My Favorite Month: A Recap

January is, by default, my favorite month—for the main reason that it’s my birthday month. Apart from that, the start of the year always gives me more reason to change up things a bit in my own life. I stopped journaling daily this year (for a change) because I wanted to channel my energy into other things (but also because I tend to put too much of my feelings on each page that it gets emotionally exhausting). So, I guess that gives me more reason to write here, lol. Here are a few of this month’s highlights.

Welcomed the year in Budapest

There’s nothing quite like waiting for the clock to strike midnight in an unfamiliar place with newfound friends and strangers. I welcomed 2018 with a few shots of whisky, counting down at the steps of the Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest, and a post-midnight stroll along Buda with my tourmates. Probably the best New Year’s Eve I’ve had in years.

ICYMI: Here’s an article I wrote on Preview about traveling to Eastern Europe. #ABCEnRoute and vlog coming soon!

Started bullet journaling 

IDK if I’m being extra AF, but my journal count this year is 5. Lol. Check out the video below for more about my obsession with notebooks and documenting, among other things:

 

Related blog post: Starting The Year Right

I also shared some snippets from my journaling session with Kris Aquino and ate Ballsy, which aptly talks about bullet journaling. Check out the video below:

Coincidentally, I also started bullet journaling this month! It’s been quite interesting. I love how efficient it’s made my work life so far—and let’s face it, I don’t want to migrate most of my tasks, so here I am trying to make sure I get each task done accordingly. Here’s a peek of my future log:

Visited my second home, Singapore

Singapore will and always be my second home—and I’m so glad I got to visit even just for a few days. My big sis Mikka tied the knot with Andre, and their wedding was all sorts of amazing. I loved the reception so much; it was so intimate. Congrats, Mikka and Andre!

I spent a free day attending to my all-time favorites: Basheer Graphic Books, Library@Orchard, Kinokuniya, had Riverside’s Indonesian Chicken (an SG staple), and met up with my best friend Nix who works in Singapore. Funny though, it was my first time spending more than six hours in Changi airport (my flight was at 6AM the next day). I’d like to think it was a miracle I stayed up the whole time I was there (but also, thank you charging stations, long-form conversations, and that yummy post-midnight dinner!).

Celebrated my 25th birthday

I’m officially in my quarter life! Also, officially old. I wrote about it here and here. It’s been great; I feel like 25 is going to be an exciting year—here’s to new challenges and better days ahead.

Related blog posts: Hello Quarter Life | My DIY Birthday Party

Here’s a recap of how I celebrated my 25th birthday:

New job roles for the month

Work has been all sorts of interesting—from art directing shoots, writing articles (as the guest editor of Preview.ph!), to being part of the panel discussion for National Book Store‘s event (about millennials, no less). Apart from my Jenna Rink dreams coming true, I’m also working on my Graphika Manila talk which is both exciting and scary at the same time. Wish me luck this weekend!

Spent a weekend in La Union

[Side note: I survived my 2nd long drive! YAAAS]

It’s like La Union is the only place I ever visit in the Philippines apart from Metro Manila. LOL. Plus points because my long-distance barkada lives here (hi Maka, Meme, and Dennis!) and I always find a reason to revisit the beach and spend some quality time alone and with them. I spent my first weekend of quarter life road tripping with my best friend Den (our first ever out of town trip together), hanging out by the beach (and listening to the sound of the waves), playing games (Password, Jenga, Scrabble—and wow, we’re competitive AF) and eating really good food.

I was surprised when I found a Mendl’s box on the table of the Charlie’s Hangar reception area with a pretty picnic setup—only to discover that this was my barkada’s grand plan of making up for their absence the previous weekend (of my birthday). HUHU. I’m bad at feeling things, let’s be real. It’s just nice to feel appreciated. Thanks, friends!

Booked my NYC adventure

It was a random Tuesday night when I plopped open my laptop and went straight to an airlines website and booked my 100-day trip to my all-time favorite city (subject to change but let’s not talk about that first, lol). But to refresh your memory first (if you’ve been reading my blog since last year), here’s a recap of my NYC adventure last September:

After a conversation about far-flung travels and booking round trip tickets last week, I immediately opened my computer that same night and chose my dates. Everything else is still a blur at this point; but I’ve kept a “New York City notes” journal (which I’ve started writing while I was in NY last year) that I’ve been updating constantly. I think I was in the Public Library when I started that journal and things just made sense, you know? This opportunity wasn’t something I was even intending on pursuing, but it opened up the moment I told myself I was going to let it go (ugh, universe, you’re scary!). So while part of me was still hesitant to fully commit to it, I’ve decided to give it a go, and finally do this one thing for myself. Finally. ABOUT FREAKING TIME. 

I’m excited and I haven’t even enrolled yet. I’m excited and haven’t even plotted out my budget (lol) and side trips on my no-school days (!!!). But at this point, I’m looking forward to finish all the work I have here in Manila so I’ll be able to leave this place in peace (lol) and in search of more things I have yet to discover. (And by any means, my quarter life crisis involves never staying in one place. Hah!)

Whether or not this month is going to set the tone for the rest of the year, I’m not quite sure. But one thing I’m sure of is things might be a little more unexpected this year. I have so much plans on my mind—and sometimes it feels overwhelming to try to make sense of everything. So, unlike what most Capricorns usually do, I’m hoping I don’t do overly thought out plans and instead, leave room for a little spontaneity. I mean, really, it’s not like I have no more energy to feel anymore shookt?! Life surprises me as often as it does anyway.

How was the first month of 2018 for you? Hope it’s been great.

Always be creating,

Abbey