Theme Layout

Boxed or Wide or Framed

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles

3/recent posts

Display Grid Slider

Grid Slider Styles

Display Trending Posts

Display Author Bio

Display Instagram Footer

Dark or Light Style



Slider Widget


Looking for something?

Powered by Blogger.

About Me

About Me
CrystalPhuong.net is a Personal Style & Travel Blog based in Singapore, written by Crystal Phuong. The blog was nominated FOUR times in Top 10 Best Fashion Blogs in the annual Singapore Blog Award from 2012- 2015, voted as one of the Best Lifestyle Blogs in Singapore in 2013 by Hotelclub.com, and Best Travel Blogs in 2016 by Foodpanda.com. Crystal hopes to connect and inspire young women to lead a healthy and happy life. Be confident, be positive, and be kind.


When 2020 started, we were all so excited about welcoming a new decade. Like many people, I had a long bucket list of what I'd like to do, where I'd like to go in 2020. Little did I know that flying back to Singapore from Vietnam in February was my last flight in 2020. That also means it's been 16 months since I last placed my footsteps on an airplane. It feels like forever ago. It's all because of the deadly virus called Covid-19! 

Missing my family so much! 

As I'm sitting in my comfortable home writing this blog entry, over 3millions people died of Covid in less than two years. I can't complain that I couldn't be home with my family to celebrate the last Lunar New Year or I couldn't go on a holiday. I'm blessed and still incredibly grateful that I still have a great job and perfect health. This pandemic made me realize how unpredictable and uncertain life is. You can still plan your life, but you need to be flexible and adaptable to changes when necessary. My 2021 resolution list got longer, with many items brought forward from 2020, which I don't know when I can cross them off. Now that the pandemic has the world on pause, it's a perfect time to take things slow, reflect, and focus on what's most important. I miss traveling. I'm sure you do too. When I looked back at all my beautiful travel photos, they instantly put a smile on my face. This post will be a long one, as I wanted to take you back to my 2020 memories. I wanted to reflect on how I lived my life through the global pandemic and how blessed I was to thrive through the world's most challenging time. 

So here we go!

January 2020, Stef & I were lucky enough to be able to welcome the New Year in one of the most romantic cities in the world, Rome. We had breakfast in Vatican City one day, threw a coin in the Trevi fountain the next. I'll save Rome stories for another entry. For now, here are some throwback photos from our fabulous trip. 

After Rome, I flew back to Vietnam to celebrate Lunar New Year with the family. I remember watching the news with dad about the virus happening in China. We thought this was just China's story until it spread out to other countries and things got serious pretty quickly. I came back to Singapore in Feb and didn't plan any more trips after that. I wanted to focus on my health, so I went for the whole body checkup, read a lot about Lasik surgery.  One of my 2020 resolutions is to focus on improving my health and wellness overall, and that's what I did. Four days before the Singapore government announced the lockdown on April 1st, I went to have my Lasik surgery done. You can read more about my Lasik surgery experience here and why I decided to do this before the lockdown started. The question is, why not? Looking back, I still think it was the bravest and best decision that I made in 2020.  

Before the pandemic, I was hardly home. Either I was traveling for holidays or work, or I was out with my friends during the weekends. I thought it would be difficult to be locked in the house for a few months. Somehow, I adjusted my lifestyle very quickly and got so used to staying at home. Even after the lockdown was over, I hardly went out. I enjoyed working from home more, taking my conference calls at home while having a cup of coffee when the morning sun lighted through the window. Working from home gave me the work-life balance that I didn't have before. I spent less time traveling on the road, more time getting things done, and most importantly, more time on my fitness routine, which I love. I set my workout routine at 6 pm every day after I finished working. 

Being in the lockdown for a month urged people to do things that they had never done before. Myself included. I had my hairstyle cut extremely short and I liked it. 

I never cared about plants before, but I started growing some herbs and plants at home. I was so motivated to redecorate my bedroom after 4 years of living in it. I know right? What's the odd! But Covid, everything could happen. 

This is how the room looked before. 

I changed the shoes closet once, but didn't quite like the room still. The high beam ceiling really bothered me and I used to have so many nightmares. Some dreams were so strange and scary that I woke up crying and my heart beat so fast.  

Then, I started reading about fengshui in the the house, measuring every corner in my bedroom, searching for furnitures, and redesigning the whole room. This is how the room looked like during the day and the night after a month of measuring, rearranging, and furniture shopping. Surprisingly, I have no crazy nightmare ever since. How amazing! 

I was so pleased with how the room turned out that I seriously consider learning more about home decoration & interior design. 

During the lockdown, we also started to appreciate our relationship, health,  freedom, and many other things that we took for granted. I called my family almost every day to make sure they know that I'm well and safe. After the lockdown, I had many long-overdue catch-up lunches and dinners with friends. 

I even had the most memorable birthday party on a yacht, organized by my best friend, a birthday staycation at the most luxurious hotel in Singapore, many cakes to eat, and candles to blow that birthday week. 

Yet, on the same day, thousands of people around the world were dying of Covid. Thinking of it made me sad but also made me realize how fortunate I am. That is why I'm constantly reminding myself not to take anything of that for granted and always offer a helping hand whenever I can.   

When Stef told me that she needed help with her endometriosis surgery, my first instinct is "Yes". Yes, I'd help her in whatever way I could physically, emotionally, even financially. Yes, I would be her appointed guardian to give consent to the proposed treatment if she was unable to handle her affairs in critical condition. Yes, I wanted to be the first person she'd see when she woke up after her surgery. Yes, I wanted to stay in the hospital the entire time until the doctor let her go home. Everything sounded so easy until I was at the hospital ward. The reality kicked in. As soon as we said Goodbye and the nurse took her away from me, I felt so heavy and terrified. I was praying that no one called my phone that day and asked, "Are you the guardian?" or "I had to give consent that impacts someone's life." The nurse said, "the surgery usually takes 3 hours approximately," but 5 hours later, she was still in the Operating theatre. My brain started going down to the "negative" lane with all the scary thoughts. No matter how strong I am, I can never handle the emotion when someone I care about gets hurt. And I cried in the waiting lounge for no particular reason. It was an overwhelming and exhausting day and week. 

Looking back now, I'm so proud of Stef for doing this surgery and willing to share her experience with the world so she can create more awareness about endometriosis. You can read more about her story via this link here

Although we didn't manage to travel to other countries as planned, our year-end holiday last year became the most memorable one as Stef's surgery was just one week before Christmas (December 17th). For the rest of the weeks, we spent time at home for her recovery. I had a couple of dinners towards the end of the year with some other friends. It was a quiet and unusual New Year's Eve with no midnight countdown. But we still had some fun with new friends in a bar, then rang in the New Year with champagne, laughter, and wish at my house until late. 

2020 didn't turn out to be a great start of the a new decade like what we all hoped for, but at least, it reminded us of many things we took for granted, many valuable lessons that we needed to learn and relearn.There will still be many uncertainties in the year ahead. But as long as you are content, healthy, and surrounded by good friends, you are good. 

Crystal Phuong
Share This Post :

You Might Also Like

[name=Crystal Phuong] [img=https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2rX6quipNhI/XFfam4j35qI/AAAAAAAADZ0/AFDn5ZbYgqYT6sRbDXwMStFHz5PPDHFMgCK4BGAYYCw/w345-h245-c/Crystal-Phuong] [description=Singapore Travel & Lifestyle Blogger, hoping to connect and inspire young women to lead a healthy and happy life] (facebook=https://facebook.com/crystalphuong) (twitter=https://twitter.com/ncrystalicious) (instagram=https://instagram.com/crystalphuong)