Happy 2019! I love new years because they allow me to reflect upon the past year and to start the new year on a clean slate of paper.

Let’s begin with the recap of what had happened in 2018.

Review of 2018

After a fabulous 2017, it was challenging to top that in 2018. Sure, the first two months of the year were awesome as I continued my exploration in South America. Those carefree days were the best time in my life.

Bogota, the city where my adventure began and ended.

In March, I returned home, back to reality. It sucked. The reverse culture shock was not something I anticipated. I had a hard time adjusting back to normality.

The 1st month back home was MISERABLE! I cried every single day, getting triggered by the tiniest thing. It was the closest to depression I ever got. It was difficult to let go of the South America adventure while I tried to reconcile with the present.

I began to question what I really want in life. Although I may not be certain of the wants, however, I clearly knew what I did not want.

I did not want to be merely living, I was looking to give meaning to my life. I needed to live for a cause, to do something I deemed meaningful. I held on the belief and eventually landed in something I was able to resonate with.

Slowly, I came to terms and am feeling okay with being home, in the comfort of familiarity and my love for the diverse food culture.

Just as I thought the year will end alright, life threw me a curveball. Life is full of surprises, isn’t it? Some surprises are pleasant ones while others are nasty. Unfortunately, this time it was the latter. A turmoil caught me off-guard and let’s just say it was not the greatest way to end the year.

Moving on, it is the moment of truth to face up to those resolutions I have made for 2018.

Review of 2018 Resolutions. 

1) Rebuild my savings – No, this did not happen.  

2) Travel South East Asia – I squeezed in a holiday to Melbourne in May and as my  go-abroad-during-new-year ritual, I visited Hanoi so I guess it’s good enough. 

In Melbourne for the second time.

3) Have some standards – I may not be the Miss Nice but there were still situations where they were clearly not in my favour or when I could just be firm and make my stand but I did not.  

4) Improve my Spanish – Instead of improving, I am more at the stage where I am trying to retain the vocabulary and grammar that I had learned. 

5) Master the piano pieces, Marriage D’Amor – Nope, I did not even touch my piano for the whole year! 

Just 1 out of 5 is just bad. I cannot say they were bad resolutions. I just did not make an effort to keep them in check regularly. In fact, I felt unaccomplished with such a bad scoring.

On the brighter side, I have also observed some changes in me since coming back home.

  •  I had little or no desire for material goods. I became more rational over functionality and practicality of things – not that I had not been before but I became better at it.
  • I wore less make-up. Part of me is caring less about the superficial world.
  • I am getting better at withdrawing myself from the Internet and social media to just enjoy the present moment. The earth continues to revolve and life goes on even though I am disconnected from the Internet world. Some may not even notice that I was gone for a while so life just resumes once I connect back again.
  • I developed a habit of not replying text messages as promptly as I should. There are times conversations do not demand my immediate attention, I prefer to leave them till I have some time to reply. Often, I got distracted and forgot to reply or by the time I opened up the message, it was weeks later and it became irrelevant to reply anymore. While I have to admit that it is an annoying habit, it is not something I plan to change anytime soon.
No Wifi? Don’t fret!
  • Also, something really trivia, I became more “aware” of the beers I am drinking. I start to categorise and “judge” beers or rather, I gain a deeper appreciation for the finer beers and develop an “expensive” taste for the occasional indulgences.

Now that 2018 is over, there is no use harping over and this is the time to write a new chapter in 2019.

Starting 2019 on a clean slate. I am going to bounce back better as I am still on the journey to creating a better self.

Here are the new year resolutions I have set for 2019 for they serve as guiding lights and goals.

1) To declutter.

Last year was about stop buying the unnecessaries. This year is decluttering the existing.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not turning into a minimalist. It is just that I know and also have been proven that I do not need that many things to live by. It is time to discard or find new owners for I do not need or never ever will need.

Decluttering is not as easy as just getting rid of everything, considering that I tend to have sentimental attachments to my stuff. I need to stop feeling attached to all these non-living things!

Decluttering also means that I will be more mindful of the environment impact on consumerism which brings me to my next point.

2) Make a conscious effort to be more environmental-friendly

Often, we purchase items without knowing what are we going to do with it or out of convenience.

This year, I will do more on my part for our lovely Mother Earth. Reduce my usage of single-use plastics Which means, fewer takeouts, or if I do, try to use a reusable container and just be more conscious with my everyday habits. Try to have my recycling back with me more frequently.

Maybe it would be a perfect reason to start buying metal straws, containers for food and drinks too! 😀

3) Make healthier & wiser choices

Consume less sugar, less processed food and more greens and fruits.

Having said that, no, I am not going to cut down on beers. That is non-negotiable!

4) Read

Read more non-fiction books than fiction books.

5) Run Standard Chartered half marathon

I stopped training for runs since March 2016. These days I run sporadically. Setting a goal to complete a half marathon at the end of the year, I would like to be able to have the time to run and be more consistent to train. After all, it will not just to complete a half marathon, I would like to challenge myself to be on par or at least better than my Sundown 2016 half marathon timing which was my personal best!

With 5 resolutions, I need to perform better than last year.

On a side note, I should really keep up with my blog posts! I have been neglecting this space and often, I only get my writing inspiration when I am on the road. Once I am back, I can never seem to complete any writing. I have to utilise this space better!

Moving along, 2019 can only get better right? Could time prove me right? I need the constant reminder to be patient, trusting myself and trusting that life would work itself out. Then when I look back, I would see how the dots get connected where everything makes sense again.

First trip of 2019, Hanoi!

It’s a new beginning, let’s go!

Pamela Loh

Pamela, born and raised in Singapore. She is a dreamer, explorer, traveller and local tour guide.

A perfect day for Pam would be being on the road, having beers and endless of great conversations that shape a wider perspective.

Come say hi!

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