Blogger is a mommy, a wife, a cheapo traveller, a fanfiction reader,

a Manchester United fan and an egg ghost (hantu telur)

but she is on a wheat-free, egg-free, dairy-free diet, so unfortunate.

Will spend most of her savings on flight tickets kids apparel than a few handbags

Sunday, June 5, 2016

They say, home is where the heart is.

But what is home anyway? What is your definition of home?
Is it the country? your family? the place you were born into?

It is very subjective. and I hate to say this, but people are way too attached, too emotional.
The world is your home, yes. But your country? Thats just where you started. Culture is one thing, faith is another. Faith is in your heart. It doesnt say you can only be faithful at certain places. Faith is spiritual. Wherever you go, it goes with you.

Culture and race -  Stay here and help your people. What people? Help the community you live in, yes, help the poor, yes. But do we help them to the extend that we give our whole life to them?
Help the country. Help your country? Please do, but to what extent? Some will go wholeheartedly and beyond. If its make them happy, nothing wrong with that. But dont expect others will be as motivated as you. Everyone has their own dreams and motivations - I will say, achieve that - and that is your home.

Family - I'll get emotional too. As an Ironborn firstborn, it is to juggle my personality and my responsibility. Eldest will always be there, but they are also the most independent. Hows that? How can you be there and yet be brave and go elsewhere? What will people say? What will my parents say? They have such high hopes on me to be there.

I'll always be there.

But its time for me to shape my own family as well. Why cant I half-ly? (well, the other half is my husband's decision lol) decide the future of my family? I want to try. I do not want to regret later. I want to try. I want to see whats it like to move. I want to see how things work from the other side of the world. I might regret this decision but i will regret even more not trying and not doing it while I still can. When there is still chance. When I'm still 29. Not 49. Not 59.

If this works out, people will be sad. But why would people be sad? Travelling is fun. They can travel here and there. They can live here and there. They should be proud and supportive.

In the end, anyhow, someway or another, we live here temporarily. Everyone, at least, can and must write their own story. It doesnt have to be A. Born here B. Live Here. C.Work Here. D. Die here.

Here could be anywhere.

Besides, if you truly believe home is where your heart is. and that your country is where your home is. Then you have more reasons to go out there and live elsewhere.

Because in the end, if nothing works, if you regret, if you fail, you always have your country to go back to.

Dont get me wrong.
I love my country. It is where my family is at.

And my family will always be in my heart and in my soul.
I leave my families, for a family that I am shaping.

Country is just a starting point.
Countries, borders, flags - all Manmade.
Its a place God sent you first. and He created the world, that is accessible, open for all His creations.
So Live.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Hi Crafters!

Pinwheels - awesome as part of your party decorations. You can even make a whole theme out of a Pinwheel! I started making a few as I need ideas for Eislah's cake decoration. And since ada berlambak gila straws, I was looking for an inspiration that could use the straws jugak. Maka terjumpalah this tutorial and it is super easy to make, you'll master it in a second! 
What you will need : 

  • Scissors
  • Paper (Square, any size) or Papers with patterns on both sides would make adorable pinwheels
  • Paper Straw or Lollipop stick 
  • Pin tudung

Step A: Cut the paper according to your desired squares. (mine is 3" x 3") 
Step B: Cut through the green dotted line as shown, stopping at about 1/2inch from the middle. Punch holes on the dots areas. 

Step C:  Bend the pin at about 1cm from the bead. 
Step D: Take one corner hole and push it onto the pin, do the same for the next 3 corner hole and lastly punch through the middle hole. 

Step E:  Punch two holes (using the same pin) on the paper straws, and you can easily pin the Pinwheel through it. And you're done! 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Hi Crafters!

In this post, we will be doing Party Blowers using paper straws. Its a fun project to add more variety than the usual party blowers you find in stores. 
What you will need : 

  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Scrap Paper / Wrapping Paper / Unused Photos (ideally 3inch x 10inch)
  • Paper Straw (we are using our baby blue gingham straw!) 
  • Craft glue
  • Paper Clip / Tape / Rubber Band
  • Ruler
  • Tissue Paper (for the fringe, but its optional) 
Step A : Measure 1inch from each side, fold one end & glue as below. 

Step B : Cut straw in half and insert into the center of paper's strip open end.
Step C: Roll the paper stick with a pencil and secure it with a clip / rubber band / tape. 

Step D : Cut fringe from a strip tissue paper and glue it on the folded area. 

Step E : Wrap the fringe around the party blower. And you're done!! 

Many more things you could do with party straws! Maybe in the next DIY if Eislah is in the mood to play with colorful tissue papers :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Scenic train view from Jungfrau - Interlaken
Plane vs Train

Unless the travel journey is too long to bear, we would pick travelling by train anytime over plane rides. Why? Heres waiiii : 
  1. With a Global Pass, you can basically go everywhere in Europe easily.
  2. No hassle on checking-in. 
  3. You get to enjoy breathtaking view (unless you doze off straight away after getting in. booo) 
  4. The seats are spacious and comfortable
  5. Free snacks when you're on 1st class cabins (those aged 25+ will  get into 1st class cabins unless you don't mind to be seated in 2nd class cabins with those who paid for Youth fare tickets - in this case, Naddy) 
  6. You sometimes need to make seat reservations (recommended) to ensure the seats are yours (during peak hours) 
  7. The amazing view. again and again. 
  8. No fear of flying. No dupdap dupdap every time the plane take-off / land. Ha! 
  9. Night-train - you get to sleep on bunk beds/couchettes during long-hours journey. (somewhat scary but its an experience you'd appreciate)
  10. The cafe. You can get drink and snacks or just sit there to enjoy reading the European newspapers.  (we played cho tai tee!)
  11. They rarely check on your passports! (but please ensure that you have it with you all the time)
  12. Mostly high speed trains. 
  13. The only frustration is that, no custom & security check means no foreign visa stamps on your passport. 

Aaaand here goes the dreaded infos of Railway pass. Ni banyak sangat choices. All will depends on how and where you travel to. They have the Eurail Global Pass, Eurail Select Pass and many more.

In this case, we picked the Eurail Global Pass (10 days within 2 months).

Fill in the travelling dates in the Day+Month boxes everytime you travel 

Global pass allows you to travel across 24 destinations in Europe. Since our destinations consists of 6 scattered countries, this pass suits us best. 

Once you're set on Global Pass, you gotta choose its validity. 
  • 15 days (continuous)
  • 21 days (continuous)
  • 1 month (continuous)
  • 2 months (continuous)
  • 3 months (continuous)
  • 10 days (within 2 months)
  • 15 days (within 2 months)
We then have to count the train trips.  
For example : From Valencia, we'll be using one train trip to Barcelona - so that's One. Our next train trip will be from Rome to Venice - so this is the 2nd trip. As we counted on, we'll be using about 6-7 trips throughout Europe. 

Obviously we wont be travelling the whole time, and we could not pick the 15 or 21 days continuous (continuous means if we start travelling on the 1st of June, the pass expires on the 15th of June) that means, its either the 1-month option or the 10-day option. We picked the cheapest option which is the 10 days (within 2 months) - basically we can use 10 train trips which valid for two months after your first trip. 

The price for one adult Global Pass (10 days within 2 months) is €568 if you're travelling with another (or more) family/friends. Otherwise, it'll be €668 for one pass. If you're aged 12-25, you get to go with the Youth fare price at €435. 

Price for two adult travellers
Naddy only paid this amount (for 1 x Youth pass - she was 25!)

I managed to get €40 discounted from our total price (discounts & promos are sorta my specialty.. I'm a deal fanatic!) - this is where research came in handy! ALWAYS try to look for promo & discount codes online. We also chose to get the rail protection plan. (see below)
Flexibility to change your train ticket, rail pass, reservation and select activities with no questions asked. You'll also be protected in the event of a railroad strike for train tickets, and in the case of loss or theft of paper tickets, rail passes, city passes or tours. 
Yang mana masih below 25, silakan travel. 

p/s: I was only 1-month old late in getting the Youth fare when we planned this.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Budget budget. 

After months of savings with no shopping policy, we can now happily spend it all on a journey to remember.  

As stated on my previous post, our budget for the whole 1-month was about approximately RM10k per person. Its a pretty good budget for a month trip in Europe. I was looking through some travel agencies with European tours, the packages are mostly around RM6-7k for a 10-day trip. You have to endure their tight schedule and possibly boring tours with the rest of the group. 

Oklah, it's easier, tak payah pikir tak payah plan. Just bayar dan pergi. But the planning part, tho its challenging, is actually very fun. 

Its your trip. You get to decide. Make it yours 100%!

Top: Eurail Global pass tix, Flight tix
Bottom: Last year's currency for Euro & Swiss Francs

The RM10,000 includes the following :

1. Emirates Return flight ticket - RM2650
2. Eurail Global pass (10 trips in 2 months*) - RM2162
3. Accommodations - Mostly AirBnb, hostels & Couchsurfing - RM1726
4. Food & Desserts! (This depends on how much you consume daily lols) 
5. A concert in Barcelona (Sonar Festival) - RM288
6. Ferry Ride from Barca to Rome - RM400 

Total excluding Food & Desserts : RM7226

Minus the concert which you probably dont need (unless Phoenix is only a few miles away.. teehee) The rest of the cash memang guna untuk tours, food & desserts. You can look for discounted and free tours online (look for Groupon deals, Discount Codes etc) 

You can also save a lot by cooking (groceries sana murah). So a group of friend can tong-tong duit dah boleh buat nasi goreng + telur. Of course, we've had some maggi moments jugak :P 

In England, you get to eat full meal (kebab + fries + drink) at 5-6pounds. In Europe, a slice of pizza is €1 or €2 and a full set of Kebab (also with fries/rice and drink) is around €5. Some of us wanted to try the large portion of Seafood Paella in Spain (€15-20) Its a famous Spanish cuisine. 

Do take note that Halal food is everywhere in Europe. You wont have trouble finding one. Otherwise, go for Vegetarian, Margarita or Seafood selections :)

The gorgeous Spanish Seafood Paella

Beware of some restaurants with super fine print of prices tho. On one fine evening, Naddy wanted to try a seafood pasta in which she thought costs her €15/meal - or so we thought. When the bill came, we were flabbergasted. The numbers doesn't seems right. The super fine print actually stated €15 for every 100grams of pasta :P So off it goes her 70 euros into the happy tummy :) 

If you need more info on the budgeting - email me at elynnzo@gmail.com 


p/s dont be fooled by the Swiss Francs rate.

Last year, was one heck of a year! 

Fariz and I felt like we needed to go somewhere. Its about time. We were in our first-year of marriage and we cant postpone this any longer. So we thought of asking some close friends to join in the ride - and visit the European countries! - for one month! Its a lot to take especially when Malaysia is... not Switzerland (where the people are encouraged and be given allowances to travel! - grrr) So in the end, only Naddy says YES to this. (Just so you know, this would be her 2nd time taking a-month off her job and her boss had no problem with this) 

So lets start! 

First, we gotta have a reference book. A good one! 

We bought the Frommer's Europe by Rail (as we will be using train in most of our travel journeys) Its not very handy but for first-timer, we needed to know everything than panicking later.

Jangan tengok je, make sure you fully utilised the book. Read it through, check the tips as it will (trust me!) help guide you later on. If geography isn't your forte (like me) Check the maps (so you'll know the country's neighbouring countries which will help you decide on your raillpass) 

Secondly, decide on your travel routes!

Where do you wanna start at? (We chose the best ticket fare getting there) Should you start from the East? or start from the West? Which country is best to leave before KL? etc etc. (NOT the easiest part) We changed our routes many times before deciding on one. Satu bulan dengar macam lama, tapi if tak calculate travel days betul-betul, some days will go wasted. Make sure you don't go zigzag-ing around the continent. 

Unless you plan on a totally random and spontaneous journey, you can ignore this. Since we were on a tight budget, we needed things to go as planned. We have to make sure accommodations are set every time. It's Summer (peak time!) in June, if we go unplanned, we might have to sleep by the streets :{ 

To keep things short. Our travel routes as follows:  

1. KL - London (UK)
2. London  - Manchester (via train)
3. Manchester - Valencia (via plane)
4. Valencia - Barcelona (via train) 
5. Barcelona - Civitavecchia - Rome (via ferry)
6. Rome - Venice (via train)
7. Venice - Vienna - Prague (via Night-train)
8. Prague - Zurich (via train)
9. Zurich - Brienz (via goldenpass train)
10. Brienz - Interlaken (via train)
11. Interlaken - Geneva - Paris (via train)
12. Paris - KL 

Basically we travelled to 6 different countries with some train change/stops to Munich, Germany  & Vienna, Austria. Will post on a more-detailed journey on each City in my next posts.

a more detailed calendar

Our budget for the whole 1-month trip including Accommodations, Flight & Train fare was RM10,000. (which I think is still cheaper than a 9-day trip provided by most travel agents in KL) Will explain where the money goes in next post! :)