I have redefined retirement at age 23. I have a lifestyle where I do the things I like, with the time I have and still get paid for it. I designed my freedom these two decades, traveling to more than 40 countries. I run a successful business doing consulting works as a Corporate Writer, Corporate Emcee, Event Producer and a Workshop Facilitator. I am also a talk-show host on an Internet Radio station with two programs "A Course In Miracles for Work-Life" and "Freedom Speaks". Life is Healthy, Rich & FREE! You can design this lifestyle according to your willingness. I hope mine will inspire you to achieve that freedom too.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Play On, Johann, Play On!

Long long time ago, when I was still straddling my bike to school, I will come home and hear The Blue Danube played over my late dad's tailor shop. He may have one of the best hi-fi in the 70s. Blaring out hits of western classical music, ironically, influenced through all the Cantonese melodrama of the silver screens. Imagine Patrick Tze Yin with Chan Poh Chu, the golden darlings of the 60s, waltzing to Johann Strauss The Blue Danube.

The melodic expression through the flare of the dancer's gown, the flow of her sweeping sequins, round and round the dancers will go, the rhythm lingers on long long time after.

When I stood in front of Johann Strauss world famous bronx statue in Stadtpark in the city of Vienna, round and round, The Blue Danube, danced in my head.

We stayed in Hilton Vienna Hotel, Stadtpark is situated just across the street from the hotel. Visiting Stadtpark was not in our Insight Tour Eastern Europe tour itinerary. The day we were on the city tour, I was curious to see a group of Asian tourists walking into the Park. I wondered what was so great about the Park that the group made it as their visiting stop. While our bus was moving, I looked across the garden and I could make out the little bronx statue, a figure I was sure I had seen it somewhere. Immediately, I pulled at Peter's sleeve and asked him to look too. And there it was, gleaming in the morning winter sun, the violin on his shoulder, standing rhythmically astute.

I got excited. Since we didn't have time that day, I told Peter we will wake up early the next morning to take a stroll to the park.

Hilton Vienna had one of the best breakfast spread in Europe. Hot breakfast too. We had our noodles (yes, noodles in Vienna, for breakfast, what a joy, coming from Malaysia!) We were very satisfied with Insight Tour. The hotels were top class and close to the city. Walking distance to many exciting shopping malls and interesting sites.

It was freezing in February. But I wanted to see the statue. This was our last day in Vienna, so I better make the best of the time before boarding the city airport train. The train station is strategically situated just in front of the hotel, so making walking everywhere really convenient. (We took Easyjet : London-Vienna-London)

The Park was beautiful, even in winter. I was astonished the statue was small. I always thought that it will be a big one. I think it is maybe 2 feet taller than me if I were to stand beside it on the platform. Nevertheless, it was very inspiring, knowing that a great musician was once forbade by his own father not to play the violin, and his tenacity has turned him into the Waltz King as we know him now.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Amazing photos at Lantau Island, Hong Kong

As I walked up the 268 steps to the statue, this is a picture taken with Canon IXUS 860IS, 28mm wide angle lens. I captured the offerings by devas to Buddha. And the clouds open up to receive the blessings too. I like this picture. I cropped it and made it into a black and white shot. It gave it the wow factor.

I have been to Lantau Island many times. Each time when I am in Hong Kong, I will take the whole day to just be in Lautau Island. Waking up late, take it slowly, finishing a hefty crunchy beef ball noodles with all the beef's "spare parts". Order myself a tall glass of Hong Kong lady's panty-hose milk tea, which has a distinctive taste that only Hong Kong can create that so far.

Then, take the MRT to Central Pier for the ferry to the Island. Upon reaching, alight a bus that will take almost an hour to reach the foot hill of the world's largest bronx Buddha statue. (About 2 years ago, MRT has extended its service to Lantau Island, but you still need to take the 1-hour bus to the peak.)

From here, it was a full array of inspirational photo taking.

The last trip was exceptionally art-stimulating. There were plenty of flags planted at the Heaven's Altar (Tian Tan). The Heaven's Altar is the smaller version of the one many tourists will visit in Beijing's Forbidden city. The Hong Kong flags made a significant display enhancing the composition of the pictures.

This one I took it standing at the edge of the Heaven's altar looking up at the Buddha statue, accentuating the sky with its peaceful glow.

This is another picture taken as I walked the trail at the Heart Sutra, 38 obelisks planted on the shoulder of Lantau Peak. It is about 20 minutes walk from Po Lin Manastery. It was only open to the public in 2005. I have been there twice.  I purposely tint it to orange so that the silhouette of the person sitting on the rock stands out conspicuously. Thus, adding a sense of care-free spirit.