Published 12/29/2013 by

My Korean Dream ~

As this year is slowly coming to an end my new plans have taken concrete form and are approaching with every passing month it's time to officially announce my new project! 
Remember my last post about the future? It was only 1 year ago and I was so insecure with all the possibilities but my life was so much different than now because I was also including my (then) fiancé in those plans since I wanted to move abroad with him. ( ‾ʖ̫‾)
Many things changed. 
My new plan is none of those I listed last year, I made a completely new plan. After visiting Korea 2 times, this summer I finally fulfilled my wish of going to Summer School in Korea for 3 months. It was a super hot summer (even the locals were complaining) but I never got sick of Korea or the food or the people and when I had to leave in September I felt like I had just warmed up and the best (refreshing) season was yet to come, I also felt bad leaving my class at Yonsei University behind, studying Korean was such an enjoyment... 
So I've decided to pursue a Master's degree in a completely different field (let's leave the exotic languages aside, shall we?), most probably it will be international trade at Yonsei University's Graduate School of International Studies and combine it with my dream of living in Korea for an extended period of time. 
It has become a new dream, my Korean Dream. 

I am aware that I sound like a Kpop fanatic who fantasizes about their dream country Korea (sorry to my readers who are such fans!) and I really want to deny that impression: I've lived in Asia (China) before. I've cohabited for years and had marriage plans with a Chinese guy. I don't idealize Asia and know all of the challenges that I'll be facing but still I really want to do it. I go as far as saying that if I'm able to find a good job or/and find a serious relationship and don't experience any opinion-changing trauma after my 2 years of studies there I could also imagine settling down there. 

~ Flashback Start ~
Learning Chinese was my father's idea and became a hobby in my childhood. During my teenage years and many short travels to China I'd already started fantasizing of leaving Europe and staying in Asia. I decided that I wanted to study Sinology (mainly to be able to live in China for a year) when I was 16 and that became my driving force. I breathed Chinese culture through extensive lecture of historical novels and watching Taiwanese dramas all night long and listening to Cpop on my way to high school. After starting university and studying like mad during the first year I received a scholarship from the Chinese government. Thus I was able to fulfill my teenage dream and live in Beijing for a year when I was 20. Thanks to my studies I was able to go there but also due to my studies I had to come back to finish up here. After meeting my Chinese fiancé and making plans I was ready to move to China but in my recent travels I found that the changing society and specially the pollution had become a big drawback for me. Now without my Chinese fiancé I feel less inclined to settle there. Still, I really love the country and want to visit there frequently. There are so many places in China I still want to discover and so much yummy food to eat! 
On the other hand this year I visited Japan for the first time. I'd started my passion for Japanese things   when I was about 12-13 and started drawing in Manga-style. I watched Anime and bought Manga and learned about Japanese culture. But I never considered myself a Japan Fan because back then Visual Kei was super popular and I never got into JRock or dreamed of marrying a Japanese guy like many German girls in my online Manga/Anime community. Still, I kept my passion for Manga and Japanese culture and in my twens I also started getting interested in Japanese Fashion. I wore general Asian fashion and Lolita clothes, tried some Gyaru style and even Mori Girl. I tried wearing wigs and false eyelashes and colorful contact lens (I failed TT). I bought and downloaded Japanese fashion magazines and read them like a bible. I also scanned my own Gothic Lolita Bible. Recently I've calmed down but I still consider Japanese fashion styles my favorite and Japanese culture intriguing. When I visited Japan and discovered not only the prevailing Kawaiiness and food that was great plus the friendly and helpful people but also nearly went mad with the available fashion. In my opinion  Korea doesn't lack many things I need (except for chocolate), but I think Japanese fashion has much more variety so I definitely plan to take shopping trips to Japan! Also I only visited the Kansai area and I'm eager to discover many more places in Japan.
~ Flashback End ~

Korea and its language did not only reignite my passion (the one I also used to have for China) but it is also perfectly situated between the other two countries I'd love to explore more. To me it seems like a dream being 2-3 flight hours away from either China or Japan, being able to eat lots of yummy Chinese food or go shopping in Japan. On the other hand I remember I was perfectly content while i was in Korea. I ate Korean food pretty much every day, all day and I didn't get sick of it, no, I kept having cravings for Korean food. I only started discovering the country and making some new friends. Applying learned words outside class gave me sensational feelings of success. After some beers I held conversations about couples or Korean society and theories in Korean while still being a complete beginner, I just didn't feel any shame and speaking Korean was a delight.  I also really liked Yonsei University and the teachers and it being a top university just added to its positive points. I want to go back. As fast as possible. But at the same time I still don't have a profession, so I decided to go for further (and more useful) studies. I hope to be able to both study and have a part-time job (maybe as a German teacher) while experiencing the real Korean life. 

Actually I shouldn't feel the urge to list any reason for my decision. 
It's just the way it is and I want to follow my heart. But I think everything I wrote down might bring my decision nearer to you, didn't it? Thank you for bearing with me. 
❤ Do you share a similar dream? What are your dreams?
❤ Which ones have you realized? Any upcoming ones?
...btw do you like my new animated laurita mascot? 
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Published 12/23/2013 by

Giveaway Winner ~

Thank you so much to everyone who joined the giveaway, I was surprised that there are still many people following my blog, even after the long break. I also had some scheduled posts but for some reason the publishing didn't work out...sorry! m(_ _)m 
Like I said, if you didn't win the giveaway, don't worry! I will introduce some other super cute planners in my next post and I'm sure you'll love them too! ~ 

Winners, congratulations! Check your Email inbox, I just sent you an Email. ^_^

How is everyone spending the Pre-Holiday season?
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Published 12/13/2013 by

Choo Choo Diary Giveaway ~

 Yup, it's time for the yearly planner giveaway on Laurita.ch

Today is Friday 13th and I thought we could turn this (supposedly) unlucky day into a lucky one. So two lucky winners will take home a white or black Choo Choo mini diary for 2014. Will you be one of the two lucky winners? ~ 

As always, Jetoy's Choo Choo design is heart meltingly cute. Which one of the two stole your heart? 

 The giveaway is international, just follow the rules and participate!

This giveaway is open until Friday 20th so although you won't receive your new favorite diary for Christmas you will surely receive it perfectly in time for 2014. 
Remember to choose 1 out of the 2 and feel free to take any of my graphics (although I recommend the last one) for your own blog promotion.
You can choose: Either blog about this giveaway, or share on Facebook (through our FB fanpage) or share on instagram. Of course you can do all three, I'd be super grateful, but it doesn't increase your chance of winning. =P

Thank you! m(._.)mアリガト

Feel free to ask if you have any questions about this giveaway. ^^ Also, if  Choo Choo isn't your thing (what??? you don't like cute cats? o_o'' ) then you might fall in love with my next article where I'll introduce some other cute Korean planners for 2014. Feel free to use this graphic when posting about the giveaway on your own blog and remember to let me know in the comment section  whether you shared on FB, instagram or through your blog. I'll check all the entries( ^ _ ^)∠☆

 Good luck!
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Published 12/11/2013 by

Revival ~

I'm back! It's been pretty much 3 months since I last wrote something and it's true that after leaving this blog for such long time it's hard to find a nonchalant way to restart it. Anyway, here I am with lots of upcoming articles for 2013. I want to focus on mainly Korea-related topics and will post every second day until the end of this year (sounds like a lot but it's only ~9 articles).
To celebrate the Revival of Laurita (we'll see what this blog might evolve into next year, I am still thinking about how to change the concept) and also as some kind of yearly Blog Tradition I've prepared something:
I'll host a Korean Planner giveaway.
Visit me this friday (13.12.13) for more information. I'll leave you with a cute pic of my cat Levi. 
Thanks for bearing with me all these months~ m(_ _)m

How has everyone been doing these 3 months?
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Published 9/12/2013 by

Back to Switzerland and full of ideas ~

I'm back to rainy and cold Switzerland! My flight home was depressing, I nearly cried at Incheon airport after my two favourite Koreans came to see me off and when I arrived in Switzerland and suddenly I couldn't hear any people speaking Korean anymore it hit me hard... and I sighed deeply.
Right now I've hit rock bottom for the second time
My first time was after returning from my 1 year study experience in Beijing I was able to do because of a Chinese governmental scholarship. I was broken-hearted, missing my life in Asia and had no money. I knew there was no "home" to return to because in the meantime my father had left our old apartment and moved in with his girlfriend. All my childhood memories and other belongings where stored in big plastic bags in a dirty basement. The first few weeks I didn't have any place to sleep and so I stayed at my father's working place with toilet but no bathroom, washing myself standing in front of the water tap. Later, when I was sharing a flat with an elderly lady (temporary hiding place) I sometimes had to choose if I wanted to eat dinner of buy a bus ticket to my university. My pocket money didn't allow spending more than a few bucks a day but without any family cooking for me my biggest priority was food. Despite my laziness I started to walk to university. Luckily I only lived about 30 minutes from there but still, it was a food - comfort decision I had to make. This went on for about 2-3 months until it slowly started to get better.

Now my second time: I just came back from a 3 year study experience in Seoul. Right before leaving I had broken up with my longterm boyfriend, quickly put all my belongings in moving cartons (and throwing away lots of stuff in the process!) and transfered them to my mother's place. Means: I moved out of my beloved and super beautiful apartment. One day before my flight to Korea I also lost my job for very stupid reasons (I didn't do anything wrong, they were "cleaning out" and I was just a part-timer anyway). So within 2 weeks I lost boyfriend, apartment and job. Ah, I also got sick because of the stress, by the way. With all these losses I had to face a new orientation in my life. But at that moment I just packed my luggage and flew off to Korea where I fully concentrated on studying Korean and enjoying my time there. I got nearly straight A's in my Korean language course. I met most of my Korean friends. I spend wonderful moments in Seoul. But now I'm back, living at my mother's place, sleeping on her couch because there's no space and all the insecurities, my stored carton memories and the need for a new job and life started haunting me again. Plus the jet lag and climate change. 

But this entry shall not be depressing! 
The first rock bottom (existential) experience taught me a lot about life and finances, I also learned to appreciate simple things and frugality. A few months later I met my now-exgong and we started a super-loving relationship which lasted for nearly 5 years. I feel like I matured a lot in that short span after China and before entering the relationship and getting spoiled by exgong.
I'm sure this second rock bottom (quarterlife crisis) experience will also teach me a lot and I might laugh about this situation someday. Right now the only thing that is still keeping my in Switzerland are my still-unfinished university studies. It sucks, because after losing everything else I am sure, if I had also graduated university I'd have left to Asia for good. Or at least for one year. For a fresh new start. But unfortunately I'm still kept in this country will all my memories. Ah, the Fernweh I keep feeling while in Switzerland! But I will do my best this last year and fulfill my big dream:
Ever since the last few days I've been evaluating a new life-changing project and all the preparations I might need for it to succeed. The more I think I about it the more I feel motivated and full of energy.
I think I'm on the right track and I can't wait to tell everyone about it... though, of course, I might fail. But what can I lose?  I will try hard to reach my goal and keep you updated (and maybe inspired) with my motivation and purpose!  I will reveal my big project soon ~  =P

Have you experienced a difficult situation? What lesson did it teach you?

...and for everyone who is experiencing a hard situation right now, read this!
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Published 8/25/2013 by

Ninth week in Seoul ~

<rant on> Ah... my Korea stay is slowly ending and I can't even enjoy it to the fullest because of the upcoming upcoming final exams. Also my body has slowly started to surrender to the daily humidity and heat, I keep feeling fatigued, no matter how long I sleep... so I guess I'm ready to go home. These last few days the temperature and humidity have slowly started to decrease but for my poor body it's already too late... Note to myself: Don't visit Asia in July-August....</ rant off>

Because of the fatigue and studies I wasted most of this week at the dormitory or around Sinchon area. Luckily I could compensate it with small adventures on Friday and Saturday. These two days have been a blast! I danced through Namsangol Hanok Village wearing a Hanbok and strolled along the woods of Nami Island, counting the stars and lighting sparklers. 

 A street artist in Hongdae  ② My hair is dark again! Ignore the cat-makeup. XD''  ③ Seoul by night, a romantic view from N Seoul Tower.

 Just me, ehm, dancing in a Hanbok...  ② The cute  ferry to Nami Island. ③ Romantic lights and the beautiful trees on Nami Island.

 I don't want to leave Korea! ㅠ_ㅠ
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Published 8/18/2013 by

Eighth week in Seoul ~

This week has been my turnaround week. After our trip to Jejudo which I consider the climax of my Korea stay because it was the biggest and most anticipated trip I started to feel how fast time has been passing. Everything had to be done quickly '빨리 빨리': Last-minute meet ups, mini-trips, planning possible activities. Suddently I didn't have all the time of the world anymore. So I stopped trying to make new Korean acquaintances online and focused on the ones I already knew instead. 

Still, this week offered quite a few highlights: I finally reunited with the Soonchunhyang girls I'd first met in Japan (love ya crazy gals ) and we had quite a lot of fun goofing around Namsangol Hanok Village, Myeongdong and ItaewonI was also kept busy writing a small paper (& memorizing it and presenting it in front of the class) as 10% part of our Malhagi (speech) exam. The topic was Korea 'something', so I chose to write about Korean friends. I introduced 2 of my dearest friends, one I had met 6 years ago in China and one I have met 7 months ago in Japan. 

 Harbangs @ Bukchon Dol Harbang Park.  Pictures of my 2 Korean friends I drew for my paper presentation.  ③ Gisaengs entertaining, Korea National Museum.

August 15th was Liberation Day (from Japan in 1945) and a public holiday. Since museum entries are free on that day my friend suggested we go to Korea National Museum. So I spent the free day roaming around and marveling at historical Korean artifacts. It was quite a funny experience because hundreds of families chose that free-museum-entry holiday for a cozy family trip, so the museum was full of families and children running around. It felt less a museum and more like a entertainment park.
Another super interesting experience (quite the opposite of the museum) was my visit to Seoul Comic World. It's a monthly exhibition of Comic/Manga-related fanart and Cosplay culture. I went there with some classmates and let my inner Otaku out! Though I have to admit I didn't buy many Anime-related stuff, mostly cute original art and some Pokemon fan art. (yes, I admit, I still adore Pokemon T_T)

 My favourite Cosplayer at Seoul Comic World Beautiful entrance of Korea National Museum. ③ Oldschool style Purikura in Myeongdong with SCH girls.

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Published 7/20/2013 by

Fourth week in Seoul ~

Today is July 20th and I still can't believe it, but I've already lived in Seoul for 1 month. I've gotten used to living in the shared room at the dormitory and class routine. But sometimes - specially when I walk out of the campus listening to Korean music and looking around I have like a sudden realization that I am in fact  and right now, living in Korea. I am completely content with my life here and I wish time could stand still. 

There are still so many places to discover, food to eat, people to meet, adventures to live. I'm trying to understand the hustle and bustle of this city and the joys and sorrows of its people. Next week we have mid-term exams so I'll be busy preparing for them. I love studying this language so much and despite its similarity to Japanese grammar to me it seems easier to learn... or maybe I'm just too much into it? Watching TV dramas and listening to Korean music all the time I kind of got a feeling for the language I still haven't achieved after 2 years of Japanese studies... *sighs*

 The beautiful sight from Seoul N Tower observatory.  ② Found these in a stationary store at Ewha. The middle one represents me really well - so I bought it.  ③ Aren't these decorations at Changdokgung palace precious?.

 I love this stone wall decoration, seen at Anguk Station.  ② This was on a huge mirror next to a coffee shop. Remember it:  Be Good to yourself ③ Gwanghwamun in the evening... super romantic!

Also, although I'm supposed to have LAN connection in my dorm room the connection keeps shutting down... 짜증나.  
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Published 7/15/2013 by

Third week in Seoul ~

My third week in Korea has been like a roller-coaster ride. I've had super boring days at my dormitory but also explored a new city and spent hours under the pouring rain and gotten sick because of it. I also missed 2 day's class and had to quickly catch up with the grammar.

Often after school I go back home and take a nap (blame my 5h sleeping during the night) and then venture out in the evening for dinner or light shopping. But this week I was lucky to be able to watch a traditional Korean musical called Miso (more about it in a another post!) and dressing up in a traditional Korean wedding outfit. Plus this week(end) I had several meetups with friends, I went to Bukchon Hanok area for an all-day 'Photography date' and next day to Incheon for sight-seeing and meeting my friend's parents. Then I had another all-day hangout at Seoul N Tower. Every day was filled with impressions and hundreds of photos... and I was really, really tired. =)

 Class time! Love how our teacher (who also speaks English, Japanese, Chinese) adds the Chinese translation.  ② Kitchy mess at Myeongdong.  ③ Central Park 2 area in Songdo (Incheon). Foggy day increased the creepiness.

 One of my favourite photos of the Bukchon Hanok area where you can see both modern and traditional buildings.  ② Eating Jjajangmyeon at the place where it was (supposedly) originally invented.  ③ Beautiful flowers around Chongdong Theatre area where I watched Miso.

 Unfortunately I visited Incheon on a very rainy day - Pagoda at Jayu Park.  ② Uber cute Teddy bear museum (this time I didn't fail to visit the "modern" part , last time I only visited the "historical" part).  ③ Korean National Flower - Mugunghwa - in all its beauty.

This week has many highlights:  Miso Musical, Bukchon Hanok, Incheon, Seoul N Tower.  
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Published 7/07/2013 by

Second week in Seoul ~

The second week marked my slowly becoming comfortable with the Seoul subway system and my  university's surroundings (Ewha campus = ). I started getting lazy in the evening and buying more and more dosiraks. I also started making and meeting new friends from the internet, eating and visiting interesting places in Seoul together.

I went shopping and met up with some of my Korean friends I had made in Japan. Also our classmates managed to have a get-together, dinner, a short visit at a Bar and then Purikura - it was fun! There is still lots to see around here, I actually use a Seoul Tourism pamphlet book to  the tourist attractions I've already visited.

 Huge instant-noodles segment at convenience store.  Short hang-out at Ho-Bar with our classmates.  ③ Huge (traditionally) Kimchi pots outside of a hanok (Traditional Korean house)

 Entrance of some exhibition hall around Insadong.   ② Romantic night street view. ③ Decoration on the floor - an old map of Seoul.

 Traditional Korean food (many small side dishes) I was able to try at Samcheong-dong.   ② One of the 3 (?) Hello Kitty cafes I've spotted so far - super cute! I should visit someday.  ③ Beautfiul traditional figures, seen at Insadong.

Many of the places I visited (Insadong, Trick Eye Museum, Samcheong-dong) deserve an own entry with tons of photos - I'm working on it! 
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Published 6/28/2013 by

First week in Seoul ~

As I'm writing this entry I am sitting at my small desk eating a dosirak (Korean bento) that I just bought after class and I'm pleased to say that I've successfully survived my first week here in Seoul.
In this first week I've seen and done lots of things.  I've eaten lots of yummy Korean food (Bibimbap! Bibim guksu! Sashimi!) but also Japanese and Thai food. I've ridden the subway all alone (& gotten a bit lost), opened a Korean bank account, gone to the hospital and walked hours and hours and hours...
I've visited the Gyeongbokgung area, Ehwa area, Sinchon area, Dongdaemun area. I don't even know how I should start sharing everything I've experienced so I put together some snippets to give you an impression of what I've seen so far.
I love the colorful signs in Hangul, it looks like a decoration though they are just simple advertisements or other placards.  This delicate stone flower wall can be found at the main entrance of Ewha Women's University.  Cute fashion stores at Ewha shopping area.  Amazing building at Gyeongbokgung with stone guardian.  The street leading to the main entrance of Yonsei University.

① Nice 'shopping town' entrance sign at Dongdaemun.  ② These beautiful Hanbok are quite eye-catching; I hope to be able to wear one someday.  ③ Super love this photo I took inside Gyeongbokgung. It has a romantic feel to it.  ④ Our colorful and yummy (and cheap!) Bibimbap.  ⑤ Couples everywhere at Cheonggyecheon.

Since I've slowly settled down a bit (and the LAN connection in my room is finally working) I will update more often, so stop by for more Seoul stories! ♥
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Published 6/16/2013 by

A new chapter ~

I don't know where to start. There have been so many changes in my life in the past few months and weeks, life-changing events to say the least. It's ironic when I browse the diary part of this blog, specially this and that one, read older entries and realize the person who wrote them was a different me. 

My love for Asia hasn't changed; my life circumstances have. 

I wasn't able to graduate this year, I am now single and I gave up my apartment and about half of my bags/clothes as I prepared moving out and I am also having an ugly cold. Right now I am deeply hurt and grieving and full of fear but I know that soon I will be happier than ever before. There was a toxic environment around me that made me fall into a lethargy and being an ambitious person deep inside that lethargy made me despair and become depressed. I guess the very rare activity on this blog is a good example.
It's hard to write in a happiness-oriented blog when you feel like a failure most of the time. I've also been thinking of changing the direction of my blog but just didn't have the drive and consistency to do it. But let's leave the butthurtness for now, my issues are not something I can get over after one depressing post (it will take a long time i guess) and since I'm soon leaving to Korea I'm also pretty optimistic!

Though it wasn't planned as such, this 3-month stay in Korea will be the perfect medicine: I want to do everything I wasn't able to do or couldn't fully enjoy while being in a relationship.

 I'll be picked up by a caring friend and I have lots of plans of meeting my other friends excessively - becoming more social is a big goal. 
 Let's go out, drink Soju and Beer, eat street food and have spontaneous Karaoke-session in the middle of the night.
 I want to first eat super hot Ddukbokki and cry my heart out pretending it's the spice and then have Jjajangmyun to celebrate my single-ness. 
 Also, I need to get my hair done, though I'm not sure if I really want to cut it, maybe I'll just change my hairstyle a bit. I want to spend hours in bookshops, museums and other cultural interesting places and feed my intellectual side.
 Spend less time online (specially in Korea), write an offline diary, carefully decorate it with stickers and photos. Take tons of photos of anything that is beautiful or interesting. Take more time to draw.
 Exercising! I want to hike one of Seoul's mountains, go jogging in our beautiful campus (google Yonsei campus and you'll know what I mean) and relax and eating hard-boiled eggs at a jimjilbang (bath house)
 Going back to being a young, unattached student - giving my best in Korean, hanging out with other Korean-learning classmates, going on trips together, helping each other out with homework.
 And I want to work on self improvement but this time without the weight I have been carrying around - it's hard to write gratitude lists when a close person's choices are piercing your heart on a regular basis.
These are just some of the things I want to do while in Korea but I'll keep you updated!

What else would you suggest doing to recharge happiness batteries?

Let's start a new chapter together. 
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Published 5/19/2013 by

Happy Birthday Leehom ~

I guess great and inspiring artists get great and touching fans. Thank you for producing wonderful music and inspiring us for nearly 20 years. Happy (belated) birthday Wang Leehom!

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Published 5/01/2013 by

Recent Thoughts & Korea Plans ~

As I had already announced this year would be very Asian... and now I can proudly announce that I'll be spending 10 weeks taking Korean Classes in Seoul at Yonsei KLI (Korean Language Institute) this summer! (I'll write about this in more detail later.) I'm specially proud about this because I'd been thinking about doing this since last year's ...spring, maybe? Then in the meantime I (pretty spontaneously) was lucky enough to be able to go to Japan for 3 weeks (thanks to my sponsor/mother) but I had never given up this Korea project and I wanted to earn all the money and do the planning myself.

For me this is not just one of my biggest motivations (yes, I've been quite depressed and not just lately) but also a personal test: Despite being for only 3 months and as a student - it might give me an idea if I can imagine living in Korea in the future. The last few years I had been confident that I would go back and live in China for a few years but recently Korea has become my number one choice - unfortunately I haven't got the language skills (yet?) and that's a big minus... for now. The third reason is the 'self-realization' aspect: I had wanted to do this for a long time and my experience in Japan already showed me that I can make friends and adapt quickly to a new environment. I've been feeling bad about myself for a long time - mostly due to school and also personal problems - and I really need this challenge / fresh air to get more self esteem. 

Ok, this post isn't intended to be depressive so let's leave it like this. Anyway…
in less than 2 months I will be in Korea! (*≧▽≦) ~ ♪ 
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Published 4/21/2013 by

Gothic & Lolita Bible 47 ~

I  recently received the Gothic and Lolita Bible Vol. 47 and yesterday I got over my laziness and finally finished scanning it. Click the cover for the download link - and enjoy!  

Following are my personal outfit picks but first some explanations:

 Lately I haven't dressed much in Lolita - I've felt too "dressed up", as if I was cosplaying.
 I'm trying swift to a simpler Lolita style, one that when you see me wearing it looks 'naturally me'.
 Retro Sweet or Cute Classic styles without too many accessories appeal most to me ~
 I'm not really into Gothic or OTT Sweet so please excuse if they are not in my picks XD''

Here are my picks:

What are your picks from the latest GLB?

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Published 3/10/2013 by

KYOTO: Kinkaku-ji ~

Our first day trip! I think we were all super excited about visiting Kyoto! The only downer was the grey, rainy weather. By 9 we had all boarded our rental bus and took off to our 1 hour ride. Tao tried to console us about having a rainy first trip saying that most of Winter School's trips to Kyoto had been rainy... T_T
HY (sitting next to me) immediately fell asleep so I started practicing napping too. 
1 hour later we arrived in Kyoto and as we were driving by old buildings and seeing lots of people in Kimonos I slowly started falling in love with this city and quietly decided to visit again some day. =3

After getting off at the Kinkakuji (金閣寺or Rokuonji (鹿苑寺as it is officially called and getting our tickets, we entered the garden and took tons of photos at the first scenic spot.

The Kinkakuji in all it's beauty and my favorite pastime: Taking photos of people taking photos. ^^

Afterwards we were free to walk around the beautiful garden (I'd really love to see this place in Spring)

I'm a sucker for nicely decorated roofs XD

While driving through Kyoto's main streets (so beautiful T_T ) we saw many dressed-up young people and were told that it was Coming of Age Day (成人の日). 

This Japanese holiday is held to celebrate young people who reach age or majority (20 years old).
It was very beautiful to look at so many young women in Furisode (振袖some kind of formal long-sleeved kimono walking elegantly down the rainy streets and meeting up with guys in suits. kk

Our next stop was Yasaka-Jinja (八坂神社and Gion (祇園). Please wait for my next entry ~ 

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