As I write this, 2 January, 2018, it’s all good. I had a good start, thank and praise God! 🙂
I was able to do some reflection, bible reading, I wrote my faith declaration for the year, prayer requests for family and friends, some goals which I offer and surrender all to God, the hope of glory. 🙂
On the last day of 2017, I attended the church service at VictoryFort. Before I attended it, I prayed to God to speak to me and guide me through the pastor’s message. Pastor Joey’s central message is about HOPE. You may listen to his message thru this link. I love the message and it was exactly what I needed from the Lord. I’m grateful to be reminded how great, how loving, how powerful, how generous, how mighty our Father God is, His unchangeable character and time-tested word [are] enough for us to depend on Him and hope in Him, it’s enough to be comforted and to have peace as we go about our days in 2018 and all the glorious days of our lives. Sharing with you some of the bible verses which Pastor Joey shared to remind us how important it is to focus and keep our hope in the Lord because HE is our Father, our Savior, our Provider, our Healer, Comforter, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, our Alpha and Omega, He knows the beginning and the end of our lives so trusting Him and hoping in Him is the best thing that we can do to live a victorious life today and everyday. 🙂
Hebrews 6:17-19 ESV
17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,
Romans 5:3-5 ESV
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Colossians 1:27 ESV
27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
In the same way that the message of hope has given me all the comfort, peace, encouragement and excitement to face the coming year with a joyful, grateful and expectant heart for everything that the Lord has planned to bless my family, friends and me for the year, I hope you have been filled with the same strong hope from God’s unchangeable character and time-tested word.
Cheers to a blessed, happy, healthy, hopeful, lovely, and peaceful 2018! 🙂
I’ve found my first Europe travel buddy because of Colosseum. Why Colosseum? Caye’s main reason for wanting to go to Europe is because she dreams of seeing the Colosseum in its glorious glory. 🙂 So when I first shared to her my dream trip, we’ve got an instant travel buddy in each other. 🙂 We saved the best for last, we put Rome at the end of our trip. Kim also wanted to attend the Pope’s celebration of mass at the Vatican so we had to schedule our trip which would fall on a Wednesday, the day the Pope himself celebrates mass to the public.
In Rome, I have used the panoramic shot the most because everything is wide and humongous!! Just like the Vatican and the Trevi Fountain amongst others.
We ate lots of pasta, pizza and consumed so much coffee too, which we all enjoyed!
Coffee all day, everyday! 🙂
On the last day, I needed to have gelato! I wasn’t able to eat gelato everyday because I’m too full from all the pasta, pizza and all the yummy meals we had, my tummy had no more space for dessert! ;P
This was us, in front of our AirBnB, on our last day. We loved our accommodation in Rome so much. It was big, clean and beautiful. The location was great too! 🙂
Rome being the last leg of the trip, I thought, it was okay not to expect too much, anyway we already had the loveliest (more than) 2 weeks of travel, and I was kinda tired already that time, also trying to condition myself that I would leave my dream place in a few days… But lo and behold! God really spoils His children! Rome was sooo lovely!! Just like the rest of the places we’ve been to. I wanted to stay a bit longer, if only I could… It was easy to explore, and everything is sooo beautiful, I love it’s warm colours, it’s cool and sunny weather, the coffee, the gelato, everything… I will surely go back, someday, Godwilling. 🙂 I can’t thank and praise God enough for blessing us with the most wonderful vacation in our beautiful dream place. HE is truly an awesome God and Father, always giving the best gifts to His children. 😀
Hope you enjoyed my photoblog! 😉
Until my next adventure, more to come in 2018! 🙂
Wishing you all the best of everything in the coming year! God’s best, always! 😉
This part of our trip is all about meeting with family and friends. And that makes it so special and dear to my grateful♥. 🙂
My cousin, Jel, and her family lives in London, she’s been inviting me to visit them since 2008, so I am really grateful and happy to finally have the chance to visit them and spend some quality time with them. 😀 My aunt, Jel’s mom, was there at that time too, so it was a great time to be in London. 🙂
Aside from spending time with family and friends, I also had the opportunity to attend the EveryNation church service at Hammersmith. Thanks so much to my dear cousin, Jel, for accompanying me. It meant a lot to me to be able to spend time with the Lord amidst the hectic schedule while on vacation. I am very grateful that my cousin took me to Hammersmith and had a wonderful, comforting time at the church. That Sunday, 4 June, the church invited the Award-winning author Dr. Frank Turek (I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Stealing from God), to speak. We were so blessed to listen to his wonderful teaching about the truth of God’s existence amidst all the suffering in the world.
Because this is the London part of the trip, I made an exception on the number of photos to share. I hope you understand. 😀
Last part of the trip, Rome, will follow. It’s the last, but definitely, not the least. 😉
As we are about to say goodbye and thank you to 2017 in a few days, I would like wrap up my year by sharing some highlights from my Europe trip. I know this is rather so late, I got overwhelmed with lots of photos and stories to share back then, and then I got tied up with work and all the get-togethers. Now that I am officially on vacation, I wouldn’t want to miss the chance to post more about my dream trip. This year’s trip with Caye and Kim is one of the highlights of my best year so far, so it definitely deserves a space here on my personal site. 😀 I’ve chosen 17 photos/highlights for each city that we visited. Why 17? Because 2017. 🙂
Let me warn you, this is a looooong post, 99% photos and 1% narrative. 😛 But don’t worry, I will share the highlights in 4 parts. 🙂
Florence, Italy: 22 May
(Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa): 23 May
Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy: 25 May
That’s it for today. More photos to follow in the coming days. 🙂
Yes, I’m still not over it, probably never will I… 🙂
I realized I have missed out blogging about a few more important bits which will be quite useful for me to remember for my future trips (take note, tripS 🙂) to South Korea, yes, not only to Busan, but to other parts of South Korea and probably to Japan.
I live in Manila, we don’t have spring, autumn and winter here. So if I would like to experience other seasons, the nearest that I can go to is South Korea and Japan. My first experience of spring is in Seoul in April 2011, while my first autumn experience was in Osaka & Kyoto in late November/early December of 2015. I am blessed to be able to go back to South Korea, to Busan just recently, but didn’t get to witness “autumn” colours as yet, but definitely felt the lovely autumn weather.
Spring, Seoul, 2011
Autumn, Osaka/Kyoto, 2015
It is likely that I will be going back to these countries because I love them so much for various reasons. I love the weather, the food (this alone is good enough reason for me to keep on going back), the beautiful sceneries, the courteous and disciplined people, the good quality of their products, and a whole lot more!
In every travel that we experience, we learn a thing or two, and we become a better traveler and a better person each time. The things that I learned in Europe are different from what I learned in South Korea. I have shared here some of the lessons learned during my first travel to Europe.
Today, I will be sharing some notes to self which I should remember by the time I’ll take that next trip to either Japan or South Korea.
Early November is a good time to go…
Some friends and even celebrities which I follow in Instagram went to Seoul this week and I actually wanted to go back on a whim! Their videos and photos are so beautiful, the food looks so yummy, I know they are, the weather is sooo cold, the colours are just so pretty and lovely… So I am praying and hoping to be able to go back to South Korea next year, most probably in early November, Godwillling. (The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. – Proverbs 16:9). 🙂
Bring a medium AND a small luggage
Well, I know I should always try to travel light but I’ll make an exception for these 2 countries because I honestly believe that’s it’s okay to hoard all the yummy food they have. 🙂 I wasn’t able to do this recently because I only brought my small luggage. The medium luggage will be for my grocery shopping, not for my OOTDs. My clothes and all other knickknacks should fit inside my small luggage.
When I told my friend Ina that I would be going to Busan, she requested me to buy this pack of honey butter almond, she said it’s yummy. So I bought a few packs for my family and for Ina. I didn’t try it while in Busan, had I known how good it is, I should have bought more and tried to squeeze some more inside my luggage… (I love nuts. Thank you Ina, it’s because of you that I discovered this 😍). There are other variants, which are equally yummy. I tried the mixed nuts, it’s so good too!
I love French Vanilla and Caramel Macchiato, so when I saw these in one of the convenience stores, I bought 1 box each, which has 8 packs inside. I should have bought more if I had more space. Now you know why it is important for me to bring a medium luggage, or maybe just 2 small luggages? Well, it depends on how long will the vacation be and how much will be my budget for food shopping. 😉 Let’s see…
Try new drinks, both hot and cold…
As I have noted in my previous post, when in Starbucks, I should not only check out the available cards but also try their new hot and cold drinks from Day 1 of the trip so I get to try all by the end of the trip. 🙂
Find time to check out quaint cafes (they have the cutest cafes!), other food stalls, and eat all the berries and other unfamiliar fruits as much as possible… 😉 I love berries and another thing I love about these countries is that they have the freshest fruits and veggies 🙂
Always thank and praise God, allow Him to surprise you 🙂
“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you …” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I have probably said this before, but I’ll say it again, I thought 2017’s highlight would be my Europe trip, THE trip of the year, but God has His way of surprising and pampering His children in ways we couldn’t have imagined. I thank and praise God for our Busan trip as much as I praise and thank him for the Europe trip, they are both very special trips to me, cherished by my grateful, joyful heart. I give all thanks and glory to God for just blessing me with all good things. He knows I love to travel, and He delights in blessing me with wonderful experiences each time.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above… – James 1:17 ESV
As promised, I’m back to share more of our recent Busan adventures.
On our second day, 15 October, it was a Sunday, Eia proposed to go on a tour via hop on hop off. We boarded the bus at around 10:40am, we didn’t get off to most of the stops because it was raining, so we just enjoyed the view from the bus.
The bus had a 15-minute stop at the Fisheries Science Museum. We just stayed inside the bus and didn’t go inside the museum, but I got a bit bored after awhile so I stepped out a bit and took some photos and videos.
The first and only stop that we all decided to hop off was in front of an outlet mall. ;P
Since it was cold, I looked for something hot to drink, I loved the berry berry tea. I love everything with berries, oh, how I miss Europe, it’s the only place I was able to eat lots of berries because it was cheap!
Gill and Eia had some things to buy for their family/friends from some shops at the mall. Me, I bought some facial masks at the Lotte Supermarket, and some goodies too for family and friends. I bought a few packs of this Cafe Latte & Pepero Biscuit because I like anything that’s coffee-flavoured and the packaging is just too pretty!! I thought of giving them as Christmas gifts but I ended up giving them away as pasalubong. I left 1 box for me so I can try it, I loved it! I’ll hoard it next time. #notetoself ;P
I joined Gill while she was looking around. I went inside Coach with her, and I actually liked a wallet (forgot to take a photo), a pair of ballerines and sunglasses. Of course, I still found them pricey despite the big discount. ;P So as I advised in one of my posts, taking of a photo of it might do the trick, it did for me that time. 🙂 And I happily move away from them (as fast as I could). ;P
Gill and I met up with Eia in front of the mall after an hour and a half of malling. Our plan in the afternoon was to go to Nampo-dong, it’s a central commercial and shopping area, so more temptations to shop were waiting ahead of us! 🙂
The waiting was taking quite awhile, so I took it as an opportunity to photoshoot. 😉 Thanks to my lovelies who support me, as always. Hahaha
When we arrived at Nampo-dong, it was past lunchtime, so we looked for a place to eat, one of my agenda on this trip was to try jajangmyeon (noodles with black bean sauce), I always see it in Korean series so I got curious… Eia brought Gill and I to a resto where jajangmyeon is served. Well, it was okay, I liked it with the yellow radish, I actually liked the yellow radish so much, we ate a lot, unli-side dish. 🙂 Next year, Godwilling, eating jajangmyeon will still be a part of the agenda. 🙂 I want to try eating unli-fried chicken, too. 🙂
Another agenda is to buy sunscreen, serum, lipgloss and bb/cc cream at Skinfood, my favorite Korean skincare/makeup brand. Since I am working on a budget, the challenge was to stick to it. Before going on this trip, I made an inventory of what I have at home so I would not be easily tempted to buy things which I don’t need. I said on my previous post that “Inventory is the Key.” Well, I guess, aside from inventory, the most important factors, when you are trying to work on a budget because you want to save up and focus on the more important things, are discipline and self-control. These two go hand-in-hand and sometimes are being used interchangeably. Either way, we need both to be able to overcome temptations, including the urge to spend too much on stuff we don’t need.
Self-control – restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires
So I actually was able to buy what I intended to:
BUT I also bought a few more stuff…
The saleslady at Skinfood told me that a serum works best with these two products, Essence and Cream. I thought about it many times, but I finally gave in because of the discount when I buy the package and she promised me with lots of freebies. ;P I also bought a nail polish in my current fave color, an acetone and a pretty set of nailcare.
Here are some of the freebies I got from Skinfood which I kept for myself. The other freebies which are not in the photo, I will give them to my aunt in the province, she likes those small stuff.
After buying the Skinfood products, we went to a very lovely cafe. I didn’t buy anything there, I just wanted to rest while Eia and Gill were across the street, looking for sports shoes for their brothers.
After awhile, I followed them to the sports store, and these two beauties called me. 🙂 I am not the sporty type, I only buy rubber shoes for running/traveling, since my current Merrell rubber shoes, the one I’m wearing on the photo are still in good shape, I restrained myself from buying a new pair. 🙂
We had a long day at Nampo-dong, on our way to the train station, Gillian showed me this, so we had to stop and Eia took these photos… Haayyy.. Nice seeing you, Oppa! ♥
We wrapped up the day with a super yummy dinner at a nearby Korean resto, it was past midnight already, my meal was a steaming hot beef soup, it was so yummy, and equally enjoyed the yummy unli-side dishes and fish paste.
We enjoyed our last night together. So chilly and breezy, and so lovely as well. ♥♥♥ #gratefulbeyondwords
On my next post, I will share with you how I fared againts the Travel Challenge I imposed upon myself. So stay tuned! 😉