Starting 2015 with Contemplations

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A new year usually starts with revelations, new dreams, fresh ideas, energetic beginnings – that was how my 2015 begun, but it then progressed into a tangled ball of questions, questions, and more questions. To say that the year has started off with a bang would be an understatement, and everything has left me dumbfounded, confused and just extremely contemplative.

I fell off the face of KateEatsCake since my unforgettable trip to Seoul. Why? It was in November 2014 when I realized that I had forgotten the importance of staying true to myself. This space had turned into a burden for me – I constantly wondered if anyone was reading my content, questioning if my musings were good enough for other people. After much internal turmoil, I finally recalled how freedom to write really felt – when external judgment didn’t matter, as long as you put yourself out there. It used to feel good even when I received only one comment from a reader whom my words had connected with. That was what I had missed, and that is what I will return to.

That was one of the things I spent time thinking about during the past 2 weeks, on top of many other questions. These last 2 weeks were used to self-reflect and bask in being uncomfortable, questioning what my future would look like, and the direction I had led myself towards in the present. I started to ask what my core genius was, and where my heart was at.

Two weeks ago, my business partner (and dear friend) had decidedly rather suddenly that this was not what she wanted to do anymore. This partnership that had dictated most, if not all, of my life choices for the past 5 years was to end, and I had no idea where or how to start. It’s easier said that done when you tell someone to move on, and that’s exactly how I felt and still feel. With both our personal and professional lives intertwined, I’d be lying if I told you it didn’t feel like a break-up, and even betrayal. I started to wonder if all my past sacrifices were worth it, and where it had all gone wrong. I’m still coming to terms with it, but I am proud of myself and how I’ve handled it — we are still friends, we speak on a daily basis, and still at least once a week. (It’s been 2 weeks, so I’m not sure how much change can occur within such a short time frame.)

If this were a romantic break-up, it might have been easier because things could have turned ugly, and you would never have to see the other person again. You could remove them from your life, step by step, and create a reality without them. I didn’t have that option here, for I love my friend too dearly and can’t imagine a reality without her. Sometimes life throws you a punch in the stomach, and all you can do is deal with it and stand up should you fall.

My takeaway from this so far? Chill out, breathe deep, mourn if you have to, but keep your spirits strong. Surround yourself with love, love and more love, and then throw in tons of positivity. Take it step by step, write everything you need to do down (because your emotions can cause you to forget), then take all the time you need to figure out your next steps. Write all your options down, tell yourself what your worst and best case scenarios are (worst case scenarios, in reality, are really never that bad). Keep your heart firmly in your chest, and if you ever feel like you need to scream, cry or just curl up into a ball, stay home and let it all out.

That’s my update for January 2015. Oh, and I got myself an adorable car, which has made life only so much better – thanks Dad. We’re halfway through February now, and it took me 2 weeks to gather my thoughts and put myself back out here.

How was your January 2015? Tell me it was better than mine, please!

Seoul Photo Diary, October 2014

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Most possibly left my soul in Seoul, again. My 5th time to the city, and still it never fails to impress me. Days were filled with beauteous skies, which would explain the numerous pictures of clouds, that looked as though they were paintings of blue and white swirled and swished together. There’s mouth-watering food on every street, and at such affordable prices. Despite clocking at least 15 kilometres a day in terms of walking, we still managed to gain some weight from all the chomping and chowing we were doing.

Important point to note – the fresh produce in Seoul was the best I ever had, especially the peaches. Perhaps they were in season, but the juices we had there were mind-blowing and ruined anything else we would ever have outside of Seoul. Peach juice, A+. Grape juice, A+ (both red and green). Banana juice, A+. Orange juice, A+. Grapefruit juice, A+. We had to start our days with juices, and how they make it is to just blend the entire fruit with ice. Delish, and remembering this is making me drool.

We managed to score an apartment in Hongdae, which was super convenient. My favorite spots this time around were the streets between Hongdae and Hapjeong, as well as Anguk Station – the streets there were quaint, very interesting to explore, and tons of food.

Can’t wait to head back, but with so many travel destination options, when will my return to Seoul be?

Busan Diaries, October 2014

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Did you miss me? It has been close to a month since my last entry, and a week since I’ve returned from my three week adventure in Busan & Seoul. It was a whirlwind of days filled with eating mouth-watering meals, walking at least 14 kilometres daily, and meeting new friends from around the globe. Would I do it all again? Hell yes.

I considered making this a longer post, but I decided to keep it short and sweet instead. Here are my Busan recommendations:

  • If you’re seeking affordable, clean, reliable and convenient accommodation, look for my host in Busan, Jin! Here’s a link to the studio apartment – everything you see in the pictures are as is, and since it is a relatively new space, everything is clean and brand new, which we loved. Lots of fluffy towels, shower gel and shampoo were provided. We had our own washer, which made things very convenient, and the view from our window was amazing.
  • For coffee addicts like myself (and anyone else who can’t deal with Starbucks coffee), I found two spots with great coffee. The first is Bricks Coffee, near Seomyeon Station. Quaint, two-storey cafe – we ordered a cappuccino and a latte, and it was better than what I’ve had in any coffee spots in Singapore. Thumbs up.
  • The next is Kavan Espresso – also located near Seomyeon Station (12-14, Jungang-daero 680beonga-gil, Busanjin-gu, Busan). 4 storeys of great interiors, Kavan roasts their own beans and is the perfect hideout to chill with friends or a book for the entire day. 
  • If you’re looking for a good chunk of beef in the form of a hamburger, head to Fukuoka Hambageu. You get to cook your own meat on a heated small stone, and they serve the best quality Korean beef from Hoengseong. We had such a delightful time cooking our own meat, and since we ordered the lunch special, we also got a huge bowl of bibimbap to share. They have an outlet in Seoul as well, and the address is 333-29 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul.
  • For the mall rats out there, you must visit Shinsegae Centum City – the largest shopping complex in the world. Guys, it is so huge that it blew our minds. There’s a spa and ice rink in the building, with a driving range and even a dinosaur theme park/garden on the roof — so epic. It was also right next to the location for the League of Legends Quarters so we were there quite a bit.

All in all, for a first time visit to Busan, the city left a special place in my heart. I loved the daily walks to the train station, as we passed by tiny cafes and florists. The vibe is a lot slower than Seoul, but it also felt a lot safer and less rowdy than Seoul. My next post will be on Seoul, and since I spent 2 weeks there, expect more pictures! ;)

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