Thursday, January 21, 2016

Is Planning Necessary?

Assalamua'laikum wbt and Good Day,
It has been almost two weeks passed by in this another new year. How are we going so far? Not to mention, the price of crude oil keeps on depleting. As of today (when this post is drafted), the price for crude oil Brent falls as low as 25.99 USD per barrel. It really hits us who served the oil and gas players; on top of bad political situations in Malaysia.
While that are the conditions that we are currently living in, we should not limit ourselves from doing more. Being travel for quite frequent within this 3 years somehow has broaden my horizon, and the world actually has so much to offer.
As a Muslim, it is true that we have to leave to Allah to decide the best on the path that we are about to walk. But, Allah never told us to just leave it to Him without any efforts. Yes, Allah will always give the best for us. But somehow, that best thing in life do not come for free and effortless. We still have to plan, strategize and execute the plan; and only the results part we left it to Allah because He knows the best.
Tanah Datar, Bukittinggi, Indonesia
It is somehow reminds me to my journey when I were about to begin back in 2012. When I was graduated in January, I did not want to straight away get any job because I want to learn about other things. I am still quite anxious although it is my choice to be selective on which company that I want to start my career, but somehow, we must have some courage in any thing that we have decided and planned for ourselves. I attended few talks on property investment, took the examination in order to become certified unit trust consultant and became a research assistant to one doctor which has take me to many Bidayuh villages in Sarawak.
Alhamdulillah, I did not see the results immediately but I hold my faith strongly that what I am currently doing at that moment is somehow worthy in future. And only in 2015, I see the results.  The unit trust that I have started investing in 2012 already give me a positive cash flow. I start doing flipping in 2015 as well and it gave me 49% of gain within 23 months!
Surau Nagari, Lubuk Bauk, Batusangkar, Indonesia
On the same year as well, I passed my Accelerated Capability Development with excellent achievement. I am entitled to be promoted to the next higher level. But upon doing the pros and cons analysis, I need to slow down a bit in my career for the next 2 years in order to avoid myself climbing the ladder to fast. Having higher responsibility with a so-so income is something that I am refused to do for myself.
For some, climbing the career ladder faster might be their dream. But to me, to gain a salary of higher level with lower position is my priority. It is depending on your self-believe. Some people quench by position, whereby some prefer to remain low but they have lots of time for themselves. I don't want to trade my precious time with money under employee quadrant. It is very subjective.
Along the road in Batusangkar, Indonesia
After all, planning and have faith with your planning is a must. But, planning without execution is troublesome as well since it won't bring you anywhere.
Have a nice day :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Trip to Taiwan: Day 2

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

We are still in southern part of Taiwan on the second day. The hotel where we reside do provide free breakfast in spite of its cheap price which is RM 255.29 for two nights. It is quite hard for us to have some insight on the food status, but luckily we met Vincent, a man wearing University of Taipei jacket that can speak English and he is the one who assist us on which food that we can consume and which one is not allowed. He also did communicated with the hotel's so called chief lady on food that we can and can't consume and that lady do help us in choosing the food that we can eat on the next day.

We begin our journey post performing our Dhuhr and Asr prayers. We visited Lotus Pond; a place where Dragon Tiger Pagoda is and have frozen banana coated with melted chocolate there. It costs us about 45 TWD. I also bought two pieces of fridge magnet with a cost of 300 TWD. Personally, I think it is quite expensive as compared to other places that I've been to.
Dragon Tiger Pagoda, Lotus Lake, Kaohsiung
We then proceed to Love River, a beautiful park in Kaohsiung with flowing river prior to visit Pier 2 Art Centre. We ended our second day in Taiwan by visiting Liuhe Night Market, located just within 10 minutes walking distance from our hotel. Overall, our second day's journey doesn't need us to hire any taxi and all places doesn't required any entrance fee.

I would suggest those who planned to visit Taiwan to spend more time in Kaohsiung as this city is very peaceful, relax and slow pace as compared to Taipei. Although only few people are able to communicate in English there, but they are willing to provide the assistance that we need. The public transport is very reliable too.

Just one tip, if you plan to use the public bus, make sure you have small coins as the bus driver won't give you any balance shall you paid them more than the required fee.

Have a nice day:)


Trip to Cappadocia & Istanbul, Turkey (Overview) - Part 2

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,
Our second day in Cappadocia started with hot air balloon. We booked for it since we were in Malaysia via website and it costs us 531.30 MYR per head. The hot air balloon package includes pick-up to and fro hotel, breakfast, hot air balloon itself and refreshment. We were on air for about 90 minutes.
We spent our evening by visiting Goreme Open Air museum and ATV rides for 3 hours until dusk. We did not knew at first that the end point for that ATV ride will be in Cavusin but luckily we've got replacement to ride our ATV back to its starting point. We just walked to our hotel upon seeing sunset from the top point of Cavusin. On the next day, we booked a ground tour from our hotel that costs us 100 Turkish Lira per person.
Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia, Turkey
We flown to Istanbul on our third night in Cappadocia via Turkish Airlines.
We started our first day in Istanbul by visiting Galata Tower in the evening. We went to Istanbul Hard Rock Café at night and on the next day, we proudly went touring in Sultanahmet area by wearing jubah. We bought Museum Kart for 85 Turkish Lira and it valid for 5 days. We went to Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. It was such indescribable feeling when visiting these places! It is a dream that comes true. *cry*

Goreme Open Air Museum, Goreme, Turkey

On the following day, we went to Dolmabahce Sarayi and Maiden Tower by wearing our own country's national costume, Baju Kurung. We also went for Bhosporus Boat Tour that costs us only 15 Turkish Lira. We can clearly see the demographic difference between the Asean and Europe side of Turkey along the strait.  
It is only on the next day we wear the normal casual attire after two days became Malaysia ambassadors :P
Cavusin, Cappadocia, Turkey
We've visited Topkapi Palace, Archeology Museum and Grand Bazaar to buy some stuffs and souvenirs. By comparison, Spice Bazaar offered cheaper price for many items as compared to Grand Bazaar but I went to Spice Bazaar on the next day which is after Grand Bazaar. We did paid a visit to Miniaturk by using bus and for those who did not managed to visit the whole Turkey, this place is highly recommended as we can see the all the miniatures of Turkey attractions in this park.
After all, my trip to Turkey costs me 7117.69 MYR for 11 days 10 nights.
Have a nice day :)

Trip to Cappadocia & Istanbul, Turkey (Overview) - Part 1

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

After the current Turkey's President, Mr Erdogan made a holistic drastic change in Turkey especially in eliminating all the bad cultures inherited from Kamal Attartuk, it seems like Istanbul is calling me. In addition, I was once read a book written by Abdul Latip Talip entitled Sultan Muhammad Al-Fateh: Penakluk Konstantinopel and found that book is very inspiring. The way Al-Fateh's was been taught and raised up do impressed me and no wonder he can brought back the glory to Islam by conquering Constantinople; today's known as Istanbul.
View from London Heathrow Airport Golden Lounge
It is my personal rule of travel that minimum 10 days is required if I am going to any places that needs me to fly for more than 5 hours. Upon checking my company's calendar, September seems to be the best month although that was the time of season transition in Turkey, especially the Europe side of Turkey. On top of that, September is somehow critical because that was the time when all of us need to submit our annual performance appraisal but upon further analysis, I need to go as well as I do not know when the next opportunity will come. On top of that, by the time I bought the ticket, Malaysia Airlines still offering the direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul and I just need to top up around 2100 MYR when I redeemed 30, 000 of my Enrich points.
One of the souvenirs shop in Cavusin Koyu 2, Cappadocia, Turkey
It was about a month to go when we were being informed by Malaysia Airlines that the direct flight to Istanbul from Kuala Lumpur will be ceased; just 10 days before our planned departure. Hence, they allowed us to advise them on the best date to fly and which airport we preferred to transit. Upon discussion, we choose to transit at London Heathrow during departure although it seems like we are adding up 6 hours into our flying hours in total and at Doha for return flight. It is somehow a good experience in spite of my bad experience in London Heathrow Airport and it makes me take out London from my travel buckets, at least for 5 years.
Initially, we shall transit at London Heathrow Airport for only 4 hours prior to board the connecting flight to Istanbul via British Airways. However, due to some technical problem, we have to disembarked from that plane and wait for another few hours for other connecting flight. We were quite nervous as we have bought a flight from Istanbul to Kayseri via Turkish Airlines since we planned to visit Cappadocia and spent about 3 days 2 nights there. And Alhamdulillah, everything went well. Just for your information, we have to walks for almost 20 minutes from Istanbul International Arrival Hall to Istanbul Domestic Departure Hall although it is in the same building.

One of the cave hotels in Cavusin Koyu 2, Cappadocia, Turkey

We stayed at  Pandora Cave Hotel in Cavusin Koyu 2, almost one hour from Kayseri Airport and around 15 minutes from Goreme city center. Since we arrived Kayseri at almost 0200 hours, we slept inside the prayer room while waiting for Fajr. We only headed to our hotel at 0800 hours. Upon arrival, we just rest and have few hours sleep before toured around Cavusin area. This area basically offered a lot of cave hotels and you should never missed the opportunity to experience it!
To be continued~
Have a nice day :)

Being Rich: A Perspective

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

The hikes in living cost nowadays is quite alarming. Somehow, it is coincidentally happened that the numbers of crimes are increasing too; based on my personal reading. And there are few crimes being highligted whereby the reasons of doing the crimes that involved money were due to the need of maintaining living sustainability. And from these cases, it triggered my mind; how human are willing to do anything whenever they are in deep desperation.

Entrance to the Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
I am so in love with money. However, I am not materialistics. I am very sure about that. If I love money, and I am materialistics, why I always prefer night market items instead of high class and branded ones? Why I prefer to prepare my own meals instead of having it at prestigious restaurants? I can do that, but since I believe in the power of giving and moderation, I always look and learn on opportunities to make more money by not neglecting the syara'.

It was once upon a time when I were listening to Prof. Muhaya talk and I feel that the things she said was incredibly true. 

"We only can give what we have. We definitely cannot give what we do not have."

And this statement is not referring to physical belongings only. It can be love, respect, kindness and everything, you name it! And somehow, it change the way I think. In order to help more needy, I have to own the money. In order to gain respect, I have to respect others too. It is definitely true that what you give, you get back.

Blue Mosque, Sultanahment, Istanbul, Turkey
Based on my personal belief, in order to gain more money, we must first have at least the basic understanding of ways to manage the money that we have in the most prudent ways. How could we can gain more money if when we have less, we cannot manage it well as well? 

That is the main reason why I equipped myself with knowledge on wealth management before I started with wealth creation. And somehow, I still keep on learning these two subjects until today as life always required us to be dynamics and open to changes. 

But since we have limited time to contribute and enjoy our life, we have to master the way to manage our time in the most systematic way first. Do not procrastinate. Keep moving forward although we are still learning. After all, learning is a process. It never dies.

Internal view of the Blue Mosque, Sultanahment, Istanbul, Turkey.
One of the story captured my mind while drafting this post. 

A chicken feels envy to the cow because people love that cow more than chicken since the cow provides them with milk everyday although chicken give whole body to the people once they are slaughtered and becomes meat. And the cow gives a very simple answer to the chicken;

"I contribute to them while I am still alive, 
but you only can serve them once you are gone"

Have a nice day :)


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Travel Planning

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

I wished to share simple tips on travel planning.

We just have to simply answer based on 4 Ws and 1 H honestly; because only we are the one who truly understand ourselves.


Here we go~!

1. What?

What is my real intention that makes me want to travel?

What is my goals and aims while traveling?

What do I expect to learn while traveling?

What is the best mean of transportation to travel from one place to another?

Freemantle, Perth, Australia

2. Where?

Where should I go to travel?

Where can I find the most suitable accommodation based on budget that I have?

Where can I get extra info regarding this place?

3. When?

When is the most suitable time to go to this place?

When is the most suitable time for me to take the leave and got high possibility of leave being approved?

When shall I start to look for accommodation and flight/ transportation?

When is the best time to book?

Intramuros, Manila, Philippines

4. Who?

Who shall I bring to accompany me while traveling?

Who shall I contact to get more info regarding this package or this place?

Who have been traveled to this place before?

5. How?

How can I travel there with the most optimum way based on the resources (time and money) that I have?

How can I minimized the risks of being caught in scam while traveling?

Hindi Ocean, Padang, Indonesia

I sincerely hope these questions will help those who plan to embark their life adventure.

Travel while we still young.

Travel while we still can.

Because life is short, make it memorable. :)

Have a nice day :)

Wassalam :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Memory: How Adolescent Years Impact Our Life

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

This year marked my 10th year leaving my high school. In spite of being thankful that I finally can face all the obstacles while I were in my adolescent years, I have to be honest that I still can't forget. You do not have to know either I have forgiven those who have marked a big hole inside my heart which sometimes make me traumatize when suddenly all the bad memories suddeny appeared in my mind.

Being a factual person, I must know every reason why somebody or someone want to deal with me; either it is a good deal or a bad one. Until today, I still could not find even a reason why those unscrupulous seniors did the terrorizing towards me. And of course, there are few others as well. And because of that, I still could not think of the reasons why there are some teachers who have been receiving a lot of complaints about the ragged issues did not take any actions during that moment. And that is the reason I did marked few teachers that I will never miss to see and meet again. 

Inside A Famosa Fort, Malacca.
Dear teachers, I am so sorry. 

It is still hard for me to let go everything; although 10 years passed by. 

That is how you have impacted my emotion until today; with your ignorance.

And of course, it is not all teachers. And of course, only few seniors are as bad as that. There are many good seniors as compared to the bad ones. Can you imagine when you were appointed for many times to represent your school to participate in any competitions and those seniors ragged you because you did not bought any souvenirs for them? And they are not giving you even a single penny to buy that things? Not to mention my other batchmate cases, whereby some of them were being ragged just because they are beautiful and got some relationship with so-called these unscrupulous seniors' adopted brothers. Come on! 

View of Malacca city from The Taming Sari Tower.
Yes. My high school was as bad as that during my first 3 years. It was lucky that my high school is now headed by one of the most inspiring teachers that I ever had! May Allah bless her eternally. 

I have to write this because I need to let go. Sometimes, when I accidentally meet those unscrupulous seniors, my heart beats fast; although it is high probability that most of them cannot recognize me anymore. Thanks to Allah, my parents and my homeroom advisor, they are my strength, those who inspired me to not abuse anyone and not to do the same thing and any terrorization towards others; until today.

Life is definitely like a wheel. Sometimes, you are on top, but sometimes, otherwise happens. A do'a or prayer from a person being abused will be answered by The Almighty. When I met few of my good seniors who are the same batch as those unscrupulous ones, I can't avoid to say Thanks God when knowing about their bad fortune. I am a human, and of course to forgive people who had treat me badly, worse than my parents did (of course they will never do) really need quite a long time. Now I strongly believe that times taken to heal are definitely long. Incredibly long!

View of the traffic condition at Malacca city from The Taming Sari Tower.
It was happened that I met one of my male seniors who also have to move out from my high school because he was being ragged and terrorized by his seniors. I thought I am the only one who still cannot let things go freely; but he also did not. Yes, the memory of being abused definitely impact our life until today. 

Dear teachers all over the world, 

Please. Never ignore any complaints by your students who claimed that they are being abused. We suffer emotionally until today. Yes, people may perceive us as being strong and still cannot let things go, but they never know how much the strength that we need to have in order to keep the pain deep down inside our heart.

And like my case, one of these unscrupulous seniors will be joining my big family members. You should know what it means.

And I believe, Allah is testing my heart; how strong I am in order for me to forgive.

Have a nice day :)


The Critical First Year

Assalamua'laikum wbt & Good Day,

Hola peeps!

Another new year. Most of us will definitely have new aims. However, aims will be just aims; if there is no actions come with it.

I am in the midst of reading one of Robert Kiyosaki's books and guess what?

I have learned that between mission, leadership and team, mission is the most important.

Hence, it tells us that whatever it is, mission is the thing that keeps us going. Lets strengthen our personal mission.

Galata Tower, Istanbul, Turkey
After all, I would love to share few things regarding wealth management. How does our sacrifice in the first year upon being hired will definitely strengthen our personal financial state.

Lets me share the way I did it.

I have started my journey as an employee to one of Malaysia's big companies in September 2012. Since then, I never make any financial commitment. I just simply divide my earning based on my previous post regarding the way I demarcated my income. 

Only in August 2013, I started my mortgage. I bought a single storey corner house that cost me extra 80, 000 MYR from the suitable price of house that I shall bought in that particular time. For your information, the safest price of house that we shall buy is equivalent to total of five years of our gross monthly income. 

Bosphorus Strait; a view from Galata Tower.
This strait separates the Asean Turkey from the European Turkey.
During my first year of working, I save almost 20% of my earnings without fail. I will straight away transfer the money to any of my accounts that have hard access to it in the event of I need to withdraw the money. And Alhamdulillah, with the power of accumulations, I can smile after one year. Only after that, I saved less as compared to my first year due to mortgage commitment and I need to set away few percentage of my earning for traveling. By the way, I only start traveling abroad after working for 14 months :)

Basically, our first year of working is critical. We shall try our best to at least to have a saving that is equivalent to three months of our salary. And of course, despite of saving some of our earning, allocation for distribution shall not been jeopardized; as that is one of the sources for barakah.

However, shall we missed doing that during our first year of having a steady income, it is not too late to start now. The most important thing is to have a good discipline and be consistent. 

The view of normal roads in Istanbul, Turkey.
There are more and more financial advisors that are willing to share the best methods to save our money in more interesting ways nowadays :) Just subscribe to anyone of them at Facebook and just consistently follow the ways that we are more comfortable with.

Have a nice day :)