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Why Do You Want to Visit France Again and Again? Let's Return to Paris, France


bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Why Do You Want to Visit France Again and Again?
Why Do You Want to Visit France Again and Again?
How do you trade expectation for appreciation, if you happen to travel to Paris? Despite all the warnings, the mishaps, the unfortunate circumstances, I find myself traveling to Paris again this year, actually almost every year, ever since I moved to SingaporeMaybe it’s because of how much I appreciated and enjoyed my visit back in the day? Or maybe because I hate the experience so much, I want to replace it with a good one? Any of that or just plain good karma is still ever-present with my favorable chances to experience the city of love in France.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Why Do You Want to Visit France Again and Again?

So the first question to ask about ParisFrance is that – is it still safe? How is safety when you travel to Paris, especially as a first-timer, or as an Asian, or as a tourist? The simple answer is “YES” it is safe to me, BUT considering that I say that with a caveat: I was born and bred in a developing city like Manila, so I’ve experienced a good training ground! But overall, I don’t think it’s really that safe, to be honest. Comparing it to other European cities that are hyped as must-visits, I think that Paris, with all its riots, and issues, and all that, I believe it’s not safe. There are pickpockets here and there, drunkards, and nomads – as real as it can get.

Don’t get me wrong though, comparing it to the realities of Asia, I still think it’s still okay in Paris; it’s just that if you think of the rest of Europe, it’s definitely not like the likes of Scandinavia or Switzerland where you are guaranteed to feel safe and secure. You have to not be so blinded by the city of love to fall in love with all things positive and perfect; instead, you have to keep it real and be cognizant of your surroundings as you explore the city, be it as a tourist or as a local. I’ve experienced it first hand and even for my friends living there, it’s the same sentiment.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Why Do You Want to Visit France Again and Again?
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Why Do You Want to Visit France Again and Again?
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Why Do You Want to Visit France Again and Again?

So why come back, amidst the question on safety? In the middle of all the realities and complexities of ParisFrance, in all conscience, there is this slow-cooked feeling of longing to visit and revisit the country and see how the old culture still materializes from their everyday lifestyle. Amongst the Euro countries I’ve visited, France is one of the top few that you can really get a sense of understanding as to how passionate they are to integrate their old culture into their current one. So maybe the “safety” factor is more of the risk of living in the now and the real. Like, let’s say, whenever I end up sitting down and munching some Parisian bread, I become transfixed to the art of people watching. French people are somewhat attached to this kind of habit, that even travelers like me, whenever outside the streets of Paris, find a way to stop, sit down, and get lost just enjoying the people views. Weirdly fascinating, I know. It’s different from the energy in New York, or in Barcelona. In Paris, is lovelier.

People watching is one thing, bread is another. But let’s not ramble about that too much over here. Instead, let’s write a new series! It's that time again of the year to do a bit of people-watching via this tiny space we call a photoblog. Sharing with you another set of French series, this time from the Autumn months of fallen leaves and decreased photosets. Hahaha. It’ll mostly be a slightly different less touristy, more real side of France. Oui? Merci!

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Why Do You Want to Visit France Again and Again?
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Why Do You Want to Visit France Again and Again?

To Travel for Work or for Personal Reasons? Your Call!


bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Travel for Work or Personal? Life on the road, sort of.
Travel for Work or Personal? Life on the road, sort of.
Things on the road have been far from petty – at least, this is as of late, and I have to say, I am far from complaining! From running from one flight to another, chasing last boarding calls, getting sick 35,000 feet from sea level, and meeting more than 100 people in less than one hour - I feel so energized enough to the point that I am starting to close my eyes to some of my travel blogging habits. Sorry about that. Lack of sleep, coupled with lack of time are good excuses, but then again... let’s do this again, shall we?

I am back from my quick hiatus, but I have to admit, it might take a while to get used to this again, or maybe this’ll be the new normal, what do you think?! Just something to share, I am embarking on a new life adventure and it’s taking up all my time. I’ve been flying out almost every two weeks and I just discovered that I have a pet peeve on hotel channels. CNN or even National Geographic Channel, please?... how have you all been so far, guys? It’s been pretty quiet over here, but I know you’re all also doing your own things! Everyday life seems so minuscule, but whenever you get the chance to think about it, it is quite fast too, don’t you think? Morning ramblings, here I go again. Haha! Let’s do a bit of backtrack, to countries like Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Singapore! Where to begin?

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Travel for Work or Personal? Life on the road, sort of.

As I have shared, over the past month or so, I have been to four Asian countries and visited several cities within them. Started off in Taiwan, and ended in my homeland, the Philippines. Taiwan for personal reasons, and The Philippines for career seasons. I used to disbelieve the idea of personal travel being the better among the two options. I always had this notion that traveling for work is equally enjoyable, especially if you happen to visit cities that are not of your own. But over the past month, having experienced both, I’ve come to realize that there is indeed a better option among the two.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Travel for Work or Personal? Life on the road, sort of.

Personal travel is better among the two is true. At least, from my personal experience – I can say that there are perks about traveling abroad for work, but it’s more often than not, tied up with the amount of work commitment that you have to do. Five-star hotels, breakfast buffets, and ad hoc team dinners are all there to keep you motivated in maximizing your work efforts (to the bone marrow kind of effort, yes!). It’s a nice and interesting experience, yes – you feel like you’re living the movie life of some bigshot protagonist from Wall Street, the only difference is that your version of Wall Street involves Orchard Road and a whole lot of Eastern expats; but it’s a nicer and more interesting experience if your motivations and maximum efforts are geared towards enjoying the free time and the company that every personal travel entails.

Based from personal experience and preference, mainly because I work in the corporate world, I can now say that it’s a nicer option to have your travels for personal reasons and not tied up with any form of work. Let’s see if this’ll change in a couple of months’ time! How about you, any preference? Personal or work travels?

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Travel for Work or Personal? Life on the road, sort of.

Goodbye Singapore, Take-Two?! Another Sunset Surprise


bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Goodbye Singapore, Take-Two?! Another Sunset Surprise
Another Sunset Surprise
Gratefully sharing with you a short sunset chapter of my life here in Singapore, which of course, may or may not be so interesting to you, but probably the Padang sunset photos will do the trick and keep you company? So yes, on to our little spiel about my so-called “Singapore sunset”, while using a bit of Padang sunset photos, which I think is better and more suitable for what I am about to share? So confusing, so is my life right now, but no worries – on to our blog post, my friends!

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Goodbye Singapore, Take-Two?! Another Sunset Surprise
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Goodbye Singapore, Take-Two?! Another Sunset Surprise
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Goodbye Singapore, Take-Two?! Another Sunset Surprise

You see, on my birthday month, I’ve decided to travel to Padang – one of the many islands of the biggest archipelago in the world, Indonesia. I traveled there to do a bit of “eat, pray, love” kind of Julia Roberts moment, which, truth be told, what I was going through back then, was completely unrelated to what Julia Roberts was going through (but maybe it was more of the idea of testing if Indonesia has that power to transform you... does it truly work to do a bit of introspection in Indonesia?

So does it work, Indonesia? Yes and no. Yes, introspection works, and no, no matter where you are in Indonesia, you can do harness the insane power of introspection, and whether it is in Bali, or Padang, or Jakarta, it should work if you would want it to! So, yes, maybe this is a quite a long riff about why I would want to talk about my “Singapore sunset”, while using “Padang sunset” photos. What’s it all about, you may ask? Here goes…

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Goodbye Singapore, Take-Two?! Another Sunset Surprise

You know how much I love and am so attached to Singapore, so please believe me when I say that I mean well when I say that Singapore is a pain in the behind (at least to me). Singapore is notoriously known to be the most competitive economy in the world (hooray, yes!), and with that, you kind of get not only upsides but also super competitive downsides. Downsides that will not only rattle your core but scare the soul out of you. Mine happens to be related to ACTUAL down…sizing, which is, of course, a downside. I had to undergo a company downsizing for a multinational company. Just like a stereotypical downsizing exercise, wherein your boss suddenly transforms into a rebel, and you find out who your real friends are in the process. Easy, but not easy.

Nevertheless, that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Mine happens to be related to TWO retrenchment/downsizing exercises, from two powerful multinational companies who are game changers in their own rights, two different industries, and two surprising reasons. All not related to my work performance. Of course, this fact is hard to believe and digest, if you go through the particular process, especially if you are in the gradual progression of your career. The ordeal is unbelievable and the feeling is quite unshakeable. Sleepless nights, yes. Numbing feeling, yes. It’s true how it’s being overhyped on movies and TV series, but even more so in real life. But, still love Singapore, yes.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Goodbye Singapore, Take-Two?! Another Sunset Surprise
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Goodbye Singapore, Take-Two?! Another Sunset Surprise
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Goodbye Singapore, Take-Two?! Another Sunset Surprise

But just like the Padang sunset, when I visited it, while I was on the brink of being extinguished from my second retrenchment exercise, there was a turning point moment for me in Padang. No self-pity, no drama, no negativity. Just pure realization amidst the introspection and rejections happening.

I was reminded of the fact that life moves on. It reminded me of how much traveling and seeing different sunsets from distinctive places can help vitalize one’s self and beliefs if you allow it to. It’s a simple yet powerfully reflective way to prompt you to rethink things through, no matter how life turns out to be. Despite all the palpable pain and numbing next steps that I had to go through to ensure that I land a new job in Singapore, I made my Padang sunset surprise a point to remember --- a daily reminder of how life moves on and how everything works out in the end. That I had to take the risk and err on the side of optimism.

Every sunset became a souvenir reminder of how I respond to setbacks and how the universe helps out in the process. Each sunset is a beautiful cue to never ever give up in life and in yourself. And with that, a new sunrise is about to unfold – a new job, a new chapter, new life is about to unravel, and I am deeply excited to share the wave of new beginnings here in Singapore, still.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Goodbye Singapore, Take-Two?! Another Sunset Surprise


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