Reflections of 2014


I feel like I say this every year, but gosh, where hell did the year go?! Well, let's check in with my 2014 Resolutions:

2014 Resolutions

1.) Work on my Korean - especially my reading skillz. To that goal - finish 2 Talk to Me in Korean workbooks. And 1 comic book series in Korean :) Sort of, no workbooks, but I'm halfway through Attack on Titan comic series, which (to me) was so much harder than I thought it'd be! My vocab is worse than I thought I guess...

2.) Memorize 180 Chinese characters. Or take at least 1 Mandarin class after I get back to the US. my defense I haven't been home long. But, I also stopped studying since I got to the US, which is weird because I have so much more time now. *sigh*

3.) Work on my Spanish by finishing all the lessons on Duolingo. *sigh* 20 more to go.

4.) Put up my portfolio website. Check! Thank god. Not sure if it'll come to any use, but I'm glad I got this done.

5.) 1 video a month. Damn it. I only did 2 months of 12 -_-;;

6.) Outline my book. Sort of. I wrote 3 outlines and was about 20 pages into the first draft based on the latest outline. I was ticking along okay until July, when I hit a writer's block AGAIN. This is the 4th time that I've gotten stuck on the same spot and right now, I'm basically back at square one.   Over the years I've gotten better at developing characters, but to this damn day I struggle immensely with fleshing out the world these people inhabit. As a teen, I was into the whole fantasy, Tolkien-esque style world. However, as I've gotten older, my tastes have leaned more sci-fi. I know a better writer could figure out how to create a world that is distinctly its own that has both elements of sci-fi and fantasy, but right now, everything I write reads like sci-fi characters living in a fantasy world. They don't blend seamlessly. I feel like I'm writing two stories sometimes and it just doesn't feel authentic. Anyway, I'm back to trying to outlining again ^^ god willing, I'll finish this book before I'm 50...

Hmm, overall I didn't accomplish much on Resolutions list...did pretty shitty actually aha.  But I can't say this year was a waste either; a lot of my accomplishments this year were internal I think. So, what did I accomplish this year?

2014 Accomplishments & Reflections

1.) Crossed off a bucket list item by living abroad for a year! It was strange living in Korea, to live in a place where I look like everyone else. I've only experienced racism a tiny handful of times in my life, overall, I've lived a relatively sheltered life. Yet even so, there was a peculiar, unnamable thrill of being able to lose myself in a crowd and to see nothing but a a sea of black hair around me. I have a rebellious streak, given the choice I'll go against the grain and have been an outcast far more often than I've fit in. Yet there was a curious seductiveness to being one of many, a odd sense of belonging. The uncomfortable thought, "So, is this what it's like being part of the majority?" crossed my mind more than once.

In any case, living abroad has taught me so much about myself and a country that I have always been a part of by heritage, but knew so little about. It was crazy, fun, difficult, and tiring journey, but I'd do it again.

2.) Saw a bit of the world. Went to China, Japan, Macau, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and North Korea.

Traveling made me realize how no matter where you go, people are all the same.  Everyone is wrapped up in their own struggle to survive and at the end of the day, just want respect, a little kindness, a full belly, and soft pillow to rest their head. There were some times I couldn't stand being a tourist and despised how people were so shameless about wanting to take advantage of me because I was solo traveling female. After getting scammed & mugged in Cambodia, I was ready to blow that joint and never look back. But then I met the world's kindest tuktuk driver and he reminded me that Cambodia is just like any other place in the world - half the people are assholes AND the other half are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet.

The best tuktuk driver in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
If you're visiting Phnom Penh and want a reliable, honest tuktuk driver,
contact me via Twitter/email/comment, I can give you his local phone number.

Everyone is just...people.  It's so easy to slip into stereotypes, to just generalize a whole country by your own personal experiences, but you can't. The moment you do, you lose the ability to see the all the goodness in the world, though sometimes it is hard to see.

3.) I realized that I am so incredibly lucky. By mere luck of the draw I was born in a country where I was able to get an education, do as I please, and have parents who could support my interests. Somewhere along the way, I forgot that not everybody has access to a good education, freedom, and financial security. Those who get these things are the privileged few. I am one of those privileged few. I did nothing to earn the privilege, I just got it by random chance, and honestly, I squandered most of it.

4.) I can count on myself to get out of tough scrapes. 2014 was when I discovered my inner-resilience. A year ago, I never imagined I could bike 30 miles in pouring rain, squeak out of North Korea on a fake airline ticket (very long story), or have my dignity survive spewing undercooked duck meat (from both ends) while carrying buckets of water to flush the manual toilet (and ultimately clogging it). I faced many fears this year and now I know that no matter what situation I'm in, I can make it through to the end.

So, okey doke! What shall I work on in 2015?  This year I really want to focus on living the kind of lifestyle I see myself living for the rest of my life. Based on the quote above:

1.) Hobby that makes you money: Move away from project management roles to more research/analytical positions.
  • My next position should be research based and require creative thinking on a daily basis, ideally outside the field of Marketing.
2.) Hobby that keeps you fit:
  • Go on 2 dives this year.
  • Try Bikram yoga at least once.
  • Start Pilates classes again after I move. Ideally, at least 3x/week.
3.) Hobby that lets me be creative:
  • Create at least one "creative" piece of work a month, be it a YT video, a blog post, a drawing, or 1 full chapter of my book.
4.) Go to 2 new countries I've never been to before.
  • Thinking of Indonesia and Greenland, but we'll see. I have a feelings this one will be the easiest one to accomplish kk :)
  • Plan Family's Costa Rica trip.

Hm, this turned out to be a much longer post than I thought it'd be.

What are your New Year Resolutions?

Happy New Year!


  1. Your adventures abroad sound even more interesting than what your posts here and on Instagram made them look like O_o. I'm glad you made it out of them! And I don't really do resolutions per se, but I think I'm going to continue with the goal of mini-improvements to my apartment. I'm slowly but surely making it look more like me but I've caught the DIY bug and there a few more projects I want to try!

    1. aaha thanks! At the time, I was just appalled how I constantly was getting myself into trouble, but I guess looking back now, I see it was all part of the adventure ^^ Also I didn't have a phone for a 3-4 months so sadly I couldn't post gorgeous travel selfies, but I looked like a drowned rat most of the time so I guess that was for the best ^_^

      Ooo nice! I hope you post some of your before & after DIYs of your place :) To be honest I'm not even sure if having New Years resolutions helps me accomplish any goals. I mostly like doing them because I like reading my old posts and seeing what kind of stuff were on my mind at the time xD

  2. I've really not caught up on your latest posts and your life. Last big life event I remember was that you were living abroad... and now you're back!

    I really like the goals that you've set out for yourself--at least how they're organized. I have to add as a side note, I'd love to see Sci Fi characters living in a fantasy world. I loved fantasy as a kid and now that I'm a bit older, I'm more into sci fi. It's the same as you, but seeing them blended would be a really cool story.

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