Monday, December 31, 2018

Rewind 2018

31 December 2018 marks the end of another year. This year was definitely a year of big changes for me. I am glad to say I made it all the way. This is the first year being away from home for so long and missing so many important festivals. Definitely missing family and friends a whole lot. Felt like there's a need for me to do a recap on 2018 since it's the craziest year so far in my entire life.

Settling Down in London

Settling down in a foreign country and getting use to the weather and culture here in London. There are days I wish to just pack my bags and head home, somewhere I am more familiar and things were much easier. However, I constantly told myself to persist because life's no fun when you give up easily. Working is definitely much more different than being a student. I could always just go home twice to thrice a year. With work, there's more responsibility and it was harder to get away.

Good news is I am actually finding it bearable and that everyday doesn't feel so hard to get by anymore. I have a home which I actually have a calendar and clock! Work becomes routine and I am getting along really well with my colleagues and the grads of my class.

Only thing bad now is the outflow monthly for rent, bills and council tax! I am definitely feeling this adult life now. Working back home definitely didn't felt this way.

Completing My Master's Degree

Yes, another achievement in life, conquering MSc in Finance and making it to the top 10% of the class (at least that's what the email said)! Good news! I absolutely love my journey. I met an amazing group of friends and it was such a practical degree, not just textbook-based which make the experience different. We were also allow to do international modules which gave me the opportunity to head over to New York, visiting JP Morgan office and another module of microeconomics in Paris. 

CASS definitely took my money and make it worth the time. When we are send off to compulsory international modules, they pay for our transport and accommodation there! All set and ready to go !
Graduating on the 21st January 2019! And this time with a mortar.  

Surviving the Investment Banking Life

ft New York Stock Exchange
I always thought "long hours...meh.. easy and doable. Little did I know it was super draining, the lack of sleep and non-stop drilling and churning. Don't get me wrong, I am not hating it as this was the path I chose. I got to admit at the start, it was hard to get use to whole new environment and the way things work around considering this was my second job. 

I constantly find myself comparing my current job with my previous job which is not a good thing to do. Of course, back home, it was much easier to adapt as it was your home and you share a lot of common interest with your colleagues. Here, it was so diverse but I kind of like the diversity now. As long as I am learning something new and improving my skills, I am totally all in to keep pushing on.

Pursuing Other Hobbies

During my free time, I tend to just binge watch dramas, tv series and movies for the past few years. The only other thing I'll do is play board games. However, this year, I definitely deviate from the computer screen and started cross stitch and 1k puzzle. Got to say, it's not easy at all as its time consuming and require a lot of patience.

These activity definitely taught me to be more patience in life. One day you'll get there and complete that set of puzzle or the picture that you are currently stitching! Although these are solo activities but i really enjoyed doing them. Don't get me wrong but I still socialise instead of just staying home.

Most recent masterpiece of mine. Yes, I am a Disney Fan!

Travel Bucket List

This is also the year where I ticked off most of the places that I want to visit on my bucket list.  Travel to a couple of places within the first 5 months this year before I started work. Finally got to tick off Italy, New York and Paris off the list. New York and Paris was a university module but I extended my trip to spend more time in these cities. I've been to about 7 countries (incl Malaysia) this year. Also, did day trip all around London and visiting all the main tourist sites. 

Slovenia (January)

This trip was pretty spontaneous as I bought my ticket 5 days before flying off in January. There were no plans since I was having my finals. It was definitely a good destress trip after one month of burning the midnight oil. Although it was winter, the weather there wasn't too cold. Discover my interest for cave right here! And of course, the beautiful Lake Bled.

Belgium (April)

Typical cities that people visit would be Brussels and if there's time, they would go Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp. That was my first trip for the Easter break before Italy. Bruges was my absolute favourite as the gave a fairytale/romantic village feels. They have the colourful houses and it was nothing like Brussels. 

Italy (April)

After gazallion years, finally I made a trip here and visited Rome, Florence, Pisa and Milan. Rome was definitely the excitement. Made it to my bucket list when I watch Lizzie Mcguire the movie and first destination for me was Trevi Fountain to flip my coin into it.  

If you are in Rome, Vatican City is usually one of main attraction point you'll head over. Found out that it was a country, the smallest country in the world! Main attractions sites were the museum and St Peter Basilica. And a 20-30 minutes walk across the bridge and you are back in Rome!

United States of America (May)

Finally made it to New York! I was there for an international module and I thought 'hey, why not extend my stay and visit other parts of the US as well. As we were 1+ week away for our second term, I only extended for the week as I didn't want to miss any classes. Gotta say, words can't explain my excitement to finally be able to visit NY. I visited Washington and Boston after NY and I had a pretty good time there as well.

NYC view from the Empire State Building

Another amazing city view in Boston 

Paris, France (May)

All expenses paid trip by the university, sending us to Paris for 4 days. We were allow 1 day to explore the city. Classes end about 4pm ish so we had time to go around the city after. We weren't restricted to one day. First trip, the PUBG squad travel together. By the squad, I mean the closest friends to me in my degree. Can't ask for a better company than them. 

Malaysia (February & July)

Home sweet home! Made it home twice but it was less than 10 days. I just had to go home. Once for Chinese New Year and my grandfather 1 year prayers in July. This is the shortest amount time in a year I stayed in Malaysia. When I was in Melbourne, we always had the 1 month winter break and 2.5 months summer break where I would always be home. Definitely get more home sickness here in London. Missing my parent's birthday and new year celebrate for two years in a row. 2019 will be the first year I miss CNY. :( 

So much happened in 2018 and I've also done so many different things. I attended by first EDM party by Alan Walker and watch Anna Marie sing live 2002 (fav songs) along with other superstar in the Halloween KISS party. Eventful and meaningful year.

If you ask me what are my new year resolution, I am just going to go with the flow this time round and see what the year has for me.

I do have a 2019 travel bucket list and they are:

  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Barcelona & Madrid, Spain
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Iceland
  • Vietnam
  • Taiwan
Hit me up if anyone is in London or wants to join me in on my travelssss. 
And that's all from me. Signing off from 2018...... 


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