Browsing through my 30 Before 30 list, I won't deny that I have been incredibly fortunate to have had all these wonderful experiences. Some may say I'm just lucky or that I'm rich to be able to do all these. No I'm not rich, and yes luck played a part, but luck didn't just fall from the sky. I've also put in a lot of hard work and seized many opportunities along the way to build up these experiences and to get to where I am today. Most importantly, I didn't squander my 'luck'.
As the saying goes, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity" - Seneca. I value working hard to create your own luck and I don't believe in sheer dumb luck (unless I win a lottery one day).
Well, this was kinda like winning a lottery?
Judge me all you want, but I'm an oddball female who doesn't like shopping and I have zero interest in buying trendy clothes. However, I have to at least dress decent and adhere to the business-casual dress code for work, and that's really my main 'motivation' to shop for clothes. I would happily wear uniform if it was an option, but those school days were long gone. =P Anyway, I'm the kind of person who will go shopping once in a blue moon, stock up on few outfits that fit me well, and wear the same thing over and over again until they tear (wear and tear literally).
When I first relocated to the US with my job 3 years ago, I remember being provided with a 47-page new hire benefits book during the orientation, and was immediately overwhelmed by all the new information I had to digest within a short period of time. The benefits book included information about all different types of insurance plans, savings plans, and a bunch of other benefits. It was also filled with jargon like High Deductible, HSA, FSA, 401(k), Short-term disability, etc.
We are celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary this year. To celebrate this milestone, I decided to put together this unromantic and nerdy post of how much we spent on our wedding. =P Feel free to guess the total amount based on the following details:
Well, $413 to be exact. Of course, the answer is...it depends. Just like how some people think traveling is expensive, and wonder how we could afford traveling the world (while still being financially savvy).
Here are two separate round-trip flight tickets I booked recently, costing approximately $400 each.
When we are young and able-bodied, we tend to go through life as if we are immortal, and death is a 'taboo' topic. However, the following 'Note before I die' written by 26 years-young Holly serves as a good reminder for us make the most of every second we have to live a better life, because we never know if tomorrow or tragedy will come first. Her note also reminds me of a quote from the book "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom - Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to jinx anyone here. The point is, when you acknowledge that life is finite and each day is a gift, you learn to truly appreciate everything you have around you.
Scroll on to read the rest of her life advice....
When I booked the flights for our round-the-world trip, I knew that the travel would be intense with several red-eye flights and long layovers. Even better, they are all in economy. =P You can say we are crazy, but that's the benefit of being young, do it while we can right? Fortunately, we had access to United Club and Star Alliance lounges in various airports, thanks to the United Club Card (read on to find out how we got it for free). Having lounge access certainly made our travels much more enjoyable and comfortable.
So which lounges have we visited?
Many people have the misconception that saving money or being frugal is all about delayed gratification. While I do agree that some sacrifices have to be made now in exchange for financial freedom in the future, I am also a strong proponent of living in the present and enjoying the journey along the way. These two may sound contradicting but pursuing financial independence doesn't mean we should put off our happiness until we reach the finish line. After all, we never know if tomorrow or tragedy will come first.
Hubby's retro haul from our recent trip to Tokyo.
In August 2017, we embarked on a trip around-the-world visiting 5 countries:
Having worked and lived in two countries, I've had the opportunity to experience the differences in cost of living between the two places I call home - Penang, Malaysia and Huntsville, Alabama.