A new year gives a chance for us to start fresh, to close the book and begin with a new one. This year however has been different. I was not particularly keen on setting goals I certainly knew I wouldn't be able to achieve. So I decided to simply let it go. To decide as we go along where the tides of life bring me. Be more realistic of things I can achieve. Since twenty-seventeen had been utterly difficult and depressing, I thought nothing more could topple me over but boy, I was wrong. There is nothing in life that gets easier as we go along. We simply get stronger and our breaking point can only get lifted higher. That's what they say and that's what life has thus far taught me. I haven't lived much but I've picked up a couple of things here and there - the usual don't trust anyone, you're all you've got, always double-check on your sources (I seriously think that my English teacher was trying to warn us on this even back then), integrity is everything, your greatest idea may not be a good idea after all but most importantly, learn to forgive yourself for not knowing what is so obvious in a hindsight but don't pity yourself enough to keep holding you back. Yeap, been there guys. I’ve been binge-watching Suits from Season 1 all over again after coming back from Cambodia and something Harvey taught me,
"When you're backed against the wall, break the god damn thing down."
To my fellow warriors fighting on a daily basis on this grand scheme called life. Here's to us.
Amidst preparing for finals, I could feel that my body and mind were slowly tearing itself apart with all the pressure I had to face this year so I thought it'd be a great idea to give myself a break before the year ends simply to just have a break. I am never the kind of person who'd give myself a proper break. As I was browsing through Vogue Korea, I came across a photo from The Garden of Morning Calm located near Gapyeong and that's when I knew I NEED to get out of the city. Instantly, I booked our accommodation at Club Inner Hotel which happened to be 40 minutes drive from the actual location we wanted to go but hey, we might as well take the chance to discover different parts of Gapyeong and Club Inner seemed to be the perfect place in the snow. We went to Petite France for a little photo session as soon as we arrive in Gapyeong, drove back to the hotel for a quick rest and drove back again to The Garden of Morning Calm which literally, enchanted us all. It was winter wonderland at its finest. Despite the cold, I didn't hate myself for it. It was simply that breathtaking. The next morning, we went to Nami Island, which was a first for me. Apparently, we got there in time and escaped the queue. We walked through the tall trees, ate hotteok in the cold while sitting by the firewoods.
평생 내 속에 간직하고 싶은 순간들, 좋아하는 소설을 가끔식 꺼내보듯이 꺼내보고 싶곤 해.
Moments I wish to cherish and relive all over again like flipping through the pages of my favorite novel.
We wanted to head for dakgalbi for lunch, a local speciality but decided for Thai instead. So that's how we ended the two days trip to Gapyeong- pad thai, som tam and thai iced tea right in the middle of Seoul.
I don't think I could have wished for anything better to end the year. Here's to another exciting chapter in twenty-eighteen.
I'm currently writing this from my parents' house in Malaysia after what felt like a trip that was never going to end in Japan. While it was not my first time visiting nippon, it was my first time exploring other parts of Japan aside from Tokyo. About two years after my last trip, going back only enhanced on what was great about Japan. Sunlight, clean streets, good food, great clothes and blue skies.
Tokyo has definitely won my heart as one of the best cities I've ever visited especially through its shopping options in Shinjuku which made me broke my own vacation budget (Sorry, mom). Nonetheless, other cities were equally enjoyable. After exploring Tokyo, we went to the Hida Province located in the Gifu Prefecture where I took one of the most breathtaking views ever in my life and also breathed in the freshest air I've had in awhile as we stayed at one of the traditional houses at Ogimachi Village- named as one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage. We then went to Nagoya where I discovered a heaven on earth- La Chic. Every floor of the mall offers an amazing range of clothes from both international and local designers and this is also where I got my first Acne Studio jeans.
We went to Kyoto and Osaka afterward where I found myself beat after more than a week of traveling. At this point, I realized that the only excitement you actually get from traveling is being able to escape from the routine that you're accustomed with. When it gets too long, this is when you begin to miss the comfort of your own bed. After two weeks, I came back to Seoul with an extra luggage and definitely with a heart fuller than before. I can't wait to share where I'm heading next but first, back to the usuals.
Till we meet again, Japan. Thank you for the memories.