I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me. (Psalm 3:5)
Chasing dreams 2017 had passed. Looking back to the extremely impressive 2017, the following memories came rushing to my senses.
2017 is like a roller-coaster ride.
The most important thing is that I took the ride with all its ups and downs. And thank God for everything, with every sunrise and sunsets.
There’s always something in store for us. I have seen and acquired them in most unexpected ways. I call them grace, limitless grace.
My 17 2017 Highlights of Chasing Dreams:
1. Moving place from a bustling Metropolitan to a rural place. It means embracing a suburban life. I felt so at peace after all the confusing decisions I made bounded with oozing pride.
Sometimes, I wish to turn back time and think well of the decisions I made. (Such as canceling job interviews, withdrawing job application, refusing offers and many others.) I couldn’t even remember if I decided using my heart or mind.
But the best is yet to come.
My prayer now is may God teach me to lean on Him in everything I do.
2. A very good friend who knows how worse my impulsivity when it comes to decision-making sent me a link. To be honest, she wants me to do it first. The next day, I’m already a subscriber or a member of the said network.
I’m not too good at planning. But I’m fast in executing and taking action. I hope I’m making sense here. But please don’t ask me how I can take action without a solid plan or blueprint because it works well with me.
I learn along the way.
If I made you curious about it, you can click this link now http://bit.ly/chasingdreamstogether and save it for later.
(P.S. It might be or might not be for you, who knows. And it is in Filipino-English.)
3. This is the sensitive part. How did I survive in terms of finances? I left my job April 27, 2017. My original plan (wow! I had even a plan) is to be free for three months. It was my choice to extend it and crossed the border between Armenia and Georgia for five months.
The month of August, I told few friends, that month would be a survival month for me. I wanted to challenge myself and so I stayed longer. During that time, I was able to stay in luxurious properties.
Sowing in time of famine still works.
Money comes before I even ran out of it or even before praying for resources. It was never lacking.
Let me put it in a brighter way… It was exceedingly abundantly beyond of what I can think and ask for.
4. I think it all started here. For sure, I followed my heart here. Quitting my job with planned three months mid-career break.
It was totally liberating!
I still don’t regret the day I handed my end-of-contract letter. As of writing this post, eight months had passed that I am out of the corporate world.
I had my own reasons for leaving the job. The biggest factor is compassion fatigue. I have written a post about it and it is even the most viewed post. Thanks for caring over my own emotional why’s.
You can read the whole post here: I Need A Timeout, Why I Took A Mid-Career Break
Following this, I was also featured in Dubai OFW. Such an honor to be an inspiration to fellow overseas workers here in The United Arab Emirates. Here’s the link of the article:
OFW Interview with Louiela of Beyond Chasing Dreams
5. A day after I left the job, Hillsong United had a concert in Dubai. This is one of the reasons why I love living and being a resident of Abu Dhabi. It is UAE’s tolerance to other religion.
Planetshakers came also leading praises and worship for two days held in IPIC. And just before the year 2017 ends, Hillsong London came for another concert in Dubai.
I was there!
6. Overcomer. I’m the one who loves to please everybody. But we always have that one or two or countless critics…
I’ve learned to shake it off or be their best friend.
Their criticism just gave them a responsibility to help me or, I feel bad for one day and take revenge the next day… (You can find them hidden in some blog posts.)
7. Being in Caucasus Region for almost five months, it is not all about the historical Churches and Monasteries of Armenia or the magnificent nature of Georgia.
I do cherish the many memories especially the wonderful people I met along the way. Comes with it are few discomfort.
Still, I can’t forget the moment we were taken (12 persons) by police from the hostel to the police station in Yerevan.
So far, so good… We were only interrogated about the stolen things during the wee hours when most of us were sleeping already.
In fairness to others, this group is the craziest one. Our police station story in Armenia HERE.
8. Traveling isn’t all about the fascinating photos I shared.
Here, I will share the behind the scenes that I didn’t share in social media. Very few friends are aware of it.
Sharing a room with other 6-12 persons, we don’t even know that one of us is an ex-convict.
I also befriended a thief who stole money from me, friends and many others. I knew it all when everything has been done and I’m away already. It saved me from being prejudice but a little poorer.
It doesn’t end there!
I had lunch with a person who claimed to kill three persons. The food became tasteless. I barely ate after. The meal was paid by him though.
I rushingly sent messages with friends about my location and who I am with.
I’m still alive!
9. Shamelessly walking in the streets of Yerevan totally drenched and soaked with water, dirty water, for sure.
Armenia has a festival called Vardavar, which is an old pagan tradition of pouring water to anybody and everybody.
I hope to go back to this festival and get even with anybody! It is purely for fun…
10. I’ve seen a glacier for the very first time.
For someone who grew up in a tropical country… Snow, winter sports, hailstorm, glaciers are totally new to me. I don’t even know what glacier is. But not now.
I’ve seen and touched a glacier!
11. Staying in luxury properties as complimentary. To Gayane Hotel, Uptown Boutique Kazbegi, Hotel @Gomi 19, Hotel Tiflis, Paradise Investment Resort, Gudauri Inn and MountInn Bakuriani; thank you so much.
I have written my reviews with my wonderful stay with them. It can be read HERE.
12. The perks of my Philippine Passport. I have a fair share of anxious moments crossing the border between Armenia and Georgia. For three times that I crossed the border which means six times to be interrogated by both country’s officer.
During my turn, usually, 2-3 officers are there checking my passport, records, days of stay and many others. At least they didn’t ask how much travel allowance I had.
One time, police borders kept my passport. I’m reserving the story for World Nomads.
13. Going back to Abu Dhabi, I was able to appreciate its beauty as a tourist. I felt at home.
If you ask me what I did in Abu Dhabi? This will be my reply… Met old and new friends. Attended Christmas parties, Christening and birthdays. Went to park, dine outside with cousin and enjoy the sea breeze in Corniche.
I super-like Hamdan Street!
14. Little things matters. My hair have grown in length almost close to the waistline. Thick and heavy, difficult to maintain, expensive shampoos and conditioner, I decided to cut it short.
It was my messy hair that have grown mostly from centimeter and inches while I was exploring The Caucasus.
To somehow give value to it, I donated my hair for Little Princess Trust through one salon in Abu Dhabi. The recipient will be one of the children who is undergoing chemotherapy.
Fifteen and sixteen. These are things/memories/events/highlights that I want to keep for myself. The hidden part of my Johari window.
17. I do hate goodbyes. But even with the good year 2017, I had to say goodbye as well.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all hello’s and goodbyes. I shed tears for these in silence, in churches, in prayers and even while writing some of the previous posts.
Crazy, I know.
But those goodbyes made me tougher. 2017 was both good and tough. And so do I.
When everything has been said and done, there’s only ONE who stays… for life and forever. Someone who thinks about me every time and all the time more than anybody else.
Thank You for that one great love.