Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

I promise next year will be more exciting with updates and more content!



I know it is a late post, but it is November and that means it is NaNoWriMo time. My participation in it feigns in and out, but it is because of this that I was able to write my first novel, even if it is just self-published.


What is NaNoWriMo?

For starters it stands for National Novel Writing Month. National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days. Now, each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand new novel.

Pretty simple and straight forward, right? Right.

I first participated in 2011. I heard about it randomly in an English class and decided I could write a novel. Yes, I thought I could write a Novel in November of 2011, while working and going to school full time. That was a smart idea. The result was, I failed.

My first Novel idea was called Rumble and I only got 17,739 words into it. I didn’t plan, prep, or outline to it. The premise of that idea was all teenagers from the ages of 16-18 is gifted with a bio-band. Every emotion they feel or experience they have is uploaded into this giant super computer in the sky and used to power something. That is it. I never got past that. I couldn’t establish a premise beyond that. Eh.

I was discouraged, big time! BIG TIME! I gave up on writing for fun for almost two years. Then November of 2013 I gave it my second attempt. Yeah, key word is attempt.

That novel was called Elemental Oddesy. It is the fantasy world in my head I often escaped to due to my upbringing. That is a post for another day. According to the NaNoWriMo site, I only got 1,000 words into it. It was hard to put it in writing. It has been an on-going saga of my life that has grew and evolved with me. I felt like I couldn’t do it justice, so it shall remain in my head until my confidence as a writer and a person grows.

November 2014 I attempted a novel and nothing came of it.

November of 2015 is when I hit my stride. I wrote my first full novel, going well beyond the recommended 50,000 with 79,000. I had it edited it, and self-published it under a pen name. I didn’t want to use my real name because at the time I was still pursuing my path as a psychological researcher and wanted my name only associated with the research, not the trash I wrote. (It isn’t really trash, but more “trash” if that makes sense.)

Now, November of 2019 I am trying my hands at writing again. I miss writing for fun, writing to relax, and just writing in general. Plus with winter coming here in Korea, is a good excuse to not go out and do stuff.

So if you get a chance, you should consider participating or donating since it is a non-profit organization and does a lot of amazing stuff.


P.S. I know this is primary a travel blog, I haven’t had a chance to go out and travel. I will start again soon. Look forward to it!

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!!

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, too bad it isn’t big here in South Korea.

As a former cosplayer, I always loved dressing up in costumes, and it the societal day to dress up with little to no judgement (back when I cared what people thought of me).

As a kid, I loved trick or treating, getting free candy, and going to people’s garages for those cheesy haunted houses. It’s amazing I haven’t been kidnapped.

One of my favorite places to trick or treat was the nearby Air Force retirement village. Those old folks always gave out full size and long size can’t bars. I did however make the mistake of bragging about it so the next year the houses ran out by the time I got there. 😦

As a teen, young adult, and even now I love watching horror movies. Halloween is such a perfect day to marathon. It really helps sets the mood. It a shame I don’t have many friends that like scary movies as much as I do.

So from me to you, Happy Halloween.


Jurassic World Exhibit!!!

So the most usual exhibit came to South Korea and is still currently going on. I mean I saw the advertisement for it on the subway and several bus stops, so apparently it seems to be a big deal. “What is it?” You may ask. Well, if you didn’t read the title, it is the Jurassic World Exhibit.

The exhibit was by the Gimpo airport, way out of the way, but it is probably one of the few spaces in Korea they can meet the energy and height requirement for the dinosaurs.

The gift shop was outside and had some nifty stuff. What they don’t tell you is that a lot of the merchandise comes from Universal Studios. You didn’t hear this from me.

The exhibit was split into a few parts, show casing dinosaurs, the DNA lab, among many other things. A lot of it was in Korean so Ali Just glossed over it.

The entrance was similar to that of the movie. There was some connection between the movies (both park and World Series) and also as an educational theme park.

There were many dinosaurs that were animatronic this bad boy was the first one you see as you walk in. It has scars from being attacked by other dinosaurs. The models were really detailed and quite realistic.

This bad boy was just a neck and a head but still took up a lot of space. It was one of the few dinosaurs where you could see the rope. Still, the feel of the zoo was apparent.

The T-Rex enclosure was one of my favorites. The noise and the lights added to the atmosphere. Hell, even the kids crying was a very nice touch. The kids were real and in my group.

Hammonds were the big bad of the movies. They had incubators, fossilized ambers of mosquitoes where they extracted the different DNA of the dinosaurs, and even an egg chamber. The eggs had QR codes that can tell you what dinosaur would hatch. They even had a create your own dinosaur. Mine is currently being emailed to me, so when it comes I will post it.

The T-Rex skull fossil was great to see as well. It was so big, it was bigger than most of the children in my group. I wanted to get a side by side comparison but no parent would allow it. My sisters better step up their baby making game.

Also there was a guy who allowed you to pet a baby Dino. He seemed so happy. Must have been the best job.

After the lab was the gyro sphere trail. If you remember from the first Jurassic world movie was the safari like tour, but the destroyed and endangered part.

Seriously. My photos doesn’t do this place justice at all. The ones I am posting are the cream of the crop.

There was also a raptor (my favorite Dino) enclosure. It was blue from the Jurassic World movies, but I couldn’t get a good photo or video. The adult male next to me kept pushing and shoving me out of the way so his kid could see. Plus the poor lighting killed that part of the experience.

Overall, I would have to save it was worth my money. It was a great experience to see dinosaurs and learn a little about them as well.

If I were to make a recommendation, go on a weekday to avoid the family crowd if you like photo ops.

Outside was a dinosaur theme cafe. It was really cute, and kind of pricy. I wish I ate there because everything looked so delicious. Maybe I’ll come back again before the exhibit leaves.


Osaka Adventure: Cup Noodle Museum

One thing is found on my trip was that a cup noodle Museum exist near Osaka. I accidentally found an ad, but I managed to convince my friend to go.

So we hopped on the train and arrived 30 minutes later. We went right when it opened and it was still busy and crowded. Like other people had the same idea too.

Outside the Museum is a statue of the inventor standing on a cup noodle. It’s pretty cool, and I regret not learning his name. In the immortal words of Hiro Mashima, “Whoops!”

Since we didn’t have a reservation, one part of the Museum was closed off to us. It just an expanded upon experience of one of the parts of the Museum.

The Museum is split into two part, an exhibition showcasing the history of instant noodles, and a make your own cup noodle.

Look at this old school noodle making house.

Along one wall of the exhibit, it shows what cup noodles are currently in circulation, and what noodles were out in the past. It even showed the very first cup noodles!!!

Seriously. It went from the floor to the ceiling. The perfect chance to use the Panoramic feature of my iPhone and I didn’t use it. It’s tough being part of the 1% (I am really not part of it.)

The other side of the wall started from conception to execution.

We even got to see the inside of the cup of noodles!!!

Did you know it doesn’t touch the bottom? I didn’t until this trip. My mind is forever blown.

Instant cup noodles also went to space. Yay for the astronauts!

After exploring the exhibit, we got to make our own cup noodles. It’s fun and only cost 300 Yen.

Look how crowded this part was too, at 10 in the morning. That is when the museum opened!

First you buy your cup from a vending machine, because it is Japan.

Next you clean and sanitize your hands because you are a filthy animal. Don’t try to hide it. You know you don’t wash your hands when you leave the restroom. You disgust me.

Then we can decorate our cups. My friends and I got down to business.

Her cup came out better than mine. One Piece represent!!!

Finally comes the fun part. You put your noodles in your cup, choose a broth, and FOUR toppings. I got curry broth, my friend got tomato chili. She can handle spicy, I cannot.

The last part is really cool. They put the lid on it and then wrap it in a plastic bag. They put it into that machine on the far right of the picture. It applies heat to the bag and that how the cup gets shrink-wrapped. I enjoyed that part more than I should.

This is a model of the candle I bought from the gift shop. I haven’t set fire to it yet, so I am not sure how it smell. There is no indication on the box.

If you ever get the chance to visit, I recommend it. It’s a short amount of time spent at the place, but over all it is quite fun. You can make your own memories and have a delicious souvenir. However, you only have one month to eat it before it expires. So you better not save it.

Until next time,


Osaka Adventure: One Piece Rally

So it seems going to Osaka has become a summer tradition since I’ve moved to Korea. I’ve gone each summer I have been in Korea. Talk about exciting. Not really, but I always find new fun stuff to do. To be completely honest, I mainly go for Universal Studios.

One thing my friend and I stumbled upon was a One Piece “stamp” rally inside the Yodobashi Umeda building.

Originally we went in to escape the heat and humidity. However we stumbled upon this due to a special promotion in honor of the One Piece stampede moving coming out this weekend.


The goal of the event was to go around to different floors and scan a QR code that would reveal a letter. Once all letters were revealed you would be entered into a raffle to win a prize. I don’t live in Japan, so if I do win I won’t be able to claim the prize.

The building had many floors (both stories and basements) that we had to search through.


Franky and Brook were on the first floor next to the booth.

img_0240.jpgLuffy was on the eighth floor in the middle of the food court. You know, not Sanji, the chef. This one makes sense too.


Ussop and Zoro were on the seventh floor.


Sanji and Nami were on the sixth next to an elevator.


Robin and Chopper were on the fifth floor. They were the hardest to find. They were by the escalators that were hidden out of the way and next to the Square Enid cafe pop up (the cafe is temporarily closed 😦 and closed the day before my trip).

All participants received a sticker. It looks nifty and I stuck it on my Laptop the moment I retired to Korea.


I would like to see the movie but my vacation days didn’t line up the way I would have liked. Oh well. I’ll see it eventually, I hope.

It was nice spending a couple hours indoors in the nice industrial air conditioning. Making this rally worth it to my friend, and extra worth it to me. Plus the mall had many great shops and stores. If I had more money to spend I would have gone shopping and bout quite a few things.

All my post will just be highlights and things I thought that were cool during my trip.

Until next time,


P.S. There were some nice Evangelion inspired glasses. If I didn’t fix my eyes…




Will update soon.

Been busy working and studying for certifications. I did have a small vacation last week and will post pieces of it soon. It will be under the title Osaka Adventure.

Haven’t you been to Osaka before? Yes. It’s kind of a summer tradition at this point. Haha