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NYC breakup or just separated?

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NYC breakup or just separated?

Posted on 11 July 2011 by Liza Mae V.

I am going through a breakup anxiety!

View from Battery Park in the Summer

I am breaking up with my long lost lover of New York City, or maybe just a separation?  I have no idea for I have to figure out a couple things in my life before that can happen.  As I come to terms with the reality that I have to come home to Toronto, it feels like my world is crumbling at its core.  This has been the longest I’ve ever been in New York City for my trips usually last for a weekend and the longest was one time during spring break in university where I stayed for a week.  Now that I’ve been here for a month, I have fell in love with the city harder than I ever have.

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How I Fell in Love with New York City

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How I Fell in Love with New York City

Posted on 15 June 2011 by Liza Mae V.

It was the summer of 1994 when I first travelled to New York City.  I was 11 years old and it was a summer road trip with my family where we went from Toronto-Ottawa-Vermont-New York City-Toronto.  It was quite a scenic trip and I loved the mountains in Vermont and remember going through a bridge that had a house structure covering it.  Then as we got closer to the city you can start to notice the congestion of vehicles and buildings starting to emerge.  I have visited New York City before this but I was even younger and didn’t really appreciate or care to notice my surroundings.  This time was quite different for I was pre-teens and can comprehend the greatness that was New York City.  This is not my first time writing about New York for I did a comparison 5 years ago, New York vs. Toronto, and looking back I shouldn’t of let anyone hold me from my dreams, another story, another day.

I Love New York - Liza Mae

I loved the busyness that filled the streets of New York City.  You can feel the energy in the air and the bright lights everywhere.  I remember hanging out with my cousin and her friend on the front building steps in Astoria, Queens, listening to music-filled cars blaring salsa or hip hop music or passerby’s talking amongst each other.  This is when I started people watching for amusement.  I watch the way people move, interact, dress, and try to analyze what kind of person they are.  I can do this for hours and New York City is an awesome city to do so.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

New York City isn’t for everyone but I love it. What makes me love it even more is the friends that I have met throughout the years. It is one of the main reasons I keep coming back for I love them and I have a couple of my favorite people here.  Every time I visit it seems I gain a new friendship through friends of friends or just randomly.  You are guaranteed to see a new face every time you step outside, so the amount of interactions is endless.

For some reason I still remember 2 songs that remind me of my first trip to New York City which I had to check release years to validate that my memory served me correct.  It was 1994 when TLC released CrazySexyCool and Aaliyah (RIP) released Aged Ain’t Nothing but a Number.  These are the two songs that bring back the memories of New York City at the age of 11.

TLC – Creep

Aaliyah – Back and Forth

My closest friends from Toronto keep telling me that New York City is where my heart belongs.  In 2006 I wrote about New York vs. Toronto and I still feel the same way 5 years later minus the ex.  I’m not too sure if I am convinced to move but I definitely do not eliminate it from my future. Anything is possible but for now I will continue to love New York City for all that it has to offer and I’ll try to figure out where and what my next steps are going to be.

Until then … just gonna roll with the punches.

– Liza Mae

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Concepcion, Ilo Ilo | Philippines

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Living the Simple Life | From the Philippines

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Liza Mae V.

Concepcion, Ilo Ilo | Philippines

View from my Window – Concepcion, Ilo Ilo

an edited excerpt from a journal entry I found when I was in the Philippines dated April 27, 2010.


Today I woke up at 6am for I slept earlier due to exhaustion of the previous day.  My cousin, Tonette, yelled to me to grab my camera.  I ran to the patio deck that looked out to the sea and mountains that surrounded it.  The breath of freshness refreshed my face and the smell of the salt water was like heaven.

Two months earlier I did not imagine this, sitting at my cubicle of my engineering job.  I am content and I know the future has many brighter days ahead.

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Homeless Serenity

Posted on 20 July 2010 by Liza Mae V.

I wrote this last week but never truly finished it but here it is …

Today I woke up and I felt sort of down because we have to move again.  I have lived in so many places in 2010 I feel like I have no home to just relax.  My timeline really started in 2009 where I’ve been moving place to place, today will be the 10th new place I will be moving into. I’ve been living out of my suitcase ever since I arrived in China in March 2010. This may be part of the reason why I am feeling kind of lost.

During the time I’ve lived in different places I’ve left a part of me … mentally and spiritually. Some days I find myself day dreaming of the places I’ve been and faces I’ve encountered. The little boy on the street still haunts me now and then, even typing it makes me teary eyed.

When I first arrived to Manila, Philippines, my Tita Heidi picked me up from the airport. She weaved in and out of chaotic traffic filled with different types of vehicles such as Jeepney’s, Tricycles, Motorcycles, and of course pedestrians. It was humid and hot and I was grateful to have been in an air conditioned car. We finally pulled up to a stop light and a little boy, age no older than 4, put his hands on the driver side window and peered through the tinted glass. He looked like he didn’t shower for weeks and he put on the saddest face I’ve seen. Though it may have been an act so that you would feel sorry and give money to him, it still left a bad taste in my mouth. He was about the age of my nephews and I would never imagine them ever begging for money on the streets nor have I seen that on the streets of Toronto.

Part of me is heart broken and only one person truly understands what I am going through … x 10. People understand but don’t really go through the emotions as I have.

(unfinished thoughts)

– Liza Mae

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Sea of Opportunities: Story of Expecting the Unexpected

Posted on 12 June 2010 by Liza Mae V.

Something happened to me when I was in Sipalay, Philippines which I thought was profound.   I went swimming in the beach and I decided to walk out in the middle of the sea.  I’m kind of paranoid of moving creatures or rocks I could step on especially since my cousin Karen had stepped on a sea urchin the day before.  The sand was brown so the clarity of the things below water were not visible.

I was really far from the shore but the water only reached my waist.  Then as I walked further I saw something bright white under water like a piece of paper.  So I stopped to take a closer look and stop the waves from moving around me.  The water is clear and I thought it was money.  I didn’t want to swim down for I was wearing my contacts and didn’t want to open my eyes in salt water.  So I called the girl with the ‘googles’, as she would pronounce it, to dive down to pick it up.  As she came up from under the water, she held a 100 pesos in her hand.  I was shocked for I thought it was impossible to find money in the middle of the sea.  She handed it over to me and I yelled over to the people on shore,

“I found 100 pesos in the water!”

In disbelief I swam to shore to show my findings to validate that it was real and it was.

This incident made me think, that anything is possible and  sometimes we just have to keep our eyes open for an opportunity can be waiting right in front of you.  In my case, I found money.  Maybe it is sign of fortune to come (crosses fingers) but whatever comes your way, expect the unexpected.

Now I carry the bill with me and it will remind me of the lesson I learned plus it smells like the sea.

– Liza Mae

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Simplicity of Life

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Simplicity of Life

Posted on 14 May 2010 by Liza Mae V.

I have climbed mountains, jumped islands, and swam in fresh water. I’ve never quite experienced the world like this and it is simply amazing.

Mambukal Falls

A few months ago I was drowning in numbers at my cubicle, counting minutes until 5pm, and worked myself to exhaustion.

Who would have thought my life would change so drastically?

I was drinking coffee from Timmies costing $1.50, now I am drinking fresh coconut juice or even better mango shakes for less than $0.50. Who wouldn’t want to trade their life for this life I am currently savoring?

Many seem to delude themselves into believing that they need millions to enjoy life but what I’ve been experiencing is that a dollar can stretch a long way. It is not about how much money you make, but how far you can make your money work for you.

What is the point of making so much money when you don’t know what you are going to use it for? Our societies need for more is deceptive and dubious. We already have everything we need, we just WANT more but ask yourself, why is there that need?

A simple life goes a long way. Try living it.

Liza Mae

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Day and Life: Manila

Posted on 23 April 2010 by Liza Mae V.

Today I woke up and decided to do a 30 minute Yoga session, then I went swimming with my niece. It was a nice changes since it is my first time swimming in 2010 and it was blistering hot outside. Got a little bit of a tan and burnt feet because the cement was so hot. Then I headed to lunch with my Tita Heidi and got my hair styled and mani & pedi which cost me 600 Pesos, 450 + 150 (tip) = $13 CAD. Wow the dollar is worth so much here. I just took a nap, longer than expected, I guess the swim and the heat was really draining. While I was out I noticed a big cultural difference with Philippines and China. People are really polite here and have never heard anyone hork, throw snot rockets, or spit. Also, people smile and are generally more cheery. I like when people are like that because it brings more positive karma in my life.

I am meeting my cousins later tonight for dinner and drinks, then I have to prepare for my flight tomorrow to Bacolod City. Then the adventure continues and I will be heading to Mambucal Resort on Sunday.

Until the next adventure,

Liza Mae

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Relationships Unravelled

Posted on 21 April 2010 by Liza Mae V.

I’ve been away from Toronto for a month now and I’m not really missing it. I thought I had many friends but through this process I realize I have many more acquaintances. I made everyone aware that I was going away and only a few have actually tried to keep in contact with me. So you ask why I didn’t keep in contact with them? I only kept in contact with those who responded to my mass emails or have written me through different IMs. It sound selfish of me but I have been quite selfless for so long and put a lot of time into those relationships that I subconsciously said, now it is your turn to give back in this relationship. I mean, someone can only give as much as they can until they break. I am broken.

It is not even that I am unreachable because if someone really wants to contact me, I have left so many means of communication open. I can’t really accept apologies at this point because it is what it is. Someone is only as busy as they perceive, you can always make time. It is just the matter of if you WANT to make the time. I was very surprised that one of my ex-coworkers still included me in her forwards list. Even though that is silly, she still had me in her mind when creating the email.

I am glad I had the opportunity to do what I am doing and do not have any doubts about my decision. There is more to life than what I was living. Now that I look back I realize I was not truly living, I was amongst the living dead.

Tomorrow morning I am heading to a farm that has cute little puppies and of course fruits and vegetables.

My adventure continues …

– Liza Mae

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Christmas Set … Then off on a jetplane

Posted on 23 December 2005 by Liza Mae V.

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About Liza Mae

I am a twenty-somethings female photographer in search of love, the meaning of life, and adventure. I am passionate about anything photography from the snap to the click.


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