How do you fall in love with a place?
How do you decide you just want to leave everything behind and begin again?
In somewhere new, somewhere exciting, somewhere like… Aspen.
How do you fall in love with a place?
How do you decide you just want to leave everything behind and begin again?
In somewhere new, somewhere exciting, somewhere like… Aspen.
I am one of those people who’s slightly a little bit obsessed with old castles. It’s not the grandeur or the lifestyle, but more of the history and mystery of huge places that served as a home for some people that’s just so attractive to me.
Castles are dark, outdated, dingy, sometimes scary, but for some reason, something about it draws me in. I am in love with them! I love watching old movies set in castles, or the new ones that feature them. I’ve always wanted to live in one (not as a royal, but just a regular person living in a really old, really big house.)
Because everybody in my family has a weird work schedule, we knew that spending the holidays together would be difficult. So we planned to see each other earlier to spend our very own “Christmas” and “New Year.”
The thought of traveling always puts me in a good mood.
This December, we flew to San Francisco and visited a little castle-slash-vineyard in Napa Valley.
The drive up to Castello di Amorosa was such a sight. I’ve never seen this much greenery in Vegas, where I currently live. It made me sad for a little bit, but I quickly moved on as soon as I saw the castle.
I don’t understand what it is about a dark place that could make me so happy, but I just let myself bask in the joy it gave me. I was slightly disappointed the vineyard looked a little empty, I wasn’t sure if we arrived before harvest season or just after harvest time, so I just went ahead and distracted myself with walking around inside.
Also, wine tasting, because why not?
Maybe it’s because I’m weak, or just because I’m Asian and get embarassingly tomato-red when I’m a little drunk, that I prefer getting buzzed as slow as possible. I may know my way around tequilas and gins, but for wines, the sweets will always be my go-to.
The courtyard was pretty, the corridors were charming. I may have secretly pretended to be a princess prancing around the hallways the whole time we were there. I wish they had an AirBnb or bed-and-breakfast sort of setting because I would definitely book a week’s stay to just day drink and run away from work.
Castles and Wines are the perfect combo!
I wanted to do a “Holiday Blog Series” and get started with Thanksgiving, but being a retail worker made that well over impossible. After the stress and the long extra hours I had to stay during the week leading up to Thanksgiving and Black Friday, I’ve finally found some down time to get started.
What better day to start than December 1st? The first day of Christmas month, which is actually my absolute favorite holiday! Christmas just always seems to make me happy no matter what sort of emotional state I’m currently in. As of the moment, that state would be: lost and confused.
But hey! It’s starting to get pretty chilly, and Christmas music is playing everywhere, so today would be the best day to start feeling, well, festive!
I mean, I guess I wasn’t really so festive today seeing as I, on my last off for the week, spent the day cleaning the kitchen, doing the laundry, rearranging my room furniture, and setting up my 401k plan, all while listening to the audio book of “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Basically, my idea of a fun December morning meant being a fully-fledged adult, coupled with having an argument with my pet, who thought it was a great idea to steal my make-up brush and chew it. So much for festive.
Although, aside from my boring and mundane day of chores, I did accomplish something holiday-related today. I got started with buying Christmas presents! All online of course, so I didn’t have to leave my bed for that task, I did however, berate myself for spending so much money that I honestly don’t have. Thank you credit cards and the gift of paying later!
Maybe next time I’ll write about “How to save money when buying presents.”
When I’ve finally mastered that art myself.
But for now, I’m just happy to share that I’ve got that part of Christmas sorted out, and I feel pretty proud that I’m not one of those last-minute Christmas shoppers who end up getting the most impersonal gift and that I actually put so much thought in the gifts that I give! Since it’s twenty-four days away, I urge you to get started now too!!
Aside from that, I was also able to make a “To Do List” today! What’s so special about a list of things to do anyway?
You see, what I do is give myself goals to finish for certain periods of time and having those goals seen written down in my own handwriting actually inspires me to start doing them. It’s like a grocery list, or a gift list. Once you check through everything, you’ll feel very accomplished. If it’s an attainable list, then it’s pretty easy to get started with. Also, it would be a great help for my state of loss and confusion.
I guess, I would advise anyone who seem unsure of what the next step is, to start making these lists. Just clear your mind enough to finish one, and slowly start checking off on the things you wrote down. That way, you’ll find yourself a purpose, and will actually be able to get things on that list done.
Maybe I’ll add “Finish buying Christmas gifts” on that list! It will definitely make my Holidays a breeze.
Happy December everyone!
Turning 22 in 2015 probably makes me one of those whom you would call a “millennial.” I can’t even begin to understand what that word means, let alone describe it. I guess in the age of social media and advancing technology, my generation is, for lack of a better word, obsessed with trivial things such as telling the world what’s on our minds, or turning our faces into dogs.
We (yes, I am including myself) love the whole 140-character sentences, the flat-laying, and the follows and the likes. Weird, I know. The only thing that I probably still have issues about would be the whole taking-a-million-photos-of-food-before-eating, which my friends and sisters have done enough of when eating out with me.
Sometimes, it gets a little too overwhelming that you would just like to cut yourself away from everything and just be free from all of it.
I’ve had my fair share of disconnecting and just going places without the thought of having to post something for the benefit of my newsfeed. But honestly, documentation is not so bad, especially if the mere purpose of it is to just give yourself memories to look back on.
I got this idea from one of my good friends who took a video every single day for a year and showed it to me. Its a 365-second video of the most random things but I saw how much it meant to her to see her past year in a short presentation.
I wanted to do it too but I didn’t really know when to start, or what I wanted to do with it. Last year I downloaded the app called One-Second-Everyday and just completely fell in love with it. It’s a collection of videos, pictures, and memories if every single day ever since I turned 22. It probably won’t make sense to every single person, but it’s good to share it with people I’ve spent time with this past year.
I’m pretty sure I won’t ever do it again. It’s tedious, annoying and sometimes I forget to do it and just settle with a before to bed clip, but now that I’m done, it feels great looking back at every day that happened, and I had a lot of fun doing it!
Thank you to every single person who helped me fill this little project! Hello 23!!❤️
This year has been full of ups and downs, and not just in a typical way of describing years in general, but an actual experience of highs and lows a person could endure in a span of 360-something days.
On the first day of 2015 I found myself crying my eyes out, and who knows? Maybe I might do the same as it ends, although I sure hope not to.
It has been a year full of travel, opportunity, and new things defined by the experiences life decided to throw at me, and instead of hanging on to the bad, I am choosing to draw more attention to the good. It has definitely been a roller coaster, and though there also maybe a lot of dull moments in between, there are some moments that go beyond just being mundane experiences, these experiences are the definite highlights of my 2015:
My lasts with my friends (January) – Cebu City will forever have a huge part in my heart and my life. Although I’ve only lived there for a few months, it is the place where I first became independent, and opened myself to a lot of different possibilities and opportunities. Even if my experiences in that city happened in the better part of the previous year, I’m still counting 2015, because January was the month I came back there, and said my goodbyes.
For my last few days in the Philippines, I decided to spend quality time with all of my best friends together and separately. I was always in the beach (the place I would miss the most) with the people I trust the most.
Moving to America (February) – It took a while before the thought of moving to another country finally sunk in. In a way, I think it still hasn’t. That was probably the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make in my entire life, a decision which, wasn’t exactly all up to me. Everything up to this point was always somebody else’s plan that I just decided to ride along with. Maybe it was the right time, maybe there was a reason behind it, whatever it is, I hope eventually it’s a choice that I would never have regrets with.
Traveling to LA (April) – I know I’ve always traveled on my own and with my friends back home, but this was actually my first time in this country.. I had a weird experience on the bus because a crazy woman sat next to me and talked my ear off, but despite that, the short trip with Rose Ann was extremely fun, and we got to meet some of our high school friends in California so it was a bit of a mini reunion as well.
Getting a job (June) – I also wrote a blog about the trials of job hunting and waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for results. The first day of the month of June was also the first day of my first job in the States, it was a multitude of firsts that I was very thankful for, and I feel lucky to meet a lot of new awesome people.
My 22nd Birthday (August) – When you think of a birthday age higher than 20, and celebrating it in none other than Las Vegas, then you’d probably think a night pretty similar to “The Hangover.” What I did was the polar opposite of just that: a simple pizza dinner with my family, and I enjoyed it so much. Also, (forgive me for fan-girling) one of my best friends got Alden Richards to greet me.
My younger sister is finally here! (October) – There’s a lot of pros and cons to this, but at least now I don’t get to be all alone, and I have someone to boss around. Plus, we also got to go around LA when we picked her up from the airport.
Visiting Friends – My favorite thing about being Filipino is the fact that we are literally everywhere, so when you are in another city, country or continent, all you have to do is look up the most common Filipino spot, ask around, and someone is definitely bound to know your friend’s cousin’s mother’s neighbor somewhere. So when I have friends coming to this city, I’d gladly go and spend time with them.
(May) My buddy since grade school Beanca came to visit and spent ten days of her vacation with me. It was fun because I was still new here, so we were both getting lost and wandering the city together. Plus, we both got to see Avicii, and I met Caspar Lee!
Louise & Nikka came to visit and me and Rose Ann went around the city with them.
(June) Met up with a bunch of old and new friends and spent a super fun night with them.
(July) On two separate occasions, one of my good friends from Bacolod, Joeliah came to spend weekends in my city, and we just had a bunch of adventures, and funny stories to tell.
(August) Manang Redj, my co-volunteer at the Negros Museum back in Bacolod, came to visit my city with her husband, and we just spent the whole day, talking, drinking, catching up, having lots of fun, and complaining about the summer heat.
(October) my soul-brother, Aeson & his family came to Vegas as one of the places to visit in their US vacation. By this time, my younger sister was also already here, so there were a lot of us who went around the city at night, meeting lots of different people, and just having a blast.
Bea, finally came back to the states and went to see me. It was a super tiring couple of days because it was non-stop partying, walking around the strip, doing touristy things and drinking. Plus I spent my very first American Halloween too. It was definitely some experience!
(December) The second time around for Joe, who this time brought her friends Nikki and Eric with her.
So pretty much, my whole year’s been spent missing home, and having a taste of it when I have people from home come over to see me. I can’t wait for next year. To more birthdays, travels, and friends. Thank you 2015!
When I first encountered this question, it was from a book my aunt gave me as a graduation gift. I brought it with me the very first time I moved to a different city because I figured it would help me. The book is called “Who Moved My Cheese?” It was a sort of children’s story that you, as an adult could learn a lot from.
The question bothered me so much, because I can never seem to figure it out on my own. Usually, I would require third-party assistance in the form of “life advice” or just a plain nudge towards the right direction: the direction that would lead me to answers rather than more questions.
What would I do if I weren’t afraid? Honestly, I have no answer. I can’t even begin to imagine how infinite my choices would be if I was, in fact, fearless. I have excuses for every little thing that could even become a slight possibility. Maybe I’m just being an ass to myself, or maybe, I’m not doing much of a job to self-motivate.
Sometimes however, you have these moments of epiphany, where you realize that the outcomes of your actions are better than how you usually expect them to be. That the means to these “ends” weren’t exactly daunting, all you need to do is take the first step.
Like, why is it really so hard to apply for a job you know you will love and grow in? Why do we fear going up the stage and being in front of a bunch of people even if we know deep inside that we have talent? Why would we not step foot to a place we have never been in, or eat food we have never tasted or even trust people we have never known? Why won’t we allow ourselves to fall for the wrong guy?
Fear is in our every being. They are those little devils on your shoulder that whisper in your ear to step back when you’re too high up, maybe literally, sometimes figuratively. But is it so bad to be on top? Is it so bad to be so high up on everything that you could see yourself in every possibility? So high up that you can see what you’ve become just because you chose to make the first step. You’re in that certain place where you realize that getting there wasn’t exactly so hard if only you stopped talking yourself down from the beginning of your journey.
Maybe the company will hire you because they see potential in you. Maybe the people will love you because you decided to share your talent. Maybe you’ll fall in love with a place, discover your favorite food, turn strangers into best friends, maybe he may not be the wrong guy after all.
I know these “maybe’s” are not certain, but so are the other hesitations you have that scare you into not doing what you want to do. Obviously, I’m not saying that you should just do these things to call yourself fearless. I simply meant the things you’ve always really wanted to do, but prevented yourself because of reasons you can’t even remember.
Of course there will always be risks, but the positive outcomes usually make you believe that the risks were worth it. If you think you can’t do it on your own, do it with someone who is just as scared. You’ll realize towards the end that you are both pushing yourself to do it, and at the same time gathering the courage from each other.
The best kinds of fears are the ones that you conquered. Some of these take a while, some, you would need a support group or person for. But definitely overcoming your fears slowly will make you realize how tiny your worries were in the first place. It will make you a happier person in general, and that kind of happiness extends to other people as well.
I’m going to start making a list, and I’ll slowly be crossing off things in this list. Maybe you should too…
Falling in love is like watching a really scary, well-written horror movie. You do it because it’s terrifying and exciting at the same time. The thrill is unlike any other. You start by fully guarding yourself, because you understand what you’ve gotten yourself into. You know the movie will be scary, it will make you scream and cry, it will make your heart jump out of your chest. The monsters will look real, the darkness will be suffocating. You will do anything you can to prevent yourself from making any sort of reaction. But at some point, you unknowingly let your guard down, and in that exact moment, it will let you do whatever it is you’ve been trying to avoid from the beginning. You will scream, you will cry, you will get your fragile little heart broken, and that’s when you realize, the monster is actually real.
I’ve realized that on most nights I can’t sleep, I would try to find a pen and paper and words would start spilling out. I decided to make a new category for my blog called “Words at Two in the Morning” because I’ve had pages of journals, diaries, old notebooks, and blog posts that come alive at this hour. After I’ve finished spilling my thoughts out, I would be able to sleep soundly. Is it just me?