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.

img-20190118-wa0012-017357357683635408793.jpeg

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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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

Time To Say Goodbye Again | Thoughts On Expatriation #2

I’ve had a hard time writing on this topic, because I do think I’m not like many people and it’s making me nervous. But I’ve also said I’ll be as honest as possible on this blog. October the 15th has passed, therefore it’s official: I’ll be leaving for my second expatriation in less than a month.


And yes, you’ve guessed it, Singapore is the destination!

Small disclaimer: in this blog post, I’ll be talking about very sensitive subjects, on purpose, because I feel like giving my opinion and let my voice be heard is quite as important as hearing the voice of others on those subjects. So there will be talk about:

  • Expatriation v. immigration;
  • White European girl wanting to discover as much as she can about the Asian culture(s);
  • Moving v. Traveling

To make things perfectly clear, I’m going to Singapore to work, and work a lot for that matter. And anyway, Singaporean authorities wouldn’t let me stay on their land otherwise. You can find a lot of resources on that subject everywhere on the web.

But to be perfectly honest, I can’t believe my luck.

The Wonders Of Asia

My first expatriation was in Ireland, and it already was quite a change compared to France. I had some preconceived ideas about the culture that were literally blown away by the end of my two years living there. And I’ve discovered things you could never find in books or on the internet. But that’s for another blog post.

But now Asia, this is a whole other story.

As a white French girl, I will say I feel as far from the Asian culture as can be: not by choice, though. I would love to know more about each and every culture composing it, making this culture one of the oldest, richest and most diverse of our world.

COLLAGE ASIA

Japan I know a lot already, due to my early interest in this country and my learning of its language since early 2017. But what about the others?

Bengali, Burmese, Chinese, Cambodian, Dravidian, Filipino, Hmong, Hong Kong, Indonesian, Israeli, Korean, Kurdish, Lao, Macanese, Malaysian, Miao, Mongolian, Punjabi, Tibetan, Romani, Sindhi, Tajik, Taiwanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Malay…

What am I rambling about? I say this because Singapore is a real melting pot: it has a diversity of languages, religions, and cultures, with 4 official languages, 8 religions being practiced on its land, and at least 9 completely different cultures thriving there.

And for the record, I currently feel two things:

  • I feel very lucky to be able to see what I’ve been dreaming about with my own eyes;
  • I feel disappointed I’ll probably never be able to fit in any of the Asian countries.

Which brings me to my next point:

Why Stay In My Original Country?

…while there is so much to discover elsewhere?

And I do mean discovering it by actually living in those places. Not wandering about during your annual two-week holiday trip.

I’m not saying you won’t see anything in such a short period of time, but rather that you won’t be able to get very much in depth on anything.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I will be touching on those sensitive points I’ve disclaimed above.

I’m not judging anyone, I’m just saying I know you simply cannot get a good idea of a place and its culture(s) while only staying there for less than three months. And yes that’s a totally subjective minimum.

Now, people will have different takes on this, but I also think a place cannot be detached from its living population: therefore it’s constantly growing and you will never be able to know everything about it (but I guess it’s now more a matter of what you consider being a ‘knowledge’… but I’m going too far).

My point is, I’m not saying I wish to discover the Asian culture to then become a sort of sociological expert or a tour guide.

I’m not fooling myself thinking I’ll know everything there is to know about Asia even after living there for years.

But I can try experiencing as much as I can get into my system.

In fact, just so you know I make a point living like locals when I’m in another country. Not imitating, but experiencing life as they do. So that after a while, I can consider myself a local without blushing.

And I’m desperate to do it again soon.

Privileged French Expat’

Okay, third sensitive point. And it may be the worst one for many people. So without getting into much detail I’ll just say this:

Yes, I am white. Yes, I am French and therefore extremely favoured compared to most of the world’s population.

But I can’t do anything about those two things.

Yes, I have the opportunity to expatriate myself, i.e. moving to another country where I’ll be working (/immigrating: moving to another country because my original one cannot welcome me anymore).

And YES, I know how lucky I am and how many people would love to find work in the first place and what’s more find work in another country than their original one.

I’m not saying being aware of it wipes out the fact I still am considered privileged.

I only wanted to address this topic before getting real hate about it, and I know I will get it.

Saying Goodbye…

Last time I knew I would stay in Ireland for 2 years.

This time I’m saying goodbye for I don’t know how long… every single one of my close family members and friends have already planned their trip to come and see me over the next year.

Adventure cannot get more real than that, despite it being a sensitive matter because of my skin colour, nationality and situation in life.

And you know what? Maybe I should be, but I’m not scared one bit.

Until next time,

With love,

Lilly

aka The French Hat


© Photos: Main picture: istockphoto.com – Chinese dragon: EvBiD.com – Lanterns: Desktop-Screens

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