It's a Monkey New Year!

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Warm greetings everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas break and are charged up for Semester 2! 
I had the funkiest holiday ever with 3 course assignments. But, I enjoyed every bit of it! I am finding my course in Sustainable Building specialization unit to be extremely rewarding as I get to hone my critical writing and research skills. As much as I love to design and create, I enjoy reading, writing and calculating too. And some occasional spacing-out :)

Today marks the start of the Chinese new year - the year of the Fire Monkey. This is my fourth time not celebrating the most significant festival in my culture with my family in my home. Perks of living abroad. To put into perspective, it is equivalent to you not celebrating Christmas and your birthday with your loved ones. 

Gladly, I was able to celebrate it last year with my family when I did my internship in Singapore, an hour away from home by plane. For the past 4 years, I have missed the most important moments in my family history. I have missed seeing my family members grow up, getting married and having children. I can't believe that my cousins whom I played dolls with when we were young are now married with 2 kids! I have missed seeing my parents grow older and without realizing I, myself have grown too. Time catches up on you so quickly when you are not living with your family. 

Adaptation & improvisation is the key to living abroad. You can either feel depressed forever or get over it, be grateful and find happiness in life. I am blessed to have beautiful people here in Oxford to celebrate the festive season with. Yesterday, I was craving the Chinese New Year mood so badly that I hopped onto the bus to Chinatown in London to soak in the new year atmosphere. I felt at home and happy to see the big red lanterns and lights decorating the streets, with the happy laughter and chatter in the air. Some music on the streets would have made the picture perfect.

One of the most important things I have learnt while living abroad is : the power to find happiness lies in your own hands, it will never happen if you don't make it. Whenever I am feeling down especially during the festive seasons (and my family is on the other side of the world), I will cheer myself up by feeding my soul with music, books, nature, laughter and yummy food! 

Living abroad enriches my life. You should try it too while you are on Earth! Take chances and discover adventures!
CNY eve dinner at Bamboo. Credits : DTL

Have a Happy Happy Chinese (Monkey) New Year!