30 November 2012

Map Art

Look what I found recently: the animals of the Chinese Zodiac, made entirely from the world map.

What an interesting fusion of geography and art!

This here is my own zodiac animal:

Twelve Animals, Horse --
The Horse from "Twelve Animals" by Kentaro Nagai

My parents' zodiac animal:
Twelve Animals, Tiger --
The Tiger from "Twelve Animals" by Kentaro Nagai

My two sisters' zodiac:
Twelve Animals, Rabbit --
The Rabbit from "Twelve Animals" by Kentaro Nagai

Twelve Animals, Dragon --
The Dragon from "Twelve Animals" by Kentaro Nagai

And my two brothers' zodiac:
Twelve Animals, Ram --
The Sheep from "Twelve Animals" by Kentaro Nagai

Twelve Animals, Rooster --
The Rooster from "Twelve Animals" by Kentaro Nagai

Also, my friends' and best friends' zodiac, since most of them were born in '89:

Twelve Animals, Snake --
The Snake from "Twelve Animals" by Kentaro Nagai

That said, I've always thought North America looked like the head of a goat, while Europe and the Nordic countries looked like two dragons mating.

Credits to pinktentacle.com

29 November 2012


The first time I experienced an earthquake was in Japan. 

It was maybe 3 am and I felt the ground tremble a bit, like when a thunder rumbles to near your house and stuff gets all shaky.

But suddenly the whole house shook like crazy from side to side. 

It probably lasted only about 30 seconds, but waiting for the shaking to end made it feel longer. When it was over, my sister called for me and my brother from her room. Thankfully we were all ok.

The only thing I could think of during the earthquake was "We need to get under a table" but because of the shock I completely forgot that my bedroom had neither tables nor heavy furniture. After the earthquake  I kept saying prayers and whispered the shahadah silently till I fell asleep.

It was scary but honestly a little exciting. I never want to experience it again.

28 November 2012

Special Someone

Tomorrow, someone very special in my life will return home. And he won't be coming back alone.

I can't wait for them to reach home. I can't wait to get off work and see them and hug them both.

I have so much to share with them and I know they have so much to say to me too.

It's true they say, children grow up so fast. When you miss out on their lives, it hits you in the heart.


27 November 2012

Wardrobe Dilemma

How I want to look like during winter

 How I will end up looking like







26 November 2012

Heavy Thoughts

I have this many things to think about at work, and this many things to think about for the trip :(

So I always look for new ways to relax myself. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . until that itself becomes tiring.

Photo credits to foolsinlife.blogspot.com

Foreign Languages

You know what would be useful to everyone in this world?

Something that was good for everyone to have. Something that would solve all our problems, from the littlest everyday misfortunes to any impending world crisis.

Being able to pick up a second language naturally.

I wouldn't ask for any super hero powers, or a million dollars for that matter, if I could only speak different languages fluently.

Because with that . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1. I wouldn't have gotten confused on the train in Japan, when everyone started turning their seats at Kokura Station

2. The grumpy airport security lady wouldn't have been so grumpy, and the awkward bread store lady wouldn't have been so awkward in Cologne, Germany

3. I would have been able to buy that adorable hot chocolate mug at Amsterdam Schiphol, from these nice but non-English speaking cafe workers

4. I would have made friends with a bunch of random but cute Korean guys who, out of so many people at the train station, decided to ask me for directions in Hong Kong

and lastly (most sadly)

5. I would have been able to speak Thai, Spanish and Korean with my closest friends during my study trip to Germany

Photo credits to comicbillbrumbach.com

25 November 2012

Dream Destinations

So I've had this habit of changing my dream destination since forever. When I was a teenager I was obsessed with Peru and the Machu Picchu; later in high school I only wanted go to New York; then there was Lina's Koh Phangan (haha) for my first and last party ever; then an entire Euro trip with Lina (again!).

But now, I pretty much have only one destination in mind:

British Columbia, Canada.

It was in a movie that I first saw the harbours of BC... and I knew I had fallen in love with those harbours instantly. 

The sea, mountains and sails make the most beautiful setting; a place perfect for the rest of my life.

Photo credits to jaunted.com and jimjoyce.com

24 November 2012

Travel Documents

In the past two days, I have waited almost seven hours at the Immigration Department to renew my passport. . . . . . . .

and I still haven't gotten it done.

Why oh why.

Travel Tips

Travelling takes a lot of planning (boo) so I'm still in the process of researching transport, lodging, food, money and destinations. 
*le sigh* 
Also, there is another place I want to go to while in UK, but I can't say much since the chances of going are really slim :(

That aside, one nice thing about travel research is the tons of tips I find on travel essentials. I remember reading Hanis Zalikha's travel must-haves a long time ago, and thinking "This is relatable and I *must* keep this as a reminder."

Coincidentally, nowadays Michelle Phan is writing a lot about travelling. Apart from tips on travel and beauty, she also posted about outfit ensembles for travelling through different weathers :)

From her advice, here are some essentials of mine that I have compiled <3

Aha, here's the warm-to-cold look she posted

Photo credits to michellephan.com

23 November 2012

Hong Kong 2012

I'm speaking to a good friend of mine about travelling and I am reminded of my sweet experience in Hong Kong :)

Earlier this year I went to Japan and on the way, I had a 16 hour transit in Hong Kong. 
So me and my brother set off on our own to see the Victoria Harbour. We took the bus, train and walked a good 20 minutes in the cold January night to reach there.

We were dead tired afterwards, but it was totally worth it.

That was my first and only experience in Hong Kong, and frankly it was the most adventurous thing I've done while travelling on my own :>

A circle of swanky apartments that reaches the skies....

Bundles of Joy

These past few years so many of my family and friends have been getting married, so it's no surprise that I'm hearing the good news every now and then :)

I'm still awed by how something so small can make such a big impact in my world.

Of course someday, I hope to have a little bundle of my own too


Photo credits to wikipedia.org

22 November 2012

LED map

This little project is also known as an Ikea hack, one of my more favorite pastimes. This map and lights are all DIY, and though it is not my own idea I've always thought of it as a lovely way to remember your travels <3

Photo credits to ikeahackers.net

Maxi Dress in Winter

These videos, I think, have saved my life. I've been meaning to find ways to wear maxi dresses during winter and I finally came across these life-saving videos.

(Once, I wore boots with a dress and it felt SO awkward.) 

Thank you, boohoo clothing and The Fashion Sight for your ideas!

Old People Travels

I just got an email from my ex-professor today :) I sent him an email because it was his birthday yesterday. 

I must admit this has nothing to do with UK, but this professor of mine is worth mentioning because he is ONE travel bug. 

When he was young he studied for a while in Hawaii, travelled through North America and went to India and the Middle East. Keep in mind he did all this in the 70s or 80s. He's probably covered all continents by now.

In a way, he inspires me to travel more. He even encouraged us to travel himself. Even now, when he's reaching 80 he still travels around our Southeast Asian region.

His experiences make wonder what it feels like to have travelled in the old days..

Photo credits to malaysiaflyingherald.wordpress.com

21 November 2012

Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park

I remember a photo my mother showed me once, of her and her friends at Hyde Park during winter more than 20 years ago. I remember there was snowman without a nose and the park looked like it was entirely made of white fluff~

Now, 20 years into the future, I found out that winter at Hyde Park is much, much different. They now have  Winter Wonderland, where there are loads of exciting performances and events lined up for people of all ages ^_^

It looks exciting! Though less romantic than my mum's experience. I'm looking forward to visit the park when I reach London this year, insyallah

Photo credits to hydeparkwinterwonderland.com

Post-holiday Ideas

This morning I had a wonderful idea for my friends after my vacation. I thought I should meet them in January, at the start of a new year for a nice big feast :) It would be so nice if I could have all of them there!

I'm planning to get some stuff for friends and family from London. Usually its just chocolates, but since the sales are going to be on, I hope to get some extra treats! Insyallah..

I know what I can get for my girlfriends, but not so much for my guy friends (colleagues). Any ideas?

Photo credits to blogs.babble.com

20 November 2012

Weather in the Cities

Just a comparison of the weather between my city and those in my future destination...


Credits to weather.com

The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

A good friend of mine, Muffin, suggested I blog my travels just as Mark Twain did in his book The Innocents Abroad.

What a cute idea! But I can only consider it, as I haven't actually read the book yet.

What do you think?

Mark Twain - The Innocents Abroad.jpg
Click me to download The Innocents Abroad for free

Photo credits to wikipedia.org


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Testing, testing. I am testing my Bloglovin link

The Shard

Today, I thought
"Maybe I should start some posts on my trip to UK, since this blog is dedicated to my travels...."

One of the things on my to-do list in UK is to see The Shard.
The Shard is one of the most controversial and beautiful buildings in London. Its fairly new too..

I can't wait to see it right in front of my eyes.

Photo credits to e-architect.co.uk

19 November 2012

Twenty Something by Jamie Cullum

This is a song that I haven't heard for years, but was introduced to me recently by one of my best friends, Faliqeen. I know she loves this song :)

Thank you for inspiring my blog title, Iqeen.

i carry your heart by e e cummings

My first post will be a poem, one of my favourites, by e. e. cummings. 

It always reminds me of a traveller; how he or she will always carry the people they love with them wherever they go.


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

-e e cummings