Thursday, 25 October 2012

Happy Birthday to me, Part deux

To jump right in

Seriously, lifelong dream accomplished right here. Going to Japan has been on my list of things I wanted to do ever since I discovered anime and manga (it was early in life, let me assure you). Not only did I get to visit Japan, but I got to go to, what, 7 different cities? I got to see so many things, experience so much, and-perhaps more importantly-reconnect with some friends that I hadn't seen in a LONG time. Some things are important, and those things, no matter how distant, should be kept close.

Vietnam was never in my list of places to go, but, the opportunity presented itself, and I am not the kind of person who will turn down travel. Ever. Out of all my adventures this past year, I think this one has the biggest list of 'bad' against it. That said though, having this unique experience was eye opening and well worth it-despite the down sides. Seeing a war torn, 3rd world country is something that everyone should do. It has a profound effect on the psyche. 

2 year anniversary with the hubs
I feel like this one is sort of self-explanatory. How could I not be excited about being married for 2 years, without there being any violence or straight up murder? I never thought I'd get married in the first place. To have it last this long is sort of a surprise. A pleasant one, yes, but a surprise nonetheless. 

World Expo
Another one of those once-in-a-lifetime things that I got to do. Since the expo is only held every few years, and never in the same country consecutively  the fact that I was in the right place at the right time is just amazing. I don't think this will be my last expo though, since there is still YEARS left for me to travel. Who knows when this will come up again though, but that chance is still there. It had its bad points, but it was still a unique experience to be able to have some part in. 

Acceptance into SFU
As I mentioned in the 10 things you likely didn't know about me post, I was not really great with that whole education thing when I was younger. It took me a while to get the swing of things, what with this being my 3rd stint in post secondary education. But, my acceptance into SFU (Simon Fraser University NOT San Francisco University) proves to me that I have grown into my intelligence. I am not a stupid person-I'm just full of hate and rage and, sometimes, laziness. But acceptance into university on my own merits, on my own terms, it's something to be proud of.
And in this vein-being asked to have an editing part-hell, even being allowed to read-a now (at the time, soon to be) published novel...well now. If that isn't making it, i don't know what is. The fact that it was an awesome book by one of my favourite people just made it that much better.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Happy Birthday to me

Another year. I like to think that I'm wiser, and this time, I think I actually am. I thought about doing this post before, like when it was an actual year since my arrival in Korea, but decided to do it to celebrate my birthday.

This will be part 1 of 2. There has been so many amazing things this past year. There have been some bad ones too, but the good far outshine the bad. There has been so many things that I've done, it is almost unreal.

Awesome things since my last birthday (in no particular order)!

Last years birthday parties.
That's right, I had 3 parties. 2 of them surprise parties. One with fireworks, friends, booze, cake and love. Another with cake, music and Korean love. The third with obscene amounts of booze, friends, and dancing. So many amazing people made me feel so special and loved, it almost brings a tear to my eye. My best birthday, by far.
Yea. I lived in South Korea for nearly a year. That is an experience that I know many people will never have. I am so lucky to have been able to go there and experience a culture to vastly different than my own. I met so many people, did so many things, ate so much food, and had such a good time. It was hard to say goodbye.

I keep mentioning the people that I met, and with good reason. I don't think that my past year would have been nearly as good without the people. There were so many awesome, open and caring people that I met, that accepted me for being me. A lot of us saw each other at our worst-but didn't judge, or change opinions. It was an eye opening experience for me, and made me a lot more comfortable being my dorky myself around strangers.

Temple Stay
This is about the first post on this site, and that was when I went to Myogaksa Temple in Seoul. It was a practicing, full functioning Buddhist temple, complete with monks and the bells, and everything. I got to spend a day and night as a monk, learning the Buddhist teachings practices. Now, I am against religion as a rule. All religions, since I think they are stupid, useless, and crutch for people whose minds are broken. Buddhism is NOT a religion, but a way of thinking, and being able to experience a different way of thinking, a different way of life, was awe inspiring. It made me feel at peace-not because of the spiritual aspect-but the chance to sit down and just not think for a while, and have it be alright. Facing the inside of my head is a scary thing, and the meditation the monk taught us quieted the rage inside of me.
***Photo by Ben Etienne, found over here***

Friendship fieldtrip The trip was a lot of fun in itself, especially since it was paid for by the Korean government. I hung out with my suitemates, as well as my husbands' suitemates, and got to see some parts of Korea that I wouldn't have. I also got to spend time with someone whom I now consider to be a good friend. He may live in the states, but I know that we will see each other again.

This ends part 1! Part 2 will be coming soon! <3

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Lynn Valley

A few weeks ago, before all the rain and-in the mountains-snow, the hubs and I went to Lynn Valley. Call it a last of the season hike if you will, even though I think we will be going for a few more throughout the winter season. That's one of the awesome things about Vancouver-many hiking trails are open year round.

Lynn Valley is huge. Like, mindbogglingly massive. You can walk from Mount Seymour to Grouse via Lynn Valley. Sure, its an almost 30K trek, but it is doable. There is a lake there that we didn't even find. An Entire Lake. Not found. Shows how big we're talking.

There are rivers, waterfalls, ponds, and all kinds of plant life. It's fantastic. Other cool thing? It has visible remnants of the last ice age, carved out in its cliffs and gorge. Nothing like a glacier park to make me happy.

No, seriously. I love this stuff.

Now for the photos!