Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Turnover

2015 does not feel like a particularly an eventful year. I guess I spent too much time inside my room, just doing my thing (painting, watching movies or TV shows, sewing, etc.) or in the kitchen (baking and cooking. Nevertheless, there's a fair number of highlights:

  • I went back to school as a part-time lecturer.
  • I started painting again. I also started with pointed pen calligraphy.
  • I started kendo last March, which I really liked. I made new friends at the kendo club. Unfortunately I had to stop last September because of various leg and knee injuries. However, I was able to return this December and our team even won in the beginners' division tournament.
  • I traveled northern and central Vietnam with my co-workers. We went to Hanoi, Ha Long, Ninh Binh, Hue, and Hoi An.
  • I went to Boracay with friends.
  • My Kindle broke and thus decreased my reading capacity. I can't read in the dark anymore-- which used to be my favorite before-bed ritual.
  • My dog got surgery. It cost me a lot, including medications but I'm just glad he's fine now.
  • I colored my hair (well, parts of it) with blue, purple, pink, and green. Not necessarily all colors at the same time.
  • I got the best, albeit a few days late, birthday gift to date: a scholarship for postgraduate studies at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
  • I re-read the whole Harry Potter series.
  • I traveled central and western Japan by myself. I went to Nagoya, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kamikochi, Osaka, Himeji, Kobe, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Iwakuni, Kyoto, and Nara.

Ah, 2016.

This is going to be an eventful year, I'm pretty sure. On February, I will start postgraduate studies in Auckland. A couple months ago, it was pure excitement but as my departure comes closer, I'm getting more and more anxious and scared than excited.

It's going to be my first time to live alone for that long and to be so far away from home. I can take care of myself (cooking, laundry, cleaning, budgeting, etc.) and I travel alone in places where I don't even speak the language so it's not like I'm gonna get lost or whatever in Auckland. However we know studying abroad is different. I'll have to cope with the cold weather, loneliness, homesickness, culture shock, etc. I am, however, determined to make the most out of my year abroad.

Some of my goals for 2016 include:

  • study and work hard, get good grades and make a quality research project
  • join a kendo club in Auckland
  • make new friends in NZ
  • bungy jump
  • travel New Zealand and hopefully Australia too


  1. Wow! Studying abroad sounds scary as hell but I'm sure YOU can do it! I'm so excited for you, Claire! What a great start for the year! Good luck!! :)

    1. Thank you Krissy! As February closes in, all the excitement is turning into anxiety but I'll do my best! :D