Happy new year!
I cannot believe that another year is over and gone. It seemed to stretch out forever, filled with adventures abroad and new hobbies. Now that I’m back in New York City and done unpacking, I thought it would be fun to look through the pictures I took in 2018 and reflect on the last year (instead of falling into an Instagram vortex like I often do).
Weird to be in New York and not Korea over new year’s.
Started my first real audit engagement.
Took a stab at learning how to play the ukulele, got hooked!
Went to Benihana’s for the first time.
Tried a trampoline workout (“TrampoLEAN”), surprisingly tiring.
Went to see Kinky Boots, listened to the official soundtrack for two weeks after.
A very lovely Valentine’s dinner at Naoki Takahashi. They let us choose our own shot glasses.
A ski trip to Hunter Mountain! Funny because we went back to Tannersville, which I had visited just the previous month. It was good opportunity to repurchase the candles that I loved.
Continued pilates classes (and a couple of other ClassPass classes)
Visited Caroline, who is now in California, when she was on her shift at the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe.
Tried carbonated coffee for the first time at Made Nice.
Wine and cheese + Terrace House marathons.
Tried Ichiran ramen for the first time! Tasty but not worth the long lines.
More bonding with the church fam.
Endless snack runs during our busy season jobs.
Tried the activated charcoal ice cream (that is apparently now banned in NYC?)
Had so much fun volunteering at the Father’s Heart Ministries’ soup kitchen! It was a truly rewarding and heartwarming experience. Not to mention the ice cream after.
Beautiful anniversary dinner at Palma. I loved the indoor garden vibe!
Had some fun doing a mini-photoshoot with our matching hoodies.
Ate at Clinton St. Baking Company for the first time after many failed attempts. Spring has struck with full force!
Won lottery tickets to Frozen on Broadway.
Won again!!! This time the Spongebob Squarepants show. This was quite a lucky week.
Tried making little onigiri’s at home for an office potluck – success! I didn’t know pickled plums tasted so delicious.
Green smoothies to celebrate the good weather.
Another Saturday spent at the soup kitchen.
Late night bar hopping with the gals. (We had ended up at the Dead Rabbit, which burned down is no more…!)
Yoga and late night walks by the Hudson.
A trip to Mexico City! From pulque tastings at local bars and Mexican wrestling matches to Frida’s home sweet churros, and Dorilocos (not for me), it was an amazing experience. Ooh, and lots, LOTs of tacos.
Kevin gets a perm (!!!!)
Went to Bar Moga to try the exploding omelette
Lisa drops in to crash at my apartment for a few days until leaving for her internship training in Florida.
Promotion day spent with my awesome coworkers and Tina Fey!
I start getting into volunteering weekly at Housing Works (Then I start making bandanas trendy among the volunteers.. heh)
Brunch with my old roommate Wendy. The day she told me she won the NYC rent lottery and that she was moving out in a week…
Lisa has started her internship in the city. We liked to take long walks after work.
Then I fly to Korea for vacation extended over the July 4th break. It was fun to be back in Seoul, despite the sweltering heat! Tried a few classes at mom’s yoga studio, got my hair chopped off up to shoulder length.
And then I flew to Beijing only to realize the heat in Korea was nothing compared to the heatwave in China. Also had a lot of good food but we mostly stayed indoors.
Breakfast at KFC!
Flew back with Kev to do some more touristy stuff and go to cool restaurants in Seoul…
He got finally won a prize!! (after so, so many failed attempts last winter)
Dad and Grandma’s double-birthday party @ kbbq
Palace & Museum visits.
Back in NYC and enjoying weekend hangouts with Lisa.
Tried making a zoodle dish for the first time.
I get a robot vacuum cleaner in lieu of a pet.
I secure my next apartment only to find out that there is a fire code violation and everyone has to vacate the premises. The apartment search begins again.
A group boat cruise at work and a bar crawl afterwards! (Hair struggles)
By another stroke of luck, Lisa wins tickets to the Harry Potter play! A day well spent watching both parts 1 and 2.
Free tickets to Carousel.
Attended an art show (ft. my church friend’s amazing artwork!) in Queens.
Tried matcha ramen for the first time.
Got my left conch pierced in SoHo. I thought I was done with piercings but I guess I was wrong!
Moving out of my Hell’s Kitchen apartment!! I really loved this room.
And into a room on Madison Avenue I moved, with much struggles with the building refusing to build us a wall…
But I went onto enjoying my trip to Puerto Rico.
A truly “open” floor plan with an open bathroom
Chill days (with puppies!!!) at the beach
Hiked our way to a hidden waterfall… what a workout.
A food/city tour of old San Juan.
Lots of mofongos were eaten on this trip.
La Factoria, one of world’s top 50 bars
We also went to a bioluminescent kayaking tour. We don’t have any pictures of the shining water because the sparking plankton could only be seen with the human eye, but it is still to be remembered as a breathtaking adventure!
Celebratory hot pot dinner with the team!
Leadership retreat at church!
Korean thanksgiving dinner with friends… happy Chuseok!
Movie night (“A Simple Favor”) with the ladies
Visited the Casper napping studio and had the best nap of my life.
My shift at the cafe is becoming such a fun activity, and I’m becoming slightly better at latte art.
Visited the Atomix lounge one Friday night after service, and got a sneak peek at the downstairs dining area.
Field day at church. Our team won first place!
I start wearing berets for the first time and fall in love with them.
The ceiling debacle begins. The access panel on the living room ceiling starts leaking for no reason…
Got to volunteer at the New York Coffee festival! I felt very honored to be helping out at the latte art station, witnessing the beautiful creations of famous baristas from across the country.
Visited the Spy Museum for the first time. Pretty cool.
Trying out some snacks from Yamibuy – some good finds!
Pie baking with friends!
November 7. The ceiling disaster strikes again… and in its worst form. I am stuck inside emptying out buckets of flooding water, writing an angry email to the building management. The super runs up and down the twenty-something stories trying to find the leaky pipe that could be the source of the leak. This whole problem continues for a good week after this point.
A giant wheel of delicious birthday cheesecake gifted from my roommate!
Candles from the church fam!
Birthday celebration at Jungsik!
Birthday brunch at Lauduree!
Thanksgiving in Chicago to see my Lisa! We had a lot of fun exploring Chicago before taking a train to South Bend.
The famous Thanksgiving meal at Notre Dame’s dining hall
Lisa, you silly goose. Goodbye until winter break!
It’s Christmas time. Holiday decorations are up. Spirits are high. The wind is cold.
Holiday party with Kevin’s coworkers. It was pretty busy day considering I was busy with an audit engagement (and my office holiday party was on the same night)
Flew to korea for good food, family and lots of doing nothing. But mostly for the food.
Watched Bohemian Rhapsody and still addicted to Queen
Met up with Stephanie for a nice brunch and shopping spree at Garosugil
Went to my usual hair stylist to get balayage done
A quick trip to Cheonan
Then our first family vacation to a tropical destination! I had been dying to go somewhere in Southeast Asia, and we got to visit Pucket over Christmas. It was truly a wonderful experience with fantastic weather fun activities.
Thai massages two days in a row.
After coming back to Korea, we hit Lotte World, only going on the indoor rides because all the outdoor ones were shut down from the cold weather.
Midnight beer, chicken and tteokbokki with the cousins
New Year’s service at midnight, December 31.
More family time spent shopping, dining, and laughing before flying back to New York
Now that I’m going through these pictures, 2018 was a good year. It was a really good year with so much traveling, fun, creativity, and love.
I went back to last year’s new year’s post to see if I had kept true to my resolutions…
“For the new year, I’m just gonna give myself some room to relax, heal, and grow.”
I think I did grow as a professional. I spent my first full year of working full-time out of school, so although that meant less free time, I was also able to use the flexibility I had at work to carve out time to travel to destinations that helped me relax and unwind.
“I also want to be creative. Although I am stuck at a desk during the week, I don’t want to be stuck in a rut during the rest of my day. I want to make full use of my free time to create things, produce content, and try new projects. With that in mind, one thing I want to try is cooking at home more often. This really encompasses my personal goals of physical well-being, and hopefully, it will help me save some money as well.”
“I want to try a challenging activity, whether it be a new sport, artistic endeavor, a new instrument, or a new language.”
2018 was a year of many fun projects, and one that stands out is my volunteer work at the cafe. Not only did I get to hone in on my coffee making skills, I also got to make new friends and learn about what their lives are like outside my circle of friends, and perhaps that is still the most rewarding part of the job. I also tried other things as well. If 2017 was a year of hardcore vlogging, 2018 was rather filled with hobbies like playing the ukulele, reading, and indulging in the arts, like going to art shows and broadway shows.
(And looking through the pictures, I realize that I have only cooked from scratch a handful of times, so cooking at home is still something I have to work on.)
“I also want to read more books. I burned through a few books during the summer, and I remembered how fun it was to be totally immersed in a story inside a book.”
My goal was to read 12 books. I did start more than 12 books, but I ended up finishing about seven books. Anyway, I’m still gonna give myself a pat on the back for trying – and I genuinely enjoyed all of the books that I finished, including but not all of which are below:
These are some things I want for 2019:
Declutter & save – I want to be thankful of the possessions I do have, and not spend money on frivolous things. I want to declutter so that I have more space in my life, and more money to spend on experiences rather than things.
Be healthy – I hope to be healthy in mind and body. I want to drink more water, exercise regularly, and consume less processed foods. I want to be humble, thankful, loving, and kind, serving others as Jesus did.
- Take more pictures of people.
- Keep growing my hair.
- Become more flexible.
- Be less judgmental.
- Be more adventurous.