How to surprise your partner..

Tip 1: Arrive at your planned destination much earlier than expected.

I just had to post about this because I couldn’t over how cheeky my girlfriend is.. On May of this year, Jess came to Sydney to visit me. Nothing surprising about that right? Wrong!

Don’t be fooled by her innocent smile, here is her true form – many people will not see this side.

Continue reading How to surprise your partner..

What to do in the Central Coast, NSW – part 3

Final coverage post for our trip in May to Central Coast – part 3!
Don’t forget to try the fish and chips in Nelson Bay, nothing quite like a seafood box from a sea town.


Also had a lovely pear desserts (did you know desserts spelled backwards is stressed?) cooked and prepared by Jess.
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Upon leaving our cottage on the last day we wrote in the guestbook to leave our mark and romance!
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Mandatory selfie before leaving.
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Other things we managed to slip into our trip were visiting the local national park in the area – a must do. We managed to find a waterfall at this one too.


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Jess getting excited to use her bubble gun.
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She’s got it out!
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Gan Gan hill look out!
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Back at home and repairing out skin with Jess’ recommendation for skin repair!
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Hope you enjoyed it and have an idea of what to do, I know we certainly did!

Coupley nicknames

Do you nicknames for your loved ones?

When I first met her, her name went from “Jessica” to “Jess” as I’m Aussie and we always abbreviate everything and anything. “Jessica” is long to continually say, try saying it fast 10 times!

Sooner or later I ended up calling her “babe” which was easier at times and just suited her more I guess. She calls me “dear” which I think is common in Taiwan from what I hear and read about. I remember walking around Taiwan at times and it’s not uncommon to hear it a lot!

The funniest thing is, I realized I would sometimes call her (not sure why I did this) “Miss Chen” and now you know what, now she even calls me the equivalent lol

Guess she did really become like me 😛
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What do you call your other half?

Nelson Bay (a trip back to the past)

Following my previous post on Nelson bay, I had mentioned that it wasn’t our first time there. It was back in 2011 when we had first met each other (this is a whole other story) and will just briefly cover what we got up to that time around compared to our most recent trip 5 years on!
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We stayed at Samurai Beach Resort which has sadly closed down since then. It was a beautiful place although I do remember it wasn’t as easy to find the rooms in the dark because of the lack of lights!


Here is Jess checking some of the local attractions and finding out information on where we should go!

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Not sure what I was doing here but the room was beautiful and came with our own bathroom also unlike some places which may have a shared bathroom.
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Sand dunes and boarding seemed like the thing to do when you’re up in Nelson Bay!


The difference with this trip is that we got to meet the camels! (although we didn’t ride them).


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What else can you do at Nelson Bay if you’re only there for a night?


What can you possibly be looking for Jess?
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Ah hah! No trip is complete without a good Baskin & Robins ice cream!
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Another view of Jess at the bottom of the dunes, so cool!
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We also had a Domino’s pizza on the way back which was so delicious and ever stuck in our memories that Jess was so full she slept on the way back to Sydney!


A great escape for any couple, both short and long! We willy likely visit again one day!
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Quick snaps!

Every once in a while I’ll be posting quick snaps of our adventures!

Here are 2 of us while we were abseiling in Glenworth Valley!
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What do you think?
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Personally I think it’s a great experience for people who have never done it like myself. Just remember not to tighten the helmet too much as I did mistakenly, it gave me a serious headache which I thought was heat related!
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What to do in the Central Coast, NSW – part 2

Next up, we packed our bags and headed to Peats Ridge about 30-45 minutes from Nelson Bay Sydney bound direction.
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We rented a beautiful secluded little cottage in a farming area.


The best thing was, there were horses and even farm animals just right next to us!
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It’s worthwhile going to Coles or Woolies before you embark on the journey as Peats Ridge is quite in the middle of no where!
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Preparation for our meals.


We cooked burgers together! Its actually very satisfying cooking by yourself.
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No animals were harmed in the making and cooking of our meals above and future displayed ones 🙂


Another great thing to do is abseiling!


They had some really good instructors and overall very well worth the experience!


After that we cooked another delicious dinner served by none other than the Masterchef Jess!


Always be prepared with a nice wine to supplement your dinner.
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Will finish off with part 3 shortly!
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What to do in the Central Coast, NSW – part 1

In May of this year, Jess visited Sydney again and we decided we’d have a trip to the central coast of NSW. It was our first “wild” adventure where we would stay away from suburbia and have a little time away from the busy-ness of Sydney. Where did we decide to go? Central Coast of course!

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We first went to Nelson Bay to catch some sunshine and a bit of the ocean and stayed at a house hosted in Nelson Bay. It was a nice cosy place right next to the beach!


Highly recommended the host Trisha as she was very helpful and friendly, here is Jess taking a mandatory selfie of herself 🙂

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Now us together after a good night’s sleep.
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Next up we went to the sand dunes via the tour buses for some sand boarding!  They have various levels of difficulty (which was pretty much different sand dune starting heights). I felt it was quite slow on the non-steep ones and wasn’t really worth the effort walking up unless you went to the steep ones!

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Keep your hands out to balance on your way down!

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Next up, we took the bus back to Nelson Bay then went for a boat trip for dolphin watching!

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Don’t forget your sunscreen!

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They also had a boom net which I managed to convince Jess to go on. Surprisingly there were no dolphins that came to that side because of the sun being on the other! Shame.

All suited up to go now 🙂
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Funny thing was, once Jess got off the boat and into the boom net everyone started wanting to go in! I took the role of photographer!

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Best thing was, we actually did see dolphins and a beautiful view this time (one of our first trips out of Sydney was to Nelson Bay but unfortunately no dolphins that time).

 

Long Distance Relationships – part 3

A continuation of my last post (part 2) on LDRs and what worked well for us:

  • Get fit together! – fitness has become a big thing in this age now with more and more people becoming health conscious. We often try to run or get fit get together like planning out how much weight we plan to lose and record it! There are apps to help you do this like Nike Running
  • Use collaboration tools and applications together – we have been planning trips overseas and just our plans together using Google Sheets which sometimes is used in universities and schools but why not extend that to your personal lives together? It’s really useful and you guys can both plan, modify, build and create plans and dreams together!
  • Photos – This is important and often overlooked, every instant messaging application supports this now. Share photos of your life with each other; if you’re shopping and find a nice shirt, take a photo of yourself in the change room and share it 🙂 If you see something odd on the way to work, share it they will appreciate it and let your partner see what you see. Even if it isn’t interesting, funny, odd or weird, take a photo (or even a few) and share it with your partner. After all a picture tells a thousand words!
  • Selfies – now this is an extension of the above but while you can take photos of your daily life to share with your loved one, they also want to see you!
  • Make sure you schedule time for each other – this should be dedicated time to talk/video call/message where you are free. It’s important so you don’t get interrupted all the time, just like if they were next to you. Cut of time from your schedule to spend together virtually 🙂
  • Share your schedules and daily routines with each other. Me and Jess have quite relatively simple lives where work takes up quite a bit our time. But with Jess being a nurse, she often has to work shifts, we use Google’s calendar to share our rosters together. My work is always during business hours but you should put down your events if you plan to go out with friends and family so your partner knows – they will appreciate you are thinking about them!

Long Distance Relationships – part 2

Here are some things/pointers/hints that you should do if you’re in a long distance relationship (LDR):

  • Text/message via Line, WeChat – as you’re not physically in the same location, you should always keep in contact via message as a basis. It doesn’t take long and often quicker than scratching your back. Your partner will appreciate it.
  • Call, call, call –  while texting is good, it can’t replace a real voice with emotion and tone. You can’t put a genuine laugh into text and you can’t always tell the story the way you want to (unless you’re an avid writer or poet) and while you can with emoticons and emoji, you shouldn’t!
  • Voice messages are a good alternative also, especially if you’re on the go or walking. Who has time to text everywhere right? Mix it up a little, they’ll love to hear your voice every once in a while.
  • Video calls – now this is key and probably the one thing that kept me and Jess together for as long as we are…… *drum roll* 5 years! Without Steve Jobs we would not have FaceTime and not be able to communicate as well as we have with each other. We’ve both tried them all, Viber, Line, Skype, Tango etc and FaceTime is easily the best (although we’ve recently moved to Line for a while).
  • Watch a movie together, find a movie and share the experience and story through FaceTime. We often mute one or the other so there isn’t an echo or just use headphones. It’s a great experience, you’ll know what I mean when you do it, try it!
  • Make a blog together 🙂
  • Flowers/Gifts/Presents – thanks to the digital age of the internet we now can engage in e-commerce in the convenience of our chairs at home. What does this mean? Get a gift for your loved one whether it be randomly, for an anniversary or special occasion. I’ve often send flowers and gifts to her work unexpectedly, much to her surprise 🙂
  • Share your everyday lives with one another – while you can FaceTime and talk with each other at your desks, do it while you have breakfast, while you study, while you fall asleep, while you’re doing you’re thing. There are times when we don’t even turn off our video calls when we pop out or so so it’s almost like we’re right there together.

There are many many more things to do but I’ll continue it in another post! Good luck in your LDR!

Long Distance Relationships

While Jess probably doesn’t know I’m blogging about this, I thought I might just take the time to remind those who are fortunate enough to meet other halves but unfortunate enough to be in different countries.

Key things to remember:

  • Be strong for each other
  • Show each other love and care
  • Share your everyday lives with each other
  • Build and create goals together; both long term and short term
  • Respect each other’s time
  • Do doing together, spend time with one another
  • Compromise and sacrifice your time and effort for each other
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
  • Most importantly trust each other

Your relationship is only what you make of it. Good things take time and while it may seem hard at times, the end goal will be what keep you together. In the end, they are worth it.


I’ll expand in more detail on what me and Jess do together 🙂

A list of things to do in Sydney part 2

Continuing from my old post found here

4) Gould’s Book Arcade
Now this is a really cool second hand book store that has literally hundreds of shelves and shelves of second hand books. If you’re interested in grabbing a bargain, finding something interesting to read or just to browse around something different. Pop down to Newtown and check these guys out.

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I almost always end up buying something, Jess probably would too but she doesn’t have much space in Taiwan so we often have to leave it here in Sydney until she comes next year!

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5) Pho An in Bankstown
Given I’m Vietnamese, we’re bound to have Pho some time, although we haven’t had a bowl together recently! For those who aren’t familiar with it, it’s the most popular Vietnamese dish worldwide and probably the first thing that would come to mind when thinking about Vietnam.

Unfortunately we didn’t take a photo of the actual dish itself but the expression on our faces should be able to tell you the review! Extremely fast service and large servings, price is a little higher than what’d you expect if you were from Cabramatta but overall a good place to try!

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6) Christmas lights hunting
This is a tradition in Australia particularly in Sydney during Early December to Mid January each year. This probably doesn’t happen as much as it did before simply because of rising electricity prices but still, it is quite popular and people do get into the spirit!


The thing to do is to check this website for the latest locations and participants each year!


Probably the most famous place is in Ryde, there’s a street there which is full of houses who light up the entire street. Best to get a comfortable car and ready to get some late night food!

Astronomy – part 2

Further my previous post… I’ll be talking about some additional things you can do to further improve your astronomy experience.

First thing’s first. Join a club or a society so you can gain more knowledge and share your experiences! This is a photo of a telescope that is used by the society on loan from a university.
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Continue reading Astronomy – part 2

Newcastle Cathedral Church

It seemed when Jess was in Sydney, we often went up to Newcastle now and then whether it was a surprise, random trip, buying items, selling items or even to visit somewhere. Well regardless we came across a random church (it was random to us) which turned out to be quite an attraction after reading online.

 

Continue reading Newcastle Cathedral Church