Friday, December 30, 2022

My 2022

Click for past year's wrap ups: [My 2021] [My 2020] [My 2019] [My 2018] [My 2017] [My 2016] [My 2015]

Big changes this year! We ended 2021 with my husband living in Japan by himself and I was living back a my parents house until I got my own job in Japan, ideally in the same area. I accepted an offer and officially moved over at the end of March 2022 where I spent most of this past year :)

The aesthetic of favorites is a little all over the place. There are 4 EATME items (the pants, dress, knee high boots and belted mules). All of these made the list because they weren't necessarily something I'd buy or wear before moving to Japan but make so much sense here and I've really come to love having/wearing them - especially the low heel mules! 
The Mercury Duo cropped faux leather jacket was also a no brainer - the cut of it is just perfect and the material is nice and soft. 
I also had to be sure to include something from my "wardrobe room" in the house in Japan and the little couch + flower light make such a cozy corner. 
Hiking was a big part of our adventures this year, and we bought a lot of new items - hiking shoes for my husband + 3 different hiking backpacks, hiking sticks, hiking pants & socks, and even a tent, sleeping pads and sleeping bags for camping. All contributed to some very memorable hikes this year.
The Samantha Silva sakura swingle necklace is a small piece and I didn't actually wear it as often as some of my EATME accessories, but I still consider it a favorite. I love the swinging crystal detail and the cute shape. It was the perfect spring accessory when I first moved but definitely works year round.
Last but not least, the Dr Martens heart purse. It's like the ideal size for a heart shape bag because the shape is still recognizable but it can also fit all of my essentials without being obnoxious. I still love my Michael Kors manhattan purses but this was my standout purse for the year without a doubt.
Overall this year, I did do a lot of purchasing from EATME but I also started to branch out a little more with some of the other Runway Channel brands like Resexxy, Mercury Duo and GYDA. Not having to worry about international shipping and a pretty decent exchange rate for at least half of the year definitely contributed to that. I do want to reign that in a little better next year though!

My style has definitely changed a bit after moving, especially as it concerns longer length dresses/skirts and definitely mermaid silhouettes! I definitely still love a mini skirt/above the knee length OP, but I can't get enough of a bit more mature looking midi-length outfit. Luckily there's no shortage of those items in Japan. As I go through my early 30s, I know I'll likely lean into that aesthetic a little more because it just feels so classy and demure but also somehow manages to not be extremely frumpy, even without a super high heel. It just feels cute without trying so hard. 

In June of this year, I started parting my hair down the center and cutting "straight" bangs instead of my typical side part that I was so attached to for so many years.
I also use a plain ponytail as a "nice" hairstyle (not just reserved for exercise) a lot more than I ever considered it in like the last 15 years haha. I think changing my bangs actually helped me see that as as a more viable style a bit. When my hair getting really long and looking a bit frazzled (as I refused to try to find a Japanese salon for just a basic trim for the entire year), it was nice to just get it pulled out of the way in a ponytail.
Once I figured out how to get my bangs to frame my face a little better and especially when an actual stylist was able to shape them a bit more, I thought the style actually looked quite good and matched well with some outfits!

Blogging and social media
This section is seeming less and less relevant and I continue to write these annual recaps, but I'm a sucker for consistency so it stays, lol. 
I was able to revitalize blog content a little bit with all of the shopping I allowed myself do to when I first got to Japan - not paying for shipping, needing to dress for different weather than I'm used to and the exchange rate at the time made it seem really reasonable. But then I actually somehow overwhelmed myself with how much I was buying, especially from EATME, over the summer and as of about mid-year, practically retired purchase posts for the time being. I was enjoying spending my non-working time outside the house or with other people or just doing other things and actually wearing the clothes instead of just styling them 3 different ways and spending hours taking and editing the photos. 
I had actually been keeping myself from wearing items until I had a chance to blog them for a while, but I realized how little sense that made, and now I just buy and wear things lol. I'm planning on continuing to retire the typical purchase blog posts except for specific special exceptions next year and instead focusing on blogging outfits and actual goings on. I've been happy with that for the second half of the year and even though it's a departure from why I started this blog, my life is different too and I don't want blogging and social media to get in the way of that.
I did do monthly life recaps + an OOTD recap once I started living in Japan and have been really happy with how those have been turning out this year with supplementary posts when larger events warranted it. I've been enjoying looking back at those in preparation for this post and I think it will be a nice diary to look back on for this part of our lives.
As a small additional thing from social media, by using the #ランチャン部 hashtag on IG, I was chosen for the October "Runway Channel Club" present and I got a free EATME reversible bucket hat (which was the specific present item that month)! 
I didn't really need to do anything different than I usually do for IG except add the hashtag and respond to the DM when they contacted me, so that was really cool, especially bc the item happened to be from a brand I particularly like and honestly something I wouldn't typically buy for myself but is cool and trendy right now. 

International (outside of Japan): Hawaii - Oahu, Kauai, Big Island (Hilo and Kona)
Wayyyy more trips to Hawaii than we should have made this year, but for good reasons at least! 
I had a Jan-Feb round trip from Hawaii that I had booked before I had secured my job, and then my one-way flight into Japan in March. My husband and I then flew back during the summer to help on his family's lychee farm in Hilo (Big Island). We also returned in August for a week to attend his long time friend's wedding during which time I also made a short stop in Kauai to visit with my old coworkers. If that wasn't enough, we also flew back for just 1 weekend (not taking any time off of work) in November for my cousin's wedding on the Kona side of the Big Island. It was a lot of flying, but so good to see that part of my family altogether, even though we couldn't stay long. 

Domestic (within Japan) - Osaka, Misawa, Okinawa, Matsumoto, Shizuoka, Hamamatsu, Hakone, Hiroshima, Naeba, Hakuba
We were fortunate to travel a bunch of places within Japan just this year, including many trips with friends! In May, we road tripped to Osaka for a long weekend and went to USJ finally. I had to travel to Misawa for work in July (my first time there and my first time flying domestically within Japan). In September, my husband and I drove through Hakone, Mishima and Numazu by ourselves before meeting up with friends for an unforgettable takiyaryo outing and guesthouse stay in Hamamatsu. October included exploring Matsumoto city and then a weekend visit to Izu and then ended in a trip to Okinawa for the Taikai with our whole friend group staying in the same Airbnb. We closed out the year with a stay in Hakone with my in-laws, a work trip to Iwakuni near Hiroshima and snowboarding in Naeba and Hakuba + Jigokudani and the snow monkeys on the way home. 
We did three major hikes with overnight stays - Mt Fuji in July, Hakuba Yari Onsen in August and Kamikochi in October. Each involved so much rain and ended up being dreadfully cold for that reason, but were interesting and challenging, and I look forward to hopefully doing more next year with better weather! 
And this was just the traveling we did that involved sleeping somewhere other than home. Of course, we were able to do easy day trips to other areas within Kanagawa, DisneySea, even Saitama, and I went to Tokyo almost every month, usually for shopping.

Personal life/Miscellaneous
Visitors! - We didn't really get the chance to host many visitors at our (now sold) house on Oahu because most of the people who came over already lived on the island lol. But now that we're in Japan, we're hoping to host a lot more family and friends now that the country is open to tourism. So far, my parents have stayed for a week and my husband's mother and grandmother came to visit as well
Both visits were so fun and we got to show them a slice of our life here and also explore some new things alongside them as well!

Running - One of my goals this year, in particular since moving to Japan, was to meet 4 specific running challenges on Strava each month - a 5K, a 10K, a Half Marathon and 100km total distance. The 5K and 10K are somewhat easily accomplished, especially if I'm trying to hit the 100km total, but doing a 13.1 mile run every month was definitely a new challenge to me!
I was able to fulfill it and even also exceed my stretch goal of running 1000 miles total for the year! There are some familiar running routes in our area that I really enjoy, and I've also been running home from work more lately since my husband has been going to the gym. I definitely want to keep up with this next year and hit all the same goals at a minimum. Running has become my main source of exercise lately and it's a little more difficult in the colder months (especially when it's raining), but I'm motivated and determined to keep it up!

Work - I don't have much to say for this here (especially on the internet), but I'll say that it's going OK. It's definitely not the same as my old office (environment) and I'm kind of still getting used to that since I really loved my old coworkers and boss, but I'm learning, and it certainly could be worse. I am glad to have some travel opportunities through it, but the day-to-day is wearing on me a little bit during certain periods.

Friends - I feel so lucky that my husband has found a great group of friends here. It's mainly 3 other couples all also from Hawaii that work and live in a similar area to us. 
We're all approx around the same age (close enough that we get the same references and mostly grew up with the same music) and, for the time being at least, no one has children yet which makes it pretty easy to meet up and go out. The majority of our travel this year was with some combination or all of this friend group, and there's lots I wouldn't have been able to do without them. 
Of course, I still miss my friends and family in Hawaii, but since we went back so many times to visit this year, I haven't felt a large amount of separation from them and are hoping more of them will come to see us in Japan soon. 

What's next for 2023?
Looking at the travel section, we're definitely hoping to do more domestic travel (Hokkaido, Kyushu, etc), but also hoping to possibly make it to some international destinations in Asia now that it's a little easier to get in and out of the country. Korea? Singapore? Nothing solid planned yet, but at least it seems a bit more plausible.
I'm starting 2023 feeling extremely blessed and loved. I haven't really changed my mind about living in Japan (still prefer Hawaii) but can't help but acknowledge this opportunity is an experience that shouldn't have been turned down and don't have regrets about it thus far. 
I'm a little rushed publishing this post, so I hope I'm not forgetting anything major, but I know I'll have my monthly recaps to reference if I need to in the future. [Check out my (in Japan) monthly 2022 series here if you missed any of them. Also available in my Japan posts page too!]
May you and yours be ending 2022 with warmth, health and happiness, and here's to 2023 holding the best yet to come. Happy New Year!