Yes, you’ve read it right, I’m writing about the year that was… I couldn’t help but reminisce the recent year when we all lived a normal life, a life that we got so accustomed to that we sometimes, unknowingly, take for granted, a life that we thought so ordinary, thought that we could always take charge and control of.

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. – Proverbs 16:9

From where I live and work, the quarantine is on its third month already. I’ve been working from home since 11 March, it was a trial for half of our department, but come 12 March, our office was locked down because one staff was tested positive of covid-19. Oh well, this post is for 2019, so let me go back to that year which seemed so distant and so special as well.

2019 was the year when I turned 40 which I shared on this post, so at the start of 2019, my best friends from college and I planned to have a “birthday trip” where we would celebrate our 40th. Initially, there were four of us who planned to go to Seoul, but eventually, only 3 of us pushed through with the plan.

I had 2 out of the country trips in 2019, the first one was in late May/early June, a business trip in Tbilisi, Georgia with my beloved boss, which happened to be one of the highlights of the year, one of the best blessings I’ve ever received, one that I would always remember with fondest of memories, with so much joy, gratitude and hope in my heart. Looking back, I’m so grateful that God allowed the 2nd trip, the birthday trip in Seoul, to happen in November, in the last quarter of 2019, atleast the happy memories and the joyful experiences are still “fresh” in my mind and heart as we approached 2020, and even now that we are on the 6th month of a rather very odd, uncertain year, but still hopeful times to say the least.

I am certain that it is not only me who finds joy and solace when looking back and seeing photos, including travels, from the past. Now that traveling has become a tricky game, a quite tedious ordeal, I would rather stay put until the time comes when it’s safer to explore outside the comfort of our homeland.

For now, let me share with you some of the entries I posted in my instagram account during our #USTeBFFsCelebrate40thInSeoul trip.

with my BFFs at the must-visit Geongbukgong Palace, 16 November 2019

Fave hotel and café in one place:

When you’ve found your fave hotel and café in one place. 😍
I discovered this hotel while reading the monocle travel guide on Seoul. Just by reading the short description about it and seeing a few photos, it was “love at first read errr sight.” 😛 So I told my BFFs about it and they fell for it too. Us, being “coffee-lovers,” it made perfect sense to stay at Hotel Cappuccino. 🤩

at my fave hotel in Seoul, 19 November 2019

Here’s @hotelcappuccinoseoul’s Shared Value which made me fall for it in an instant. 😍
“While the hotel business is growing worldwide at a remarkable pace, environmental pollution and local community development remain vulnerable areas. When hotels blindly pursue nothing but financial profit, they risk becoming a burden to their local community and environment – sadly, many examples of this already exist.
At Hotel Cappuccino, we established a basic principle of active social responsibility and support for worthy causes before we had even decided on a name for the hotel. While profit is a priority for any business, we believe that companies also need to create new value by contributing to local communities and the environment. Based on this new value, we aim to establish a beautiful business model in which the hotel, the local community and the environment coexist in a symbiotic and sustainable relationship. We call this model “Cappuccino Shared Value.”” 

My kind of “me time,” my kind of hygge:

When I travel, finding some “me” time and trying out new cafés (and different coffee variants) always spark joy. 🤩 Thus I try to do it quite often.

A couple of quiet mornings, while reading and waiting for my BFFs, I tried chillin’ at the hotel café.
☕️ ➕pastry➕📚 = my kind of hygge (hue-guh)

vanilla latte & vanilla macaron 😍 15 November 2019

Hygge is all about being in the moment, feeling completely relaxed and centered, letting go of the hectic world around you, either alone or with loved ones. Hygge time in Scandinavia is enjoyed after a busy day of activities.

Ole Henriksen, quoted in Vogue (Australia), 12 Aug. 2018
marron (Spanish chestnut) latte and madeleine au citron 😍 19 November 2019

This post is quite long already, hope you enjoyed “travelling back” with me. Let me end it here for now, please expect a series of posts on #USTeBFFsCelebrate40thInSeoul in the coming days.

Stay safe and well, everyone. God bless and protect us all!

By the way, in case you don’t know what BFF means, it’s Best Friends Forever. 😍

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