Cheers to 2009

(Writing Live from the Lovely San Francisco…)


Happy New Decade!! Whew! What a year 2009, huh? Recession splecession, blah blah. I think everyone around is ready for a new year. A breath of fresh air. I know I am! I hope everyone was able to learn from our ‘tough economic times’ and apply it to their present & future. I have no regrets & can only look at what’s happened in our economy as a lesson learned. Hard lesson, yes. But perhaps people will know not to buy a house when they have no money and finance 100%. Perhaps we’ve all learned that Mastering Simplicity may provide a healthier state of mind. Instead of spending spending spending, we were forced to stay home more. More bonding time with the family and friends. Instead of eating out all the time, we learned to live more organically and cook at home. Went back to basics.

Perhaps, or maybe not, the government will realize that spending billions of our tax money on a useless war put a major detriment to our economy, put a detriment to our reputation around the world. Thank goodness for Obama, when Americans travel, we can actually admit we are Americans, instead of being ridiculed. Or heck, anybody but Bush I suppose. After traveling Vietnam this past summer and going to the Cu-chi tunnels, and the Vietnam war museum, seeing remnants of aircraft parts, seeing photos of deformed babies, meeting a whole room full of physically born deformed individuals, as a result of toxic gasses our US troops released in villages, I strongly believe in 30 years, when traveling Iraq, we’ll see the same. What were we doing there? I mean, really? I hope in my life time, that can be answered, intelligently by the Bush administration. (doubt it though.)

On a present topic, What are we doing in Afghanistan? I hope Obama’s administration has a better plan. Regardless, innocent civilians being killed, is never okay. Killing people who hate us is only going to make them hate us more, isn’t there a more peaceful way?


On a brighter note, New Years Resolutions? Yes yes, I know, every year we make the same ones, and do we keep them? If knowing that making a goal of hitting the gym at least 3 times a week only works for a month, why keep making it? I think we should continue to make it, because no goals means no progress. So therefore, here we go AGAIN! Lose 10 pounds, work out 3 times a week – Bikram Yoga at least once a week, run 3 miles 2 times a week, lift classes. Take Tango dancing classes, pole dancing, Salsa. Read more, Drink less. Eat healthier, less meat, more vegetables. Visit the grandparents more, ask more of their past, talk less, listen more. Work harder, work smarter & more efficiently. Save more money, spend less.

My major goal this year is to buy a small house. What? Jacki’s ready to settle down? Oh no no. No way, maybe not for another 5 years. But I know it would be smart to put some money away into an investment that will be worth it. Stocks? Completely unpredictable. Even my 401k is uncertain. Let alone Social Security. So a house I shall say will be the bread-winner. I’m looking for a small home in Southern California for about 200k, fix it up and rent out. Have someone else pay my mortgage and build some equity as I travel the world. It’s been the trend to work for months, save a bunch of money, travel, then come back to square one. I’m 25 now, maybe it’s time to fill some responsibilities! And it would always be good to have this house, in case I lose my job or need money, just sell it.


My Passion in Life

On a lighter note, in 2010, I would like to start taking my Travel Hosting/Writing goals more seriously. I met with a professional, amazing travel writer Eric Hiss for a one-on-one lesson plan on how to get published in magazines, etc, 2 weeks ago. It was extremely insightful and I am looking forward to achieving that goal. I’d eventually like to write Travel story books. First things first, I need to sharpen my grammar. I don’t remember when the last time we worked on grammar was, elementary school? Maybe a basic English course will do. I have registered for a Documentary Film-making course at UCLA Extensions for Winter Quarter which is every Thursday from 7-10pm, starting next Thursday. Superfragilistically Stoked! Whoa!

Didn’t it seem just like yesterday, when idiots around the world were making a big fuss about “Y2K”, the crash of our computer systems? The Celebration of a new millennium, a close of a century, a decade, a brand new start. And now we celebrate yet another Decade. Turning 25 this year, I whined and wept up until the actual birthday thinking how old I was, contemplating in my mind how much I’ve achieved or what I’ve lacked thereof. But when the actual day came, November 20th, I embraced 25 & felt completely at ease. Completely at ease at the wisdom gained through age and experience. 0 regrets from the past, only an everlasting appreciation of everything that has come our way. Constantly reminding myself daily that Americans live as the richest 5% of the world. That I come from a wonderful supporting family, and only allow myself to feel like the luckiest individual in the world. A life long appreciation of all my close friends, even acquaintances, and even friends I haven’t spoken to in years. Whether a stranger’s smile, or a stranger’s road rage, every moment in life helps us build our character and I wholeheartedly appreciate them all.


My Job – Real Estate Aspect

I appreciate having my job still, 3 years & a half and going strong. 2009 was a better year for me than any other year. Partly due to experience, and partly to reinventing my Business mentality. At the end of 2008 when many Real Estate individuals were dropping out of the industry, getting laid off, and having all the negative talk about how the Real Estate world will in fact crash in 2010, I had conversations with myself knowing that I had to make a conscientious decision what my plan was, and to stick with it. I knew that I had to reinvent myself and start working more creatively. I knew that I had to stay positive minded, because there were enough negative energy around.

Many successful people told me over and over again “If you stick with it, you will come out on top when the Economy recovers.” I believed their advice and I really do see it now after a year. Although the banks and the whole Real estate industry have made it extremely strict, and basically a little ridiculous, at least we are taking the necessary steps to recover. I am thankful of my clients – those that have stuck in the industry, are all very legitimate. 5 years ago, in 2004 when the Real Estate market was really hot, any monkey was able to make 6 figure incomes, no problem. Anyone back then could get a loan, and look what happened now. Millions of foreclosed homes across the nation. 2009 was a clean-up year. Most the people I encounter now are way more educated in their industry whether they are Realtors, Lenders, Banks or Escrows. I look forward to a cleaner year, and hope that families can keep their homes, although realistically, there is a whole new wave of REO properties being released this year.


Travel Goals this Year

I plan on traveling to Greece & Israel this May. After backpacking developing countries the last few years, I think it’s time for a break to a more resort-ish place. A few of my best friends are up for it, hopefully they will come through and we will have an amazing time. If there’s time, maybe to Spain or France as well. I’ve been to 5 countries in Europe in my College years with family, but I don’t remember much. Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland. Why? Because my mom insisted on the traditional touristy route, of gathering 10 Chinese families and hiring a tour bus to take us from point to point. Now while that works for certain individuals, I was not able to soak in much when rushed. So I look forward in going at my own pace and going with 1 or 2 friends.

I’d also like to see Lebanon, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt but I know that there would be some major research to be done on how, if I’m going to Israel on the same passport in a certain small time-frame. Maybe we’ll save that for 2011? Whatever ends up happen, I know I want to have traveled the world by the time I’m 30. 18 countries down, many more to go.


Happy New Years, once again my friends. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart for being there, and this is as mushy as you will get out of me for this year. 2010 is going to be a great year. I got a feeling. Remember, Stay strong. Stay Positive. Continue to strive for all your Dreams & Aspirations. Time does not wait. It’s now or Never. Just do it. Go for it, don’t hold back. Life is short, Ya never know when it’ll end!

Besos! La C’haiem! Joie de Vivre. It’s the Year of the Tiger. Act like one.


[ Pandora playing Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Enigma… ]

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