Post Californian Trip

I finally completed my first trip to California (the states) which I have been trying to do for over five years and again, it was a great and very stressful trip. As I rested in Bali on the last leg before returning home to prepare and get back to work, I opened the site to write something to organise my thoughts, but once I saw the previous posts about the Bangkok trip, oh well, everything was exactly the same.

Meeting and spending time with different people has really helped me gain a clearer head and I’ve finally made up my mind to make decisions about my life so the near future is going to be somehow different to what it has been up to this year and I’m excited and nervous but we will face the challenges and move on.

So the same things are happening, we can’t continue the study and workout routine and the to-do list is getting bigger so we need to focus on these things at this stage and we will see how things will go because it certainly won’t be the same. I feel like I am going through a period of rapid change as I am building my new view of the world and the people at an unprecedented rate as I am visiting different places, seeing different people and doing many new things. I believe it will continue to change and we will experience and see that.

So what should we do now? The first thing is to get back to my regular routine of work, study and fitness. It will take a few days to re-adopt the intense schedule but we will get used to it, we have had a month off so far and now it’s time to work a little harder. Then when we get home we will start to organise my physical living environment and reconnect with all my friends (something I couldn’t do this year). All these changes lead life into a whole new way, but what really matters is what I’m doing, not what I’ve done or what I’m going to do.

Well, get a good night’s sleep, get up, study, work and work out and can’t wait to see what we will achieve until the next trip in January.

Tommy 29 November 2022 Bali

Over the last two years my thinking and views have changed, and I’ve made some friends, and then I tried group socialising earlier this year. I couldn’t be with my friends for the last six months, but I have changed again and it must be different again now with my lovely friends.

However I haven’t figured out how much longer I should stay in Bali, I want to extend my trip by a week but obviously I can’t stay in hotels and resorts all the time, I need to go local, meet some friends and explore the area. There are plenty of options, but I might need a scooter and a SIM card. I’m worried that this trip will distract me so I don’t want to stay too long, but what if I meet some really nice people who don’t want to leave? Anyway, I’ll make a decision in two days and see how it goes first. On this trip I’ve been to a few new towns, done things I’ve never done here before and found there’s still a lot to see. But we can always come back, just work hard for a day and you can earn your ticket back, so yes, work harder so I have more time to enjoy my life here.

Tommy 30 November 2022 Ubud, Bali

Post-Trip Life

Finally the longest trip and the first trip to Thailand since COVID, I have to say that everything I have known about this country for the last two years has been calling me back and I have finally made myself back.

However, the trip to Bangkok was very intense indeed, having planned to visit many cities during the two and a half weeks in Thailand, but once I arrived everything about the city fascinated me, the longer I stayed the more places I wanted to visit and it felt like I would never run out of things to do, places to go or friends to see in Bangkok. It really is a city that embraces every aspect of me and no matter what I want to do or what situation I put myself in, I can always have my best time in Bangkok. I’m not free enough to stay for as long as I want, but I’ll definitely be back, really soon.

Because of this intense trip, daily workouts and studying couldn’t happen like I did at home, and I didn’t even get a full 8.5 hours of sleep while I was there, but I slept soundly and deeply every night while I was there because my body was so tired. After a week back, we finally paid off all the sleep debt and resumed all the exercise and study routines. The weekly study thing hasn’t resumed yet, but here I have a long weekend to get things organised.

After more experience and talking to different people in Bangkok, I’ve become more sure of what I really want and am after. But what we need to do or should do is prepare for more amazing explorations in the future. There are  things really important or totally meaningless, it’s important to differentiate. Everything is changing, so we really need to reflect on what is the right thing to do for the current situation. Be honest and make sure you have self-control. You’ll get yourself to the right destination.

The daily schedule is already tight, plus entertainment and social, so for the 3 working days of the week, just make sure to complete all the assigned tasks and make satisfactory progress on work. Then do more studying, self-improvement and other things afterwards. Get information efficiently and enjoy the weekend. But remember, even if you don’t do anything extra, your language skills, including English, Japanese, Thai, Cantonese are improving every day and this will really change your life in the future. Also for the appearance, including body muscles, body fat, hair, everything is getting better.  You’ll see results in a very short time and you’ve seen the results, haven’t you?

The only thing left, and also the thing that takes up most of my time, is still social media, which I stopped for the whole month in order to live our reflections, and now it’s time to think about how to use it. So basically, we need to cut down on unnecessary spending while staying in touch with close friends, fetching the information we want and documenting the best parts of my life. So the main goal is to centralise time and stop fragmented time consumption.

We have now been home for a month and everything has settled down. This week was the first time ever that we have completed our daily studies and exercises, as well as the weekly English and work skills training. We now have real weekends to do whatever I want to do and keep myself entertained. I should be very happy and satisfied with the results I have achieved. I can see straight away the changes I’ve made, both in terms of work and language, which is great. I’ve also caught up on a lot of things on the to-do lists, and after finishing all the rest, I can watch things, read and write, post and even enjoy time on social networks while relaxing as much as possible before returning to another productive week.

I’ve also put myself on a fast track to learning and it’s great to know that I’m learning lots of new things every week and I’m getting close to the goal of getting myself back to being a student before I go back to uni full time in a year.

For the social networking thing, so far we’ve taken a break from all our main accounts for a few weeks and we’re settling into life without feeds, which has really saved me a lot of time. In the future, I will only be using social media at the weekends, after I have finished the three days of work and 10 hours of study a week.

Well, since things are going so well, let’s enjoy the real first real weekend and read books in preparation for next week’s study.

Tommy 23 Sep / 21 Oct 2022

The Fourth Week

We will quickly take a recap of the week and a preview of what’s to come next week.

We have to say that it has been a very productive week as it brings the current great isolation into its final stages. We have completed our reflections on our recent lives, particularly on English language learning, student life and we have also done the plan for this ‘throwback cultural journey’ which is all very meaningful to me and I know I will enjoy learning and entertaining. As most parts of life have been reviewed, suggestions for improvement have been written down. In the remaining two weeks (estimated) of isolation, we will catch up on all the things to do, say all the things we want to say, prepare a plan of action for the future and make sure that our study and exercise habits are stable.

The week went really well and we completed all our daily learning tasks on time and I did a lot of extra English learning. I do feel that there has been a lot of progress. I can tell that my fluency is much better than it was a few weeks ago, but only after about 20 hours of study. This is probably because I started with very low conditions, so the progress was great and very easy to see. However, it is going to be a very long journey and it must be harder for us to improve from 90-95% than from 60-80%. 

I remember when we first prepared for the IELTS test, the textbook said that students needed to spend 200 hours to improve one band of the IELTS test, does that mean I need to spend another 400 hours studying to get my current level of 7.0 to a full 9.0?Then I would only need to spend six months. Well, stop thinking about what you will achieve and just focus on each lesson you take, we will see the results.

We also did a weekly English high school course. As well as coding training, however we only did 1 hour out of the 5 hours planned. So we will make sure that all of our study plan goes well and we will finish it and then we will have more time to have fun. However, when I was doing my Year 7 English homework, I realised that I was giving worse answers than the boys who were ten years younger than me. I had no idea what the writer was trying to convey when he used certain techniques. Well, that’s something I always struggled with when I was learning my mother tongue back to school age. I always got high marks in maths and I was much better at English, oh well, maybe I’m not a good reader and writer at all, but we still need all the processes to train our brains for English literature, so let’s get on with it. The more we read, the better answers we will be able to give.

We also got out a bit more this week as we relaxed our restrictions. I’m sure we’ll get all our thoughts organised and clear out the to-do list in the next two weeks so we can finally see all my lovely friends next weekend and then we’ll be packing for our trip to Thailand which has been delayed for two months. After that we’ll probably relaunch all social media in a week or two, but we still have a lot to do before then, including setting up rules for using social networks.

Well, it’s time for a shower and a book until we’re sleepy enough to have a good dream.

Tommy 7 Aug 2022 (After Midnight)

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