Third Blogversary!

Let’s talk about blogging for 3 years, what I’ve learned and take a trip down memory lane today.

Hi! Today is a milestone post. I made this very blog on the 7th of February in 2016 and published my first blog post the next day(Click here to read it!) which means I have now completed 3 years(on and off) blogging! Happy 3rd blogversary, Musings Of A Whimsical Soul and all you wonderful people who have given a young girl’s thoughts and opinions value here!

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In 3 years, the kind and content of the blog posts have changed and grown, much as I have. I made this blog when I was almost 17 and now I’m almost 20.  These have been very transformative years for me as a person and I feel quite fortunate to see my thoughts and their growth through the blog. In these 3 years, I became an adult(Read my post about my thoughts on that here!), I graduated from school (Read my post about that here!), I started college (Read my first post after starting college here!  ) and now I’ll be finishing with my teenage and starting my twenties. I am so thankful that I have all these milestones recorded on this blog. I find it to be the most wonderful thing and I love rereading the posts and cringing(a little) at little 16-year-old me.

3 years ago, I received just the most insane amount of love from this community when I joined it so much so that I ended up with 100 followers in one month! How crazy is that! Today, I’m at almost 1000 which completely blow my mind because just the fact that 1000 people care about what I have to say is HUGE and so completely wild.

I haven’t been the most regular around here because like I said, these are some of the biggest years of my life. When life got too hectic, the blog took a backseat. I wish it didn’t but I’m only human. Still, I can say I have 3 years of experience and there’s a lot I’ve learned and that might be helpful for new bloggers. I don’t want to be to sound too preachy but still, I’ve got three main tips that might be helpful to new bloggers or maybe even old ones and would love to hear some of yours. God knows I’m only an amateur here.

  • Be regular with your writing and posting

That is rich coming from me, i know, but I will tell you this. Regularity, having a posting and writing schedule will not only help you stay productive but also keep your readers engaged. You can stick to what works for you, I(try to) stick with a once a week schedule. You can choose twice, thrice a week or maybe even once a month. It will bring an organisation that will be so helpful to your blog for yourself and the readers.

  • Be careful to save your drafts 

This one comes from a painful,painful experience. I wrote an entire post on the Leaning Tower of Pisa for my Visting World Wonders series ( Click here for the last post of the series! and here for the first!) and then by chance, my browser refreshed,the draft hadn’t been saved and I lost all the pictures, the writing, everything. I was devastated and I am pretty sure I cried over it. (And as you might have noticed, I still haven’t got around to making that post again. This was in September 2018.) So, learn from my mistakes and always ALWAYS save your drafts.

  • Read, read and read!

WordPress has many wonderful blogs with many different kinds of content in them. Find your taste, your niche and read as much as possible. This goes for all writing, reading is the best thing you can do for your writing!

In conclusion, thank you for being so amazing to me for the last 3 years. It has been a blast. If the last three years are anything to go by, I cannot wait to see where the next 3 years will take us. To the next three!

THIS POST’S QUESTION: When did you start blogging? Do you have any tips from what you’ve learnt over your time blogging?  Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

The Best Universal Studios Ever!

Lets talk about Universal Studios,Singapore and my day there,today.

I visited Singapore and Malaysia with my family this summer and can officially state how much I’m in love with these beautifully amazing places.The next few posts will be about my vacation and things I saw during the vacation that were unique and something I’d never seen before. This one,I dedicate to my favorite part of the vacation,the day we spent at Universal Studios,Sentosa Gateway,Singapore.

I’ve talked about my love for new experiences,adventure and movies before and Universal Studios,being the coming together of all three,was something I was anticipating going to with unmasked excitement.And,it ended up living up to the anticipation,expectations and was much more than I could have imagined.

Universal Studios is a theme adventure park in many places across the world that takes you to the world of movies, fantasy  and things beyond real life. Contrary to popular belief, Universal Studios is not only a place where children or teenagers can enjoy. Moreover, I felt like everyone, whatever age they may be will find something at Universal catering to their interests and enjoyment. We also found people from all parts of the world and of all ages there, enjoying themselves, only concreting this belief.

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The entrance :Hollywood.

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Here is my list of the top 10 rides and attractions that I feel everyone can enjoy and shouldn’t miss if they go to Universal Studios :-

  1. Transformers:The Ride at Sci-fi City.(This is the best.Repeat it,if you can afford to.)

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    The Transformers characters we met right ousdie the ride.
  2. Rapids Adventure at Jurassic Park.
  3. Puss In Boots Giant Journey at Far Far Away.DSC_0647

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    Welcome to Far Far Away.
  4. Waterworld,the water show at Waterworld.
  5. Revenge Of The Mummy at Ancient Egypt.(This is a high-speed indoor rollercoaster with many sudden drops,twists and turns.Just a disclaimer.)

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    Entrance to Ancient Egypt.
  6. Lights!Camera!Action! at New York.(Hosted by Steven Spielberg.)
  7. A Crate Adventure at Madagascar.
  8. Canopy Flyer at the Lost World.
  9. Battlestar Galactica:Human(This and the next are a pair of high-speed outdoor dueling rollercoasters with drops,turns that turn you upside down at many instances.Again,a disclaimer.)
  10. Battlestar Galactica:Cylon at Sci-Fi City.

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    The rollercoasters at war.

Apart from these,there are many live shows,character meet and greets and themed food services to avail from.The atmosphere at Universal Studies is electric and it feels like a completely different world where you forget all your worries and only enjoy yourself to the fullest.For me,the amount of fun I had at Universal is hard to put in words but the adrenaline rush,the sheer amount of joy and happiness you feel there,the constant ever helping smiles on the faces  of the ride operators and other staff and  just the amount of love I felt for the place are forever treasured and stowed away somewhere in my heart.

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The Live Show outside Mel’s Drive In.

 

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Far Far Away:An accurate representation of what I felt like at Universal Studios.

 

To make my adoration of the place obvious, in conclusion,I will say only two things. I felt so sad while leaving because it felt like stepping out of the best dream I’ve ever had. I also feel like my version of heaven is probably a Universal Studios. You get the idea.

All pictures have been clicked by me.

Learning From Change.

Lets talk about my first day in school(twice).

I have changed schools twice during my total schooling. Once, in 9th grade, again in 11th  grade, because I moved. These two changes, I feel have greatly defined me as a person and have been great learning experiences. The first time around, it was mostly difficult because I’d left a school I’d been in for nearly a decade and was stepping out of my comfort zone. I’d love to be able to tell you that I fit in immediately and I felt like I had been there forever and it was exactly like the movies but the truth this, that was definitely not the case.

The first day of school,I only spoke with the other new girl, because of the fact that we were both new and had that binding us together. It felt like being in some completely foreign place, someone else’s school , certainly not mine. Slowly, as the days passed I found myself getting more and more attached to my new school.It was slow and gradual and certainly taught me a lot. The two major  things I learnt, which are, in my humble opinion,two great life lessons were :-

  • Say Hello first.

Here’s the thing. I was a generally shy person. I am quite an extrovert, but only if you know me. For me, saying hello first was nightmarish. I could be wishing to speak with you but wouldn’t because of the fact that I’m simply too shy to approach you first. This, was the reason my first few days in a new school were difficult. Then, one day, I decided to simply overcome my shyness and say hi first. And that is the story of how I’ve met some o my greatest friends. I learnt my lesson which was :Do not wait for someone else to talk to you first, because, chances are, they’re waiting for you to do the same.

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  • Do not change who you are for anyone or anything.

As someone, in a new school, looking to gain friends and of course, popularity, I will admit to having attempted to at least alter the way I am for the purpose of finding friends and to get people to notice me. It worked a bit, I had a group of people to call friends per se, but I really wasn’t friends with them. Once I let go of my inhibitions and decided that I simply cannot be a mere act anymore, I felt happier. I soon found people who’ll love me for exactly who I was and not who I presented myself to be, and they are now the best people I know.

With these two things learnt and many more over the two wonderful years at that school, I am proud to say, I was heartbroken to leave it. I was so attached and felt like I belonged to this place and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. I cried,I was saddened, yet I was happy with where I’d come over the two years, how much the school had given me and how much I’d grown in character.

My second school, is a completely different story altogether because armed with experience and my lessons, it was much  much easier. I found friends easily and could strike the balance at where I was going to be for the two years here. It went great and has been my best example of applying what you learn in life and I’m glad I got to at such a young age. I also have the added benefit of simply getting to know so many people, places and things and having friends all around. It feels like a great blessing in disguise, now and a great fortune.

 

School Camp!

Lets talk about winning, losing and my school camp today.

Yesterday , I came back from my school’s camp. These few days were filled with dancing, singing, new experiences, wins, losses ,games, crazy late night fun, swimming, travel, dress up, oration, great food, a beautiful location, life lessons and so much more. Today, though we’re only talking about a few of the many things that I did and that happened over the course of these days that have actually changed me, some way or the other.

Over the course of the camp, I’ve learnt to be thankful, to tell people when I find something about them good, talk to various kinds of people, gained significant insight into my own gender(This is an achievement for a girl who has been borderline tomboyish all her life), sang solo for the first time(It went disastrously and I was practically shaking because it was suddenly sprung on me but made a good experience nonetheless),won a few prizes, lost some competitions, won a major prize(Which I’ll talk about in detail for the rest of the post) and made so many new friends and acquaintances.(From my own school and others)

The aforementioned major prize was won in what has been a tradition in the school, something called a ‘Personality Pageant.’ It is a contest with many rounds including but not limited to, the first interview, an introduction round where you do a catwalk and can feel all model-like and  then introduce yourself to the judges and answer one common question, a talent round(Where I did a little impromptu jig) and a long gruelling one-on-one question answer round.

In the introduction round, our question was ” Where do you see yourself in the next 5-7 years and what have you done about it? “My answer was about how much I love writing, expressing myself, doing creative things and want to see myself somewhere in that field and as to what I’ve done for it, I talked about this blog. In my Q and A round I was mostly asked about the blog and writing and my round was (Or maybe so I felt) the longest. I’ve always been a whimsical(Aha!) person, so I was honest and quick and  would say what I actually wanted to say in all my answers with a smile and the judges actually stopped questioning me in between and had a 2 minute discussion before speaking with me again. They seemed quite happy and told me how glad they were to see how passionate I was about what I did and  even told me they look forward to my next blog post.

In the end, I was runner’s up among 800 girls from 12 schools. I won a lot of prizes for this,  one for a improv prop dance I’d done before, group prizes for the school and the overall Champions prize at the camp.(Yes, we did dance on the Champion song afterwards.) I was stunned to find that in all honesty, I was beyond elated at winning and didn’t care that I’d lost to one person, or lost any other competition(Like the solo singing) for the matter. I was happy, I had learnt a lot and the pageant was, for obvious reasons, my favourite part of the camp.

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The trophy!

I got a wonderful batch of memories to take home, life lessons and experiences the like of which I’ll probably never have again.Who, in the right mind would call this losing? What, to one person? What is one prize extra compared to all that I’ve gained?This is winning in its best form, winning at making the best of the life we’ve got and living it to the fullest. And that, all it takes to be a winner is for you to feel like one, is the best lesson I’ve learnt at camp.

The Best Rainbows Ever!

Lets talk about the time I saw two rainbows together and one of them was round.

Rainbows are, to put it in one word, fascinating. A break from the usual monotony of blue in the day and dark in the night, a whole spectrum of 7 colours  to observe, these days they’ve become a rather rare phenomenon. I have,in my life seen a total of 7 rainbows, three slightly visible ones,2 huge ones over the city and 2 together in the midst of snow capped hills and brown mountains,next to the sparkling blue waters of a lake and one of them was round. It is definitely the best one I’ve ever seen and currently also the most recent.

In the summer of last year, my family and I went to Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India for a trip. I saw many wondrous and exotic things there but today, I limit myself to the coloured wonders, the two rainbows. We went to Pengong Lake, the world’s highest saltwater lake situated at 14,000 ft. above the mean sea level and were going to spend the night there, at a camp. We went through an absolutely breathtaking road, covered and surrounded almost wholly with and by snow. Eventually, from the distance we saw Pengong Lake,its blue waters glittering in between the mountains, a jewel in the cold desert.

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The road to heaven.
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The view from the road at 17,000 ft. above mean sea level.
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The first glimpse of the lake.

 

Believed to be what remains of the Tethys sea today, this beautiful blue saltwater lake was extremely enchanting, a marvel for the human race, who’ve come so far and yet are nullifying their effects by a tenfold. We had fun on the lakeside, enjoyed the view and admired the water birds who made crow like sounds(I haven’t been able to find their names out) and retired to the camp. The next morning, we went to the lakeside again and saw, to our wonder, two rainbows in the sky. One was fainter and the other, around the sun, like a ring. It was absolutely picturesque. The water too, was a different shade of blue that it was last evening. In that moment, I knew that if heaven existed, it had to be right here, right now in this place that fills me up with so much peace and happiness in amounts I thought I wasn’t capable of feeling.

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The unnamed water birds.

 

I tried to capture the halo that is, the round rainbow (As I later found it is called) but couldn’t, due to the fact that I didn’t have the appropriate camera lenses. I read up on halos, much afterward and this is what they’re defined to be:”A halo, also known as a nimbus, ice bow or gloriole is an optical phenomenon produced by light interacting with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere, resulting in a wide variety of coloured or white rings, arcs or spots in the sky. Many halos are near the sun or moon but others can even occur elsewhere in the sky.”

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The fainter rainbow in the sky.
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One of my numerous attempts to capture the halo, in bits and pieces if I had to ,to take it back with me.
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Another attempt.
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The best possible capture, which doesn’t even begin to show the actual beauty of the halo.

I feel glad, blessed and so lucky to have been able to behold this wonder of nature, this specimen of, or testament to its beauty, this captivating,alluring view. I would if given a chance, in a heartbeat go right back to Pengong Lake, the land of beauty and grace, where the gods descend and nature is having a celebration of life itself.