FB Detox and Approaching 3-0!

Sanya China

For most of April, I avoided FB as much as I could. Being in China most of the month helped immensely (mainland China blocks Facebook). I only checked it when I was messaged, tagged, or for any of Leiden Mamas group stuff. To be honest, IT FELT GOOD. I was getting tired of the negativity, the self-indulgent, the victims, and the serial “sharers”. If you are any one of these, I probably have unfollowed you but I didn’t unfriend you because that’s a slap in the face in the social world. It ain’t that serious, lol.

FB paints a picture of an “idyllic” life. It shows off shiny and expensive things. People share all the highs in their lives. Who wants to be a debbie downer? (Although, people in said “victim” category do that.) Hell, I’m guilty myself! My intent is not to tell someone that my life is better or that this is how they need to live their life. It’s just how FB works. But is that all there is to it? If I listen to society and dwell on the numbers, the wrinkles, the number in my bank account, or even how many “thumbs up” I get, than I am not living my life. I would be living life how society has written it.

Being away from FB has helped me rediscover the ideals that I truly care about. I was reminded about what I wanted to do with my future and what I value most. I now dare to take steps off society’s pathway and I dare to see the world as I wish. And more importantly, I dare to think independently.

What spurred this mini self discovery? In just a month and some odd days, I will be turning 30! In my opinion, when you turn 30 is when you really stop caring about what other say or think. I’m approaching, as society would put it, “the big 3-0”. So I took some time to re-evaluate my relationships and my life in general. In my opinion, it is necessary to do this every 5 years or so. Or every year if you can! I am slowly phasing out the toxic relationships (luckily, there aren’t that many!) and working hard on preserving the genuine ones. I want to surround myself with people who want to see me succeed, people who don’t judge me or my mistakes, people who uplift me and not tear me down and the ones who truly love me unconditionally.

When I look back, I see the long and windy road I’ve been on. It was a rocky and tumultuous road. Road blocks put in place by the real (mean) world and road blocks put in place by ME. Whatever the case, I’ve overcome the obstacles and I am over the moon about where I am.

Turning 30 is a great mile marker for me. As I see it, getting year older is a blessing. Each and every year. To put it frankly, it is a privilege denied to many. So why run from it? Why be ashamed of it?

I know it’s easy to say but eff what society says. The unrealistic beauty standards, the fat shaming, the ridiculous material things magazines say you have to have – it’s all BS.

Embrace the road you took because it shapes who you are today. If you don’t like it, take a different route. YOU determine your path, not someone else.

Preach.

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Jetsettin’: Shanghai 2015

The Mr. was given the opportunity to do a business trip to Shanghai and Sanya. I refused to be home alone for two weeks with the little hellion so we tagged along.

We flew a direct flight via KLM. While KLM wasn’t terrible, I still prefer my beloved Emirates. It was a little cramped compared to Emirates and space is valuable during a 10+ hr direct flight with a toddler. The food, however, on KLM was much better. I mean, it’s still plane food but it was much tastier than what you get on Emirates. What was most annoying was that we were stuck on the plane for over an hr because they had issues getting the cargo door open. Little man was getting pretty restless at this point!

Big boy in his first flight as a paying passenger!
Big boy in his first flight as a paying passenger!

We touched down in Shanghai around 11am due to the delays. After being robbed blind by the cabbie (we were charged CNY 450 for a CNY 160 cab ride AND he DEMANDED a CNY50 tip) we made it to Holiday Inn Pudong Kanqiao. I must say, Holiday Inn has stepped up their game. It was a much nicer hotel than I expected. They had a pool that jetted off the side of the hotel and had a glass bottom! (Note: glass bottoms are kind of a thing in China as you will see in future posts.) The Mr had overnight shifts and we wanted to stay on his schedule so we could see his handsome face more. That was kind of tough, but we made it work.

Photo courtesy of IHG.com
Photo courtesy of IHG.com

Our hotel was literally next door to a mall which was very convenient for me 🙂 They had several chain restaurants that were delish. Ajisen was probably our favorite even though it’s technically a Japanese ramen shop. Food was inexpensive and their lychee drink was to die for!

Check out the size of that spoon!
Check out the size of that spoon!

I had hopes of going to dinner at the Oriental Pearl Tower for their rotating restaurant. Unfortunately, everyone said that the buffet wasn’t worth it and we got there a little too late. In the end, we decided to go up the tower and do the sky deck. To do the Space Module, upper sphere, lower sphere, and Shanghai Municipal History Museum will cost you CNY 220 (~35 USD). If you’re not interested in going to the tip top, you can opt for the other option which allows you to enter the main/lower spheres and the museum for CNY 180 (29 USD). The glass bottom terrace was spectacular. We were standing above the bustling city of Shanghai watching cars weave in and out of traffic. Ittybot has nerves of steel (or just simply didn’t comprehend the predicament he was in) and ran around with no care in the world. Oh, to be young without a care in the world!

Preston walking over Shanghai :)
Preston walking over Shanghai 🙂

We loved YuYuan tourist mart so much that we went there 2 days in a row! It costs about CNY 88-100 to get there but another wife that joined the trip and I insisted that we go both days. Haha. The bazaar sits just adjacent to the famous Yu Garden but we enjoyed the crowded shopping so much we never made to the gardens. To be standing in such a loud and crowded bazaar was a daunting task since I had Ittybot but we conquered and came out on top. The aromas of the food stalls was intoxicating, in a good way! Windows upon windows of beautiful silks, garments, and adorable knick knacks makes time vanish right before your eyes.

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We made a quick stop at the Jing An temple. For the price of CNY 50 (8 USD) you can bypass the intricate doors and witness the stunning, old world Chinese architecture.

Jing An Temple
Jing An Temple

We also had the opportunity to explore the bund area a couple nights. The Shanghai skyline is impeccable. The Chinese like their lights and they do them so well. To be standing there in front of the skyline was unreal. I thought I’d only see it in movies! I could literally stand there for hours and just let time pass by as I reflect on this blessed and amazing life I lead.

The view of the Shanghai Skyline from The Bund.
The view of the Shanghai Skyline from The Bund.
The Bots in front of the impeccable Shanghai Skyline!
The Bots in front of the impeccable Shanghai Skyline!

Despite the fact that this was a business trip for The Mr, his overnight shifts allowed him to have some time to sightsee with us. He was exhausted, as you would imagine. We had a great time in Shanghai. It’s an amazing city with a lot to offer. We are glad we got to see Shanghai in all it’s glory and Ittybot has another magnet and postcard to add to his growing collection!

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