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Dec 30

2014- Highlights from an Awesome Year

2014 Year in Highlights

I had wanted to write another “Ridiculous Moments” post like last year’s My 13 Ridiculous Moments of 2013, but then I realized that I couldn’t really think of very many strange experiences this year. This could be the result of one of two options: a) my life has become boring, or b) I’ve been in Korea so long that nothing seems weird anymore. I’m not sure which is worse.

 

After spending an embarrassing amount of time stalking my own facebook page, it turns out my life has been anything but boring. I wanted to do another cliche number thing (because every now and then I love a good cliche) like my 14 Favorite Moments of 2014 or something along those lines, but I just couldn’t narrow it down.

 

2014 saw me traveling to four countries, road tripping around Korea in my awesome car named Betty White, and rocking out at some amazing festivals and concerts. One of my best friends from home came for a visit, my students melted my heart a few times, and my blog even won an award! There were some really busy and stressful times mostly from filling my schedule with 12 hour work days, but overall it’s been a fantastic year– and certainly an improvement on the emotional roller coaster of 2013.

 

 

So here are some of the highlights from each month:

 

January // Visiting Home

Favorite Blog Post: The Story of a Letter and the Kindness of a Stranger

Golden Gate Bridge

Surfing in Santa Barbara Hendry's Beach

I spent three weeks in California seeing friends and family and attempting to eat all.the.food. After sunny days at the beach, afternoon fro yo friend dates, relaxing in the countryside, and seeing everyone I had missed so much, coming back to Korea was quite the challenge.

 

February //  Starting School Again

Favorite Blog Post: What It’s Like To Visit Home After A Year Abroad

Singing karaoke in Korea with school staff

Back to school and the cold, this might have been my least favorite month, but dancing with the vice principal and attempting to sing karaoke in Korean in front of the whole staff was pretty entertaining.

 

March // Holi Hai Festival in Busan

Favorite Blog Posts: Why I Stayed at the School That Makes Me Cry, But I’m Glad

Holi Hai Busan 2014

I was worried that my second year at Holi Hai wouldn’t be as fun as the first but I needn’t have worried–it was just as amazing! Celebrating Holi and St Patricks Day in one weekend made for a sore liver, though.

 

April // Easter, Buying a Car, Cherry Blossoms

Favorite Blog Post: What I Wish I’d Known When I Was a Student Now That I’m a Teacher

Cherry Blossoms Keimyung Daegu Korea

We held an Easter brunch on my roof and later went to the park where we saw a girl walking a hedgehog on a leash. The cherry blossoms bloomed and we went to the nearest college campus for a gorgeous photo shoot. Then I bought a car which I named Betty White because it’s old but awesome!

 

May // My Best Friend’s Visit, Road Trips, 2Cellos Concert

Favorite Blog Post: The Awesome & Inspiring Person I Met From Couchsurfing

Sangju beach Namhae Korea

Haedong Yongungsa ocean temple Busan

Boseong Tea Fields

Kellie came to visit me for two weeks and we had a blast exploring the islands in southeast Korea. After she left, my friends and I went on a road trip to the Boseung Tea Fields and Naganeupseong culture village. One night we also went to see two sexy European men rock out on cellos and life will never be the same.

 

June // Lake Party, Night Hike, Being Sick

Favorite Blog Post: Cats and Dresses: Korea’s Weird Cafes

Lake party Korea

I spent a lot of time in bed with a death plague but still managed to squeeze in a night hike up Apsan for a beautiful view of Daegu and a day partying and riding banana boats at a lake.

July // Mud Fest and My Adjumma Birthday

Favorite Blog Post: Musings on Turning 28 AKA What Am I Doing With My Life

Boryeong Mudfest 2014

Adjumma birthday party

Despite the sweltering humidity and heat that makes July moderately unbearable, I had a really great month. Mud Fest the second time around turned out to be even better, there were lots of fun girl’s nights with wine-fueled twerking, and I somehow managed to convince a large group of people to wear crazy outfits for my adjumma birthday party. Also, the school teacher field trip happened: 

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 2.35.17 PM

August // Trip to Borneo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur

Favorite Blog Post: Jungles, Beaches, Monkeys, and My Epic Trip to Borneo

Mabul island Borneo

August was unbelievable. Spending three weeks in Borneo, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur was incredible, and after spending 10 of those days traveling alone, I am fully confident in my ability to travel solo on my Around the World trip in a few months.

 

 

September // Taiwan

Favorite Blog Post: 10 Things I Learned in My First 10 Days as a Solo Female Backpacker

Waterfall in Taiwan

Chuseok, a five day holiday in Korea, gave me time to take a quick trip to Taiwan and I am IN LOVE with that place. The food, people, scenery, activities, and overall vibe was amazing and I really want to go back someday.

 

October // WWOOF farm volunteering, Goheung Road Trip

Favorite Blog Post: A Goodbye Letter to my Passport

Rural Goheung Island Korea

WWOOFing in Korea

October marked the start of “hiking season” for me and my friends. We took a road trip to a remote island to camp and hike, and spent another weekend volunteering at a farm and hiking in Gyeongju.

 

November // Hiking Seoraksan and Jirisan, Thanksgiving, Buddhist Temple Stay

Favorite Blog Post: 11 Things I Love About Korea

Seoraksan

Hiking season continued… Every weekend was jam packed! I hiked Seoraksan and Jirisan, mainland Korea’s largest mountains, had a truly authentic and delightful Thanksgiving party with friends, and did a Buddhist temple stay in Busan (after which my poor car didn’t start and I had to be towed off a mountain by a cute pink tow truck).

 

 

December // KBlog Award, Christmas Festivities

Favorite Blog Post: Confessions of a Single Girl Who Lives Alone

Christmas abroad in Korea

December has been slightly more slow paced, with the freezing cold weather making me want to hibernate, but I did go to Seoul and happened to win a cool KBlog award, and hosted Christmas festivities at my house which turned out to be so much fun.


Phew! What a year! Thanks for actually reading this far. Do you know how hard it is to narrow down approximately half a billion photos?

What were your highlights?

 

~~~Happy New Year!~~~

  • Well, I think you had one kickass 2014!! I’m still swooning over your trip to Borneo – I seriously need a South East Asia travel fix soon! Hope you have an amazing start of 2015, Kaleena! x

    PS: 3 words instead of resolutions – total bliss. It’s SO much easier to remember throughout the year what you had promised yourself at the start of it. I’m already thinking if next year’s word choices… you should totally try it out 🙂

    • KaleenasKaleidoscope

      I think you should totally go to Southeast Asia this year–and come hang out with me! 🙂 Just got back from my Philippines trip so I should probably think of my 3 words now haha. Happy new year!

  • I love the way you did this. 😀 It’s so positive, although I don’t know how I’d be able to remember what happened in each specific month. My memory’s crap. Haha

    Have a great year in 2015!!

    • KaleenasKaleidoscope

      Thanks! I wouldn’t have been able to remember either, I just spent a lot of time facebook stalking myself. My photos are also organized by date, so I just scrolled through them to refresh my memory. Happy new year to you! 🙂

  • BeyondBlighty

    Looks like an awesome year! I need to see more of Asia!

    • KaleenasKaleidoscope

      Thanks! It definitely was! Asia is amazing, but there’s so much ground to cover, I will never feel like I’ve seen it all