New year, new projects

January 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

Whether you’re a believer of creating New Year’s resolutions or scoff at those that do, it’s hard not to feel the sense of a fresh beginning as we usher in a new calendar year. Whether it’s the blogs recycling their ’10 ways to stick to your new year’s resolution’ article or your local gym pushing out discount memberships for those that are finally ready to shed some weight, the hopeful, infectious verbiage is scattered everywhere.

This year, I’ve decided to share my goals with everyone on this blog. One big part is because I want to start writing more (this new year’s cliché is killing me as I type it) and the other reason is to introduce a new and rather ambitious project that my sister and I are working on.

2015 goals:

1. Read 12 books by the end of the year – My reading goal last year was 20 and I smugly thought that would be an easy goal to accomplish because “I’m super nerdy and I LOVE reading <3”. I finished 2014 with a disappointing 6 new books read. This year, I’m lowering my reading challenge to a (seemingly) more manageable 12 books. Feel free to recommend new reads in the comments or over at Goodreads.

2. No technology (phone or laptop) 20 mins prior to sleeping – Smartphone addiction is a real thing and it’s scary. Everyone is compulsively checking their phones, even if there’s nothing to check. Real life is beginning to resemble scenes from Her already. I’d like to curb my overage daily usage, shutting down just before hitting the sack and using that time to read seems like two birds one stone.

3. Blog once a month – Not even going to bother explaining this one.

4. Go somewhere new in Taiwan every quarter – Taiwan is a stunning island and there are still so many places I want to visit while I’m still here. There are tons of great places I’d like to visit abroad in 2015, but the grass is pretty green on this side of the fence and it needs to be frolicked on.

Physical Well-being & Rock Climbing
– 1 day of cardio a week
– 1 day of rock climbing a week
– 1 day yoga a week
– Complete all silver routes at the Xinyi climbing gym and one yellow route
– Pass my belay test
In addition to my goals for 2015, I’d also like to introduce a new project my sister and I are working on called ‘The Postcard Chronicles‘. We’re both huge fans of writing and receiving snail mail (proof), so much we’re making it a goal to send one to each other every week of the year. We’ll be documenting the postcards received, our love for snail mail and other awesome things that happen. Keep an eye out for updates!
Disclaimer: This post has been sitting in my drafts for the past 2 weeks. I’m doing OK so far!

Observing Snail Mail

May 28, 2013 § 9 Comments

I stumbled across an article yesterday titled “My Teenage Son Does Not Know How To Mail A Letter – I Blame Technology“. It was quite mind-boggling to realize that there’s a younger generation that has never sent or received a physical letter. That they may have no idea how to write out the address on an envelope. Time really slips by fast when you aren’t paying attention.

Growing up with a father that works in foreign services meant a lot of moving around. Every few years we would get the notice to pack our bags, hug our friends and say goodbye to the life that we have grown to love. Before the internet and email became readily available, sending letters was the only way to keep in touch (or K*I*T* according to my yearbook) with friends. International calls was an option that my parents vetoed from the start as each minute cost a small fortune.

Snail mail is by far one of the most intimate forms of communication between two people. From picking out stationary, drawing doodles and choosing the right words; every step is a process that involves precious time and effort. Each letter is personalized and unique to the addressee, making the experience even more exciting and special. None of this mass email update and send-to-all contacts nonsense that we’ve grown accustomed to.

I keep all the letters and postcards I receive!

I keep all the letters and postcards I receive!

We live in a time where we thrive on instant gratifications. Whether it is from a like, a retweet or a reblog, the satisfaction comes quickly and leaves even faster. That shot of dopamine makes us want to post more, tweet more  just to feel that momentary happiness again. Like drinking soda while dehydrated, you’re left wanting more. When you receive an actual letter in your mailbox, you’re left with happiness that lingers longer than a quick Facebook wall post. Thanks to the internet, the effort and speed of maintaining relationships have both been drastically reduced. Thus receiving a letter has become especially meaningful as the time and effort to write something on a piece of paper have almost become extinct.

One of my close friends has sent a series of these beautiful side-by-side comparisons of different places and things

One of my close friends has sent a series of these beautiful side-by-side comparisons of different places and things


Awesome postcard from my friend Sean

Awesome postcard from my friend Sean

Snail mail may be a lost art form to the younger generation, but it is one that I cling even harder now (you’re welcome postal service.) Instead of sending out long-winded letters of all my day-to-day life updated (that’s what Twitter is for), I have turned to sending postcards. Lots and lots of postcards. The limited space for writing is a welcomed challenge for my creative brain. Sentences are replaced with haikus (as they are the only form of poetry I can manage) and doodles substituted with the  picture on the back.

Picking out unique postcards has become a lovely pastime. I never hesitate to buy a stack if I stumble across a good design as it gives me more motivation to send them out. If they don’t end up in someone’s mailbox, they usually end up on my wall:

My bedroom wall

My bedroom wall

Do you still send/receive snail mail? When was the last time you received mail?

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