After hearing much about how pricey a trip to the hair salon was in Melbourne, sadly, I had to ditch my rainbow-coloured tresses to opt for one that's more manageable in the long run. *wipes tears*

My last hair fix in Singapore was at The Scene Hair Salon. Conveniently nestled at Raffles City Shopping Centre, The Scene boasts a new team of highly qualified Korean hairstylists. The professionals have been trained and have gained reputable styling experiences in Korea! Jade was the hairstylist I got assigned to. We had a good laugh at his bush of permed hair - he explained that it was one of the latest trends in Korea. I thought he looked a little older like an Ahjussi, but you could tell through his burning, passionate eyes how much he loved the look! :')

Getting down to the details, we discussed the direction I was headed towards - a safe colour that'd last me for months, yet doesn't fail to surprise with its cheeky twist. Despite the slight communication barrier, Jade was meticulous and patient whilst listening to my requests.

Jade brushed on a brown colour with peek-a-boo grey tones underneath it. With repeated washes, the grey colour will change into the blonde colour from my previous hair bleach. It's been nearly a month now and the colour is slowly revealing itself! The contrast of blonde strips against my brown hair is prominent when I tie them up.

The condition of my hair was also put in focus. Due to the dry ends, my perm request was turned down because The Scene is a hair salon that strongly believes in creating quality for their customers. Instead, I was pampered with my first hair treatment and hair styling in months! Previously, my schedule was packed to the brim due to an internship that I barely had time to take care of myself. The session immediately sprung my hair back to life.

Can I step out of the hair salon everyday pleaseeeee? *.*

Good things should be shared, right? Here you go - from 1st of March, the first 30 customers who quote my name
"Joey"
will be entitled a 10% discount off your bill! Hooray!

The Scene Hair Salon
Address: 252 North Bridge Road #03-21A Raffles City Shopping Centre, Singapore 179103
Tel: 6333 9613


If you're in Victoria, a tour to the Great Ocean Road should not be missed.

I had the privilege of escaping the city for a day with a small tour who accommodated to my last-minute adventurer instincts. The experience was an eye-opener - I would never have had the opportunity to relish in such eyegasm scenery, wildlife, and exotic plants back in Singapore.

Every turn along the way was a picturesque piece of art that Mother Nature painted. Even the little towns along the way had beautiful apartments and shop houses that I imagined only appeared in movies and dreams.

To make things even better, places I'd visited included not only the famous sites and icons of the Great Ocean Road, but a bunch of lesser-known gems that even the bigger tour buses do not have access to.

Itinerary:

Wildlife Spotting - Bell's Beach - Split Point Lighthouse - Walk & Lunch in a Rain Forest - Twelve Apostles - Line Stone Rock Racks - London Bridge

 If my body was in a better condition, I'd have grabbed my backpack and went for the Great Ocean Road Walk! It's a sign to start pumping up my stamina, yes?

Or, perhaps, I could put a tick on my Caravan bucket list for the time being.

Anyhow, I'll definitely be back for you magnificent natural wonder again, mark my words. *.*

Derp.

G'day mate, this is my first post from down under! Time passes really fast; in a blink of an eye, it's been 2 weeks since my arrival. I am settling in just fine, maybe a tad tired from all the administrative work I have to settle as an International Student. Furthermore, jet lag has been an enemy due to the difference of 3 hours between Melbourne and Singapore. Back in SG, I usually go to bed at 2am, which translates to 5am here.

8.30am classes? Bring the challenge on. *cue imaginary flames burning behind me*

The Woohoo

(1)
I cried like a baby when the reality of having to leave my old life sunk in, but alas, so far so good! In fact, life is relaxed and slow-paced here, which I thought I fit right into. :P Then again, that could also be because school has yet commenced.

What I am most thankful about is that most of the people I've met are generally nice and helpful!

(2)
Yay to mother nature! There are no worries being apart from Garden City because Melbs is full of greenery as well. In fact, the species here are unique since they have 4 seasons!

Port Melbourne Beach~

Even the skies and seas are more captivating.

(3)
I'm living right in the heart of the city, and that's awesome.

Idk why I still lose my way all the time though. #RoadIdiot

(4)
Unlike in Singapore where you can travel from one end to another in under 2 hours, Victoria is huge. This excites the adventurer in me to no end.

Calling for brave souls to get lost with me!

(5)
The variety of university modules to select from nearly had me pee in my pants. Pitching a tent on the enrolment website paid off - I managed to squeeze into the last available spaces for Graphic Design and New Media classes! Both I've been dying to learn but aren't being offered to me in Singapore.

Also, Farming The Future, anyone?

The Mehhh

(1)
Living abroad means the start of actual adulthood life. The things I've been trying to ninja my way out of are no longer avoidable. I am Google-ing my way through life every day. Household chores, cooking my own meals, settling of bills, shopping for groceries, etc. *pulls hair*

Thank all the Gods there are in the universe for convenient meal packs.

Brb, I need to heave this big sigh called responsibilities.

(2)
I'm studying communications, but ironically it hasn't been an easy journey conversing with ang mos (Caucasians). Communication barriers are present due to the Singlish way of talking which I'm accustomed to! I am also embarrassed that over this side of the world, my pronunciation is a complete mess. I have no idea how I scored those distinctions in national English oral examinations.....

Never thought my love for the audio option on my dictionary app will sky-rocket this quickly.

Time for a new accent and pronunciation lessons, yes?

(3)
That being said, with Singapore being a global economic powerhouse, boasting a long list of achievements as a top tier in many fields across the world, I STILL find myself trying to explain the existence of my motherland. "Is it in Malaysia?" "Which part of China?"

That's it, I'm wearing my SG50 scarf with the word Singapore spelled in caps the next time I'm going out.

Is this really year 2016?

(4)
As the Chinese saying goes “ 在家靠父母,出门靠朋友” (At home one relies on one's parents and outside on one's friends). The thought of making the switch from selectively social to full-on social butterfly freaks me out, but having support and connections are undoubtedly essential when you're overseas by yourself. It hadn't been working all that well yet; I gotta suck it up and just do it.

I'm an awkward turtle and I cannot lie.

(5)
I have to abandon my title as a glutton because ARE YOU KIDDING ME, $13 for a bowl of Laksa that's not even yummy!? I am already missing my $3.50 Hokkien Mee back in SG! :'(

On a positive note, overpriced food means I'll be eating lesser, yes?

I pieced up a short vlog with the few videos I took in my first week upon arriving in this new city. I hope you'll enjoy it!

Here are also some pictures that I took. You can follow me on my social media accounts if you'd like to see more. Will also share the rest in the next few posts!

Entering the State Library of Victoria feels like walking into the set of Harry Potter *.*

Foooooooooood

Melbourne's Chinatown - my secret go-to place for HK egg tarts

Sunset in expensive, Sentosa Cove-ish Docklands

I don't usually take selfies, but when I do, I shamelessly end my post off with a bunch of them.
Travel Smart Rewards

One of the many concerns Singaporeans have would be the cost of living in Singapore. I share the same concerns because as a student, I'm struggling to make every dollar earned from my ad-hoc jobs count!

I'm not sure if anyone remembers, but I once wrote a post on the 7 Ways To Save On Public Transport Expenses in Singapore. You can actually save a lot of money in the long run if you're willing to!

In my very first point, I mentioned about the Travel Smart Rewards, also known to many as Insinc.


This is my little secret to saving, which I will further elaborate on in this post.

Have no idea what that is about? Don’t worry, let me explain:

1) You get to earn reward points for each time you commute on the MRT/LRT.

2) Every 1km travelled on weekdays = 1 point on Travel Smart Rewards.

However, with every 1km that you travel on weekdays off-peak hours (Entering the MRT/LRT network between 6.15am – 7.15am and 8.45am – 9.45am) = 3-6 points per 1km on Travel Smart Rewards!

3) Redeem money by accumulating your points.

Psst.. There is also the Spin to Win Game option, where users can play an auto-game and stand a chance to win random prizes with no additional effort required. After linking my Ez-Link card to the Travel Smart Rewards, I have surprisingly won quite an amount of $$$!

MRT Station during off-peak hours. Isn’t it better to travel during times like this? Travel Smart Rewards motivates us to travel off-peak!

More on Travel Smart Rewards later...

Why Travel Off-Peak?

Guys... I am also ‘’fighting’’ against the force that pulls me back to the comforts of my bed every morning ☹ However, I'm setting my alarm clock an hour earlier these days because:

1) I want to avoid peak-hour crowds on trains!

Eek!

2) You can leisurely make your way to work!

This is especially important to me ever since I started my internship. During my first month at work, I was constantly late that my HR Manager actually remembered my phone number... Needless to say, my boss wasn’t impressed. When you’re late, every second of waiting for the train feels like forever, especially when you can’t get into the first train because it’s too packed!

Now, I make it a point to catch the off-peak train. The race to work is no longer part of my everyday routine, and I even get to lim kopi comfortably in the office with my colleagues!

3) It's free.

If you work in the CBD area, you're in luck! From now until 30 June 2016, you can have your ride to work waived if you tap out before 7.45am.

And even if you miss the timing, you'll still be eligible for 50 cents off between 7.45am and 8am!


4) It’s good for health.

“Based on several studies, there is a correlation between waking up early and success. Early risers are said to be better planners and are more proactive and optimistic, amongst many others!” – Click Here

5) You earn more rewards.

There were 2 lucky commuters who won $1,500 in the Travel Smart Rewards monthly draw!

I ALSO WANT!!!


SO HENG! HUAT AHH!

You can be the next lucky winner too; especially when CNY IS COMING! Simply visit www.travelsmartrewards.sg to find out how you can stand a chance to win up to $1,500 in a month.

To qualify for the prize, you will need to achieve at least Gold or Platinum statuses – and to get this, you’ll have to consistently travel at least 4 times a week over a period of time during the Decongesting hours: from 6.15 – 7.15am and from 8.45 – 9.45am. This means that the more you travel during these timings, the bigger the rewards!

If you aren’t on board Travel Smart Rewards, make it a point to visit www.travelsmartrewards.sg to create an account! It's free and easy to do so in 3 easy steps:

Step 1

Log into Travel Smart Rewards’ website at www.travelsmartrewards.sg.

Step 2

Fill in the form with your details. I like how you can easily create an account by signing up with your Facebook account as well!

Step 3

Once logged in, click on ‘Settings’ and register your Ez-Link card with its 16-digit CAN ID at the back of your card. Only one card per person can be tagged into one email account.


And wa-la, and you’re done!

This is how your Homepage should look like.

I’ve joined TSR for a while now, and I’ll definitely keep using it !! I like how you can earn additional points by jio-ing your friends as well. I’ve already got a few of mine on board! Also as mentioned above, there is this Autoplay option called Spin to Win where sometimes I earn cash rewards without doing anything!


In case you didn't know, there are actually 2 different categories of Travel Smart Rewards – the General Tier and the Corporate Tier. Click here for more information. If you wish to enjoy the perks of Corporate Tier Travel Smart Rewards and stand even more chances of winning cash prizes, get your HR to talk to LTA!

Till then, hope to see you guys travelling off-peak for a more comfortable ride! Let's all Travel Smart together and pray hard that we can all win the $1,500 lucky draw prize ☺

The day has come.

Finally, I can announce this - I received my Student Visa approval today. I'll be leaving Singapore for Melbourne, Australia in about a month's time. Never imagined the day I'd purchase a one-way flight ticket to an unfamiliar place would arrive so soon.

You don't notice my digital footsteps as often anymore because I'm putting my life on hold with the crazy load of preparation works that are giving me a headache, on top of trying to survive a demanding full-time job.

To be honest, even I am not sure of the answer to "How long will you be down under?" A year is definite, but there is a high chance that I will extend my stay, either to further my studies as a research graduate or to try my hands at working in a country outside of home.

This decision wasn't a rash one; life as an International Student always had me curious. How will lectures in an outspoken education system be like? Will I be able to decipher what lies behind the heavy Aussie accent? Am I ready for independence? I'm sure it'll be an experience of a lifetime as I attempt to blend into an unfamiliar culture and acquire global knowledge which I feel is essential in this shrinking world due to globalisation and advances in technology.

I am fully aware that I'll be spending the next few decades after graduation working towards being debt-free, but money can be earned back; my youth and the mysterious Overseas Experience door that awaits me cannot.

But this is not goodbye. Though I'd heard much about how snail-like the Internet connection can be, it won't deter me from my regular postings and updates. I'll continue to share my life on IISJONG based in a different country.

I've been to Brisbane but never stepped foot on Victoria before. Therefore, if you know of any good recommendations in Melbourne, hit me up! And to my Australian readers, I'd love to connect if possible. I already have plans for a continent tour!

Absolutely cannot wait for the new life to happen.