I am so sad that 2014 is finally drawing to a close, yet so happy and grateful that I was able to do so many amazing things this year.
Each year I write down a bucket list for the following year, as a way to make concrete goals of things I want to do while abroad as well as to push myself out of my comfort zones.
I have found that having these different bucket list items have made me have a very full and fun year with tons of awesome experiences. From each amazing experience I have definitely gotten to know myself, my limits and my fears a lot more.
I hope that 2015 will be another year filled with awesome memories, and another list of limit pushing adventures.
It was hard to pick the top ten highlights from my 2014 bucket list, but here they are:
1. Visiting Jinhae for the Cherry Blossom Festival
The best season in Korea is tied between Spring and Autumn. I seriously fall in love with Spring when the cherry blossom start to bloom. They give South Korea a magical, fairy tale like feeling that are unmatched by any other season.
The best local trip I took around South Korea was to see the Cherry Blossoms in Jinhae. Peter drove another couple and I three hours South to view these amazing flowers.
The traffic was a nightmare and I’m glad I wasn’t the one diving, but the flowers were just amazing. It was totally worth the trek and I’d go again.
2. Scuba Diving
I always had a fear of the ocean ever since a wave far too big took me for a spin and dunk in Portugal. I also have this insane fear of swimming in water and not knowing what’s beneath me. These two fears together have always put me over the edge when faced with swimming in deep, dark waters.
n 2013 I put it on my 2014 bucket list to conquer my fear of open water and go scuba diving,.
Scuba diving in the Philippines was a real ‘face your fear moment’ for me. Booking a diving trip to the Philippines not only allowed me to overcome my fear of the ocean but now has given me a new hobby that I can’t wait to do all over the world! Since my diving trip I now view the ocean differently and am no longer afraid.
Apart from my fear of water I have a fear of height. But in overcoming my fears in 2014, I spontaneously booked a pargliding trip in April that scared the bajeebes out of me. I was so scared to do it that I almost cancelled the trip at the last minute.
As it turned out, the most nerve wrecking part of paragliding is running off a mountain without stopping until you are airborne. After that it really is smooth flying until your feet hit the ground again. I quite enjoyed paragliding and it was way more relaxing that I could have imagined.
4. Riding a scooter in a foreign country
On my vacation to Thailand in the summer of 2013, I was so bummed about having to walk everywhere and not having any personal transportation of my own. When my friends and I would walk down to the beach in phuket and see other tourists zipping past us on scooters, I knew I had to learn how to ride one before my next beach vacation.
So upon returning from Thailand, I bought a scooter without knowing how to ride it, and with the help of friend eventually gained enough confidence to drive it around my city.
On my trip to Malaysia in 2014, I knew I had to rent a scooter for a couple days while in Langkawi, a small beach island on the west coast. Renting a scooter was the best thing I did during Langkawi as it gave me the freedom to visit loads of places on the island and find the blue hidden beaches along the coast.
5. Travel to 5 countries in one year
Traveling has always been at the top of my bucket list, with specific countries including Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines and China.
I am really lucky to look back at 2014 and reliase how many countries I was able to cover. Out of all the places I wanted to visit, the only place that didn’t make it into 2014 was Hong Kong, but my trip to Hong Kong is in motion for January 2015!
The best country I went to in 2014 that I’m dying to go return to is Japan. Japan was just awesome.
6. Having high tea in one of the World’s tallest buildings
After seeing two of the tallest buildings (Taipei 101 and Kuala Lumpur Petronas Twin Towers) but never going up or in, I was looking forward to experience them from a new perspective!
In Shanghai my friend and I decided to give high tea in the Park Hyatt hotel a try. The Park Hyatt is a five star hotel located in China’s tallest building; the Shanghai Financial Cener.
Seated on the 87th floor looking down at the city below is a great way to see Shanghai. With a cup of tea in one hand an a camera in the other, it was an afternoon well spent.
7. Picking up a new hobby
In 2013 I made it a goal to pick up a new hobby and try stick with it for all of 2014. I decided to invest in a entry level DSLR in 2013 as a way to pursue my new photography hobby. Little did I know I would love it as much as I do.
Having a hobby in a foreign country is a great way to meet new people and meet people who have similar interests to you. Having photography as a hobby now pushes me to explore more of the places around me as a way to get out and keep snapping.
8. Owning a handful of adorable couple clothes
Call me cheesy or tell me that I’m “too Korean”, I have fallen head over heels for Korean couple clothing. I love to wear matching outfits with my boyfriend and pine over adorable couple outfits in window displays.
For the Zombie Walk in Daegu (pictured above) Peter and I dressed up as couple zombies. Apart from the Zombie Walk, we do enjoy wearing our couple Tshirts, sweaters and accessories :D.
9. Taking my first solo vacation to Taiwan
The best decision I ever made was taking the plunge to travel solo for a week to another Asian country. Truth be told I was testing every inch of myself and was pretty nervous until I arrived safely at my hostel. The fear of the unknown is what made me feel nervous. I pestered my poor friends a dozen times about safety and solo travel, which always yielded the same response of “it’s safe, you will be fine”. And they were totally right- I was safe and fine.
Taking the chance to test the waters of solo travel was the best decision because you learn lots about yourself in a short space of time. You become comfortable being in your own space and you become more confident when interacting with strangers. If you really want excitement you should take a solo trip somewhere you haven’t been before.
10.Trying out snowboarding
Not everything that we try we love, correct? I tried out both skiing and snowboarding and ended up being “okay” on the skis but hating every minute on the board. Snowboarding was definitely harder than it looked.
When I was doing my thing on the clumsy long skiing watching my friends and five year old Korean babies whiz past me on their snowboards I really believed it was definitely something I could do.
Yes, perhaps after 200 hours of mountain time I would be able to do it, but after six hours of falling and staying on my cold, wet bum I decided skiing was a better fit for me. Also,
snowboarding snow sitting is not that fun when you’re all by yourself as a result of being so bad that your friends unintentionally abandon you.
What’s on your 2015 bucket list?
If you would like to see my 2013, 2014 and 2015 bucket lists, click on the pictures below!