Thursday, 8 January 2015

Happy New Life 2015 Item 1: Driving for Dummies

Hello! I hope you had a blast celebrating the New Year!  I hope the holidays have energized each of us for the challenges ahead.

Of course we don't forget 2014 entirely,   that we might take stock of what was good, what made us sad and what we could do to make things better from this point onward.

While most people are back to their normal routines, to their jobs and joys of daily living,  I am still on vacation  in our tropical paradise.

                               The road to my hometown in Ilocos Norte

                                Ilocos Pride: Paoay Church, Ilocos Norte

And how I love being in the Philippines--- being with my family,  going on roadtrips, visiting Ilocos and seeing my nephews and nieces all grown up. Nothing, absolutely nothing can replace the bliss of being home.

In a few days I'd be off again to Europe and back to being on my own, but I have small secret and I am pretty excited about it. There's a new, challenging job waiting for me in a new country.  I've said my goodbyes to Madrid and took on an opportunity which I feel will test my mettle as an engineer in The Netherlands.  A new culture, new faces, new cuisine to gobble up this year!  It is exhilarating, and a bit scary, to tell you the truth.  But, hey a little fear is always good.  Everything that's truly worthy is always hard in the beginning.

Is one major life skill I have to relearn in ten days as it is a requirement for my new work.  Driving, ha!  Anyone can drive, you say.  And one of my friends laugh at me incredulously when I made the confession: I am scared shit of driving and parking in the Netherlands!

You see  I haven't driven a car in five years.  And even when I drove in Manila I never learned how to park correctly,  I am the balagbag queen who usually asked Kuya Willy, our family driver, to do the parking for me.

But as in all things, when your life depends on it, you have no choice but to rise up to the challenge.  So I have tried to drive everyday for thirty minutes to an hour to regain that much-needed confidence.

Truth is, I have some bad driving habits I need to kill.  Like sometimes using two feet for the levers.  And being impatient.  I am not scared of narrow spaces between vehicles, and in the past, this has resulted in a few close calls. These bad driving habits might be okay in Manila where we are admittedly prone to circumvent the driving rules, but in a country that's a stickler for rules,  these  most likely cause me a ticket.  So everyday,  I try to relearn driving, this time the correct way. The old hag trying to learn new tricks.

I still do this to this day.  There is something comforting about my foot directly on the levers, skin to machine. It makes me feel more in control.  But while this is a habit that's not bad at all, it might well be a bit inconvenient considering I will be driving in a country with a winter season, with my foot shod in thights and winter stockings so I've been  on the lookout for good and affordable driving shoes.

To be sure,  those with considerable driving experience can drive with any footwear,  but being a noob and still not too confident about my driving,  I need shoes that are lightweight and has soles that are specifically made to have better grip at the heel section of the foot.  I do think most moccasins and loafers with a good, not so thick sole will do, so I have been checking out online stores for good driving shoes.

I'm thinking of getting this from Zalora because it's cute but understated and  is currently 45% off:
                                                               Appetite Driving Shoes from Zalora Philippines

But I am still looking around.  Do you have recommendations for good driving shoes that's not too expensive?  Do send me a comment!

Finally driving around the streets and roads of Europe is perhaps one of the immediate milestones I shall have this 2015, whether I like it or not, hahaha!

On New Year's Eve I actually jotted down four non-work related personal goals for 2015.  Just four, because really,I don't want to make a lot of promises I can't keep:

  1.  Drive around Germany and France
  2.  Save up and invest in a real estate property this year
  3.  Get a feature article published .  More would be better, but even just one puny published material would be enough.
  4.  Add  a certain amount to my stock investments in the Philippine Stock Exchange.

So those are my goals, small as they may be.  Of course I also have the usual small goals (eat healthier, sleep better) but those four above are my ultimate measure for success in 2015.  What are your plans in 2015? Have you written it down?  Would you care to share?

P.S.  If you like some practical tips about our so-called daily small goals (eating better, sleeping well, drinking less etc.) , you might want to check this feature about how to ensure that we accomplish our small goals:


  1. Wow, congrats to the new job! I'd been eyeing Netherlands too, but then my boyfriend got an amazing job offer in Germany, so I'm looking for PhDs there instead. BTW I bet I'm scared of driving way more than you are, haha. I think you'll be fine, maybe you can just get a couple of driving lessons to get used to the new rules and stuff.
    I had shoes from Zalora before and they died literally the first day I wore them, if you're still in the Philippines, I'd check Habi footware :).

  2. Hi Vita! Thank you for the vote of confidence haha! I will look for Habi footwear tomorrow! Cheers!


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