in tribute to the universe – part #3 (infect me with the travel bug)

When I was a kid, I wanted to travel like crazy. It was always a childhood ambition. My biggest dream was to travel to the US. I’d always ask my parents , “When are we going to the US?” , and they’d reply “Ask God. Just pray.” Despite their intentions to get me to rely on God, I hated the reply. It seemed like there wasn’t a desire to make it happen. I wanted to see all these grand and majestic sights that they’d show on the television and internet. I wanted to see the same places my friends were visiting. I didn’t appreciate then how difficult it would have been for a family of my size to afford trips to countries in the West ; but I also knew I wanted to make it there as soon as I could.

With a mix of grace, fortune and a good head , I found myself in Boston when I was 15 as a result of being shortlisted for a programme to Harvard. We went as a school group, but because of the uniqueness of the programme, we ended up having as unstructured a programme as we could have. It gave us the  opportunity to see a bit more of Cambridge Town, and Boston – and that was when I was enthralled to study in the States. Fast forward to when I was 17, and I was shortlisted to travel to Hong Kong University by myself to see the University. Again, being by myself, I saw Hong Kong and was dazzled by the difference in culture. I wanted to learn, and be fed with stories.

When I finally got the EDB scholarship, I knew my dreams were being realised. I was going to be able to study in the States. I had played the game, and I was winning , but I also knew the craving to discover could not be limited to the States any more. I wanted to know what was in every corner of this world – what had God built , and what had people made out of it? How did people live , and did they face the same issues as us back in Singapore? Are we truly the same, or are we unique beyond resolution? I gave myself significant goals this year ;  but the most significant of  them was to travel at least once every two months. To get out, discover, and most importantly apply myself. I wanted to use the stories I had gained and make new things – I did not want to be a passive consumer.

So I did exactly that.

I visited Vietnam in January as a Post-ORD Trip with Ding Hao. Thanks for being exactly the kind of travel buddy I need, fun and not rigid ; and most importantly adventurous.

I had tons of fun meeting people like Bradley (who would  have thought when we met at the Burger Bar, we’d find out we were actually room-mates) , Angus, Megan , Sadie, Ronny  –  right in my hostel.  Thanks for making our time in Vietnam as enjoyable as it was, and being great hostel-mates. You guys were our first hostel-mates, and it definitely encouraged me to stay in hostels in the future. Again, if you guys are ever in Singapore, give me a holler and we’ll hang out.

The next major trip was to Cambodia with Ivfen , Luke, Leon . The trip started off with an adventure in itself with Ivfen missing her flight because of a miscommunication between the airport and us. This was probably a defining trip simply because of the level of adventure I experienced on the trip . Thanks guys for being such sporting companions and definitely making the trip an exciting one. Also I was really grateful to Sokpier, Reaksmey and everyone else in the village we visited for hosting us, taking care of us and showing us authentic Cambodian hospitality.This was probably when I discovered the need for authentic experiences – not just tragedy tourism, not just commercial tourism but a discovery of everything the country is .

There were a lot of trips in between, with the Gushcloud gang to FMFA in KL, with my church to Cameron Highlands and a bunch of others with my family to neighboring cities but the next defining trip was the one to Europe.

EDB has a programme in which it offers to sponsor its scholars a language programme while waiting for school, and a trip to the country of practice to take a course there as well. I had been taking German for a while and so  used the opportunity to make a whole Eurotrip of it all.

I start in Berlin where I meet my host, Marina ,who was the sweetest person ever. She helped me practice my German every morning, and did not withhold any sense of German experience from me (she taught me how to be environmentally friendly too) . I also had the best housemates, but I’ve misplaced their names (I don’t want to spell them wrongly) who cooked authentic meals and showed me places they already knew.

I also had the opportunity to meet up with amazing classmates Patrick, Henrique, Suleiman,Aliz, Jean Sebastian, Domingo, Thea, Albert, Ivana, Anja, Martina (2), Elisa, Andrea ; my friends outside of class : Patricia, Catarina, Guillermo, Quentin, Charles, Martin and everyone else!

Special thanks to my hosting group of friends, who made the trip everything it was. Thanks for showing me around the cities when I was there, for providing important travel advice, for being friends; for being companions and for helping me fall in love with Europe. To Jer (who showed me London and reminded me what how exciting it was going to be studying in a foreign country) ; my aunt, uncle and cousins in Falkirk, Scotland ; to Martina in Milan for being probably my favorite companion on the trip – the conversations and time we shared always stay close to me (and Silvia for being so helpful and fun too, you’re not old at all 😛 ) ; to Coral (and Pol) ,for taking care of me in Barcelona – I always laugh when I remember the silly adventures we had (both in Berlin and Barcelona) ; to Atte, for the amazing amazing time I had in Paris – it definitely ended on a high with you (I still remember dancing on the streets of Paris man…) . We definitely need to make this annual trip a thing.

To the friends I made along the way – Shana , Jessica, Julia, Malik, Arthur, Elsa, Amen, AnneCha, Emily for making this adventure exactly so much more magical.

I grew up so much on this trip. I had to take care of myself and absorb so much information that I could help but come back a different person. I became overwhelmed by the grandeur of creation that had occurred across all of Europe, and the range of history created by people , both horrific and splendid. If so much had been possible, so much more can be possible – and that was what ignited the fire in me.


When I was in college, I enjoyed myself a lot but there’s was a longing in my heart that I couldn’t initially understand. Life was good in college, but I wanted to continue discovering and being uncomfortable. I wanted to dance on the streets again, I wanted to fall in love with Baroque architecture, I wanted to climb mountains and overlook beauty. And I felt like I spoke a different language. I had seen so much, and while people had probably travelled more than me, there simply was a difference in the experience. So I knew I had to travel again. As much as I missed home the break was too short and so I decided to use my Winter Break to revisit Europe – focussing on central Europe.

This part will probably be updated towards the end of my trip because I’m only one week into the trip but I’ve made quite a number of friends already.

I have to start by thanking profusely Igor and his family for hosting me in Olomouc and making me feel so welcome ; for cooking homecooked food for me and for taking the time to care for me. To Anna, Zuza, Nick, Martin, Tomas, Lucie, Vojta, Jan, Martin, Tadeas for showing me Brno, Prague and making me feel like a local for the time I was here.

Makoto, Li Han –  Meeting Singaporeans anywhere in the world has always been thrilling, but you guys were especially fun to hang out with in Prague, and Vienna.

Istvan, Julie, Barna, Dodo, Anushka and the rest of the gang – for making our first night in Budapest such an eventful one ; we truly felt like locals.

(Space reserved for adventures i Budapest)


You can’t be the same after you see so much. I’ve shared a lot with my team back home on stuff we could explore bringing back to Singapore (e.g. Train of Dreams), based on what I’ve seen around the world.  No trip of mine has been short of unexpected twists and turns, but I’ve embraced the spirit of change and challenge , and have become excited by the notion of the unknown. Oh what a life.

Life is too short to  leave dreams and ambitions for when we’re older. The time is now, the adventure is ours to make.


“To travel is to take a journey into yourself”

Danny Kaye



in tribute to the universe – part #2 (bigger, better, faster)

After my service in the military, I knew I wanted to work somewhere and earn money to travel overseas. I also wanted to focus on developing important skill sets that would become essential in my future. I wanted to treat myself seriously in the sense that I wanted to only apply myself to situations where I could gain something of a higher quantum return than simply working at a desk job. Everyone should aspire for a career that they can apply themselves to.

I knew Aaron and Janice were starting a new network for YouTubers after their departure from WahBanana and so approached them to offer to help them grow the network. I didn’t mind the intern-rate pay as long as I could gain the following benefits : 1) Ability to network with people that matter 2)Learning opportunities 3) Growth of my own YouTube channel. I was extremely  glad when they agreed and that was when I was brought into the world of advertising and marketing.

You see, advertising and marketing is all about storytelling (my favorite past-time) . You convince someone that they should consider your product because you told a convincing story about  it. I had the opportunity thus to work in Gushcloud and Tribal DDB as a result of this pivot, and meet the people that have shaped my professional outlook on life.


Althea –  I have to start with the person that has probably made the most impact on my life this year besides my family. It was probably a series of gut decisions but you took the time to understand me, and I likewise gained so much by trying to learn from you. I’ve maintained that I admire you not just for your entrepreneurial finesse , but more for your ability to groom leaders, to care about people and to build legacies . By the time it was time for leave, I knew I could talk to you more as a friend than a boss, and that knowledge gave me the confidence to do bigger things. I can honestly say a good share  of my principles have been adapted from my experiences with you (I took the good, and learnt from the bad :P) , and that has made me a better person. I’ll never forget the faith you had in me; if I ever grow to do big things, it’s because I stood on your shoulders.

Vincent  – When I hear the word entrepreneur, I think of you first. It’s funny, not even Zuckerburg or Thiel. It’s really because being an entrepreneur requires a soul and story that I’ve seen first hand being embodied by you. You’re really the rockstar people make you out to be, and it’s especially because you remain humble every step of the way. Thanks for teaching me to care about values, about dreams and about people. I enjoyed the conversations we had, intellectual and personal – and am glad we shared the time we did. Looking forward to more.

Sheena – I think I learnt the most catchphrases from you this year. You’ve been so much fun to work with, even though when you’re in #stressmode I would walk carefully . Thanks for having my back so many times , for celebrating with me and for being patient with me. You’re definitely a friend I’m glad I made , and I’m only excited for more adventures ahead. You have, by far, the best eye for food so far .

Fai –  Bruddah. How can I look back on the times we had and not smile? We clicked from the get-go and had so many good times. We had our share of squabbles, but every friendship has its thunderstorms, and I’m glad our friendship was enough to overcome them. I will always be grateful for your presence , and for taking care of me. I always admire your ability to live life so passionately – it fuels my own desire to live.

Audrey –  Audreh. For some reason I always think of you as one of the guys, and I guess it’s because you were really a bro. Or a sis. Whatever it’s called, I felt like I could trust and talk to you , and that sense of safety is difficult to find with many others. I always enjoy coming back to the office because you’ll be there to smile and wave . Thanks for making life brighter whenever you’re around.

Freda –  Fred, thanks for watching out for me since the beginning. I know we joke about Nasi Kang Kang, but you’ve always been like a fun big sister. When I finally get to talk to you in between your bouts of work, I have so much fun talking to you . It definitely made my time in GC so much more fun.Looking forward  to seeing you soon.

Xeun – I remember our time in FMFA immediately when I begin to write this haha. Our stories speak for our friendship and I’ve enjoyed getting to know you in the past few months. You’ve been a good representative of THG , and I’m grateful for the effort you put into sharing our story and fighting for our value to clients. Thanks for being such a bud.

Elvina – Of course, Elvina without whom I probably couldn’t solve some of the most impossible problems. Thanks for being so patient and for always smiling when I’m back in the office. It wouldn’t be the same without you.

Lesner –  I honestly can’t wait till we’re in the same country again man. It was the easiest for me to talk to you amongst everyone else in the office – we spoke the same language ; of travel, of leadership and of ambition. You’ll go far man, I just know it – I can only look back at our memories and smile to myself. Thanks for being such an amazing pal, one of the best.

Mikal –  I miss your fashion sense. Really haha. Dude, thanks for making the year so fun in the office. I remember our late nerf gun wars in the office, and the adventures we had . It was definitely an experience doing ops work, and planning for events – I’m glad I ended up sitting behind you.

Darren –  Late night Spize Nights still occupy my memory. I’m not sure how it happened, but we shared good tales over good food. I guess that’s the value in having conversations between people of similar cuts – we talk about things close to our heart. Thanks for opening up to me on your story for your love of design and technology. It made me ask myself what I love as well. And the quest has been incredible.

Janice  –  Again, I’ll always be grateful for being the one to invite me into this family. It was a pleasant surprise to see a side of you not many get to see – a strong independent woman , wanting to make something out of her life and chart her own way. I’ll always remember the tales we shared, and will look back fondly on the journey we made on YouTube and in Gushcloud. Thanks for taking care of us , for being a friend.

Aaron – What a pal you are. I don’t even need to begin to describe how much fun I’ve had by your side, and to imagine it all started with a stray FB message. It’s really because of our friendship that so much has happened and I’ve been glad to be able to open up to you and have that reciprocated. Aside from using your celebrity status at Zouk to move around easier (perpetuated by Danial I swear) , there were so many times I remember thinking about the moment and being glad we had come this far. What a journey.


I guess it was only a matter of time before I asked myself what’s next. And the answer presented itself without me even explicitly asking it . One of my mentors, Jeff, messaged me asking me if I’d like to come do some work at DDB and work with big clients. I was humbled to be given the responsibility of crafting social media strategies, tapping into my networks  and working with big media roadmaps . I felt like I had stepped into a whole new land , and was a small fish in a big pond. But that’s where you grow, and grow I did.

Jeff – Thanks for believing in me, and for giving me this rare opportunity. I definitely tried to make the best of it, and I’m grateful for the check-ins and opportunities to tap into your brain for insights on society, people and the industry. To be able to watch you in action was a learning experience and I took a lot away from it.

Alexis –  Thanks for mentoring me on the job. I walked in with only a fraction of knowledge of the industry, but you helped me to learn how to leverage that and grow my application abilities. I thought with more perspective on issues and was able to plan with a longer roadmap for clients. Your patience and insight definitely taught me a lot, and I’m glad I had the chance to talk.

Dawn and Yuhui – I always remember you guys as a pair. and I guess because I rarely interacted with you guys separately. Our conversations were definitely the highlight of my time in Tribal DDB , thanks for teaching me how to deal with big office situations, how to approach creative, how to think ahead and how to be a Christian in it all. Also congratulations again Dawn! So happy for you and your marriage 🙂

To the rest of the team, thanks for making my time in DDB as great as it was . I only wish I had the opportunity to have more experiences and make more memories with you but it was great while it lasted – Jeremy, Fangru, Leslie, Fred, Boston,Aik Beng, Wenjie, Nicole. 


“Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” – Muhammad Ali


frathouse by the prairie

“You would think seeing a whole place covered in snow would be beautiful, but you know what, I could honestly do without all of this environmental dandruff” Cindy said as she walked down the path with Rick.

“I find it fascinating.” Rick stared at the snow falling, putting out his tongue and letting the snow land on the tip. “But yes, I could do without the chilly wind ” he chuckled.

“I don’t get how you find all of this so funny. I’m freezing my ass off.” Cindy continued to dig her hands deeper into her coat , clenching the inner lining as if it would help her fight the chill. “Why did we even come out?” she continued whining.

“Well, if I remember correctly…” Rick started.

“Don’t you dare. You wanted to go to a frat party just as much as I did” she pointed her finger in his face.

He pushed his nose onto her finger. “Oh wow that’s a cold finger” he said. He did not want to argue with her ; tonight was supposed to be their night together. He would remind her the next day though , how she had continuously messaged him the whole week to find the parties that were to happen that night.

They had to endure a whole night of drunken stupor, dirty dancing, “Do you know someone here?”s and “Take a lap buddy”s . It was iced with some occasional fun moments though. The music at Sigma Phi was to his taste, and he had met a girl at Alpha Gamma that he had managed to have some corner fun with before he realised he had come with Cindy.

He despised the hookup culture on campus – but he kept being pushed to the corner by random people and just played along before his brain took over. Cindy offered something consistent. And that was the closest to romance he could get on campus.

“Let’s just get back to campus as soon as we can. My coat’s in your room right?” Cindy broke his train of thought.

He nodded his head, all the time staring right in front of him.

“Ce était une nuit incroyable!” he heard someone shout all of a sudden.

His heard darted right, allowing him to see a couple coming out, dressed in clothes he had only seen in the movies. Miami Vice if he wanted to be precise.

“Look at that!” he said, tugging at Cindy’s arm.

“It’s just a bunch of drunk grad students. Let’s head back. I’m freezing” she said, letting on a slight sense of annoyance in her voice.

“I’m pretty sure this isn’t a regular frat party. Let’s check it out ” he said. They walked up to the men on guard duty.

“What party is this?” Rick asked.

“It’s a password party, no password no entry” one of the men on duty said.

“Damnit ” he replied. His eyes were drawn to the lights leaking out of the house windows. The music that was seeping out didn’t sound like regular frat party music – there was a sense of elegance to it.

“Thanks Goodness. I was about to leave you here alone if you had decided to go in .” Cindy said relieved.

He looked at her with his face cringed . ‘Thank God she didn’t see that’ he thought to himself as he noticed her head facing forward. All of a sudden he felt a womanly touch on his shoulder. It was a lady with a large classy hat, and a gown covered with a faux fur coat.

“They’re with me” she said. “The password is magia” she whispered .

“Alright you guys can go on in” the man on duty said, waving his hand towards the front door.

Before he could take a step, he felt Cindy pull on his arm. “Let’s just go back to your place.” she said, with a pout on her face.

“Didn’t you hear the password? Magia… that’s magic in Espanol. This is our kind of party!” he said, a glimmer in his eye.

“It may be yours, but I’m done. I’ll just call an Uber and head back, if you’re not coming.” she replied , the annoyance pretty apparent at this point.

Rick looked at her, and then back at the house. The lady was still there , by the man on duty . She looked up and smiled at him, waving her hand. He looked back at Cindy , and felt a sudden limp. “I’m sorry Cindy, you know I have to do this. I wouldn’t forgive myself if I let a chance like this go. Let me know when you get back alright” he said and moved in to give her a hug.

She walked away before he could move in. “Sure” she said, curt and short.

Thank God I avoided that one, he thought to himself as he walked back to the house.

“Was that your girlfriend?” the lady asked him as she accompanied him to the door.

“You’re apparently not from here. Relationships don’t exist in this school” he said, head sinking slightly.

“That sounds horrendous.” she said. She slid her arm around his. “Well my name is Elaine, and this is the start of a beautiful night”

Rick turned towards her and smiled. “Seems like I made the right decision he said”


The party was unlike anything he had seen. As he walked in, he was transformed to another world. The room was decked with low hanging lights , the music was a fusion of jazz and electronic music, the people were dressed to impress.

“Why don’t you grab a drink? I’m going to say hello to my friend , he’s hosting the party. ” Elaine said into his ear.

“You know the host?” Rick asked , surprised.

“Oh yeah. Do you want me to introduce you to him?” she said.

“Why not” he replied quickly. He would love to meet the person who was creating this magic.

She led him by the hand to a couch at the far end of the floor. There were all kinds of people around , with all colours worn, and embellished with probably any foreseeable form of jewelry and apparel, and then some more. Amongst them all was a simple man, in a simple sports jacket and bowtie. “Is that him?” Rick asked, pointing at him.

“You have a good eye. He likes being called Doctor, but his name is Reinhardt. We all just call him Doctor”

“Is he a real doctor?”

“No one knows. He does know the solution to almost every problem we bring him though. So in a lot of ways, yes he is a better doctor than some”

Elaine walked on over to the Doctor, kissed him on both his cheeks and embraced him. She gestured over to Rick, and the Doctor came over.

“I see you chanced upon our humble get together. I hope you’re enjoying yourself.”

“I am, greatly in fact.”

“The night has only begun. You’ll notice there’s something special about this place. When are you from?”

“I’m from Chicago”

“I asked, when, my fine sir, not where. If you didn’t notice by now, this is not just a themed party. This is a party in what is known as the Roaring 20s. And by your response, I judge that you’re not a time traveller like the rest of us.” The Doctor turned back and faced Elaine. “You brought another straggler in?” he asked her.

“He’s cute” she said, and winked at him.

The Doctor turned back. “Watch out for her, she’s the most dangerous one amongst us all. Have a good time tonight, and don’t get lost. That has a different meaning here.” he said, slapping him on the back and walked away.

Rick stared past him and looked at Elaine. “I’m in another time?” he asked stuttering.

“Magia ” she said, and pulled him away to the dance floor.

They danced the night away, to the best music he could remember in a long time. As if Baz Luhrmann himself had transported himself to the 20s to be re-inspired, the music spoke of a different kind of ambition. Of ideals and hopes, rather than throwing one’s life to the dogs.

Elaine’s palms were wrapped around his arms, and she pulled him in closer.

“You know what’s making me in love with  tonight? I don’t feel like I’m here to make risky decisions I’ll want to have the chance to forget the next day. I actually want to live right now, I want to make risky decisions that I can live with ” Rick said, and planted his lips on hers.

They continued in each other’s embrace , and finally moved to the couch at the side.

“I didn’t expect people to be this open in the 20s” he said , chuckling.

“Honey, I’m not from the 20s. I’m a time traveller just like anyone else here. I’m from the 2100s. The 20s were my favorite period tho.” she said, placing her hand on his cheek.

“You dance almost like you fit in, especially in that attire”

“They still wear heels in the 2100s. I’ve yet to understand why” she laughed. Rick joined in, and they laughed for a good while. She leaned in on his chest, and lay there.

“Will I get to see you again?” he asked, playing with her hair.

“Well that depends. Now that you’re here, you get to choose. You can be trained as a time-traveller, or you can go back home. If you go back home, it’s unlikely we’ll ever meet again. But if you get trained, who knows? Maybe we’ll see each other soon.”

He continued playing with her hair in silence.

“What are you thinking?” she asked, holding his hand tighter.

“My whole life, I’ve been looking for moments like these. Pivots in life , that can throw you in a whole new direction. I’ve met people who are comfortable with what they know. But I’m constantly seeking things I don’t know. I’m always scared, because I may lose the progress I made – my family, my friends; but I’ve always ended up making new friends, and finding ways to connect with my past. What if one day I lose that ability? What if I keep pivoting till I forgot where I came from?”

She turned her head and looked at him.

“Those are exactly the questions I didn’t know the answers to. And you know what, there’s no other way to answer them other than to truly be forced to answer them. The only question that matters is “Will you?” . So will you?” she asked.

He stared at her ,and then took a look around the room, glancing at everyone in it. All the travelers, of time and space. He glanced at the door, from which he had left Cindy, and from which he had left what was a “consolation prize”. He found the Doctor , meeting new people from all over the timeverse , and then looked back at Elaine.

“Magia” he said, summing up the moment. And then he kissed her, like nothing before.



why you should do #77breaths

So for those who have been following the #77breaths challenge I’ve been doing, you would notice i’ve modified certain aspects of the challenge.

For one, I’ve involved a break-day every 11 breaths, to give myself a chance to actually breathe (punny ain’t it) . It’s absolutely phenomenal to be able to have an extraordinary experience every day consecutively, but it is also both mentally and physically exhausting, and so breaks are necessary.

I feel like i’m a much better version of the person i was. Granted , the challenge cannot cover a lot more events that happened in the sidelines, whether they be personal or external events, but the challenges have honestly played the primary role in my decision making the past few weeks.  I know a lot more about the world, I know new skills and also have made so many more friends.

Is it worth  it? Yes, without a doubt. Everyone should embark on some variation of this challenge, whether it be a 7 day streak or even a weekly variation. Force yourself to see the world for what it is.

I’ve had a handful of friends who have picked up the concept and are now excited to do the breaths in their own way. Doors have opened for me simply because I said yes a lot more than I used to, and now I’m seeing things I never dreamed I would ever see as a freshman.

If you recall my mantra on creating instead of consuming, this is a great way to get involved. Life doesn’t start after school, life is already  ongoing and you have to get into it. Because when you do, you realise how small your world used to be.


sign language

story below. disclaimer first: i’ve decided to stop publishing the #77breaths on my blog mainly because I feel like I’m double-typing what I post on my instagram. You can follow the challenge on my instagram and facebook and even my snapchat!


it was one of those days for him. one of those lazy uneventful days in which all he had to focus on was the feelings in his heart and the tempo of his soul. he was in the University library – just browsing through the multitude of books that just sat around with no one actually going through them.

” the library is now just a destination of quietness , nothing more than the epitome of all things peaceful” the librarian had shared over a casual conversation. it’s ironic though, she had mentioned , because most of these books portray the largest wars of ideas ever seen.

mink was in the non-fiction section; browsing through books on philosophy and psychology ;hoping to find something to explain the irritating itch he felt in his brain. it felt similar to a literal itch and yet the doctors thought he was just imagining things.

his leg all of a sudden, felt something blocking its way. right inbetween of two shelves , on the carpeted floor sat an aged archaic book, calling for mink to open it. he lifted the book up to his chest level and laid it open to the mid-section.

“and when Life had departed him, it had nowhere else to go, and so became its own paradigm” he read out loud.

and there was nothing but a whisper.


the surroundings had changed drastically. what used to be a library was now a desolate forest. there were no signs of wildlife and all that mink saw were two stumps across from each other in a clearing . he walked towards them, and in a natural pull took a seat on one of them.

“welcome” the voice said. “don’t bother trying to look for me, i’m seated right across from you”

mink looked across and saw the faintest impression of a body on the stump. “how do i get back?” he asked hurriedly.

“that’s funny – it’s always the same question. you’re brought to this world, somewhere foreign and you talk to something you can’t comprehend; and all you want to do is travel back” the voice retorted.

“alright who are you then”

“you opened my book – so make your wildest guess”

“it said “The Book of Life” – but you can’t be Life…”

“and why not?


“so tell me, why am i here?” mink asked, while fiddling with his fingers. he noticed the forest had gotten smaller, almost fitting snugly around them.

“to talk. i do get lonely. tell me, how have you enjoyed your life?” the voice answered back.

“hold on, i don’t get how you can be life. do i become you when i die?”

“you don’t . your soul disappears – and i know not what happens to it. but life, the karmic essence that flows through you – all that energy ; that is what i am. i am an accumulation of the life energies of the world, from the dawn of time till the end of life.”

“and yet you can’t be seen? shouldn’t that much energy be too strong for me to behold?”

“ah that’s where you’re wrong, mr mink. you see, we’re all gifted with life in the form you enjoy right now. but my energy is only truly maximised when people choose to LIVE. to move past their current dreariness and completely exist. till then, i am just this echo. people haven’t truly lived.”

” what does it mean to live then? to have a family and travel, to see the world?”

“you can do that, but it’s not so much the what as much as it is the why and how that’s important. live with purpose, each day as a challenge to truly feel involved with everything around you. write, play music, exercise – but do these to enable all that you’re provided with. love, because that is the heart of living – let your heart be broken many times over, but let them be broken by people and issues that are important. never ever let the mundane be your comfort – give yourself to the whims of the heart.”

“and why are you telling me this? why of people me?” mink asked, overwhelmed at this point.

“because you have an itch in your head. because you think too much and sometimes love too little. and because you’re not the first. we spend too much time learning things that we’ll never use like partial differentiation and organic chemistry – but where do you learn lessons like humanity and empathy. these are the lessons that your world needs”


First I was dying to finish high school and start college. And then I was dying to finish college and start working. And then I was dying to marry and have children. And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough for school so I could return to work. And then I was dying to retire.

And now I am dying…

And suddenly I realize I forgot to live.



#breath3 – the night the burger stole the show




It was definitely an interesting turn of events for Breath 3. Let’s backtrack before the burger. I had planned to go to a club downtown in Chicago as part of the social activity planned by one of the Frats on campus. The night was supposed to be about good music, friends and having a blast again. That was supposed to be my breath.


We even had wristbands and stuff – it was meant to be a blast.


We took schoolbuses (the irony right) downtown – this is me here with my boy Jimmy. Unfortunately, the ride was almost 30 minutes long – which meant by the time we got there , we had kinda gotten tired already. But nonetheless we went in looking for a good time. Through a series of unfortunate events, which I don’t have the privilege of sharing on my blog, I left the club with Igor and decided to take a walk around Chicago. And that’s when we saw it – Umami Burger. Now, I have really bad short term memory. But the name Umami Burger was something I had heard a long time ago. And so I insisted that we go in and have late night supper (I hadn’t eaten a full dinner anyway) – IT WAS THE BEST BURGER I HAD.



Maybe it was the Truffle fries we had before it, or the beer I washed the burger down with, or even the series of events before the burger – but this burger was absolutely amazing. It was like walking on clouds. Igor and I agreed absolutely that tonight would not have been the same without the turn of events. We managed to get back in after some persuasion but by then our friends had left and so we head back to campus to close the night.


I had an extreme amount of fun – ask me in person if you want the full details of the night but this challenge has definitely put me out there a lot more – and that’s coming from me. I can’t go back to a quiet life after this.




#breath1 – the bastille concert


Breath 1 starts with this ticket of course. As a sort of spontaneous gesture, when I saw people on Facebook asking for people to accompany them to a Bastille concert , I jumped at the chance and bought myself a ticket to a proper Chicago concert.

You see, they’ve said that Chicago is a beautiful city – and most people miss out on truly embracing the culture of music and arts Chicago has to offer. While this is certainly not the end, it  certainly was a great beginning to my journey in discovering this city. Bastille has always had a place in my heart because of the fact that we used their song (shhh) in our first ever episode of The Hood Factory

It was definitely a thrilling moment when Pompeii came out as the final song and I joined the crowd in dancing to the chorus. Songs that hold special places in your heart because of their significance at a certain time in your life are the most meaningful things you can across – even the slightest semblance of the melody can rush the feelings to you.

Pic2 Pic3


I love the concert atmosphere and its ability to bring you to a zone where you’re comfortable. I wish I could upload videos of some of the stuff they did, but Bastille is definitely a great band to see live. They’re really interactive with the crowd.





I tried taking my signature selfie in the concert but it didn’t come across that well so I took another one with the concert venue in the background:PPic5


All in all, Breath 1 was amazing. I asked my buddy today – if I have this much fun for 77 days, would my body be able to take it? I actually look forward to finding out.