My Top 5…Moments of 2015

IMG_7947Oops, I’m a bit late with creating this post since it’s already over a week into 2016, but I guess late is better than never!

 

2015 was an incredible year and one that I won’t forget anytime soon! Myself and Jason are, for the first time, heading in to a new year with so much uncertainty and a bit of fear. I hope that 2016 ends up being an amazing year, but for now I’m going to focus on how great 2015 was.

So here are my top 5 moments of 2015:

5. WWOOFing in Washington

wpid-img_20150929_111024.jpg

This was a great chance for both myself and Jason to firmly leave our comfort zones. We worked hard, learned a lot and most importantly had fun while working at Paradisos Del Sol Winery in Zillah Washington.

I highly recommend WWOOFing to anyone interested in getting off the beaten path and seeing the world in a unique way.wpid-img_20151003_084246.jpg

4. Weekend trip to Seattlewpid-img_20150910_074009.jpg

For Jasons birthday I got him tickets to see the Mariners play baseball. That, coupled with the gourmet food tour that our friend Ian gave us, created an awesome weekend full of fun memories that I’ll cherish for a long time to come!wpid-img_20150908_120110.jpg

3. Beomosa Temple Stay

IMG_9198

What an incredible experience! We got to live in a temple for the weekend, meditate, pray, eat and drink tea like monks. We also learned a lot about Buddhism and were able to clear our minds for that wonderful weekend. IMG_9292

2. Finally Spending Christmas with Family

image

It had been 6 years since I’ve spent Christmas with any family. Both myself and Jason were getting down in Denver thinking about spending another Christmas alone, so we made the decision to load up the car, drive 2 days to Washington and spend the most incredible 2 weeks with his family! We even had a white Christmas…it was so perfect and gave our spirits a badly needed lift.
image

1. Our honeymoon in Singapore and Bali

wpid-img_20150222_152222.jpg

Ever since myself and Jason got engaged we both knew that if we had to choose, we wanted our honeymoon to be the highlight instead of the wedding. At the end of the day, we care way more about travel and experiences than we do about dresses and place settings so we did exactly that, had a low key wedding and enjoyed the most wonderful 2 weeks in both Singapore and Bali. We splashed out and stayed in an amazing villa with a private pool in Ubud and the memories from our honeymoon are going to stay in my mind forever.wpid-img_20150224_073315.jpg

 

So there we have it, my top 5 moments of 2015. It was so nice to look back on them while writing this.

How about you? What are your favorite memories of 2015??

 

2016, The Year Of…Books!

Happy new year everyone!!

I have been terrible and haven’t been blogging much recently, in fact I’ve had 2 posts written for the last month but I’ve been having some much needed family time with Jasons family and just didn’t get around to adding photos and posting them…will do so soon!

So, I’m not a huge believer in making huge New Years Resolutions but I do love the idea of getting to start new and fresh on the 1st of January and making small doable changes.

Last year, I decided that I would work harder on my blog and post double the amount of posts that I did the year before. It was a fun year and I smashed my quota by May. I loved the new conversations that more blog posts brought about, learning more about blogging and getting to know people only from reading their blogs or people commenting on mine. It’s a great little community and I’m glad that I worked hard on updating my blog last year.

This year, I have decided, is going to be more about relaxing and changing myself. The one thing that I really dislike about myself is the amount of time that I spend on my phone and Facebook. It is so boring but strangely addictive. So this year I have decided to delete Facebook from my phone and spend the time that I would have spent scrolling on my phone reading instead.
image

I have found this great reading list from PopSugar, which you can find here, and I have already started it. It is definitely exciting to have a checklist and to be working towards something rather than just saying that I’ll read more books. I’m excited because this list is going to bring me out of my comfort zone and introduce me to new authors and genres.

I have also joined the library near our apartment which was very exciting. After spending 5 years in Korea, where English books are really hard to find, it feels awesome to have all of the books at my fingertips, and it’s free too!!

I received an adult coloring book as a Christmas gift and I’m crazily excited to start spending time relaxing and coloring.image

How about you? Do you make resolutions? Have you made any resolutions?

 

A Day Trip To Vail

image

Last week, I was feeling pretty down about the job hunt so myself and Jason decided to take a day trip to Vail, CO. So I’m sure most of you have heard of Vail before but if not then it’s a big ski resort in the mountains about an hour and a half away from Denver.
image

 

The drive to Vail is absolutely beautiful, we passed some other smaller ski resorts such as Brekenridge and the scenery was just breathtaking!
image

Once we arrived we found a parking lot (which was shockingly expensive, $20 for 2 hours parking!)

We got Willy and walked around the town.
image

It’s an absolutely beautiful town, it’s so clean with beautiful German inspired buildings everywhere.
image

There was a beautiful skating rink and small local stores everywhere.

It was such a great way to spend a day and it has made me so excited for the thousands of other small towns in the mountains that myself and Jason have yet to explore!
image

The place that I want to go the most is Telluride. They have an awesome Bluegrass festival in the summer and unfortunately the tickets went on release last Friday and are almost sold out (being unemployed makes it impossible to afford it right now) But I’m sure that this time next year I’ll be more than prepared to get some tickets!

How about you? What’s your favorite Colorado town?
image

My Top 5 Uniquely Asian Activities

It’s been a while since I’ve written one of my Top 5 posts and as I sit here in a wintery Colorado, my mind is currently being transported back to wonderful Asia.

As you know, It is impossible to choose just five but here it goes, in no particular order, These are my top five uniquely Asian experiences.

Doing a temple stayIMG_9198

This was such an amazing experience that I will treasure for a long time to come. Asia is the best place to find a temple stay that will teach you about Buddhism and meditation. It’s a great way to strip away any stress that you may have and also learn a bit about the country that you are in.

Hiking in the Himalayasimg_4378

They are an amazing mountain range with the highest peaks in the world. There is nothing more magical than knowing that you are standing on the roof of the world and seeing beauty around every corner.

Seeing the Taj MahalIMG_5171

Few famous buildings live up to their hype but the Taj Mahal definitely isn’t one of them. I remember just being in complete awe when first setting eyes on it. It is amazingly beautiful and will leave you breathless.

tip: Go first thing in the morning to beat the crowds.

Seeing Orangutans in Borneocb61f-malaysia058

Okay, Asia has some wonderful wildlife and you can just as easily replace the word orangutans with turtles, whale sharks, tigers or rhinos. But for me, when I got to see orangutans up close and personal without barriers at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, it was astounding. It was something that I had dreamed about for years and when it finally happened I was left in awestruck.

Karaoke38255_1428887613677_7902928_n

Yes, I know that karaoke exists everywhere in the world, but to enjoy a karaoke session somewhere in Asia, it’s a completely different experience. Most singing rooms are small and fit a private group of people. While in the room, you snack on food, drink alcohol and sing songs while playing the tambourine. Also, most of these places are open 24 hours so you can enjoy it after a night of partying. I have had way too much fun in singing rooms over the years, especially the ones that have costumes!

 

Okay, so that’s my list…how about you? is there anything that you’d add, or remove from this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

My First Trip To The Mountains

image

We finally made it up to the mountains!

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the mountains weren’t a huge part of why we decided to move to Denver. Thoughts of snowshoeing during the winter and backpacking and camping during the summer get me all kinds of excited. (I must add that I’ve never even tried snowshoeing before, but I know that I’m going to love it)

A few days ago myself and Jason were looking for jobs and getting stressed about life. The weather was absolutely amazing out, so I decided to drop everything and get Jason to go on a little day trip with me.

We decided to go to Georgetown as it’s not very far away from Denver but it’s still far enough to be in the mountains.
image

The drive was a nice 40 minutes with not a lot of traffic (the joys of being jobless and going on a random Tuesday). It was right off of the highway but felt like it could have been a million miles away. The historic part of town had the most beautiful victorian style houses and gorgeous Western style shop fronts.
image

All of the stores seemed to be locally owned and sold local products (which is awesome). We stopped to get some delicious ice-cream that was made in the town next to Georgetown.
image

After walking around for a while, we decided to drive up a pass next to the town. It was a beautiful drive and it brought us up high enough to where there was some snow on the ground…it got me pretty excited about wintertime.
image

We were driving for about 30 minutes when we looked at our GPS and realized that there was still a long way to go so we decided to turn back.
image

Once back in Georgetown we drove to the train station. The train in Georgetown is very famous and the ride is supposed to be absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately it was closed when we went there, but it’ll give us a reason to go back in the summer.
image

Overall, I loved this little town and it has made me so excited and eager to visit many other small mountain towns in Colorado!

HELLO DENVER!!

wpid-wp-1446431575834.jpgI can’t believe that after all of the dreaming, planning and worrying we are finally here!

HELLO DENVER!wpid-wp-1446431589609.jpg

We have been here for a couple of weeks now and so far so good. We love our apartment and the area seems pretty safe. We are only a 20 minute walk from the beautiful Sloan’s Lake which is amazing!wpid-wp-1446431625882.jpg

The city itself is only a 15 minute drive away and the mountains are to the west of us and not too far away either. We have been busy trying to meet new people and get ourselves established in this city.

It’s so much harder moving to a western city than it was moving to Korea. You are so obviously different in Korea that it’s easy to meet other foreigners and people are willing to go out of their way to make you feel more comfortable in their country. Here, we are just like everyone else.

It also seems like people don’t really say hi to each other here in our apartment complex, I guess it’s big city syndrome but myself and Jason are both making sure to say hi to everyone (although we have gotten a few surprised glances).

We are still job hunting. I’m quickly realizing that when it comes to job hunting, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know and unfortunately we don’t know anyone here.

We’ve joined a website called meetup.com that has been a bit of a life-saver for us. It allows you to join different types of meet up groups (there’s a group for everything!). We’ve been to a couple of them, one was a dog walk in a city park and the second was at a dog friendly brewery in the city. It was definitely nice to meet some new people and make some contacts as well as seeing new places in the city. We have a few more coming up this week.wpid-wp-1446431550835.jpg

We also joined a website for expats and went to a meet up with them. It was so much fun and we met a girl that had also taught in Korea and a guy that had taught in Japan so we immediately hit it off with them.wpid-wp-1446431561246.jpg

I’m excited for what these next few months will bring (I’m really hoping, they’ll bring us both jobs!!).wpid-wp-1446431543233.jpg

But I’ll keep you updated.

 

 

A WWOOFing Experience!

wpid-fotor_144570817906154.jpgMyself and Jason spent a week WWOOFing in Washington state recently. I guess before I go any further, I should explain what exactly WWOOF is. WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. You can work on an organic farm and learn all about farming in exchange for a place to stay and all of your meals.wpid-img_20150929_111024.jpg

It’s a great concept that allows people to work on farms all over the world. It is very popular in Australia and New Zealand but you can find it everywhere!

Myself and Jason had been wanting to do something like this for some time. We both really want to learn more about growing our own fruit and vegetables and hope to become more self sufficient over time.wpid-img_20151003_084246.jpg

So how does it work?

Well every country has their own country specific website. For the WWOOF USA website, you must pay a year subscription of $40. This allows you to see all of the farms that are looking for WWOOFers throughout America, gives a description of them all and allows you to contact them.

While searching for farms, it was exciting to see all of the opportunities that were available to us, goat farms, fruit and vegetable farms, animal farms, ranches and wineries.

We ended up choosing to WWOOF at a winery. Why? well they actually called themselves a farmery as they had animals, vegetables and grapevines on their farm so we figured that it would be a great learning opportunity.

After making contact and introducing ourselves, we agreed on a date that we would work for them. We would work a 20 day work week (about 4 hours a day) but if we wanted to work any hours over that then we would be paid a bottle of wine an hour…it sounded great to us! Also, they love dogs and Willy was more than welcome to join us.

So the winery that we worked for was called Paradisos Del Sol and it was located in Zillah in Washington State. It was owned by a great couple, Paul and Barbara. Paul taught us so much about the winemaking process, including how to properly taste wine.

paradisosdelsol.com

When our workdays were over we spent our days tasting wine at the other nearby wineries (there were about 15 on their road alone!).wpid-fotor_14457084315716.jpg

wpid-fotor_144570813949491.jpgWhat did our days look like?

Every morning and evening we “punched down” the red grapes that were busy fermenting.

wpid-img_20150929_111024.jpg

wpid-fotor_144570797468982.jpgOn our first day we did the final harvest of grapes, so it involved a long day of picking grapes, but it was fun to see the different types of grapes that make different types of wines and to taste them all.wpid-fotor_14457082214857.jpg

Day two, we took the grapes that we had picked and brought them to a bigger winery to use a machine that detaches the grapes from the stems and gets the juice out of them.wpid-fotor_144570826420837.jpg

Day three, we spent the day picking hops. Jason makes beer so it was fun for him to see some fresh hops, Paul even gave us a box full of them to bring home with us!wpid-img_20150930_092656.jpg

wpid-fotor_144570837645052.jpgDay four and five were spent taking bird netting off of the vines. Because they are organic, they can’t use any pesticides or chemicals on their grapes so the netting helps to keep animals out.wpid-img_20151003_183347.jpg

Before we knew it, it was time to leave. We loved our time on the farm, it taught me that I actually quite enjoy repetitive tasks. Willy loved being a farm dog for the week and we loved the tranquility of the area…will we WWOOF again??wpid-fotor_144570805648812.jpg

ABSOLUTELY!