Life as a journey


This year, our columnist wants to embark on an adventure similar to a movie protagonist.

WELCOME, 2014! Whether this year will bring better results than the last, or prove to be more challenging, the New Year is always an opportunity to overcome any obstacles you may face, and hopefully achieve success. For those who follow the Chinese zodiac, 2014 is going to be the year of the Horse, and its positive nature is said to bring the will to cope with financial hardship, with the promise of good fortune as well as providing us with strong support systems in our friends and family.

I celebrated New Year’s eve, and my dad’s birthday, with my family at a Chinese restaurant. Although dinner was very simple, it is always meaningful to be able to spend the last evening of a year together with one’s nearest and dearest.

After dinner, I bought some sparkling ‘champagne’ (non-alcoholic), ice cream, macaroons, chocolates and popcorn and headed back to the showroom where some of my teammates were still hard at work finishing the designs for our Chinese New Year (CNY) collection. I have to say, it is tough to work on New Year’s eve when everybody is out partying and having a good time! My kids were also hanging out with us at the showroom, eagerly waiting to count down and watch all the fireworks in the Bangsar area. Luckily for us, Bangsar had a great view of the fireworks so there was no need to squeeze ourselves into the throngs of people downtown to get a glimpse.

When it reached 11.55pm, we got our ‘champagne’ and snacks ready for the big moment. We welcomed the turn of a new year with big smiles and good wishes to everyone. After the celebration though, it was back to work to continue with some final touches. It was actually very satisfying to spend the first few hours of the New Year finishing our work; we all got a good night’s sleep knowing we had been productive!

Sadly, for us parents, we don’t get to relax on New Year’s Day … once the buzz of 2014’s arrival has worn off; we have to immediately start preparing our checklist for school supplies for our kids. Max is very excited to be starting Year 3 this year, which I am very glad for. Unfortunately, this means a hectic day of making sure he has all his necessities ready for the big day. The long list of items needed range from water bottles (which luckily Max got as a present from Santa, all the way from Germany) to school bags (another present from Santa!) and everything in between … there is so much to be done!

Despite all of this, I still had a relaxing New Year’s Day, even managing to catch up with my best friends for a delicious vegetarian brunch. The kids, too, were happy to play with their friends before the new school year started.

The first dinner of the year was simple. I prepared a fruit and vegetable salad for dinner, and went out with Dirk for our first date of the year to watch a movie. We ended up watching The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty without knowing who the actors were or even the story line.

To my surprise, I really enjoyed the movie, as did Dirk. We felt that it was artistically shot, had a good story line and was well-illustrated. In essence, the movie follows Walter, a daydreamer, on his adventures, which are full of challenges and excitement. It was about seeing life as a journey, meeting with all sorts of people on one’s adventure, at different places, times and situations. The film had scenes ranging from countries such as Greenland, Iceland and the beautiful mountains of the Himalayas, and the scenery was just breath-taking.

It was almost like a sign. Right after the movie, Dirk asked me where I’d like to go this year! After watching the movie, I was ready to take on an adventure similar to Walter Mitty and was already brainstorming all the places I’d love to visit: India, Tibet, Bhutan, Istanbul, Canada … the list goes on and on!

In February, I will be travelling around Europe, but as that’s for work, it won’t quite be the same. However, after I’m free from work, we will sit down and plan where we would like to visit – this is already on my “to-do” list for 2014!

After watching the movie, I feel encouraged to do as Walter did, and just pick a location and hop onto a plane … but perhaps I should wait until the kids are slightly older, when they need less attention and I have more time.

Anyway, I’d like to wish everyone out there a fabulous year ahead, great health, and of course a prosperous year!

As Chinese New Year is coming up, don’t forget to check out my CNY collection at and Zalora. I also wish everyone the best in their CNY preparations. Gong xi, gong xi!

Award-winning fashion designer Melinda Looi tries to marry consumerism and materialism with environmental consciousness, and believes her greatest creations are her children.

Mel’s Place is a fortnightly column by Melinda Looi for The Star newspaper.

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