Express Life, travel

Back on track with a Seoul purpose. 

Sun rising on our farm in Northland, New Zealand. 05.05.2017

After a 9-month hiatus, I can finally say that I am back on track – back to writing and writing and writing. And writing.

As you probably noticed, my last blog post was in August of last year. A lot of things have happened and changed since then – many lessons learned, gained valuable experience in my field, met some life-long friends, made a couple of mistakes, lost an old friend in an unfortunate accident, traveled to places and most importantly, graduated with a degree in Public Relations.

However, my ability to complete my degree was almost thwarted by an apparent oversight committed by a university staff. With only four weeks left of my studies, I was presented with the prospect of not being able to graduate because of this.  I will not present to you the details or the facts but it was one of those trials-and-tribulations kind of thing that tested my faith, and let’s just say that I didn’t come through this plight unscathed. Just like any person dealing with a predicament, I occasionally found myself in dark places, which of course, hindered my ability to blog here on WordPress. But if there’s anything I learned in this experience is that miracles happen everyday and that you just have to leave everything in God’s hands. In the end, I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and finished the year with a diploma in my hand.

So now that I am back on my own feet, I will be blogging here once again with the sole purpose of bettering myself- through creative writing prompts, photography, daily musings, travel reflections, poetry, opinion pieces and of course, this blog wouldn’t go ahead without expressing my love for sports – particularly football/soccer. And since I have yet to find a full-time, career-related job, what better way to hone my writing skills than to publish blogs here on WordPress, where a community of inspiration exists.

To start my Seoul purpose of getting back to WordPress, here’s a snap of a small corner I took through a restaurant window, in the vibrant city of Incheon in Seoul, South Korea (see what I did there?). Our layover trip to Incheon gave us two days in the metropolis – as well as some hot, delectable Korean ramen and kimchi to keep the cold temperatures at bay (it was -17 degrees when we got to our hotel).

Bright colours light up downtown Incheon, South Korea. 16.01.2017

Of all the Asian cities I’ve visited before, Seoul has got to be my number one favourite. From the luxurious Hyatt Park to the mega-city Seoul Special City to its greater reach Seoul Capital Area, it is true innovation on a grand scale, dismissing any signs of jetlag with an electrifying zap of awe.

I really enjoyed my stay in South Korea despite the fact that it was short. From the warmest of welcomes to the fondest of farewells, I thank you for making it one of my cherished travel memories. I will be back definitely, South Korea.

(c) jodiepages 2017. All Rights Reserved

Express Life

A well spent Sunday

Despite the gloomy weather and the heavy rain, we drove up North and visited my uncle’s farm in Maungaturoto, New Zealand.

Located on the Twin Coast Discovery Highway in the heart of the Kaipara District in Northland, this small rural community is as picturesque as a picture can be!

  Abundant in bush-clad hills, Maungaturoto is about 1hour 30minutes from Auckland CBD and is perfectly centred among some of NZ’s most beautiful beaches and natural sites such as the Piroa Falls.
P.S. I was only able to take one photo as it was pouring cats and dogs.


12 Things That Happen When You’re Finally Reunited With Your Best Friend

Can’t wait to do this with my best friend! ❤

Thought Catalog


1. Counting Down The Days

Literally. You have the reunion circled on your calendar and each day you get to cross off is a step closer to true happiness. Not to mention, you both text each other with a daily reminder of how much time is left. « OH MY GOD! I SEE YOU IN TWO DAYS, AHHH!! »

2. See Each Other And YELP

The moment has finally arrived and it’s total. sensory. overload. It’s kind of like seeing a small puppy or eating the most delicious meal — you automatically make some sort of noise. You can’t help it. Doesn’t matter if you’re in public with tons of strangers around, when you see your BFF again after so long you will SHRIEK.

3. The Squeeze Hug

Hugs are glorious, beautiful things that tend to make us human beings feel all happy and gooey-inside. But the ultimate I-really-love-you-and-am-so-excited-to-see-you hug is…

View original post 504 mots de plus

Express Life

Dreams: Reaching for that « something big. »

Two thousand fifteen, the year when all your big dreams will come true – how inspiring and motivating it is to hear this phrase, especially when you feel like one of your biggest dreams is about to come into life.

As human beings, we all dream. We are constantly seeking for fulfillment. Something big and something different from our every day mundane lives – be it queuing behind a counter at a local convenience store, ready to swipe that card for a lotto ticket and hoping to wake up a millionaire the next day. Or pulling an all-nighter to finish a spine-breaking essay about how you would be an excellent member of the Ivy League. Or standing in front of a travel agency, staring at a poster of the immaculate white snow, capping the mountains of Grossglockner in Austria, or the toe-wiggling sand that surrounds the beautiful beaches on Nassau Paradise Island in the Bahamas (or is this daydreaming?)

There is something unnatural about dreams and what I’ve learned about them is that they have a cycle. Yes, people dream and if they want to reach that « something big » they have to go through a cycle of hard work, which could be, perhaps, the most beautiful thing in the process. Working hard and doing your best is the most important thing as it is in this stage where you get to know yourself thoroughly – how far you can go and how willing are you to take risks and challenges. Moreover, this is an opportunity for you to determine your true peers as some will stay and others will go. If time comes and you end up with that « something big » in your hands, you know hard work has really paid off. That’s when you give yourself a pat on the back because sweet dreams are made of this.

Everything’s perfect, you’ve finally reached it. Nothing can possibly go wrong and you could stop dreaming right there, right?

Unfortunately, not all dreams end in a fairytale-like fashion. For every yin, there’s a yan.

Often, our dreams don’t go as planned. Sometimes, the worse could even happen and that’s when, say, you did reach that dream, but for some odd, personal reason, you cannot fully grab it and go for it. It’s rather unfortunate because it makes you hopeful and think and say, « oh there must be chance! ». But then, that ‘hopeful feeling’ slowly fades away, only to be replaced by pain. Unfathomable pain. I mean, seriously, you’ve worked hard for it, skipped a few lunches and stayed up all night just to get a little taste of that « something big. » You furrow your brows, scratch your head and go back a few steps to reflect, « If this dream wasn’t for me, then why was I able to reach it? » In all honesty, this is the question I have been asking myself for the last few months.

Earlier this year, I was accepted to study in Groningen, The Netherlands for five months. I was ecstatic – I mean, who wouldn’t be, right? It’s the Nether-freaking-lands! This was, perhaps, one of my dream cities! Upon receiving my letter of acceptance, I realized how worthwhile those hard-working days were. The essays, the interviews, the meetings with our international staff. Everything I’d done leading up to this event was so worth it because being able to study and experience a different culture firsthand was something I’ve always wanted to do ever since I was only eight years old. Thus, months of planning passed and in those months, I had a huge grin painted across my face. However, last month, something personal came up out of the blue and all my exchange plans suddenly faded away.

So did my huge grin.

And I thought, that’s it. Dream’s over. I got a little taste of it but I couldn’t go for it. I couldn’t grab it.

You’re saying what a shame, right? and thinking about it now, I still don’t have the answers to the whole situation. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this, it’s that if you reached rock bottom instead, the only way to go is up. In other words, dream again!  If you end up in this stage, don’t ever feel bad. Of course, this is hard to fight off. But at least, you gave it a shot and you shouldn’t regret that. And if they say, « sorry kid, better luck next time, » take it as an opportunity to dream again. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be much bigger this time. Only time will tell.

I guess what I’m trying to get across is, either you reach that « something big » or not, life still goes on and you have to keep dreaming. It’s all one big cycle of dreaming and working hard.