6 Things I Hope 2019 Will Bring Me

I won’t be writing a list of resolutions. Improving myself and my life is something I work towards every day, without feeling the need to write it down.

However, I found that laying down your hopes and wishes on paper is a great help you to define your dreams and goals. As soon as you write them down, they feel more real. And in general, doing so at the beginning of a new year allows you to see things clearly.

Here’s me doing just that. 


In 2019, I wish…

To Travel More…

Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, China… how many of them will I be able to visit this year?

I believe my being in Singapore will help me on that wish, since going anywhere in South East Asia from here really isn’t expensive. In fact, these days it’s making me wonder about what really prevents people from traveling, apart from money.

Here in Singapore I can witness locals not really wanting to travel although it’s a cheap matter for them, and what’s more, travel alone. I believe nobody would ever do that here. Going somewhere in Asia by themselves, without the perspective of having a friend meeting them at the airport upon arrival is something quite close to a nightmare. Of course I can understand to some extent, and here I’m talking about Singaporeans but this applies to any nationality. It’s just even more obvious since Singapore is known to be Asia’s nerve center.

And you, what are you afraid of that prevents you from traveling, apart from money?

To Meet New People…

So far I’ve done a pretty good job overcoming my shyness and have met and bonded with quite a lot of people. It’s been a long time since I’ve made new friends, but moving to a new place alone has forced me to be more open to new relationships.

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This year, one of my biggest challenges will be to improve my Japanese as much as I can before going to Tokyo again on my own and hopefully make some friends during my stay, or even one friend would be huge! Cross fingers for me!

To Improve My Content… and Find My Pace

20190119_212644_00017379178381326100204.pngI’m still in the process of choosing what will be best for both this blog and my daily life. At the moment, I’m going with the flow and creating content when I feel like it, favoring quality over posting on time.

As you can see in my right column, I am supposed to post every Wednesday and Sunday, which roughly means 9 or 10 blogposts per month depending on the month. This goal is something I’ve imposed on myself but so far, I haven’t been able to keep up with it, since I have many other things on my hands apart from my 9-to-6 work: my YouTube channel, my Japanese lessons, my Bujogram, the reading challenge I’m on every year, and staying fit by going to Yoga classes and doing fitness on my own.

As much as it pains me to admit, 2 blogposts per week was too great a challenge for me. I am going to have to slow down on this blog. I’ve decided I’m going to post only on Sundays and see where it leads me. I’ve chosen Sunday since I believe this is a day when most of you have time to chill and actually read some blogposts. 🙂 Let me know what you think about this change!

To Tackle On My Anxiety…

Mental illness has been the talk in town for quite some time now. Many people have had the courage to speak up, and I’m happy to see it did spread some light on it.

I myself have had anxiety for as long as I can remember, and in fact for very concrete reasons I know too well about. It’s something I know I’ll never be able to master completely, but I can definitely improve how I manage to live with it in my daily life.

Since my first job has started, my anxiety has never been so low during the day. I’m still having trouble to sleep though, but I’m working on it. And I haven’t had a single panic attack for the whole of 2018. I hope I’ll be able to say the same at the end of 2019, and also that it doesn’t affect me as much. Wish me luck guys ❤

To Get A New Tattoo…

I know it comes rather aggressively after saying I wished to tackle on my anxiety, but in fact these wishes are very much linked to one another. Finally getting tattoos for my 25th birthday in 2018 was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Since then, I’ve been more in sync with my body than ever before. I’ve slowly started to actually like my reflection in the mirror, just when I thought it would never happen to me.

This subject needs a whole blogpost to itself, which I’m keeping in mind for the future. For now I’ll only say that the 4 tattoos I’ve got right now are still missing a fifth one. If I could get it done this year after having designed it, it would be perfect. 🙂

To Have A Healthier Lifestyle…

So far, I’ve quit smoking and coffee altogether, and am careful not to drink too much alcohol, in hope that someday I’ll quit alcohol too. This year I’ll focus more on this, because I’ve overlooked it for too long, due to my anxiety level being too high during my studies. Now that I’ve ‘started on my life’, I really wish to be as healthy and responsible as possible.


Of course this list isn’t exhaustive: I wish for many more things to happen and will talk about some of them in later posts! So don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to be able to know when new blogposts come out 🙂

Stay tuned,

Lilly

aka The French Hat

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One Month Living In Singapore | Sat’Update #4

Day: Saturday the 29th, December 2018 (night).

Location: Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

Last event(s): have spent a week in Bali, and made a wonderful new friend ❤

Next event(s): new year’s eve in Singapore & working my ass off to create contents for 2019.

Current state of mind: focused to get everything done in time.

Current state of body: tanned & ready for fitness.


So, it’s already been a month.

I didn’t count from the first day I arrived because my first week in Singapore has all been about finding a place to live, which didn’t make room for any exploring or relaxing or enjoying my time in Singapore.

I can recall I was wondering whether or not I would make friends here, whether or not I would actually be able to travel around… and both of those wishes have quickly been fulfilled: now I’ve made friends with two wonderful girls, and traveled to Indonesia for the first time in my life.

I can’t wait to see what 2019 will bring me…


Until next time (and don’t forget to travel),

Lilly,

aka The French Hat

Life’s Sweet In Singapore | Sat’Update #3

Day: Saturday the 8th, December 2018 (late afternoon).

Location: McDonald’s, at United Square Mall (Novena), Singapore.

Last event(s): very busy week at work, have made my first Singaporean friend & purchased my new BuJo for 2019.

Next event(s): building IKEA furniture that arrived at my apartment on Wednesday & getting internet connection at home.

Current state of mind: very excited to prepare lots of contents for the coming new year (more Blogposts, more Instagram pics, new Bullet Journal).

Current state of body: feeling good & full.


This week was extremely busy but at the same time life’s been so sweet here.

Here in Singapore, you never worry about the time, or the weather (even when it’s raining because you just get under the covered passages), or walking home at 2 a.m., or getting food whatever the time of day or night may be, or making friends…

Singaporeans are so friendly and genuine I still can’t believe they actually exist!

My new friend told me how she and her friends have always been afraid to go to France and all I can say is how much I can relate to it now that I can see how untroubled and oblivious life here may be…

I can’t wait to tell you all about it! I have been making lists of topics I absolutely want to cover on my blog and I can’t wait to sit down and write the related blog posts for you all!


Until next time (and don’t forget to travel),

Lilly,

aka The French Hat

‘Traveling’ In Translation: In-Between Worlds | World Tour #9

Yes this title is an attempt to make a pun with the title of Sofia Coppola’s masterful movie ‘Lost in Translation‘, which you would all have watched, I am sure.


So we left Las Vegas with a somewhat sore feeling. After being forced to get a cab from the hotel to go to McCarran International Airport, when no other option was left to us, and waiting for several hours at the airport (where we felt more at ease than anywhere else in Vegas at that point), we eventually took off and escaped from the Nevada desert, happy as ever to leave the sounds of the slot machines behind us.

It was Monday the 23rd of July, and on that day I set foot in Los Angeles for the first time in my life.

Those Weird Hours In Between

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We had almost 24 hours until our next plane, which would carry us in more than 10 hours, to Japan.

Things went smoothly, so we didn’t have to think about it. From the airport, we took the free shuttle to our hotel (what a change after Las Vegas!), checked in the huuuuge beautiful room we booked and we proceeded to chill out.

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We didn’t even go out of the hotel to explore Los Angeles a bit, but honestly we weren’t in the mood to do so. Things are a little blurry but from what I can remember, we went to the hotel restaurant and ate very good food, and then I watched a movie my father had told me about on the flight that day, which I had wanted to see ever since it was released in 2004: ‘Flight Plan‘ with Jodie Foster, a thriller set on a plane which was interestingly written, but scared me about planes when I wasn’t even scared…

Preparing Yourself For A Whole Other World And An Inevitable Culture Shock

All I could think about was counting the hours separating me from leaving the US and FINALLY landing to Japan, and seeing it for myself, after so many years of wondering how it would be like.

For the record, I have been learning Japanese for almost 2 years now, and obviously learning about the culture as well, from many different sources (YouTube, books, TV shows, Netflix, documentaries, social media and so on). So I already knew a lot about Japan. In fact, in some ways even more than I knew about the US… That’s something I’ve already talked about, but what I knew from the US before our trip all came from 70s to 90s TV shows and movies. Nothing current.

I had the same level of excitement for Japan that I got for New York City, which is saying something because I had wanted to go to New York since before I could even have memories… I can’t even describe how happy I was.

That night I couldn’t sleep very well either, which was expected…

I knew well enough how much of a disorientation and culture shock we would feel when arriving in Japan, and what’s more, in Tokyo. I tried to explain it as much as I could to my father. I remember I told him about:

  • the fact that the weather there was extremely hot and humid (because it was summer), which neither of us had ever felt before;
  • the fact that nothing was his size there (my father’s really tall), especially in Tokyo and especially after staying in the US for 2 weeks, where everything is too big;
  • the fact that people smoke in restaurants, but aren’t allowed to smoke in streets except in very specific areas;
  • the fact that there is A LOT MORE PEOPLE everywhere, especially in Tokyo;
  • and of course the simple fact that we were going to leave one continent for another, and not any one of the continents: we were going to leave the America for Asia! Which would have been okay if either of us had ever been to Asia before, but we hadn’t. A huge culture shock was inevitable.

He listened alright. And as I talked about it, I tried my best to really think about it. But in the end, neither of us was truly prepared for what was coming.

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Ever wondered where Sofia Coppola got her title from for her famous movie? Well I’ll just leave that quote here for you to think about…

“Poetry is what is lost in translation. It is also what is lost in interpretation.”

Robert Frost

Until next time,

With love,

Lilly

25 Things I’ve Learned In 25 Years On Earth

So. On Monday, October 8, 2018, I turned 25. In fact I’m writing this on that Monday evening, just to be sure I get things right, and also because I like being a dramatic like that (yeah).


Dear 24-year-old me,

This morning, when I woke up and realized I was 25 at last, it didn’t hurt as much as you’d thought it would. In fact, I felt pretty good and I still do.

Even though I know I am now a quarter of a century, and technically closer to 30 than 20 (although, not when writing this post because I’m precisely in between) I still feel okay with it.

Maybe it’s because I’ve put way more effort into my well-being and mental health these past few months, but I do feel happier, and more content with my life as a whole.

So, turning 25 isn’t so bad after all. And you do accept it even more when you realize, like I did, that you’ve accumulated quite valuable knowledge so far, that you wish you’d figured out earlier.

So here are the 25 most important things I’ve learned so far. May this knowledge be useful to anyone now or in the future, younger or older.


  1. Life is short.
  2. Take lessons from the past, dream about the future, but always remember to live in the present.
  3. You never know what turn your life is going to take from one minute to another.
  4. Never underestimate your own courage.
  5. What you can achieve only depends on what you think you can achieve.
  6. You have to be brave to fulfill your dreams.
  7. Always sleep on it.
  8. Don’t overthink, because your first take on something usually is the best one.
  9. Love doesn’t come easy, you’ll have to work at it.
  10. Be patient: things always come around.
  11. Never take life-changing decisions under stress or lack of sleep.
  12. Always make sure to make time for yourself everyday.
  13. Open your mind.
  14. Never forget things are never black and white.
  15. People who lie always will.
  16. Learn about History, and your own history: doesn’t define who you are, but gives you perspective.
  17. Don’t despair and believe: the wind will turn.
  18. If you are looking for answers, ask yourself.
  19. Alone doesn’t equal to lonely.
  20. If no one believes in you, believe in yourself.
  21. Your guts never lie.
  22. Always do the best you can.
  23. Always show kindness and understanding.
  24. Never let others tell you how you should live your life.
  25. But, always listen to your Mom (perhaps the best advice of all)

With love and kindness,

Lilly

aka The French Hat