New Years Thoughts and Resolutions 2014

I know it’s a bit cheesy, but I wanted to make a little to-do list for 2014. ¬†To-do list/resolutions list ūüôā

*Get better at cooking and get at least 2 go-to REAL meals.  
Not just parts of meals, but 2 real meals that I feel proud of.

*Buy a better camera. 
I’ve had the same point-and-shoot camera since high-school and I’ve really been wanting a new one. ¬†IDEALLY a DSLR. ¬†*swoons*

*Finish my Korean book  (Korean 1)
I’ve been working on my Korean book pretty steadily, but it’s easy to fall out of habit or to give up. ¬†It has 30 chapters and I’m on Chapter 6. ¬†A bit overwhelming, but…would be AMAZING.

*Pay off credit card
I’ve already decided that this year is going to be my saving year. ¬†(So don’t expect as many travel photos over on the old Facebook). ¬†I saw a lot of amazing places and did a lot of incredible things last year, but this year is my year to really save and get focused.

*Travel to 3 new Korean cities

*Spend less time on my phone and social media 
Korea has been a bad influence on me.  Need to get off the cell phone.
Thinking about picking a week out of the month and not going onto Facebook.  Not like much changes from day-to-day anywa

*Spend more energy on a hobby.  Get back into the gym or sign up for a dance class.  
I’ve been meaning to do this, but finally getting to the point of financial stability again after changing schools and such, and I really want to take better care of myself physically.

*Read 5 new books
I hardly read anymore (largely due to lack of English books where I live…and they’re expensive here), but I have some that I haven’t read that I can definitely dive into. Also largely do to me being lazy.

*Make an effort to stop chasing affection
I think this is because I’m 27 and I have a lot of friends that are starting to get engaged or married now…and here I am, still single. ¬†This might be one of those “the grass is always greener” times as well.
It’s hard because I enjoy my own life but I keep wondering why I’m still single. ¬†I want to make an effort to stop trying so hard…or…willing it to happen, and to just learn to trust in the process. ¬†I enjoy my freedom, but I also want to be able to share my life with someone as well.

*Volunteer more
We have an awesome group here that arranges trips to orphanages and such (especially around Christmas) and I want to make more of an effort to get involved with them.

I have more that I could add, but for a year’s worth, I think this is a pretty good (and do-able) list. ¬†Some are more things to strive for, but I think overall, it looks pretty good.

I made this one for 2012-2013 when I was in my hostel in the Philippines…drinking wine with hostelmates and watching the city light up with fireworks from the rooftop. ūüôā
12-13   13-14

Still fun to look back and see what I’ve been up to. ¬†I usually have to scroll back through pictures on Facebook… ūüėõ

I went out with some friends last night for an “End of the Year Celebration” sort of thing. ¬†We wanted to have a nice dinner where we could all get dressed up a bit. ¬†It was really nice and it felt good to get dressed up to go somewhere other than out to a bar. ¬†(Not like I get super dressy going out to a bar anyway, but you get the idea).
Daejeon is also fairly small and doesn’t have the…atmosphere? ¬†environment? ¬†structure? ¬†for the dressy sort of vibe. ¬†There aren’t many high-end restaurants or theaters here…most of that sort of thing is in Seoul because it’s a bigger city. ¬†Our city is known more for its universities and research centers than a booming nightlife sort of thing.
Going to hofs, bars and clubs tend to be more of the social norm here from what I’ve seen. ¬†I’m sure it’s similar in Seoul, because it’s in the culture, but there are other options because it’s bigger. ¬†(A bit too big for me though…I get annoyed too easily if there are people everywhere.)

Anyway, goodnight!
See you in 2014!

Christmas: Korean Style

Christmas is pretty different over here in Asia, especially in Korea.  
For Koreans, as I mentioned before, it’s basically another Valentine’s Day. ¬†It’s a time to go do stuff with your bf/gf. ¬†If you’re single, then lots of people will head to the bars or clubs like any other night out.
Stores are all still open like normal.  
You can buy Christmas decorations in stores (Christmas lights are about 20,000–$20, everything else seems reasonably priced though) and it’s usually available around the first of December or so. ¬†You can hear Christmas music in coffee shops and department stores get a bit more dressed up. ¬†There are Christmas cards and sales, but not to the degree as back home. ¬†Baking (cookies, etc) isn’t a really a thing here, so Christmas cookies are more of a thing among the expat/foreign communities.
It seems more Christmas-y compared to last year, and I think it’ll grow more, but I’m hoping they learn more about the¬†giving aspect of Christmas rather than the cutesy parts. ¬†As it is supposed to be the real reason for the season.