Hello everyone and Happy New Year! At this point, it’s unanimous to say that time is swiftly passing by. It’s difficult to believe 2023 went by that fast. It’s almost as if we don’t get a full 24 hours in a day. Sigh. But the saying goes, ‘We all have the same 24 hours as Beyoncé, so what are you doing with yours?’ 😀
On a more serious note, simply waking up each day, breathing, holding it together, and refraining from confronting that bothersome coworker is an accomplishment in itself. I’ve had to learn to appreciate every small act despite societal pressures implying we’re not doing enough without active participation in hustle culture. I’ve learned to value every small act. In today’s world, being able to cherish our loved ones and witness another day is undeniably a blessing.
We’ll also be ushering in the Year of the Dragon, which happens to be my Chinese zodiac sign (I’m an Earth Dragon to be exact.) The last time we saw the Dragon was in 2012, a year filled with opportunities for me. Here’s to hoping that this year brings even more blessings. In general, the Wood Dragon year is anticipated to bring about evolution, improvement, and abundance. It sounds like it could be an exceptionally promising year for all of us.
This year marks the 13th anniversary of this blog! It all began with my journey as The Pink Fashion Ninja in Korea, transitioning to my design ventures with SweetxAesthetic, and now embracing style and travel adventures with The Year of April. (Promise, this is the final title change (😄) but evolution is inherent in our human nature as we learn and grow. I aspire that my current endeavors serve as inspiration for those yearning to travel, reminiscent of my days in Korea.
On that note, to this day I’ve had the pleasure of meeting individuals who became followers of my YouTube/Website during my time in Korea. To meet so many young women and men who were inspired by my travels who are now living abroad at this moment! I hadn’t fully grasped the significance of those moments back then.
Few women of color were residing in South Korea at that time, sharing their experiences through vlogs, and I was among the minority not only showcasing the positive aspects but also the challenges. From my initial challenging hagwon teaching experience to the crazy but fun encounters in and around the country—they undeniably served as valuable lessons that have shaped my journey to the present.
As for my personal life, I currently work in the amusements industry, with a significant portion of my job involving travel. It consists of a hybrid mixture of office days, working from home, and traveling to a new city/country. With this position, I’ve been able to visit a huge number of states that I previously never would have even cared to go to. Surprisingly, most have been pretty awesome and I’ve found some hidden jewels in most.
The realization of how crucial travel is to my mental health only hit me when I started therapy. My therapist often tells me I process emotions more effectively when occupied with work on the road. Travel clears my mind and genuinely brings me happiness. Strangely enough, I prefer a bustling airport over an office.
This lifestyle also allows me to quickly accrue travel points, so I eagerly book flights to attend concerts in different cities. The limit does not exist on how many times I can see Miyavi. 😅 While Kansas City is gradually attracting Asian acts, with Chicago and Dallas nearby, they remain more likely first stops. However, the industry is gaining some traction here surprisingly.
Beyond the United States, my passion for international travel remains fervent. In 2022, I fulfilled my dream of visiting Egypt, with brief layovers in the UK and Italy. The UK was awesome since I was able to get a nighttime guide through the city by my bestie Girl Davis.
In 2023, I revisited Tokyo after an eight-year hiatus, also exploring Kyoto and Osaka for the first time, the latter now being my favorite city in Japan. Although more Japanese cities await, I plan to return in the not-so-distant future to continue my explorations.
The cheapest round-trip tickets from Los Angeles to Osaka
|28 February 2024
|13 March 2024
|Tickets from 678
This year, my goal is to visit another dream destination: Transylvania! Yes, that Transylvania. As a fan of Dracula lore, I’m excited about exploring the impressive castles associated with Vlad the Impaler. With my birthday being so close to Halloween it really works out well with the spooky Dracula lore. While in Europe, I also intend to explore other countries, take a scenic train journey, and end my travels in London to spend even more time with my bestie.
Additionally, I aim to have visited all seven continents by the time I turn 40. Ideally, I’d achieve this a bit earlier, but we’ll see how it unfolds! On top of everything, my mother and I are planning a visit to Thailand, making this year quite eventful. Oh, and I’m attempting to move too. 😀 Issa a lot sis.
The concept of the future is fascinating in that it can stretch out as far as we desire. It could be a mere 5 minutes from now or extend to 25 years—it’s entirely within our control. This perspective dawned on me when I delved into a new approach called the 12 Week Year. This method involves categorizing goals, aiming to accomplish them in 12-week intervals, essentially making them easier to achieve. I’m attempting to apply this strategy to both my business and personal goals.
I recently ran across a TikTok on the topic where the person suggested making a goal bingo card with a reward when you complete it. The reward aspect appeals to me (LOL) so I’m going to strive to accomplish my goals. Now that they’re organized into manageable achievements, I don’t feel as overwhelmed as I normally would. The world of blogging and social media is EXHAUSTING my friend!
Here are a few exciting developments to anticipate from The Year of April:
- Travel Guides/Ebooks: Providing insights into solo travel, crafting itineraries, handling international travel, discovering the best coffee shops, and Asian food spots, among other topics.
- Stylish Travel Gear/Accessories: Merging my passion for style with travel, I’ve designed some cool products that I hope to release this year.
- Consistent Posting: A key goal for my Q1 12 Week Year is to establish a regular posting schedule for the site. I aim to return to the level of consistency I had in the past, with posts scheduled for every MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, AND THURSDAY.
- Next Level Style: Channeling aespa*, I’m committed to pushing my creative boundaries. Honestly, getting back into the ‘April’ that allowed nothing stop her. I also plan to significantly enhance my sewing skills as well. Ya’ll wish me luck on that one. 🤞🏼
As of now, these are the priorities on my plate, but knowing myself, I’ll likely add more unnecessary tasks throughout the year. 😖
As I end this post, I send prayers for everyone’s safety and that each day brings the readiness to conquer the world.
What you are goals for 2024? Let me know in the comments!