C40F483FD.JPGThe Regency Restaurant right by the coast is what I would recommend to all whom pass by Brighton. It is a seafood shack that cooks up delicious grilled or iced seafood. Out of all the seafood, paellas, and spaghetti dishes I’ve consumed over the 4 months – this restaurant tops it all. I think it might also be the cheese that is slathered on top! Other than eat, we frequented the little arcade that lay right outside the carnival park. I think we spent about 1.5 hours in there, playing games until our hands tired and our jaws sore from belly-laughing, and ultimately- winning a Brighton snow globe.

A funny little story is: I had been told by a friend that there were rainbow huts on Hove Beach, in Brighton. I googled it and led our group in circles beyond circles. When we walking along the coastline, I had a sinking feeling we were going in the wrong direction… but I kept going. It was fun not knowing if we were going the right way, but as I had everyone with me – it was okay. Just thought of it as time together.

After googling intensely a bit more, I realized… there was Brighton and a Hove Beach with rainbow huts – in Australia. We asked around some more and realized the rainbow huts were a bit of a secret – only locals knew of this little strip near the coast.

Here’s some rad pics of us jumping up and down… and up and down – like maniacs high on colour. That day became more sunny (and hot) as we walked up and down the few strips that lined this city.

Brighton remains one of the top cities I would go back for. Not only for it’s quaint and calming city-sphere, but also the feels of being by the sea.

FullSizeRender 3.jpg

When I look at this little beauty, I think of our times there. Times where we grew closer by chatting with each other, getting to know each other’s pasts, and having fun at another city explored.

Copenhagen • Progressively Elegant

For me, Copenhagen was at the top of my bucket list. It was established as the happiest city in the world, from long ago. The famous Nyhavn street has always come up in tumblr search engines and the many bike-littered streets made me so excited to bike along it’s cobbled streets. The Danish pride themselves on being a bike-friendly city with a vast amount of parking spaces and bike lanes, with over half the population biking to work everyday.

7A9BB8CB-B26C-4588-A10A-9CD36285B7A7

The famous Nyhanv Street!

On the afternoon that I arrived, I went around trying to see as many landmarks as I could. I was blessed as it was a blue-sky, warm-air type of afternoon. I also ventured out to the Food Market (it was delicious!).

FullSizeRender.jpg

Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘Little Mermaid’ was spotted!

When my friends joined the next day, we had to see the Carlsberg brewery of course. It was pretty awesome as we were put in a group of travellers from all around the world: Americans, Europeans, Canadians, and more. We learned about the process of beer-making, the correct way to drink the sweetness belly-up, and how to skål!

They look pretty similar to me… @Sunny Sun

AEBC111B-5A34-4424-B7D6-8C23FBD9E391.JPG

We got to see beautiful crowns! At the Rosenborg Castle.

0474BC35-3538-4673-AAD0-BC2271CADF76.JPG
Copenhagen, Denmark. How you stole my heart away – even after I thought I was already smitten with Barcelona. Copenhagen has a much different feel than Barcelona. It is quaint. The streets clean and frequented by many of it’s inhabitants – on bikes or by foot. I especially liked the many canals that streaked up and down throughout it’s 94 transit zones.

I would recommend looking at the Copenhagen card, as it gives you free transit and access into multiple museums. If you’re a big traveller like us, it’s a deal!

C886CC4C-73CF-4412-8CB9-D0E6BF7AC89C.JPG
We always hit up the best place to get a panoramic view of the city. Copenhagen’s Round Tower gave us that. It didn’t come without effort. We realized to get views in any European city, this required you to climb to the very top – without elevators.

We like to goof around. These are my favourite 3, as they switch genders by switching jackets.

All in all, I’ve noticed Copenhagen has a different feel than the other European countries. Even to date, it remains a clean and favourite city in my book of travels. The food was great – canal ride was amongst the best as we learned of the different histories of Copenhagen as it went through the different centuries. There is a mix of modern and historic architecture, as the city is one of the leading forefronts of sustainable living.

Copenhagen, Denmark • March 2-5, 2017

Barcelona • Enchantingly Historic

Within 2 weeks of meeting new friends from all across the world, we decided to embark on our first trip in Europe: Barcelona, Spain! As most of us have never been to Europe before, our bucket lists consisted of the most “popular” and “must-see” cities. We stayed for 4 days… and were pretty awed from the moment we stepped into the city, until we left.

BFF0C00A-5A0F-43C3-AA82-9E9A8BCFB10D.jpg

The first landmark we encountered was Casa Batló. It was immediately to our left, as we stepped out from the Passeig de Gracia train station. Barcelona’s architecture differs quite a bit from the Georgian style I was used to in the UK. You could also see the years that the buildings had sustained as the style and texture had an ancient-like feeling.

While being there, I learned that the people were very divided. Not everyone agreed with Spain’s government and did not unite in their national identity. I noticed there were different flags strewn on the balconies of the various apartments, and this invoked a curiosity that led me to researching the apparent divide. Although I would warn travellers to be careful of their belongings, as one of my good friend’s wallet did get pick-pocketed.

698455CA-07B3-49C4-B351-105438A3899E

You can never have too many paellas in Barcelona…

Barcelona being close to the port allowed us to have some of the best seafood around. Safe to say, even though we had seafood paellas, pasta, and risotto about 3/4 of the nights there… it tasted amazing, every single time! The best drink around was the Sangria, which came in big cups or even jugs.

 

66D429BE-204A-480D-9994-A300054B92E9

Too many decisions!

One delicious restaurant I would recommend to all travellers deciding to hit up Barcelona would be in the district of Dreta de l’Eixample (will find the name!). The seafood, served cold or grilled – was AMAZING! I think I especially liked that evening’s dinner as we went after biking all around Barcelona and it’s beautiful coastlines. I am glad that I was able to have bike adventures in this city due to its wonderful pavements that allowed for long excursions and also the time I got from bonding with my friends, over falling bikes and breath-taking views.

FullSizeRender 2

Overall, I think Barcelona was a great introduction city for most of us as it taught us the importance of being protective of your belongings, really letting the night life sink in while there, and the joys of travelling with a group of friends whom were relatively new in their friendship life – but still very responsible towards one another.

Here’s some of our happy pics. We jumped a lot. Because we were joyous in not being bound by assignment deadlines and textbook readings. Oh, the freedoms of exchange!

1B4993F7-8D74-4E66-AFA4-E558DC8298A6.JPG

My favourite 4 (missing Hoyhoy!)

FullSizeRender.jpg

Barcelona, Spain • February 23-27, 2017

Why do I choose to collect snowglobes? Maybe it’s similar to the reason of why my face lights up when I see snow. Unpredictable, yet it eventually does arrive. Maybe on a day when you least expected it. But always making that day more special than the last.

To the Good Ol’ Days

After the excited initial feels of being in a new country, the stark surroundings and lack of familiar faces started to strike…

IMG_2155

It was only in the first few weeks that I met the other exchange students. The first friend I befriended was this one guy whom I would come to know, at a medium level (RHS – Sunny Sun). The smartest guy around, but also the goofiest and is often all over the place (literally). He introduced me to other people, and I will always remain thankful for that. Too smart for his own good, and too silly to realize that. Always bringing laughter in every sitting.

The other 2 are my mains! POPO and FIFI will always have your back. Whether it is in the form of sharing cake with you, cooking food for you, or just travelling to wherever you want. They are down.

A2FC031D-BE65-40EB-A6DC-8F32DC60FEA3

Sight: Charles Bridge, Prague
Mains: Popo & Fifi & Gigi
“Why walk when you can selfie?”

I am also thankful that in the beginning I was able to befriend some of my roommates. It was cool being able to live close to friends whom you could cook and chat late into the night with. They were older, wiser, and most often than not, very fashionable in an eccentric way. Overall an awesome role model for me. We all come from different backgrounds, but we’re also to meet during this term at the same University. Although I believe the best of times are often had at the most spectacular places, it is most likely the people whom are around, that make those days extra special. I learned to cherish this fact over the course of my exchange.

Here are some snippets of the residence I lived at while in Bath. I am also glad that I was able to find a family in Church and grow closer to each one of them. There is too much to say about everything that happens on exchange, but I would like, day by day, annotate it to you.

Although I’ve walked this path multiple times. That day I took these photos, I could sense that when the day came I took my last step away from this place – I would miss it dearly • Thornbank Gardens: during this period, I learned to fend for myself. This will always be my home away from home. Close to P, J, S, F, M, S, S, J, P, G & A.

IMG_1904That time I couldn’t stop playing with my phone. I realized my pictures would be nothing without knowing the stories of the people who litter my every album and populate the places I’ve been to with their smiles.

Thanks for coming along this ride with me. Europe, you’ve instilled a spark in me that I thought had long been put out. I know I’ll be back soon, don’t forget me just yet!