Oh My God, We’re Back Again
Look at this fool, trying to hype up her return to the blogosphere by comparing it to a boyband comeback. Despicable.
HEY GUYS 😀
I have completed my yearly bout of falling off the face of the earth! It’s been 10 months and 22 days since I last posted, which I think is pretty standard at this point? However, this year’s unplanned-but-fully-expected hiatus featured some pretty cool things, including a literal departure from the face of the earth. No, I didn’t just jump in the air for a split second, though that totally counts. I’m talking about an actual adventure!
I’ll warn you now, this post will be entirely unrelated to The Sims. Except for the part at the end where I promise an imminent update. Aren’t you excited for that part??
Soooooo around this time last year, my sister managed to convince me that the time for international travel was NOW OR NEVER and that all the talking we’d done about our dream destinations could happen FOR REALZ if I was only willing to give up a few weeks of the quidditch season. (Refresher: quidditch is my everything; this was not easy.) It happened to coincide with cheap flight season, and one does not shake a stick at cheap flights (unless you are one of these guys). I spent the next five months crying over how an unemployed deadbeat was going to afford a five-week stay on a foreign continent, but my tears dried up from pure dehydration once we were aboard our cozy China Eastern charter complete with 22-hour layovers and multiple meals of Tentacle Surprise.
This all went down last September/October, and I’m still recovering from how amazing it was. So before I get back into the swing of Langurd life, I thought I’d share with you guys some of the cool things I got to do!
(Disclaimer: iPhone photography is a fickle art.)
First stop: Seoul, South Korea! I swear I caught the skyline on a bad day—this city is absolutely gorgeous. Its one flaw is not the endearingly cardboard-tasting vending machine coffee, but the lack of public garbage cans in which to dispose of your empty cup. Seoul has so many different corners to explore if you’re willing to walk up enough stairs, and while we didn’t have time to see everything, highlights included:
Taking the cable car up to Namsan Park…
Checking out some iconic K-drama locations…
Visiting the halls of former kings…
And eating a stupid amount of stupidly good food…
While in Korea, we were ambitious enough to visit four other cities within the span of a week. (The hottest week of the season. RIP us.)
Highlights of Gwangju: street performances around literally every corner, an abundance of flower shops, and a really nice man who sold me a chicken skewer (forcing me to learn the important lesson that you don’t walk and eat in Korea, not if you don’t want to carry a greasy, pointy stick for hours while people actively avoid you on the sidewalk).
Highlights of Daegu: really really spicy food, tons of walking trails, and a massive textile market that we didn’t get to visit </3
Highlights of Gyeongju: cozy hanok accommodations with the nicest hosts, huuuuge spans of preserved historical sites and plenty of picturesque fields to get lost in.
Highlights of Busan: it’s on the ocean – need I say more?
From the southern tip of Korea, we took a ferry across the Korea Strait to land in Fukuoka, Japan! Which we actually saw very little of, because the next morning we were on another boat to the tiny fishing isle of Ainoshima, also known as…
CAT ISLAND 😀
(It wasn’t quite like the Buzzfeed posts, but it fulfilled me on a level that nothing else ever will.)
From there we travelled northeast toward Tokyo via various speeds of bullet train (spoiler: they’re all fast) making some big stops along the way.
Highlights of Hiroshima: a totally tranquil yet deeply unsettling walk through Peace Park; castles that look like they should house legendary Pokémon, and OKONOMIYAKI (so much more than a noodle pancake)
Highlights of Osaka: conveyor belt sushi, urban green spaces, more castles, and seeing the Pokémon 20th Anniversary Movie in a mall theatre without subtitles (turns out Ash is really called Satoshi??)
^ When your skincare addiction clashes with your dorkiness in the ugliest way possible
Highlights of Kyoto: hot spring resorts nestled in mountains, climbing said mountains to feed ungrateful monkeys, ramen joints lined with bookshelves, oh and casually sleeping in a capsule (which felt like the Hunger Games in the best way possible)
Finally – Tokyo, as you can imagine, is just a mad collection of unspeakably awesome experiences. The perfect place to go if you’ve ever wanted to:
Walk the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing from every direction (and then retreat to a Starbucks window to experience it in a more introvert-friendly manner)…
Eat this beast of a Harajuku crepe…
Waste half your money on UFO games, then get thoroughly shown up by local DDR pros and walk away sweaty and ashamed through clouds of cigarette smoke…
Design your own Cup Noodles at a museum devoted to instant ramen…
^Mr. Noodle and me!
Or cross all 800m of the Rainbow Bridge on foot to begin your very own Pokémon journey (jk, it’s only a futuristic-themed shopping mall).
(Yes, we rode the ferris wheel)
We also got to spend a few hours in downtown Shanghai with our 40lb backpacks (NEVER AGAIN) so here’s my hard-fought picture of the Bund:
Naturally, after five weeks of culture shock and walking across entire cities fuelled by adrenaline, rice, and seaweed, it’s taken me some time to get my head back on the ground. (Well, not really, since Asia gave me a new appreciation for sleeping on floors.) I think I still have laundry I haven’t done. I also landed a “part-time” job here at home in a desperate plea to replenish my dollars. It’s at a cat cafe, and it pretty much owns my soul now.
So yeah, that’s what your friendly neighbourhood slacker has been up to! Fret not, for this is not in danger of becoming a travel blog. I’m just as shocked as you that I had the initiative to pull this off. Hopefully, by the time I have the funds/energy to do anything cool again, this damn legacy will be finished.
I hope you’ve all been well these past 327 days (shit, that is a really long time)! I have Chapter 7.0 about halfway ready to go – that’s right, you’re getting a prologue this time – and nothing but barista-ing on the agenda for the time being, so y’all better brace yourselves for the Return of the LangurdsTM.