Category Archives: lifestyle

Am I lucky?

DSCF4492-Edit-Edit

Sweet little girl. Dong Van. Northern Vietnam. September 2018

How not to get bored of traveling?

My way? Planning for each travel trip is very important to me. If I plan to be at a place for say 14 days, I would plan on my everyday itinerary together with my backup plan if anything doesn’t go according to my plan.

Flexibility help reduces my anxiety.

I travel to do and see things I can’t at home. I hope to learn more about myself and being flexible allow me to be more open to a new self-experience.

My planning reflects my commitment to creating a unique different moment in each place that I visit. So that I could recall how does that place makes me FEEL years after years later.

_SMM8325

Sapa. Northern Vietnam. September 2018

I am glad that I am into photography. Morning light and afternoon light is always my favorite hours. So, I would be up very early in the morning and stayed until the last light, hunting and experiencing local festivals, market crowds, treks the hills to have a peek of the enchanting landscape, walking through a strangers village to have a look at how is life on this other side of the world and so on. The moment of learning and experiencing humanity is always a satisfying moment for me.

Wandering is a lot easier if you have a clear direction on where to go. Sharing some photos during my trip to Northern Vietnam last year. Will share more story during this trip on my next post. In Sha Allah

_SMM9544

Ban Gioc waterfall. Northern Vietnam. September 2018

And last question … am I lucky? Yes, I feel lucky therefore I am lucky. Have a good day dear reader. Bye.

 

Cheers

MM

10.01.2019

 

 

 

 


the FEEL

DSCF2822

Sapa. Northern Vietnam. September. 2018

A friend asked me.

After so many places that I have been to, do I not feel bored?

After a while every place would look the same, she claimed. She travels a lot too. Covering common touristy places that normal tourist would go but yes, I think she has a good point there.

We tend to overdo things.

And when we overdo things, we’ll get numb and bored.

DSCF2964-Edit

A farmer.Dong Van. Northern Vietnam.September 2018

I call it the “touch and go” kind of traveling … get to your next stop, the Instagram famous spot,  then click here click there in 30 minutes run to the bus to the next stop, click here click there in 20 minutes back to the bus again and repeating that for 7 days while covering for 6 continents (I am exaggerating here yah).

After a few trips like this … places will look the same, there is not enough time to FEEL. The reason we travel is to experience the FEEL. Every place offered a different opportunity for us to FEEL but we need more than 30 minutes to explore the new surrounding and experiencing FEEL.

_SMM8569

Hmong people. Dong Van. Northern Vietnam. September 2019

How not to get bored while constantly traveling? Create a unique moment for each place that you visited. To do that … you need to do slow traveling.

Take more time at each place. Breath the air. Wander along the street. Explore local markets. Stay at the local’s home. Trek the mountain. Cycle around the town. Hangout at the local restaurant. Join the local festival.

Time for bed. It is 11:25pm on 03.01.2019. Will continue my rant on my next post. Goodnight.

Cheers

MM


Calmer 2019

DSCF2954-Edit-Edit

Dong Van. Northern Vietnam.September.2019

Another new year.

Feeling obnoxious. Adding up another year to my age. 2018 was not a very productive year and the mental exhaustion sometimes makes me want to quit from being the nicer me. Maybe this is maturity.

Overthinking. Fear that something might go wrong if I choose a different path. People of my age prefer to just choose the most comfortable path. But I always have that rebellious voice aka conscious voice that I want to listen to.

It seems like maturity took a heavy toll of my childish inner self. I am still not sure how to deal with it. Give it time … maybe Allah will show me the right path.

In the meantime … life goes on.

DSC03782

Kashmir. India. October.2018

Happy new year to y’all who dropped by here reading my online journal.

Resolution? Naaahhh … no new resolution for me this year. I will always do what I always do … giving my best effort in everything that I do. I am not brave nor I am strong. If pushing myself to survive is this adventurous, damn …I would do this, again and again, for a million time.

Time for bed. It’s 12:04 AM now. A new year. A new day. A new challenge. Have faith.

Bye

MM

02.01.2019

 

 

 

 

 

 


That’ll be fun

DSCF1667-Edit-Edit

keep your head up boys and survive the best way you could

For months I tried to find the excuse to re-visit my childhood hometown. Being born and raised during my teenage life in Tawau, Sabah, this place has a soft spot in my heart. I miss the food … I miss my old childhood friends and I miss talking in the Sabahan dialect too.

This time around, my excuse is … I am re-visiting islands around Semporna for the second time. Had a good deal return ticket from KL to Tawau and spent a few days hanging out in Tawau with my childhood friends while enjoying the weekends at the islands surrounding Semporna, hunting the light with some new friends.

DSCF1954-Edit-Edit

the sea gypsies of islands surrounding Semporna, Sabah

I miss the salty air and the beautiful endless open sky. As we were speeding off to Selakan Island from Semporna jetty, I can’t help reminiscing the old sweet years when I used to spend my weekend doing island hopping with my compact camera. Carefree years … when my camera was just so light and the years where I carried my flippers more than my camera.

I am feeling old … only old people reminiscing their old sweet memories.

My second visit to this beautiful place. The first time in 2015 when I was still fresh in this photography world, at that time everything looked new and exciting to me. Guess what … the second trip is as excited as before, I am born to do this … to wander around my surrounding and just fall deeper into my own world while doing … the THINKING, lol (so much to think about).

_SMM8195-Edit-Edit

gypsy girls swinging carefreely

Timbun Mata, Bodgaya, Maiga, Selakan, Gusungan, Ormadal and a lot more surrounding islands that we can explore. The setting of each island looks damn good during sunset and sunrise. And, I noticed something different this time around with my new travel mates … they play with the drones more than their cameras.

A new way of enjoying our beautiful surrounding which is aerial photography. Now everybody can fly … me? I think I would just stick to my paramotor addiction. Flying with a group of motivated adventurous paramotor pilots and enjoying the raw aerial view with my own eyes, self-satisfaction. I get to feel the fear of the unknown circumstances while flying … while the drone players fear that they would lose their drone signal and later would lose the drone.

_SMM7454

a girl drying fish at the beach in Maiga Island

What makes a place interesting?

For me … it’s the people that reside in the place that makes the place compelling. In here the sea gypsies people are well blended with their nature. Life is simple.

But for a thinker … you’ll get worried just by looking at the children paddling here and there aimlessly. I always believe that every child needs to go to school, at least to learn reading, writing, calculating and reading the Quran.

_SMM7853

Zainab and her lunch for today

By giving that basic skill to our children we fulfilled at least the very minimal responsibility as a parent to them. Giving them the skills will help them make a better choice in life. It is up to the parents though. I saw a few schools here in some islands. Maybe they just choose not to send their children to school.

Ahh well … enough worrying, at least they are happy with their choice of life. As I said earlier … it’s a simple life, no ruffles.

DSCF0854

sunrise in Maiga island

I always want to say this at the end of my writing … that I want to visit the same place again and again. 3 days 2 night is not enough … it was cloudy during the 3 days that we were there and on the second day, we were chased by the storm during sunset at Bodgaya Island. I think a week would be good.

The cloudy stormy sky is the best time to capture time-lapse as the clouds would move rapidly. Sharing my time-lapse video here for y’alls. Amazing moment captured using my small gopro6.

And last but not least, belanja a picture of me under the stormy cloud for my fan out there (perasan … lol am being cynical here) and for those people who are not so my fan, please underestimate me, that’ll be fun. Annyeong …

_SMM8074-Edit-Edit

Underestimate me please, that’ll be fun

 

Cheers

MM

ps: if life gave you lemon, make lemonade.


Strike of luck

NEP_7302-Edit-Edit

A moment when I passed through this fishing boat

What does photography teach me?

As I add more months and years to my photography experience, I learned about the role of “stroke of luck” in my artwork. Unplanned moments or shall I say accidentally moments that just hit the “jackpot” or a rewarding moment that made my day as a photographer.

It was 100% totally luck. I was in the right place at the right time with the right people.

Just that.

I always see it as a gift … a gift from the invisible hand, the Planner. Each time I came across such moment I feel grateful and contended.

MYS_8098-Edit-Edit

A moment when I passed over a pond filled with wild buffaloes

So each time when I am sad and feeling unlucky … I would scroll down and browse through my lucky moments. Telling myself … for each moment that I am at lost, I would experience more lucky moments as a reward for my perseverance and my patience.

I take photography personally. Most of the time I captured my own moment … moments that related to me. A way for me to learn and understand about life. To calm my soul when things don’t work accordingly, as the Planner always has a better plan for me. I just need to trust Him.

DSCF5368-Edit-Edit

A sunset moment when the golden light decided to be generous

“Art depends on luck and talent”

Whenever you came across that lucky moment, you need the talent to be able to recognize such moment and you need the technical skill to decide on what and how to properly frame it. How do you do it?

Practice makes perfect.

Sleep deprived. Need to doze off. Bye …

Cheers

MM

ps: TEDx Talks about  Mastering Change by Michael Yamashita.

 


Eid Fitr Mubarak 1438H/ 2017M

Eid Fitr Mubarak to all my Muslim readers near and far, all over the world.

Ketupat

My mom preparing Kelantanese traditional ketupat for Eid celebration

Ramadhan 29th, 1438H/ 2017M: Last day of Ramadhan for this year and tomorrow would be the start of Shawal. Sad to see the holy month is about to end this afternoon. The spiritual night routine and the day time struggle to guide oneself towards understanding humanity is very nourishes to my soul.

I experienced new lessons during this Ramadhan. The first time for me breaking fast/ iftar at the nearby mosque with hundreds of fasting Muslims. A few of us shared the same tray of food, sitting on the floor while enjoying our rice with side dishes together. Then we performed our tarawih prayers together as one ummah. The warm feeling flew deeply inside me … my first time.

IMG_1088

My ‘food tray mate’

IMG_1025

And this is how the food moves

A calmer month for me this time around, learning and seeking for in-depth peace between me and my Almighty Creator. Thanks to my children and friendly soulful friends around me … they never failed to warm my heart. And, thanks to that particular soul too. Alhamdullilah ….

And, tomorrow would be back to normal business again for me. I hope to be able to adopt whatever that I have learned during the holy month into my daily life too … a quest to be the better me. In Sha Allah

 

Bye

MM

 

ps- am placing my camera on alert for my mom’s beautiful moment while preparing for the Eid Fitr celebration. Life is short … a soul would come and go, according to Allah’s plan.