Dec 31, 2010

Ups and Downs in 2010!

2010 was (still 'is' at the moment) definitely one the most exciting and meaningful year to me. Even if Elisa didn't tag me, I was gonna to do a memory type of post in the last day of 2010! Time can only proceed - there is no turning back! Live the fullest, you people! It's the toughest to really narrow down 5 Ups and Downs I had this year.. so I had all UPS LOL

1) Study Abroad in Beijing & Shanghai
I had the most amazing time studying abroad in Shanghai and Beijing! I had never actually been to China because my parents thought it was too dangerous for me to go and I also had no desire to go ever since childhood. However, I was going to graduate early in the States so I thought I could use the extra time I had to improve my Mandarin.
Temple of Heaven!

"If you had to go to China to learn Mandarin, you better go to some famous school". Just kidding. My parents never give me any pressure. Though I went to Peking University (one of the top universities for liberal arts), the host program sucked. Regardless I learned a lot about myself and had a lot of fun meeting people from all over the world! The way I see things are different now. Though I am already an international student in the States at the first place, being and working in mainland China definitely put me further out there to take on challenges and changes. I am no longer fear (sounds soooo cheesy but true LOL) Even up to this point, I still have such strong desire to work in Shanghai. Without my experience in China, I wouldn't have had the skill-set to take on this career path I am on right now.

"If I can survive through China, there's nothing I cannot do"
The Great Wall
typical night out in Beijing!
My best friend Tedi and I went hotpot literally 5 times a week
at the end of the semester the staff would give us seats right when we walked in
*Hot Pot VIP Status*
Bird's Nest built for the Beijing Olympics 2008
Celebrating friend's birthday in Wudaokou - a place that was really close to our campus
Chinese Oprea
Exploring Beijing
REvisited Shanghai and the Bund
Zapatas - best Mexican food in Shanghai
Drinking with strangers in Shanghai (please don't do it)
Chengdu, Sizhuan (3 hour flight from Beijing) - an amazing time being ZEN
Visited friends in Hangzhou (1.5 hour flight from Beijing)
2) Back to School & Graduation Marathon
After all it was time to go back to UMass to wrap up my degree lol It was my last semester and of course I was trying to utilize my time best to fit my senoritas in! For your reference I got a 4.0 in my last college semester - I played hard, but worked even harder!

As for graduation, since a lot of my friends are international students and probably not going to be in the States for awhile, we had activities lined up for 3 days LOL It was the best graduation I could have ever asked. Our last gathering before we split :(

Mohegan Sun Casino - won $400!
Restaurant Week in Boston
Club in Amherst
Graduation after 2 hours of sleep haha
Graduation Party
at Boston Common the morning after graduation
3) Traveling (SHA, PEK, HKG, INC, MV, YYZ, NYC)
Besides Beijing and Shanghai, I got a lot of my unmet need to travel out of my system this year. I went to Hong Kong and Korea twice, spent a weekend on Martha's Vinyard - an island off Massachusetts,  went to New York 4 times this summer, July 4th weekend in Toronto Canada, 3 weeks in the fall in California - LA, San Diego and Las Vegas, was in Hong Kong for thanksgiving. Though I didn't go anywhere crazy or too special, I am glad I stuck with what I planned and traveled to places, esprcially to see important friends. All the memories are worthwhile <3

Seoul in Janruary
Authentic Korean BBQ - Best I've had in my life!
1881 Hertiage in Hong Kong in November
Nice dinner with dear friends in Hong Kong :)
Martha's Vineyard in August
Meet up with my best friend from Hong Kong in Toronto in July
In front of Toronto CN Tower in July
Surprise birthday visit in New York in July
:) So much fun in New York
Tryst - Las Vegas in September
San Diego 
4) New Car & New Apartment = New Life
This is probably one of few bad things not living with my parents. After graduation I was in a crazy panic about not being able to find a job. My parents live in Hong Kong. So unlike other people, I don't have *home* I could just chill at after graduation. I had to manage everything on my own, from moving out from the apartment I stayed at in school to a summer sublet, to sign a lease for a studio in the heart of Boston... those of you who live with parents should really be thankful that everything is taken care of for you. Though my parents aren't here with me, they were nice enough to give me money I need for rents, expenses, and a new car even if I was to go on jobless for a year. I already don't have loads I need to pay off for school to begin with. It truly is a beginning of a new life, I really can't thank them enough.

You have all seen my new car from the shoveling post below HAHA It's a brand new white 2010 Honda Fit Sport. I don't like to do financing on material goods so within my budget that's the best I could get. I am so happy with my purchase! As for my apartment, I still don't have time to really settle down due to all the traveling. I literally started working the day after I got back from Hong Kong for thanksgiving but here is a snapshot.

5) Blogger's LOVE
It's crazy but I really don't have much downs this year - so I will have to make my last point as an 'up' again. As cheesy as it sounds, one of my ups is really to just have you all with me, well, at least from April when I started writing here. I know I know.. I post mostly pictures (because I know my grammar is still really poor) but I honestly, humbly appreciate the friendships you all have given me. I cannot believe 8 months of blogging has flew by and at the same time I cannot believe how many good friends I have made through here! I really try my best to reply to all the comments / suggestions you give me. Thank you SO much for all your support. This blog makes me further realize how amazing a lot of people are in this world. Love you all <3

I was originally going to tag 5 bloggers (though i never thought the rules for these tags were fair) but I really recommand you all do it! Take some time today to think about what you have learned, who you have met, what has changed you. Most importantly, how could we become better human beings and what contributions we could give back to the society we live in. We cannot just take and not give.

Last but not least, I hope you all have a wonderful new years!


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