2020 Goals

I’ve been too silent this past couple of years. 2018 and 2019 have come and gone. Each year filled with a ton of stories I’m yet deciding to share with you or not. If I never do, just know they were years of growth, and self-reflection.

During those two years, I continued working as an accountant for a small, non-profit college preparatory school, enrolled and graduated with my Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Redlands, traveled to the Pacific a couple of times, generated a ton internal self doubt and ate a ton of food.

Now as we’ve ended a decade and entering into a new one, I can’t help but reflect on what has happened and set goals for what is yet to come.

One thing for certain: 2020 is going to be a busy one for me.

Other than the upcoming trips to fulfill my need to travel, I’m hoping it would also be a financially fulfilling one as I save money for a couple of sinking funds I’ve set up and eradicate a couple of debts I’ve dug myself into (*cough* student loans and credit card *cough*).

So the 2020 goals are simple: take care of my finances, take care of my health, create and share more, and be content.

Moving forward with this space, I want to focus on three themes: Explore, Create, Transform (as illustrated by the images above).

As mentioned earlier, I’ve generated self doubt these past couple years. The diminishing of my creativity plummeted me deeper into it thus my silence in this space, on YouTube, and my producing of somewhat mediocre Instagram posts.

As I delve back into these three themes, I’m hoping that it would inspire me as I re-educate and remind myself on why those three themes are so important to me. And why I’ve had them tattooed them onto myself that one night in South Korea.

As simple as it is, I know it encourages me towards self growth and I hope (*fingers crossed*) that it inspires me to REGULARLY share my journey of self discovery and improvement in 2020 and onwards.

For now, I wish you all a wonderful and prosperous New Year!

Hello, again. 

Let’s catch-up a bit and Vasquez Rocks pt 2

Hello my dear little neglected space in this abyss called the internet. It’s been a while, and I’m so sorry for neglecting you! (Kinda…)
I started off this personal blog with somewhat a vague vision to share my travel experiences with you. But in a world where everyone is pretty much doing the same thing, I didn’t want to just create for the sake of creating. And to create without a purpose would also bother me…

But just to keep you guys up to speed of what’s happened to me this past nine months since coming back home from South Korea:

  • I’ve started, quit, and started a new job.
  • Traveled to Cebu, Philippines for two weeks while a war broke in the southernmost island (Marawi, Mindanao).
  • Hit up Napa Valley, California for a weekender.
  • Began MBA school. #CLASSOF2019
  • Made new friends through my friend, JR, and had a ton of fun taking them to new places.

Although I do my best to keep everyday interesting, the weekend adventures are what I look most forward to.

Take for example, this past weekend…

If you’re not familiar with the place already, let me introduce you to a place out of this world: Vasquez Rocks. Located about an hour from Los Angeles, you’ll find yourself wanting to sing the Lion King theme song (or is it just me…?). 

To give it more of an added effect, you can climb to the highest tip and pretend you’re Rafiki holding up baby Simba… just an idea…

Personally, I would suggest coming here late in the afternoon, close to closing time. Based on the times I’ve been there, there tends to be less people and it’s just amazing when you and your friends just own the place for more uninterrupted photo shoots. Plus, getting there for golden hour is an extra win.We tend to associate SoCal to Disneyland, LA, and Hollywood. Even I, myself, have fallen into this trap. It isn’t until you allow your curiosities to take you to meet new friends who would open wide your world and introduce you to new places and spaces that would make you realize: there’s more to SoCal than what meets the generic storyline we’ve constantly watched on screen.

It’s either that, or I missed the memo that we’re supposed to keep these beautiful spots a secret.

Vasquez Rocks

Back at it again with the adventure crew! This time around, JR suggested that we hit up Vasquez Rocks. Thanks to the recent rain, the greenness of the surrounding area was a welcoming sight compared to the usual desert view. It’s a surreal place to be in.


The Wasteland

The intro part of “Birds Don’t Sing” by TV Girl stuck on repeat in my mind as I look back on these photos I’ve taken yesterday. 

My close friend, Jaime, took me and his dog Zoë somewhere in the Loma Linda hills for a morning walk. He’s called it “the wasteland” because of its unique features. Or something like that. 

Hiking Mudeungsan

This past December, I spent an afternoon with my friends, James and Melissa. We hiked part of Mudeungsan. Our original goal was to reach the top, but since we had a late start, we all agreed not to go too far.

Hiking is one of Korea’s favorite past times. It’s noticeable with their amazing gear and their beautifully, well-maintained trails. Not only that, I can agree that you can get some sort of addiction from breathing in the clean air and seeing the beautiful sceneries.

At the end of our hike, we rewarded ourselves to dessert. Then dinner.

Now that I’m back in California, I can only look back at these pictures as a reminder of those good times we spent together – especially in our hike. Wishing these two the best, wherever they may be in this small world.

When the People Speak

Last weekend, on our way to Seoul, my friend Melissa and I met a young man who was heading to Seoul for the very first time. It was hard to believe that it was his first time heading to the capital. After having some small talk, we both asked him again, “Is this really your first time? Did you really never have the chance to visit Seoul before?” Which he then confirmed that this trip really was his first time.

After talking about basic English grammar and some conversational cues and it’s meanings (we shared with him that we were English teachers), he then reveals to us his purpose for heading to Seoul. He, along with many others, are on their way to the capital to participate in the protest against the current president (story here). He hopes that the people gathered together would speak to the current president’s heart and move her to resign from her position. He then invited us to go to the protest.

Out of curiosity and with my friend, Matt, in tow – I went.

Being in the midst of the protest was very powerful. There was a moment where I had to quell the emotions I had deep inside of me. Just think, a few days ago the results of America’s presidential elections were announced and it was very disheartening to see that hours after it’s announcement, people struck to the streets and were sharing on Social Media the aftermath of it’s results!

Although the purpose of this protest isn’t related to the American elections, it showed the power of the people gathering together. And that alone was amazing in itself.

Sometimes, I questioned whether or not I was actually in a protest. There were bands performing live and people dancing. And there were many volunteers helping with the clean-up. But as I shifted towards another part of the protest, I found myself in the midst of the “real chaos.” Loud chanting and banners flying high about the people’s sentiment against the president. Policemen atop of police busses to ensure that the crowd didn’t push through to get to the Blue Palace (where the president lives).

As you browse through the photos I’ve taken, please note that I hold no political stance in this issue. Out of curiosity and through that young man’s invitation, I have decided to attend the protest. I wanted to witness what Korea’s democracy looks like. Please also note that there is strong language in the photos.


– A

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Reflecting on #happyarvedays

Reflecting on my #happyarvedays

If you don’t follow me on Instagram, I began and finished my #happyarvedays (the 100 Happy Days Challenge).

And that was about over a month ago.

Day 84: Happiness is a day filled with tiny successes.



It was pretty funny how it ended. It didn’t end in a bang as I thought it would. I thought I was going to be enlightened like Buddha or become closer to God (although it made me appreciate the power of prayer even more). Rather, it was just a normal day with a normal reason to smile. What got people noticing that it was finished wasn’t because they saw “Day 100”, but because of the fact that I wasn’t posting a photo on a daily basis anymore. It even resulted in my mom calling me several times in one night because she didn’t see me post anything online for the past couple days. My poor mama thought I was hurt. Sorry Mama for scaring you…

So, it’s done. What now?

Day 98: Ever since @kitsu has introduced me to Korean music in junior high, it has been my dream to go to a Korean concert. Well, today, that dream has been fulfilled. Happiness is when you’re patient enough to wait for something – even if it takes years!

Well, something I didn’t expect was motivating others to also do their own Happy Days Challenge. The kids from my church back at home are now several day’s into their own challenges. Even my own dad has stated that he’s going to begin doing the challenge when the new year begins. It’s pretty amazing to know that you’ve sparked a little inspiration for others to do something like this.

Day 26: Happiness is having a picnic.

Otherwise, when it comes to it, the lessons I’ve learned are the following:

  • Happiness comes in different sizes. Don’t always look for the big things.
  • Don’t expect yourself to be happy all the time. It’s “OK” if you have a downer day. Just make sure that you’ve got something to smile about.
  • I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful people – family, friends, and students alike. Without them, I wouldn’t have had a reason to smile.
  • Lastly, as I stated on Day 100: “…do not rely on just happiness to make you happy. There are other factors that come into play, such as love towards others and self-love. If you don’t have that balance, then it’s pointless to seek happiness.”

Day 100: These 100 days of seeking those moments that made me happy were such a challenge, especially on difficult days. So today’s happiness is: do not rely on just happiness to make you happy. There are other factors that come into play, such as love towards others and self-love. If you don’t have that balance, then it’s pointless to seek happiness.









So there you have it. I’m glad that I finished it and learned more things about myself. So what’s the next challenge for me? Nothing plan so far. I’ll keep you guys posted.

With love from the land of the kimchi,


– A


A student walked into the institute today with his arms covered in stickers. Turns out that his children put those stickers on him. It was so adorable that he didn’t bother to remove them when he came to attend his class. It’s as if he’s proud of the fact that his children just decorated him.

After a brief chat, he then went ahead, took one sticker off his arm, and placed it on my arm. 

Exploring Sokcho

Someone once asked me why I like to travel alone. Am I not lonely? My immediate response was that I just enjoyed it. But after thinking more about it, I think I also like the solitude of being alone as I observe my new surroundings. To listen. This is usually the case especially after several days of being surrounded by people and constantly speaking. Don’t misunderstand, I like people a lot. And the fact that I only have a few good friends here in South Korea kills. But after being surrounded by people for work, I just need to be alone for a day and a half at most, THEN I crave to be back with company.

So for my alone time, I chose to travel to Sokcho. Going there on Chuseok Holiday may be the least recommended time to travel. Actually, traveling during Chuseok, from what I’ve been told, isn’t that recommended. Traffic was insane and I was riding the bus for over six hours. But it was all worth it once I arrived in my hotel room. I chose to stay in HJ House, which is about 5 minutes walk to the beach. However, had a little opsie when I was trying to enter my room… watch the room tour video below…

Sokcho has recently become more popular, thanks to Pokemon Go. It was one of the first things I noticed upon arriving at the beach. Most of the people were on their phones playing the game. I nearly jumped on the bandwagon to play, but decided against it as I didn’t want my phone battery dying quickly and didn’t want to use up my data… Otherwise, the town seem’s very idyllic and it made me wish a tiny bit that I was camping on the beach instead.

Anyways, here’s how my stay in Sokcho looked like 🙂

– A


Places I visited:


  • Sony Alpha 5100

Lunch break

It must be fall season now. The weather is getting cooler and my trench coat has been pulled out from my closet. Next thing I know, I’m back to wearing boots! Just waiting for the leaves to turn into its fiery color this year.img_1313-1img_1372-1With cooler weather beginning, I find myself making my way outdoors more often. Maybe just to catch more sunlight for myself or just to soak in more warmth as I brace myself for the cold winter months coming up ahead.

I’m fortunate to be living very close to a big park. When things can get a bit busy at work, during my breaks, I can just easily drop by this place for a quick stroll.img_1353-1My lunch breaks are usually the best times to go to this place. Other ahjumma’s and ahjusshi’s would be found doing their noon-time exercise out here, but it doesn’t interrupt the birds from singing. Otherwise, I’m always be lucky to find a very quiet spot to read a book and write.img_1316-1img_1363img_1318-1img_1344-1img_1379img_1382-1Hoping that even as the weather turns, that I still find myself outside just to enjoy nature’s presence.