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W.O.T.D. – Expectation & Worth

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Here I go again… 

It’s been hard for me to write this post as I seemed lost for words and it takes time to tell you dear readers… I will finally coming back HOME.  I sure hope it is still “my home” though as I am a bit afraid after about being an expat for more than 3 years without even visiting the place unlike many other expats.  I have been to anywhere except holidaying in my home Country isn’t it weird?  It’s because of the tedious flying time of 18 hours straight or cut it in two to Australia 14 hours + Auckland 4 hours = 18 hours. Which is better?  Even going back to my birth Country for a holiday is more or less 9 hours away from where we are at the moment (Abu Dhabi) which is really in the middle of  Europe and Asia.  So going to Australasia down under so to say… feels like so far far away!!

WOTD Expectation

What to expect?  I am freaking out actually.  I heard so many stories about expats coming back home realizing it’s NOT the same as before or perhaps WE ARE NOT THE SAME AS BEFORE?.  Even the roads will not be the same as when we left New Zealand in 2015 there are a lot of road works going on and adding some lanes and a tunnel etc.  I’ve read that the almost rural place we go to for Farmers Market are now in demand and becoming a posh suburbs that we cannot even afford to buy a small land. Auckland is now one of the most expensive Cities in the World.  Though our place is farther away from the City it is still ridiculously expensive!  Good thing we have a house to come home to.  There’s a scarcity in the housing market.  A big problem indeed.

I think it’s better NO EXPECTATION.  It can save me from whatever fear facing the future.

WOTD Worth

One thing for sure we will try to make this worth it.  My son is growing and need more stability as for the past 3 years or more he has been to 3 different schools.  Yes, it’s hard to say goodbye again.  I cannot say No to being an expat again if this is the only way our family can stay together.  Depends on the next contract of hubby.  Just hoping he will also come home to us for good, that would be great! though not financially.

Now that I finally adjusted to the life here, I will miss a lot of brunches, friends parties, events and celebrations around here.  I surrounded my life with many groups of mom’s like me in school, in our place, my closes friends and even acquaintances. FYI, I am one of those they call “trailing spouse” so yes I choose not to work (after working almost my whole life in 3 different Countries) so I am the nanny of my own child but unlike with nannies, I have a much better social network. It took me two long years to finally adjusted and accepted the life here and now we have to go for personal reason that cannot wait.

Life is easy here and less stress (except when driving haha!!) and I get used to this somehow that having to begin a new life in NZ seems a bit scary though exciting too to be honest.  So many things to do and see places perhaps seeing it as an expat.  We have to be re-acquainted to the Country.  I am hoping we can adjust quickly… hopefully!

Anyway… I often read some advice and hopefully I can be able to apply on it.  Here’s the LINK1 and LINK2 if you are curious and have time to read.

Are you an expats who came back home after years of life overseas?  Please tell me your stories and perhaps I can learn from those.  Feel free to give me an advice.  Thanks!

Any expats coming home to New Zealand like me?  Let me know or you can PM me.

Thanks for reading and cheers to the next journey!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Places to Wander & Wonder in Switzerland

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So true!!  I think I don’t need to explain further on this one as most of you dear readers are traveloholic like me. 

To all my followers, you probably know by now that Switzerland is my favorite destination and it shows on how many posts I posted in the past.  I also like to go where the locals go so it is something new for some people who wanted to travel there and wanting to avoid crowds but still enjoying Zurich and around.  Here below are some of the places and try to visit these when you get there.  It is awesome and still full of nature.

In the City.

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Stroll around the City.  This was taken at the bridge.  Discover some alleys and around the lake you will be amazed that in even an unsuspecting alley tourists are there but sometimes not too crowded, enjoying a cup of coffee, ice cream or lunches. Awesome old architectural building around. You will know more of the places once you go walking or try to join a walking tour if you like that. 

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Discover other towns by ferry, you can do short or long journey at Bellevue station/ferry.  You can reach here by tram, bus or train depends where you are.  Please check my older post about cruising leisurely around Lake Zurich.  It’s not that expensive.  We hopped off to Kilchberg Station where you can walk to Lindt chocolate factory.  But mind you, you cannot enter the factory itself.  Just a discount store as low as 50% if you are right on time and they have a sale.

 

Parks, restaurants & other lakes.

Went for a walk at the Park located at Zurich-Hongg then enjoy their cafe house inside named Jagerhaus Waidberg Restaurant as below picture. They have a beautiful garden and yes you can bring your dog for a walk and a treat too!

 

The nature is abundant of berries but be careful there is a red berries that is a poison it is only for birds.  Locals know so if you are not familiar with it do not put it into your mouth.

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Lake Turlersee.  As you can see it is very pristine.  I say it is a rural located in Affoltern, a canton of Zurich.  There is a fee of SF5 only to enter and there is a restaurant inside and a food stand with sausages and ice creams for kids.

Lake Turlersee, vinneve foto

Falsenegg Restaurant LINK.   Again our families love to walk so we go to the Park again and a wonderful restaurant with a good view of Zurich was ahead of us.  Honestly, though perhaps some people come with their car or with a cable car, we went up hiking or sort of just to eat here and have a breather after, besides we are just a few minutes away from this place and also the Turlersee lake.

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Triibhuus Restaurant, LINK .  It is a huge greenhouse restaurant.  As you can see full of plants everywhere.  It is for families, friends or couples on a date.  At the time we were there, there is a live Mexican/ Spanish duo singers entertaining the guests.  They also make you laugh and you can join in the dancing too!

Eglisau.  It is located in the district of Bulach, canton of Zurich.  It sits on the banks of the Rhine and yes another side of the famous Rhine river.  Be careful this river runs fast so not for average swimmer.  It can get you to Swiss-German border and to Netherlands and it empties into the North Sea.  There is a cruise ship that you can buy tickets to.  We just had a picnic and swim party here for birthday celebration and hired boats to go to a safer side for a swim.  We have children with us.

Eglisau, River rhine, vinneve foto

It can be a foodies haven! You will learn to appreciate salads as it’s so filling & delicious. Swiss people eat healthy foods. Not a lot of fast food around and if you see one the prices can be very expensive than eating in nearby cafes restaurants or food stalls around.  HINT:  Manor restaurant inside the mall offers good quality food and drink at an affordable prices around SF15-20 approx. for 1 adult and 1 child and you can still include a cake or pie but depends on your hunger.

Manor restaurant, vinneve foto

Alright, perhaps these are enough to make you hungry?  remember, Switzerland can be very expensive but if you know where to buy or eat out you can still enjoy all their foods and please don’t hesitate to ask some locals as they can speak english especially the younger generations.  Also more information at the Haupthbanhoff station.  You can buy tickets for trains and other tours and services.  Museums are nearby and as well as lots of branded shops around.  Do not forget to get a “Zurich in your pocket” brochure located at the train stations.  They have all the maps and information you will need.  Enjoy!  Tschuss!!

 

 

 

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Destination: Munich. Unexpected.

“The best way to avoid disappointment is to NOT expect anything…”  

As you can see it’s an unfiltered photo. So I think it’s best to tell you our story with no sugar-coated and chocolate fillings.  Please bear with me and read the whole story.

I was hesitant about going there August last year but hubby wanted to visit it as it was both our first time. Also, it’s our  “just us trip” and left our boy with the grandparents. Yes, it was sort of adventure actually. Trip was from Zürich to Munich.  When we stepped out of the train station we found so many immigrants (refugees) some were going about their everyday life and others just hanging out around the train station. I remember the time I was in Milan it’s the same scene and police are everywhere just watching them make a wrong move. A cousin of mine told me to take care.  We wonder Munich is like we never expected. It seems almost everyone are either a tourist or an immigrant. If you know what I mean.

Went on a bus tour around the City and just sit back and relax, choose which ones you fancy to look around and get out of the bus in the designated bus stops.  We became like a child again. Enjoying kids Park & its surrounding. Thinking how we wish our son is with us instead but we remind ourselves this is our holiday.  Well holiday is fun until it gets spoiled.

We did walk around the City near the train station as our hotel is just 2 blocks away. We followed the crowd armed with a map just in case and shopping district and some churches or Cathedral are just beside each other… funny! It seems the City Center has been constructed within the famous tourist area so the businesses flourish as well. It’s a win-win situation.

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After all the walking, tour and shopping, finally we can sit and enjoy the foods and even sharing a big glass of beer but sometimes it can bring an unfortunate event like food poisoning or something that my hubby’s stomach rejected. Perhaps it’s the sauerkraut. Our holiday started to get sour indeed.

First, vomiting every few minutes with no real emergency hospital to rely on (past midnight) as we went to two of them and both no doctor around but a rude staff whose unsympathetic. Only one Filipino nurse or attendant was there who tried to help us by being human giving us a plastic bag only but he’s just new there and not in the position to help and just explained that unfortunately this is how it is there. He cannot give any medicine either as it’s their rules which I understand as he’s not a doctor even though it’s easy to know what hubby needs is just an anti nausea tablet to prevent further dehydration. Nope no medicine. Why no doctor around for emergency?  I’ve no idea!  At least I have experienced in the Philippines the word “EMERGENCY” rings true to its meaning whether public or private hospital there is somebody who is rushing to help you, considering they think it is a 3rd World Country compare to Munich.  Unbelievable isn’t it?

No wonder why 2 of the taxi drivers we spoke to was so bitter and told us that vomiting or not feeling well in Munich doesn’t give us an excuse to go to an “emergency”. Now we realize the plight of immigrants in that place. No wonder there’s chaos and violence because there’s lacking of sympathy. It’s like saying “this is how it is here, if you don’t like it then you’re free to go!”. For us, yes we can do that and be happy to do so. But how about those people who doesn’t have a choice? Who they thought it’s a fresh start for them only to get a slap on the face and being insolent with them regardless of what they have already gone through? I feel sorry for them and this is a part of their life now and reality. No wonder they have become hard and hostile.  Which life is better?  the life they had left behind or the life they are facing now?

And it doesn’t end there. For another stroke of bad luck all the pharmacy’s were close! We have accepted the fate that there’s really no emergency hospital in a true sense of the word… but never expected the pharmacist also nowhere to be found. I searched around by foot but alas it’s all closed. So what to do? Be your own doctor and nurse! Yep I know to prevent dehydration I need to buy either an energy drink or electrolytes and bought some of them as I know too that severe dehydration can be fatal which these Hospital staffs doesn’t think it’s worth their urgent appeal. Yes, we will never forget that alright.

So for travelers like us, it doesn’t matter if you have a good passport, have money to pay or armed with travel insurance. It doesn’t matter to a place who doesn’t care! It’s best to have your own medicine with you and other first aid supplies if possible. Teach yourself to rely on your own wit and yes Google helps too!

On the way back to Zürich we finally found a “refuge.” It was a very hard long travel for hubby who doesn’t feel well and me being so anxious.  It was heaven to be back to a normal environment. To a hospital who welcomes you and to loving family who awaits your return.

Sad but this is the place We will never want to visit again. I’m telling this so not all of you thinks traveling is always fun and good adventure for me or my family. It’s best to be ready at all times.  Now seeing the news on tv is not a surprise anymore.  Sad indeed.

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Hotel review: Sheraton Creekside Dubai

 

 

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It’s been awhile since I did a hotel review because we usually go to the same hotel and did a review before so it’s a redundant to do again.

Sheraton is under SPG but it happens that Marriott group merge with this group as well as the Ritz Carlton so yes 3 in 1 big group program are better than one. More diversity and our membership can go a long way.

This hotel has a nice view considering it’s along the Creekside and it’s actually a tourist spot and nice to walk along the promenade and enjoy the multicolored lights around from the walkway to the ferries plying the waters. You can easily spot some touristy places to go just nearby hotel by looking at the view from hotel windows. They have a very small opening for smokers but I guess it’s part of balcony in the old days but now renovated to make the room bigger.

One tip though, try to avoid congested area around Deira if you could as though Sheraton location is good for tourists, unfortunately for drivers it’s a nightmare as you can get stuck in heavy traffic so better to have a GPS with you to navigate you out of the situation otherwise you may end up stress before you even begin enjoying your day or night out.  If you are not familiar with Dubai roads & motorways you may end up getting lost without a map.

When it comes to accommodations the hotel may be established in the 70’s but it has been refurbished as it looks modern now and clean with good polite staffs everywhere. The foods for breakfast varies and cater from Western, Asian and Arabs. I am very satisfied so to say except for the swimming pool which is a bit ordinary and small but it’s ok since we don’t stay just for that.

Fortunately hubby’s platinum membership get us some perks by having free upgrades so our room is located on the Club lounge on 11th floor, along with free fruit basket and can enjoy free access to the Lounge at level L with free drinks & nibbles but happy hour evening to 8:30pm children are not allowed because of alcoholic drinks.

I recommend this hotel for people who want to discover the past and for people who loves to walk around day or night. Experiencing Dhow cruises and Arabic foods. It’s one of the safest Cities compared to other famous Countries. Of course, having a wit with you is a must anywhere in the World you go!

There’s a lot to discover so try and come to UAE and visit all 7 Emirates you will return home with full of insights about this desert Country.  I bid you goodbye and till next post! Happy Holidays!!  A like and a comment will be appreciated. Thanks 💗

 

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Warmer Christmas 🎄 & a Chilly New Year!

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from readers digest

Yes that’s what we have around here in the land of the desert 🌵 the land of opportunity and multicultural society!

My first time to stay home in Abu Dhabi for Christmas and New Year my current City for the past 3 years but minus some months as I live in and out of the Country for personal reason. Some of you can only guess but maybe my loyal followers can understand. If you’re curious why don’t you read my recent post it’s a hint. I’m sure some can relate in every situation.

Christmas is the time of family celebration and here in my City it’s full of events! Most hotels have free events like X’mas lighting and if you’re lucky your kid can get free gift and parents can enjoy some nibbles & drinks. I’m sure some will agree going there before eating dinner. Consider it having an appetizers for free with shows etc. The malls have their free fun events for kids to enjoy like joining to make a gingerbread cookie and photo session with the famous man Santa 🎅 Yes, Abu Dhabi is a generous City! Even in the Parks lot’s of free fun things to do, including picnic at night with friends and family. Fireworks to gaze up in the sky and jugglers, magicians and even Alice in Wonderland grace the City.

free musical and dancing shows & other activities for kids.vinneve

Galleria mall outside.vinneve

X’mas Lighting @WestinAD.vinneve

You may be wondering how come a Muslim Country allows all these? It’s because UAE is a tolerant blessed Country. Where all religions can be practiced without any issues. In fact Pope Francis is coming next year in February to conduct a public mass! Imagine a Mosque side by side by a Catholic Church! One time I was inside a church having a mass and in time for singing you can also hear a song coming from the nearby Mosque. That is what called HARMONY!! isn’t it pun?!

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Corniche road, AD. vinneve

I wish you all a blessed Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!!   Peace on Earth. 

 

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Journey from the past to the present.

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Truly, I already started practicing what the quote is all about just late this year … 3 years later!  For sure, I am not the only one and I did try my best.

Another blogger that I am following gave me an inspiration and insight about my topic today. He gives good advises & can explain better than me about what a topic is about… his name is Drew and here is his LINKEnjoy reading!

His post about “Navigating Life” and I can’t help but to answer in my mind the questions asked in his seminar at work that he put in his blog and explained.

Here’s the thought:

  1.  The most important thing is where you are right now.  I now realized that I was focused on  the “the life I had before”  that it’s hard for me to let go and accept what are the good things staring in front of me… yes where I am right now.  I keep comparing but the reality is, it is not fair to compare “a kiwi to a date!”  if you get my meaning.  Where I am right now is with my family and hope to stay that way.
  2.  Appreciating what you have I started to see and appreciate what life has to offer for us in our current situation.  Nowhere else we will feel these “benefits” and gain more insights about the World and having an “expats (extra-ordinary) life”  if we stay put in our comfort zone.
  3.  It’s better to have plans and if one is a failure then you have many other options in place.  I often think that after we finished our journey here, that I for one, will be back in my hometown, home Country.  I guess now it’s different.  I am now open to possibility of saying… “it may not be, yet…”  OR “will see what other opportunities out there” OR  “we can always go back anytime”  as I cannot decide just for myself since having a family, it’s all for one and one for all!  Plan A, B, C’s are the best way for us to go ahead.  Life’s journey is never easy but somehow we will decide what’s best for our family one contract at a time!

I leave you with another quote and maybe some of you readers can also relate to my post.  Feel free to comment and I will truly appreciate it.  Thank You for your time.

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Wondering & keep wandering!

It’s been a very long time since I post about what’s going on in my brain haha!  Every one of us are wondering what the future brings and what to do in life that will make us a better person or be successful and get what we want in life.

Being an expat is not that easy.  I keep on missing the old life and my home Country but come to think of it, I may not have this chances if we stay in our comfort zone.  Sure, it’s not an easy road but hey, I came back to where I belong I guess.  I will keep on wondering and wandering as both keeps my brain going.

So much for my riddles.  Allow me this time to show you some but not all, of the places that I have seen and experienced in my life and how beautiful our World can be.  I can never experience this if I don’t come and follow my heart.  Life for sure will be more different. More important is, I am with people who matters most and that is my FAMILY.

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Fronalpstock, Switzerland

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Venice, Italy

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Paris, France

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Frankfurt, Germany

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Miracle Garden, DUBAI, UAE

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Dead Sea, JORDAN

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Rotorua, New Zealand

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Bali, Indonesia

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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St.Mary’s Church, Sydney, Australia

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Piha, West Auckland, New Zealand

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Milan, Italy

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Stilts in Calatagan, Batangas Philippines

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Las Casas @Bataan, Philippines