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Hello, I’m Samantha, the self-proclaimed happy go lucky girl!

This space encompasses my personal milestones made beautiful in his time. Combining my flair for easy-to-read writing with my love for photography, this is where I share my thoughts on God, travel, food, beauty, fashion and lots more. Daytime, I'm a branding consultant. Adhoc, wedding planner and happiness maker. 24/7, creative juicer behind the bakery I run – Temptations Cakes. Forever & always, a child of God. Through this cozy little virtual haven, I hope each post inspires at least someone out there with my life stories.

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Summer School, June 2013

Greetings from Singapore! *waves*
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It's Summer! And, I spent the month of June in Canada, Vancouver!
As typical university students during summer, we're usually caught up with travelling, orientation camps, internships etc. I'm no different. Just that this June, I'm having summer school at University of British Columbia (UBC) and that's far far miles across the oceans away from the sunny island I call home. I love the UBC campus and myself for adapting to the school-country environment so quickly and easily. It's practically home to me when I was back there.

Just an introduction, Summer School Programme combines a high quality academic and cultural experience while living in a different country. Basically, it allows me to feel like a legit citizen here for a full month, great global exposure - one of the reasons why I even considered enrolling myself into a local university. For SMU, we only have 2 choices via the school, either Switzerland or Canada. Kinda limited I know. I chose the latter after much contemplation. And on hind side, after travelling to Switzerland for holiday previously, I must give myself a pat on the back and say heysam, great choice for choosing Canada instead, No Regrets!

Just so you know, it's my fourth time in Canada, third time in Vancouver, second time travelling alone for more than 2 weeks, first time in UBC.

Vancouver's third largest city and one of its most important international business centres. It's home to 1.8 million people from different ethnic backgrounds whose traditions contribute to the rich culture life of the city. It's a good place to grow up in and a good place for chillax retirement life, but I personally wouldn't recommend it as a place for starting-work and mid-life adults to focus their careers at.
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This place's treated me fine and I really enjoyed my 1 month stay living the chill lifestyle, just as what Canadians are famous for and just as I need it. Here, I'm slowly readjusting my body clock as well as my will to conquer the cold. What Summer? It's still quite cold when I arrived and I felt really dumb cause I brought alot alot of summer chiffon clothings, so I've been shopping online for more pullovers and tried layering up my clothes everyday. Desperate times calls for Desperate measures. It works. I'm in sweaters every single day especially when night falls and the wind blows right in your face. Speaking of so, night doesn't fall so early during Summer in Vancouver. Even at 10pm, the skyline is still very bright which makes me think that it's still evening. Cheat my feelings only :( It never seems to get dark. Summer, they call it.

Excuse me while I go hold another conversation with the voices inside my head.

This trip once again challenged myself to come out of my comfort zone and brought independence to a higher level. Signed up for it on my own cause my close friends had other committments (and after speaking to the new friends here, I realised alot of them actually signed up by themselves too!) yet I really wanted to travel so I didn't mind coming myself actually. And so after that, thru mutual friends, made friends with the other SMU peeps going, made some arrangements and that's it. Officially, travelled all the way to Canada on an 18hr flight with people I only met for the first time at the airport! Amazing, isn't it? *cues claps* Really thankgod for them!

Studying abroad can be an enriching cultural and academic experience, one that benefits you throughout your life. Having taken up the challenge to study abroad, indeed, it changed the way I look at the world and people around me! There's a story behind every face I met and first impressions always change as I get to know the person more. Anyways, as much as I enjoyed this overseas study experience, it made me even more sure why I chose not to study overseas in the first place. Definitely not because I miss home or I miss everything about Singapore, but because...
1.When I'm in a foreign land, I wanna travel and explore, where got mood to study?!?
2.Winter time, all I wanna do is stay by the fireplace, definitely not travel to school!

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Home was single rooms in an apartment of Walter Gage Residences, on-campus accommodation. Shared the apartment with 2 Gabriel(s) and Grace, living with them made us feel like OHANA. They nicknamed me weasel #justsaying #gotusedtoit #actuallyquitecutewhat... don't ask me why.
It's amazing cause the 4 of us all have different personalities yet we lived well together and obviously we survived. First time living with guys for a long period of time allowed me to experience how it's like to have brothers in the home... Also, I experience how it'll be like if I chose the hostel/hall life in other local university, of which I don't really fancy for a long period of time actually. So, thankgod for school life at SMU!
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Anyways, through this one month, we lived slept cooked literally seeing each other's faces 24/7 and more so, learnt to accommodate to our different living habits. Thankfully, they're all very nice people, and could I just add, super humorous, which made this whole summerschool thing so much more fun. In fact, it was surprisingly comfortable being around them considering the fact that I didn't know all of them personally before this trip. Did I mention, the guys are master chefs and the girls do the dishes everytime they cook, either that or vice versa. Yes, I made breakfast and dinner for my roomies *claps* and I always enjoy us cooking together. Like yessa!!! I finally can put my cooking interests to good use, and it feels very good eating your own home-cooked food (well, somehow everything just tastes nicer, screw psychology)
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Ohoh and, we went on numerous supermarket trips of which we're always super hyped about! I love grocery shopping so so much and I'm so happy that all of them love grocery shopping equally too! It was the instant connection saying 'Omg you too? I thought I was the only one!' What I love about it, is the convenience from our apartments to the Sub (student union building) and also to Sauder Business School. Here's some campus food items I love & some I'll miss as I go back to Singapore. The portions are really huge!
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Another thing is the free online shopping etc!8647_10151705049268665_1221493754_n
I was super surprised when my first F21 parcel arrived at the doorstep, it's as if Santa passed by or something! I thought UBC's so ulu that noone actually would deliver a parcel here, but when it worked, woohooo, I immediately went to the website and started ordering more!

What I love most, was waking up to a oceanic view backed with what I call 'Swiss Alps' and going to sleep at night with a view of the sunset above sea. It's too pretty to comprehend and my pictures absolutely don't do justice to what I see. It's pretty much like a horizontal paradise in front of me.
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Here, the everyday fatigue doesn't seem to kick in. You know, the sort when you promise to sleep early but as night comes, somehow you just check the clock and find that what it's already 3am?!? and so you go to bed at ungodly hours and the next morning after just few hours of sleep you are feeling groggy in the head and start regretting not sleeping early. the cycle repeats.
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Classes can be quite boring, in fact, every lesson we bring our laptops to entertain ourselves with our own things. The boys play their games while I do my blogging and photo editing/uploading. Some of my profs are boring to the extend that I pay attention analysing how come they can be so boring *pats on my back*
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When school's over, we normally go downtown or somewhere else to explore this city. DUH right! Other than that, we took the initiative to organise impromptu house parties and potluck sessions which consists of good home-cooked food and fun games to entertain ourselves for the entire night. Happy that most of the rooms could bond well with each other and we all had a great time together.
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besides all that, I'm glad that God brought a group of us together even in UBC, these weeks we have our very own lifegroup sessions every Thursday, really feels good to be in the house of the Lord once again, especially when we're all away from home. Different churches we come from, but the Same one God we serve!
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Also, I especially loved the well-planned activities by the school as well as our very own plans such as excursions to Grouse mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Richmond, cycling around Stanley Park, Whistler weekend, Strawberry Picking, Playland, Shopping, Roadtrip to Seattle and many many more. Whistler weekend was one of the craziest yet best time of my life #yolo, did skydiving, trekking and  it only gets more exciting!
These are things you can only do when you're young, like now, so just do it!

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Indeed, it was a short yet incredibly sweet time, most unforgettable summer thus far!
I'll blog about the different excursion trips in a separate post, I promise! (:

“We are all ordinary. We are all boring. We are all spectacular. We are all shy. We are all bold. We are all heroes. We are all helpless. It just depends on the day.” 
- Brad Meltzer

I must say this one month has been an amazing experience that I'll never forget. The friends I've made here and the things I've learnt will truly last a lifetime. SMU-UBC Summer Study 2013 will always be in our hearts!
here's to a nice summer left ahead!


"Do you ever wonder whether people would like you more or less if they could see inside you? I always wonder about that. If people could see me the way I see myself, if they could live in my memories, would anyone, anyone, love me?"

- John Green

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