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Frosty Wonderland

“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.”

by John Burroughs

In response to the Word of the Day Challenge – Giddy. I am not sure if I will be giddy to know about how cold it is down there today! But I do agree it is breathtakingly beautiful. Will you agree with me?

See photos below. Please click to zoom it to size. Credit goes to One News TV. I cannot help not to post this. It is on State Highway 8, a southern scenic regions of the Mackenzie Basin and Central Otago in South Island, New Zealand. Major cities are: Lake Tekapo, Omarama, Fairlie, Twizel, Roxburgh, Lawrence, Alexandra & Cromwell. FYI, just in case you want to visit next year.

Switzerland has a white swan while here in New Zealand we have a black swan. The lake got frozen so the swan must walk instead. Cheers!

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Auckland Day Out

“Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious. FREEDOM is the consciousness of necessity.” by Karl Marx

It seems we are now in a hurry to make the most of our covid free days since the country open up the border to it’s residents and citizens who were based or/and stranded abroad. We can basically say we are covid-free since June as we do not have a community transmission but we can never know since the last mishaps of some irresponsible people coming back and physically jumping out of the barriers of their hotel isolation recently (they have been caught up and going to be charged with their follies!) which is by the way the taxpayers are paying for them though it’s those people wanting to come home and be safe… ironically they are the one bringing the fear and unsafety back to the country or community by disobeying the law and safety. I wonder if we should close up the border now or continue to accept these people with covid-19 back into the country? So now is the right time to go and about on our own backyard asap while we still can!

The City, the tower, the wharf and street. Some photos for you to see this month of July. Life is good while we can still have the freedom to enjoy it!

Auckland War Museum. We have so many museums in the City and this is just a few minutes drive away from the city centre. It is inside the Domain Park which is also a huge park and full of beautiful nature that you will love to stroll or do some exercise since it is near residential places.

Mt.Rangitoto, active volcano AKL, vinneve
AklWarMuseum, vinneve

The food & drinks at the bar & restaurants, coffee shops, foodcourts at the mall, food trucks, farmers market etc. Yes we’ve been deprived of these while on lockdown. All open now to our hearts (& mouth) content.

Alleyway@AKL, vinneve

Auckland Zoo. The nature and their animals are such a wonderful sights to see. Families and friends came back to visit this wholesome activity and it doesn’t matter if it’s raining or drizzling people comes in hundreds and yes back to normal no social distancing and enjoying the life!

Arataki Visitor Centre. Located in West Auckland. Bush walkways. View of the Waitakere ranges. Sub-tropical rainforest. Flora and fauna. FREE entry.

@PinoySwiss abroad

I hope you enjoyed my post today and these are current photos here in NZ. We are now in the mood to travel. Our last week of school holiday. Thanks for your time!

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Birds of the same feather

CambridgeParkNZ, vinneve

In response to the Bird weekly – photo challenge.

If you have been here in New Zealand you will know that most birds of any feather are mostly tamed and people friendly. They can walk with you while strolling in the park or they can persistently ask you for some bread crumbs. Life is good for these birds as they are loved by many people who always bring foods for them and yes they can be cheeky at times.

Magpie birds @homeWestAKL, vinneve

King penguin.

Native of NZ.

Info link here.

geese, ducks, pukekos & seagulls @d park, vinneve

There are more to see and discover around New Zealand with all types of birds whether capable of flying or not. Some birds are natives here. If you are a bird lover/watcher NZ is your happy place! Cheers!

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Domestic travels in New Zealand while on level 1

Auckland City waterfront, vinneve

I am happy to announce that we are covid free now here in New Zealand!! This is also in response to WOTD: Victory We are now on level 1 and it may stay like this for awhile, restrictions still in place. Personally, I prefer it this way to protect our safety so I am not keen of opening the border, although there are some citizens and residents (repatriation) coming home from overseas and they may bring the virus with them so they are required for a 14 day quarantine. It took 5 million people, a big team effort to do this as when we were on lockdown we cooperated and only going out to buy essentials like food. Though of course anywhere in the world there may be some silly people (not a lot here) still goes out that time to do silly things but they are being apprehended by the police and given a penalty depends on their situation/alibis. FUN FACT. Normal police officers here in NZ doesn’t carry any firearms. They carry confidence, kindness and diplomacy.

Since we are now on level 1 the government is pushing domestic travels to help our economy and communities. Buy NZ Made. Buy local products which mostly people are doing right now including me. Both Jetstar and Air New Zealand are having their sale these past couple of weeks and it has been sold out faster! I use our voucher/coupon to redeem and bought tickets to Christchurch finally! Looking forward to it. So for now we are talking about domestic travels and here’s the following information thru personal experiences from other bloggers who went here in NZ before the pandemic. Please click their link, and they have some amazing photos to show you while traveling around New Zealand.

Before you travel to any country or even if you were stranded here in New Zealand it is a MUST for your own sake to have your own travel insurance. Though our healthcare system helped this young tourist as per this link >> “How NZ generous healthcare system saved my ass”

Birds eyeview Queenstown in gondola, vinneve

No pain no gain. So yes there was a time that New Zealand looks more like this. Here is the link for “When Paradise in New Zealand becomes a ghost town”.

Auckland Sky Tower, vinneve

Here above is the response for the June Photo of the Day: REFLECTIONS.

For sure people are now thinking of reuniting / partying with their friends and families more than a group of ten since it is now permitted. It may not be the same as before but this new normal surely will stay for quite awhile. So we better adapt to it and accept all the challenges in life. Stay safe peeps!

UPDATE: We suddenly not a covid free country anymore (just of today’s news June 16th) because of 2 female citizens/residents coming from the UK and testing positive for covid but for some reason was given a COMPASSIONATE GROUNDS to drive to Wellington (from Auckland) to attend a funeral of their parents. Shall we understand this or not?!! For goodness sake! we suffered in lockdowns and up to level 3 to becoming covid free for 3 weeks and the communities all over the country cooperated and because of this hindsight WE ARE AGAIN IN TROUBLE. Why? simple. Driving from Auckland to Wellington is 8 long hours Non Stop! I do not believe they didn’t even stop to pee, eat or put on gas that is simply lying. Those people who doesn’t know that they served these women are now at risk even their loved ones! So is this harmless? NO. I cannot understand why there is compassionate grounds at all since those people who died because of covid-19 didn’t even had the chance to see their loved ones. I am so annoyed with this news. It is unbelievable and I put the blame on the health department who didn’t think twice about this compassionate grounds. That is plain stupidity if I may say so! Sorry for the outburst but we will know within this week or so if there are people at risk now because of this. Our sacrifices (life, jobs, businesses, etc) and cooperations are now put in the drain.

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Foreign vloggers stranded in the Philippines amidst COVID-19

While on lockdown in New Zealand I must admit that I was hooked up into watching vloggers (up to now actually) traveling the world especially traveling to my birth country THE PHILIPPINES.  We supposed to travel there last April but of course, it has been canceled.  It amazed me that these foreign vloggers begin to love the country and what it can offer even in these tough times.  While traveling they learned about cultures, values, and learned to appreciate the Filipino people who helped them and make them feel at home.  Check their vlogs and you will see some beautiful places and their roller-coaster experiences while on lockdown and up to a current situation which is the General Quarantine (GCQ).  You may find some useful information about the country and their real image as shown by the vloggers as per their real experiences. Please click their name as I linked their sites and their travel experiences before the pandemic.

Prepare to be amazed.

  1.  MAKE IT HAPPEN VLOG  an Austrian couple who always keeps coming back to the Philippines and finally decided to call Manila home and now stranded in SIARGAO (while on holiday) as per this link & another vlog as per this LINK. An extra info from Meljean Solon20 things to do in Siargao” as per this LINK.

2.  THE JUICY VLOG  a couple from the UK traveling around the Philippines who got stranded in their own home base in Manila.  “11 Ways the Philippines is better than the UK” on this LINK.

3.  MARTIN SOLHAUGEN  a Norwegian travel vlogger who is now engaged to another travel vlogger named AVELOVINIT and traveling the Philippines when they got stranded in Siargao as well.  You will see his latest vlog about “Top 10 places you must visit in the Philippines.”

4.  EIGHT MILES FROM HOME  a couple from the UK with a child named Story and her nan also stranded in Siargao.  They have traveled around Asia and lived in Portugal and now thinking of living in the Philippines even after the lockdown.

5.  JUMPING PLACES  a couple both from different countries decided to do full-time vlogging and currently stranded in the beautiful island of EL NIDO PALAWAN.  Here is their current quarantine experience “A Day in El Nido Quarantined” check their other travel to another side of the island >> CORON.

There are some more foreign vloggers and tourists stranded all over the Philippines.  You can easily check them out on Youtube. These are just 5 of my favorite foreign vloggers telling their own experiences and love of travel.  Since we all cannot travel to any country aside from our own so it’s best to show you what I know and why I keep coming back to my birth country the Philippines.  Family. Friends. Values. Nature.  I hope once you have checked them out you will agree with me.

Please also check this site out:  Mom & Son expats (NZ after lockdown) 

Enjoy watching!  Cheers!

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Be patient in this new world

“We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world”  by Hellen Keller

This is in response to the WOTD: Patient

The quote is so true isn’t it?

We learn from our mistakes.  If there’s a will there’s a way.  No pain no gain and so many other sayings.  This pandemic teaches us so many things in our lives.  How to be strong in these tough times.  How some of us become like a master chef or baker in our household without relying too much upon in takeaways or fast foods?  How to pray for our beloved safety and well being.  How to be kind to one another.  How to be tolerant about things we cannot control and accepted how it is.  Otherwise, you will only be miserable if you cannot accept defeat.  Life is in constant change.  We are facing a new life.  Be patient.

Be patient things quotes

There is always a reason for everything and yes there are some positive outcomes of this world problem.  We learn how to be more hygienic or overdoing it at times just to protect our loved ones.  Our world started to heal from the pollution and the birds and other animals profited from it too.  If you love traveling like me, another positive outcome is you are now seatmate free as the seat in the middle will now be vacant for each passengers safety.  New Zealand is now on alert level 2 which means “almost” back to normal (apart from social distancing, proper good hygiene, and “being kind” as what the PM always telling on her media interviews. The tourism industry is now being pushed forward after being dormant for so long.  We just have to support and discover our own backyard deepest corners.  Besides, we have a beautiful country!

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We hope of a safer tomorrow.  Wishing a covid-19 free world sooner than later.  Let’s be patient. It will come.

PS:  Please also support my other blog site as per this link >> Life and Wonders.  I have transferred some of my older posts in there as it was the first chapter of my new life being an ex-pat in the Middle East (The UAE).  There you can see how it was living in that world and you will be surprised.  Nevertheless, you can still see some of the remaining post here dated from mid-2015 up to early 2019.  FYI.  Thank You!

 

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Destination: Rheinfall, Switzerland

“TRAVITUDE = When you start to feel grumpy and sassy cause you miss travelling.”   anonymous

“TRIPOPHOBIA” = The fear of not having any travel trips currently booked.”  anonymous

Just for fun but it still makes your soul happy to reminisce the past travels while we have some restrictions in place.  It is much safer at least so enjoy the ride and check out below photos surrounding the beauty of Rhinefall.  Just an hour away by train from Zurich HB.  We were there last January 2020 before people all over the world become aware and fearful of the COVID-19.

This is also in response to Cee’s Photo Challenges “Fan of (partially blue skies) Challenge“.  If you want to join and create your own virtual travels just click the link.

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Rheinfall, vinneve

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Schlossamrheinfall, vinneve

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UpSchloss, vinneve

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restaurant.rheinfall, vinneve

Let’s travel to Switzerland again once this pandemic is over but in the meantime I am looking forward to seeing more of my home country New Zealand.  Cheers!

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I say YES to life!!

As I say yes to Life, Life says yes to me. … | Louise hay quotes ...

In response to the Word of the Day Challenge YES as per this LINK.

As per the quote above… why not?  Life is too short anyway not to say yes to life!  There’s more about the world we live in that we must see and discover.  IF I didn’t say yes to a new adventure in the Middle East 5 years ago (particularly Abu Dhabi) I wouldn’t even know how beautiful this City is and other UAE cities too! Do not prejudge things, places, religions, culture, and people unless you already experienced it yourself and be open-minded. Saying yes open my eyes to these.  I will miss this place now that I have a new adventure ahead.  FOLLOW me while back living in our home country New Zealand.

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expatslifeinAbuDhabi, vinneve

Yes, I believe we will get to the new normal way of life but it doesn’t discourage me to travel step by step (don’t worry even to your nearest suburbs or cities it’s ok!) and see how lucky we are and besides didn’t we get to learn new tricks and passion while on lockdown?  C’mon, don’t be gloomy! Say YES and you will feel life will say yes to you.  Cheer up!

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Colorful Motiongate (Dubai)

“There is nothing more fun than entertaining kids!”  by Jerry Seinfeld

This is also in response to the Word of the Day: OPPORTUNITY .  This may be our last time to get this opportunity to be in this place as we finally went back home for good.  But who knows what will happen in the future?…

CNY2020@motiongate, vinneve

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Motiongate1, vinneve

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Motiongate2, vinneve

We were there last January this year and had a blast of fun! (related link HERE).  My son enjoyed it so much and asked me when we could be back. Unfortunately, we won’t be for a very long time.  As we cannot predict the future, especially now we have this covid-19 to worry about among other things in life.

Dubai is nice for some fun and will always recommend for people who will do some transit to both UAE Cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  Try to have a stop over of at least 2-3 days to fully enjoy the country and what each city has to offer.

For now we will only reminisce our times in both cities.  And yes… wait for the new normal to push through once we all can safely travel again.  It depends in each country.  Stay safe everyone!!  Cheers 🙂

 

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Different FUN challenges to inspire you

This is in response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge as per the below words. Please click each word per photo to go to the link, BUT first finish this read, like or comment that would be great! 😉 Sorry, some word challenges are a bit late but it’s better to be late than never right? This also highlights my past travel and those photos that I am wanting to visit again in person if possible.  If not at least I have them in the archives of my past experiences and will remember always in my heart.

Vibrant Colours 

 

BaguioPH, vinneve

Visited this place two years ago in Baguio, Philippines.  I was captivated at their simple way of living and the vibrant colour of their houses.

Upwards

View to the top

AklZOO.sky, vinneve

Nice warm weather with a cool breeze surrounded us with lots of tall trees in Auckland Zoo (will post about this next time).  My son wants to come back here once we can go back to normal life or half of it as some say life will never be the same again… (sigh!) very sad indeed.

Tea time in Abu Dhabi

teatimeAD, vinneve

Those were the happy go lucky days. A time to indulge your sweet tooth and meet your happy friends making your life happier!

WestAKLSky, vinneve

And finally a view of the sky outside my house.  It somehow tells me that Life is still beautiful and more to look forward to the next day.  Do not be gloomy as what’s happening in the world right now.  Have faith and there’s hope!  See below (better late than never!) 🙂

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CovideasterEggs, vinneve

I hope you like these photos.  You may also join the word or photo challenge as per those links to Cee’s blogsite.  The more the merrier!  Cheers!!