Discovering the City of Himeji

To say that it is Japan's most spectacular castle seemed like a sweeping declaration.  But with almost every article describing it as such, I thought the Himeji Castle was worth a visit during our trip.

And it was.  Because more than the castle, it was the whole city that charmed us and made us wish we could stay longer.  But since we had limited time, we just made do of that one day we had to explore the second largest city in the Hyogo Prefecture.

Neon Lights 2015: Two days and six stages of music, arts, and a night with Damien Rice

The inaugural Neon Lights Music and Arts Festival in Singapore.

Several months back, the boyfriend and I created a list of musicians whom we would save up and spend for should they visit Asia.  Being the legit music geek, his list was waaaaaaay longer than mine which included Damien Rice.

Coincidentally, a few weeks after the talk, he found out that the Irish singer-songwriter was scheduled to perform at the first ever Neon Lights Music and Arts Festival in Singapore.  Boy, you should've seen his excitement!  He practically spent the whole night researching on festival tickets and searching for flights. As if he wasn't giddy with anticipation already, Rachael Yamagata was later on added to the festival lineup.

Needless to say, last November 2015, we found ourselves at the Fort Canning Park in Singapore, cozying up on the grounds along with 10,000 other enthusiasts, enjoying the massive celebration of music and arts at the weekend festival. 

The power of bread crumbs

A few months ago, a friend and a former colleague of mine sent a message asking for tips because she was scheduled to go to Japan last December.  What started out as conversation about traveling eventually turned into a discussion on adulthood.  She said she was having some kind of quarter life crisis and, being several years younger than I am, asked how I got through mine.

The safe answer would have been to tell her some self-help tips and that it will eventually pass.

Instead, I told her this:

"Honestly, I've been through many of those crises and am, in fact, still going through one that I think those 'quarter' and 'mid' life crisis terms are just full of crap.  It's a WHOLE LIFE crisis hahaha. 
But I realized, it only feels like a 'crisis' because we don't know what we're going through.  When in fact, the only reason why we're feeling all those confusion is because our needs, goals, and priorities are continuously changing.  And it can be pretty unnerving to have set your goals one year and then realize the next that you already want something else entirely. 
Then again, that's good. Because it means we're continuously evolving.  The next thing for us to do now is to embrace those new needs/goals/priorities and move forward." 

Seems like I've got everything handled in my own life, right?  NOT.

You see, last year, I left the only career I've known for 11 years and entered an entirely new world where I had to learn the ropes from scratch and prove to myself, more than anyone else, that I am capable of doing other things.  Several months and validations later, I learned--and surprised myself--that I am.

But the process of learning and adapting to this new world is not without confusion, frustrations, and failed expectations. 

That's when I would launch into one of those I'm-so-frustrated-I-don't know-what-to-do-with-my-life rants. Then my sister would tell me, "Just be patient and follow your bread crumbs."
"Think of what you are going through right now as your bread crumbs.  The bread crumbs may not always be good experiences but they are definitely leading you where you are supposed to go."

Losing a job, breaking up with your partner, going through a financial crisis, or any other life-altering experiences--those are breadcrumbs.

Coincidentally, while I was going through my Paulo Coelho Alchemy Day Planner which I transformed into a travel notebook, I came across this quote:

"Some things occur in our lives in order to lead us back 
to the true path of our Personal Legend.
Others appear so that we can apply everything we have learned.
And still others arrive in order to teach us."
-The Fifth Mountain

I still believe that in the grander scheme of things, the Universe has plans for me--for all of us, for that matter.  She just likes to tease and toy with us every now and then so we can fully appreciate the journey and, in effect, become more resilient people.  In the meantime, let's continue to follow those bread crumbs and pick up everything we can learn along the way.  For when the day comes and we finally find our place in the Universe and we see the bigger picture, that's when we'll realize the power of those bread crumbs.


Trusting the power of the bread crumbs to lead us to our Personal Legends.  (Taken during our trip to Batanes last April 2015)

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