Journal · Uncluttered Thoughts and Everything

2019 Year in Review, Anew Grace!

Last year 2019, I was into numbers. I always count 1 to nth. I am into how much I experience life. I am into deeper thoughts in embracing the journey of good, not so good and all in between, if there is such. I am into keeping people I started to love and attached with. I am into safe keeping pieces of things where I am at. I am into understanding what I am capable of giving to the unknown. Maybe a little bit obsessed with finding my purposes why I lived, happy at most times, lonely sometimes and always in gratitude.

Every year, we started anew, making a long list of how we can live our life to the fullest. We are bound to receive a new grace and we claim it the very first day a year turns its number. Older than last year but is born new, and is a beginning and a chance to finish what you started prior. You think, and we are excited to embrace the new year with much positivity. And on the very first day, our heart is at full bloom – colorful, alive and happy.

The whole year round, I spent a thousand hours in my four cornered room trying to fix the thoughts flexing out in my head. At times, busy searching, ticking and enjoying my kind of life. I think we ride a journey of fruitful and blessed year. However you see it. A bit odd, and a part of you wanting to give up but there is a tiny hope of favor and faith to move on and see life as beautiful as roses with its thorns. Let us count a new number.

As much as we are excited to embrace new numbers, we are of less than our thoughts, grateful for whatever the less number offered us. What I am trying to say is, I know we should and we train ourselves to forget and befriend those old friends, bad experiences and dull life, but still our heart remembered those. We have no luck forgetting it all at once. Why, because they made us and pruned us to be the version of ourselves that can cope up with new changes.

I am less sad and more happy. Cringe, cranky and gross of all the awkward things we did last year. (today, we laugh at all those) And we are prouder than previous years because we now are stronger and bolder.

And now, I think my introduction is quite long. 🤔 My agenda is to list down all the things I did last year that are beyond ordinary. (for me it’s an accomplishment)

It only takes me 2 (two) hours to decide whether to book a round trip plane ticket to Taipei, Taiwan. (Travel not on plan)

Everything should be on plan. As I have mentioned in my post Why I love Planners, I write down, and everything I do is based on plan and timeline but my Taipei trip was an exception. I decide like a gong. And that’s it, Taipei experience was written with ink. 

First time to Fly Thru (Cebu-Kuala Lumpur – Ho Chi Minh)

Nothing’s exceptional with the fly thru experience. I included it in my list because I could still not fathom the feeling in a rush. It’s like I wanted to have a superpower at that moment. That feeling of we thought we were already left by the plane to Ho Chi Minh, City. Everyone’s panic but it was sweet though. Being happy in struggle. 

First fly thru experience : Cebu - Kuala Lumpur - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Fly Thru: Cebu-Kuala Lumpur – Ho Chi Minh

I made my own Travel Itineraries for Four Countries – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | Siem Reap, Cambodia | Bangkok, Thailand | Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Yes, who said we rely on travel agencies? We can actually travel on our own, aka D.I.Y. It was one of the challenging things I did. And it takes a full twist of courage. It was my first trip outside the country to read and learn about for months. Again, it was all planned. From point 1 to point 2, from this city to another city, from food to try to must-visit attractions to transportation, to culture, to languages and a lot more in my 48 pages magazine print itinerary. Ticked off in my list this year 2019.

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Got to share this. (This is the longest caption 😂) It is a proof that the reward of hurdles are SWEET. And it was the sweetest so far in this trip. 💯 . Of all 4 countries, Bangkok is the one I had so much time to do the Itinerary. From Hotel to Tour to Transpo, everything. . 1.When we were still in Siem Reap, Cambodia, booking.com emailed me that the hotel reservation for Bangkok was cancelled. And the prepayment is non-refundable (I think it's 30% of the total). 2.Cambodia-Thailand Border is a crap, really! That we @nenapahang need to carry our 20kgs weight luggage up to the 2nd floor immigration by stairs (😂💼🛅😁🙄sucks!!! ) and with so much sweats 'coz the border is no aircondition. And we need to line-up like locals. 😑 3. After 9 hours of travel by bus, we arrived at Bangkok. And I was overwhelmed for we made it through. BUT, struggles again 'coz the bus cannot drop us at the Khaosan Road because it was closed 'till 8pm. There was a celebration at the Palace. And we don't have a local sim card, we don't have a THB, and we don't have a WIFI, can't imagine though! No money exchange center, no cafe shops that will accept USD. . Chill, we booked another hotel at it was located exactly at the perfect place, at the Khaosan Road. Thai people are lovely, kind and I admire them so much! All is well, Hakuna Wasiwasi and ta-da, we find peace at Bangkok! . Sometimes, we should detour and just accept that everything you planned may have some reroutes.😊 Important is you know how and where to get to and you learn and enjoy in every crossing of the roads you are taking. . #thoughts #reminder #courage #alliswell #sweetestreward #bestplace #bangkok

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Finished my first 21k Journey (Bohol International Marathon) 

I was once a sprinter way back in high school. And I think my muscles were stronger amidst the super skinny body. And then I ran again last 2015, the 39th Milo Marathon and the runs list go on. I ran only until 10km since then but this year, I finished my first 21k mary for only about 2 hrs and 43 minutes. Not really bad for a first timer. 😉

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It is so relieving to step on the finish line and pat oneself, 'I did it'. When finish line marks as the end goal of our 21k journey. . Gun starts at 4 dawn and we are given 4 hrs to finish the half mary. So what's in my mind, "Can we finish this? And I hope we won't feel muscle cramps on the way". I prayed. . On our first 5k, "Hastang Layua Pa" words that came out from @best_rog 's mouth. I answered, "We are closer than we think!" Our goal is to reach the turning point. We finished our 1st half in 1hr and 19mins and still running. At the turning point, there is a marathon of foods. Yes, there is even a roasted calf. But we didn't eat, the marathon continues….. . Down to our 16th, I started to feel muscle cramps, but marathon must goes on, so life is. Hehe. 💪 Meters away from the finish line, the feeling of fulfillment was overwhelming – it's more surreal than having a medal (still rewarding to have one). We finished 21k in 2hrs & 45 minutes PR (not yet official). . This is a feeling of a half marathoner for the 1st time. 🙏😉 . ** I am more than excited to empty an ice-cold, flavored electrolyte refill ~ Pocari Sweat (sound) than taking a photo of my medal. ⬅️ swipe left to see how these drinks are heaven to me 😂 #strongissexy #strongisbeautiful #memorysafekeeping #oneofthemanyfirsts #halfmarathoner #boholinternationalmarathon2019 #happysoul #achieved #finished #alwaysgratefulsigrace

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18 months with #SOSFriends

18 months with #SOSFriends milestone. By my simple means, I supported SOS Villages Philippines last mid 2018. And I continue supporting them until today. I wish God will shower me abundantly so I can be a blessing to them.  And I hope I did give them a gift, which is family. They are abandoned, neglected and orphaned children who need your care, love and support. So if you read this, can you be one of our #SOSFriends too? Will pray for you. 

I donated 12 inches of my hair to Makati Cancer Center

Since I was a bit obsessed with finding my purpose in life, one day this thought popped out, What else I can do to be of help without spending much, or without me having all the resources to lend a hand? I think about it again and again every night in my tiny room. And ta-da, after 1 year and a half, cut my hair short to donate my 12 inches natural black hair to one of the recipients of Makati Cancer Center.  

My Mom and Dad’s first plane ride after 56 years on Earth

I know I shouldn’t include it in my list since it is not my personal experience but I thought, why not? I booked a domestic trip with my family. It’s my first time to spend and treat them on a vacation. And this is the line that marked in me “If you did not booked a ticket for us, I think, we will die not experiencing a plane ride, Thanks Nak!” (But, it’s deep when translated to Cebuano) Dad’s line. 🙂 And it was the best feeling I felt last 2019. First family trip to Ilocos Sur & Norte, Philippines.

Finally, a piece we can call our own.

Out of my last 365 days last year, travels, new experiences, new learning and new faces were my highlights. There are a number of days when I leave home and explore a new place. There I find serenity and I learn to know myself even deeper. Ironic to say but as the number of my age increases here on earth, I realize that I have everything I needed. I can now say, everywhere is an adventure to the people who appreciate every single little thing. And I mean it. Yes, ordinary days were far the best.

In between, and the most valued times also complete my whole year counts. Back to zero, and then 1, 2, 3 to 365 days this year. I will start counting other numbers.

The Girl Behind, 

Grace ❤


If you want to know more about my blog, click here. Follow @grittygracee on Instagram and like my Facebook page Everyday New GraceMuchas Gracias!

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2019 Year in Review, Anew Grace!

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