current faves | june 2017

Hello! This is a post detailing some of the things that I’m loving, doing and enjoying as of now. Some of these are things that I’ve recently picked up; others are things that I’ve been enjoying for a while. In order to prevent this post from going on endlessly, I will name only 5 things per category. Please, enjoy!


As a lifestyle blogger, I read and watch a lot of online content creators too. Below are some of the ones I watch most consistently (though it was hard to choose just 5):

  • krist & yu: Krist creates lifestyle & travel videos, and her personality is very bubbly and relatable in all of them. This is actually her second channel (her main is called krist soup); both are different in their content, but personally I enjoy the more personal and motivational content of this one.
  • Anna Akana: Anna’s this badass comedian who also creates (very pro) advice & lifestyle videos. I love how each one of her videos leaves me with an open-ended question, usually based on things that we may encounter in our day-to-day lives. Her videos are scripted, filmed and edited with the help of other people, but unlike some channels, I feel that her content stays true to her personality.
  • Conan Gray: Conan creates artsy, creative and lifestyle videos, and his aesthetic is very retro and cute af. I love how his content can appeal to an audience of any gender,
  • Jordan Clark: Jordan’s my fave new youtuber so far. Her DIY’s, lifestyle and travel videos are just so soothing and aesthetically pleasing to watch. Her DIY’s are really good, creative and not too hard to recreate, which makes them all the more appealing.
  • Thomas Frank: Thomas’ videos are very study and motivation-related, and his content is always very helpful and enjoyable to watch. His videos are also backed up by a detailed blog post, with steps on how to follow his advice.


These are some of the things that I’ve been using this year. I’ve had all of these items for at least a few months now, so I’ve had plenty of time to ‘get to know’ these items in detail:

  • Hobonichi Cousin Planner: I love how this planner has monthly, weekly AND daily planning. The layout is very visual, which allows me to plan neatly ahead of time. I also use it daily as a journal, and for anything I fancy, as it has enough space to allow me to explore my journalistic desires.
  • Kindle Voyage (& marble cover): this is my bible. I use it everyday, and I treasure it very much. It’s the size of my hand, and it’s very lightweight and convenient to carry around!!
  • Game of Thrones Leather-Cloth Boxed Set: yes, I only bought this set because it’s beautiful. I’ve read the first 2 books on my kindle, because the words here are TINY. I propped this set up on my bookshelf as soon as I got it, and I look at it everyday. It’s beautiful.
  • Olympus PEN E-PL7: this is the (only) camera that I have to film and take pictures. I use a pastel-ish filter for all my photos as well as most of my videos. It’s not the best camera out there, but it’s small, very pretty, easy to handle, and it does the job for me. It’s also pretty much a fashion accessory itself.
  • Fuzzy slippers that mop the floor: these slippers allow me to be lazy and clean at the same time. I wear these when it’s cold (so, during winter), and allows me to (kind of) clean my floor when I walk from place to place.

ios apps

I don’t have many apps on my phone due to limited storage (though I’m getting a new phone soon), but this has allowed me to use my apps efficiently. These are the ones that I mainly use to maintain my productivity, and the great thing is that all of them are free:

  • Reminders: This helps me keep track of my daily tasks and events. I create different lists, including “morning”, “afternoon”, “night” and “bored?” to remind myself what to do or what I could  be doing during the designated time. I personally think that it’s a great way to take advantage of this free app.
  • Notes: This is for anything I want to remember and keep on my phone, ranging from book quotes, things I aspire to be, blog post ideas, and packing lists. It’s the Microsoft Word of my phone.
  • Goodreads: THIS. Is where I keep my very own virtual bookshelf. I can track books I’m currently reading, want to read, and have read. I can also create bookshelves to separate books by genres and types, and basically keep an orderly record of all my books.
  • Quizlet: I hate studying vocab, but Quizlet makes it much more fun and bearable. Besides being able to create online flashcards, you can also play games and take tests to review your memory.
  • Clue: this is a life SAVIOR for all you girls and women out there. You can keep track of your period AND other details such as emotions, discomforts, feelings, etc. The more detail you give to this app, the more information it will give to you regarding your body. I think it’s amazing to get all this for free.

books & quotes

Books are the best tool for self-education that you’ll ever have. During my gap year, books were my source of comfort, solace, entertainment, and learning. I read fiction when I felt the need to escape to a different world; I read self-help when I was losing touch with whom I was; I read psychology to deepen my intrinsic interest for this field; I read any other book to deepen my understanding in such field. The following are 5 books that I’ve just read or am currently reading, and a quote to give you some insight into each book:

“You care too much about what other people think. But you know what? Because you are so desperate to win the approval of others, you’ll never get rid of their criticisms, no matter how hard you try.”

“knowing we have access to wonderful things undermines our happiness by reducing our tendency to appreciate life’s small joys.”

“Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work, wheareas economics represents how it actually does work.”

“You can be male and domestic. You can have a career and be domestic. You can enjoy keeping house. No one is too superior or intelligent to care for hearth and home.”

“One of the main benefits of reading stories is that you gain exposure to large amounts of natural Italian. This kind of reading for pleasure is commonly known as extensive reading. This is very different from how you might read Italian in a textbook. Your textbook contains short dialogues, which you read in detail with the aim of understanding every word. This is known as intensive reading.”


My favorite songs change so fast that by the time I publish this post, the top 5 songs that I’m listening to would have already changed. That’s why I make monthly playlists on Spotify to keep track of my favorite songs per month. The following are songs that I was listening to nonstop at some point in the near past, and I hope you like them too!

What are some of your current faves?


things no one tells you about taking a gap year

It’s gonna be a hell of a ride.

A brief background on my gap year: I finished school at the end of 2015, and aimed at going to a US college in fall (September) of 2016. The unexpected happened, and I suddenly found myself college-less in March 2016. I was to reapply again for fall of 2017, but until then, I had nowhere to go. And so began my journey in my gap year. A journey of coming to terms with myself. It has now been a bit over a year that I have been off school, and I still have around 6 months before attending college.

Here’s what taking a gap year has taught me so far, and hopefully it’ll help you understand more about what actually happens in one:

You will need to design your own curriculum.

I am a creature of habit. I crave structure and organization. Stepping out of school, I was completely fazed by what I was supposed to do with all the time I had, and how I was supposed to manage it. It was then that I started drafting my Bridge Year Bucket List. Through continuous brainstorming and weekly revisions, I created a detailed list of what I wanted to achieve in my time before college.

I designed my own curriculum, because I no longer had school teachers dictating the course of my classes. I became my own teacher, because only I knew what was best for me.

You should learn to learn

School is generally and largely considered to be the place where most of our academic education takes place. But with changing curricula in an ever-changing society, not everyone always gets the best out of their education while at school. And certainly not everyone learns how to truly learn a subject they are deeply passionate about.

I learned to learn because I was no longer forced to study. The academic pressure that emerged in this year came from myself, and the only way that I could learn autonomously me was if I understood how I learned best. And that’s what I did. I poured my ideas on paper and continuously sought to improve my skills in those areas, experimenting and researching about different ways to become a more knowledgeable and creative person.

I was no longer bounded by a rigid syllabus and constant exams – I was free to learn.

You’re going to spend a lot of time alone.

Social skills are not my forte, and though I did not have a squad nor a close circle of friends, I had several friendly acquaintances at school and a few close friends, and that worked fine for me.

But when I left school, I no longer had my school community to lean on socially. Everybody else was either at school or at college; moving forwards at a solid and concrete pace, while I was left to question my actions every step of the way. It has been daunting – it is still daunting – and it brought out a lot of my insecurities, but it also helped me understand how to be alone without being lonely.

I realized that my loneliness was rooted in the fact that I hadn’t yet learned to be with myself. The FOMO in our digital age was in conflict with my introverted nature. What did I do? I turned to my work. I read, wrote, played music, exercised, explored, traveled, and gradually became friends with myself.

We all need friends in our lives; I treasure the few that I have tremendously, and I’m really happy about that, because I thrive more when I’m working, learning and creating on my own.

Befriending Discipline will be key.

My dad reminds me of this one. His constant strive to be fit and healthy is becoming increasingly challenging due to the nature of his aging body. I can see his struggle because I live with him. Everyone else sees the result only, but no one keeps him accounted for the progress. My dad’s motivation is very consistent and clear, and hence he is able to take care and train his body to the state that it is now.

But discipline isn’t something that always comes so easy nor naturally for most of us. At school, students are expected to follow through the rigorous academic system, but most of the time there isn’t any real issue of ‘discipline’ if our education is being handled from top to bottom every year.

Just like I learned to learn this year, I also came to understand self-discipline. I had to find my own source of self-motivation and use that to guide my aims and goals. I had to have a very clear mental understanding of why I was doing each task, so that I would consistently do them even if no one could care less. For some activities, my motivation was clear from the start: I want to read so that I can entertain and educate myself at the same time. But for other things, it took its own time: I didn’t start actively wanting to learn Chinese until I stayed with my family in Taiwan for 2 months recently, and the drive to improve my Chinese just came to me.

Time is not to be taken for granted, but we must also accept that some things can’t just be forced upon us. Letting things flow as they do naturally is sometimes the best option, and when that desire and drive does come to you, whether you hang on to it or not will be up to you.

Your insecurity is valid.

Just like feeling lonely, I felt insecure, lost, scared and hopeless a lot of the time. Where was the arrow that had always pointed me towards a right direction? Was there even a right direction? I didn’t even know. I felt like I was trapped in a void, surrounded by arrows pointing towards all directions. Every step, any step, I took would take me closer towards a goal, but further away from all the others. What would I choose?

The thing that gave me solace in these moments was my gradual understanding that whichever path I took, I would eventually end up where I was meant to be. Just like there is no absolute good nor evil in this world, there is no absolute right nor wrong. I am still an insecure and cowardly person at times, but that’s no longer a reason to not push myself out of my comfort zone in any imaginable ways possible.

Establishing a good relationship with your parents is a must.

A lot, if not most, of what one does in a gap year is about oneself. It is, after all, a time for self-growth and moment of self-reflection in which you can learn more about yourself as an individual – not as a student, but as a living person whose life goes beyond what school can teach you.

In this process, you should also learn to grow with your family. You’re no longer a student bombarded with school work, activities and a social life, with not much time left for your family. Your parents, and the rest of your family, are a part of this process as well. Time should be in their favor during this time.

A gap year is a ticket to another world.

You don’t need to spend 9 months volunteering in Africa and you don’t have to do solo traveling around Europe to make this time worth something. Chances are that you wouldn’t be able to do that because that would cost a hell lot of money anyway.

For a lot of time during my gap year, I saw this time as an opportunity to grow outwards. To hone as many skills as possible, take as many classes and go to as many places as possible. After all, if I was missing out on my first year of college, I should try to maximize my time outside college, right?

But the truth is, you don’t need to travel externally to learn. You can travel through the experiences of authors dead or alive, through your own self-reflection, and by observing the world around you clearly for the first time. If you can do that, if you can learn to expand yourself while staying at home, then you have learned more than what many are still trying to do.

It is not about how much you can do in a certain amount of time. It is not about how far nor how much you can travel, nor how many experiences and things you see. It is about appreciating what you already have, and doing the things that are within your reach with a bigger and better mindset.

It’s not really a gap year; it’s a bridge year.

Both terms are used interchangeable, with ‘gap year’ being more common. A gap year is defined as “a period, typically an academic year, taken by a student as a break between secondary school and higher education.” A gap year suggests that you took time away from education to invest in other activities, but I think it goes beyond that.

This year for me was about all the things I talked about above – about understanding what drives my passion, what makes me want to learn, about expanding my horizons with the abundance that I already have. A bridge year suggests that this year is being spent bridging our interests gradually from one stage to the other, instead of jumping from school to college simply because that’s what we’re expected to do. A bridge year is about seeing what lies beyond that of what an academic environment is able to teach us, to then (maybe) go back knowing better who we are and what we want.

This is what my bridge year is about.


a productive morning routine

Mornings are my sacred time. I love waking up early and spending a couple of hours nourishing my mind and body, giving me that kick-start to a great day. This is what currently occupies my mornings:

  1. Wake up. I usually get up around 7:30 (or at least try to). I stay in bed and roll for a while, and then put on the radio to get me out of my foggy state of mind. I drink some water to get rid of my horrible morning breath.
  2. Morning workout. I pull my hair up in a bun, and get ready for my short morning workout. I used to do the 7-minute workout, but I’ve found it really hard to keep it up during the summer when the days are unbearably hot, so I have switched to Blogilates’ morning workout. I don’t normally follow her videos, but I really like how she combines an easy and graceful workout + stretch in her video. It’s just the right amount of each.
  3. Get ready. I go to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Also, I always wash my face after the mini workout (instead of before) as I do sweat a little. I change my clothes into something really comfy and simple.
  4. Eat breakfast + read. I make myself some breakfast. I usually have chicken, two eggs, and avocado. It’s enough to last me for a few hours, but I’ll usually snack on fruits and/or nuts before lunch. I always eat breakfast with a book in my hand. I spend between 40-60 minutes reading.
  5. Five minute journal. I picked up this habit this year, and it’s a quick way to focus your mind on the things that you can be grateful for each day. I don’t actually have the five minute journal, I just write the prompts and answers on a little notebook.
  6. Plan + journal. I’m currently using a Hobonichi Cousin as my planner, and I love the system! I also do some real journaling (‘word vomiting’) to let my thoughts flow on paper, and try to doodle around my writing.
  7. Meditate. This is the last thing I do to conclude my morning routine. I sit down on the floor in my bed, put on some meditative piano music, and meditate for 10 minutes. As it’s still morning, I don’t meditate for longer than that lest I fall asleep (I love sleeping).

This is pretty much the end of my morning routine, but it’s still morning by the time I finish, so I’ll just get on with things that I want to work on:

  1. Emails. I check my personal, blog and work email. It sounds like a lot, but I really only get email occasionally. I’m subscribed to a few morning news and a Highbrow course, so I’ll most likely check them now.
  2. Music intervals. I have a background in music, and this is one of the areas that I’m currently working on to improve. The key is to spend a little every day practicing, so I do this for about half an hour.
  3. English idioms. I like to think that my English is pretty fluent, but improving my linguistic flair is one of my continuous goals. Right now I’m just making flashcards on idioms I’m unfamiliar with to study them a little each day. I hate doing this so academically, which is why I don’t spend more than half an hour on this either.
  4. Blog! My little place on the internet. I’ll usually work on a blog post, practice my photography, or just work on small things here and there. The thing about my blog, mistyprose, is that even though no one really follows me here nor anywhere on social media, I’m still determined to keep on blogging. My anonymity, writing and work is what allows me to write freely, and I really enjoy that.

It should be lunch time by now (1:30pm), so that’s what I do next!

Thanks for reading about my morning routine 🙂 Also, just a side note – I’m currently in my gap year, so I have a pretty flexible schedule to handle.


16 Things I Learned in 2016

Dear 2016 me,

1. Taking care of yourself will always be your no. 1 priority. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They are all as important, and taking the time to just be with yourself will be so beneficial for your wellbeing in the long run.

2. Shit may happen in your life, but it’s you who decides what you do with it. If you ask me, the word ‘failure’ doesn’t exist. Just because the path you designed did not happen accordingly doesn’t mean that the alternatives are the wrong path. Later, you may realize that the latter was actually the better fit for you, and that you needed to ‘fail’ in order to see that.

3. You are stronger than you think. We all are. When something particularly harsh in life hits you hard, all you want to do is crawl back from where you came from, and pretend it never happened. But each experience makes you stronger. You don’t really see the silver lining until the dark cloud comes, and when it does – you are gonna be so ready.

4. Your family will always have your back. (They have to, lol) No matter how bad things get, they are always there for you, regardless of where they physically are.

5. School does not determine your life. It was particularly hard for you this year – socially – because you were doing something that none of your friends were doing. Everybody else was at school or at college, and they all seemed to be solidly moving along in their lives, while you felt stuck in the void in your gap year. But, guess what? You did learn stuff this year, and you did grow into a more nurtured and knowledgeable person in 2016. You may have gone off track, but your time did not go to waste. College will not change where you are ultimately meant to be.

6. You’re Asian, but you don’t need to be defined by it. It doesn’t determine how you feel on the inside, and it doesn’t determine what other people make of you. Embrace your race proudly, but also unleash your beautiful identity.

7. Learning takes place anywhere and everywhere.  Regardless of whether you’re at school, playing, working, or just laying around, you’re absorbing all kinds of new information that, over time, will accumulate to help you become even wiser. You used to believe that most of your education would take place at school, college and at work – but having this year away from your typical lifestyle has taught you better. The real learning cannot take place in a class with a teacher guiding you. The real learning happens when you fail and pick yourself up on your own account.

8. You need a few close friends. No matter how many friends you have, without your closest friends to rely your feelings, trust and silly conversations with, you would not be as happy as you are right now.

9. It’s okay to let go of some people. It doesn’t always mean that you stop caring about them. It just means that it didn’t work out for now. Don’t ponder too much about why they didn’t work out, and please don’t dwell on them.

10. Books are your greatest mentors. Reading is such a seemingly passive and relaxing activity, but when your delve into a good book, fireworks actually go off in your head. You become more creative, are able to think more critically, and learn so much – all of that happening inside your head. Books are also one of the cheapest and most efficient resources for self-learning that we oftentimes take for granted today.

11. Social media is really not that important. You love the virtual interaction that technology offers today, but you also know that it won’t really give you the satisfaction that you  genuinely desire. It’s okay if you  want to make your Instagram look aesthetically pleasing, but it’s pointless to obsess over it. It’s okay if you use Facebook, Tumblr, and other social sites regularly, but not if you keep comparing myself to people who post flawless self-portraits. Having a pretty life online is just another mask that you don’t truly need.

12. You are a social introvert. You love doing things on your own,  such as reading, writing, exercising, learning (pretty much everything, to be honest), but you also love traveling, learning from others and experiencing new cultures. You shine from the synergy of these two, and you should continue striving to have a healthy balance of both.

13. Money can distort reality. Buying materialistic things makes you be such person. Try not to buy more than what you need. But buying experiences, or things that create experiences, is totally worth it (like traveling).

14. Life without passion is existing without living. There’s no better motivator than getting up in the morning knowing that you have a passionate purpose to work and fight for. Passion is your biggest intrinsic motivation, and it’s what will get you through even when everything else seems dark. After all, with passion comes action, and with action comes change.

15. You’re actually a rebel ;). (Gurrl) Not in a bad way – you’re not that kind of rebellious. But you are actually starting to stand for what you believe in, instead of going along with what others believe is best for you.

16. You’re gonna die. Eventually. It’s the honest truth, and we can try to hide it as much as we can – exercising, using beauty products, becoming a monk, etc. But you’re gonna die, anyway. And who knows what will happen when it happens. So live your effing life.


Traveling Home

After 9 years, I am back in Taiwan. A tiny island it may be, but it’s the home for my entire family and the land of all yummy food. 9 years, and I braced myself for the changes I was sure to see in my country. But it wasn’t my country that had changed; it was me. I am visiting and seeing everything with an oddly familiar scent; one that I can’t shake off. Everywhere I look at, I know that I have been there at some point. But I remember those places with the innocence of a child. I must have been no more than 10 years old since I was last here, but stepping back in Taiwan is the proof of how much I have changed, and how much I will keep changing.

It’s been a bit more than a week since I’ve been here, and my life ‘style’ just feels so drastically different to the one I had concocted back in Peru. I have visited the bay, an huge 5-floor bookstore, two museums, went mountain-climbing, gone shopping, and eaten delicious Taiwanese food in this amount of time. I love the memories that each of this experiences will bring to me, but I’m even more grateful for how this time has helped me realize what kind of person I am.

I consider myself a social introvert: I like being independent and doing things on my own, and many of my activities are solitary, e.g. blogging, reading, exercising, learning, etc. But I also see the value in surrounding myself with all kinds of people, which is why I try to make some of my activities more sociable, e.g. attending classes, joining communities online, etc. Back in Peru, I was mainly on my own, which gave me a lot of time to invest in my reading, blogging and personal development in general. Once I arrived in Taiwan, however, it was a hectic fast-paced life with too many things to do and too little time.

It was in these moments that I realized I needed my therapeutic morning routines. My own ‘space’ to read and write. My own form of hectic lifestyle dictated by myself. Because it is only then that I am in control of what I do, and that’s the kind of order I need in my life. This, what I’m doing now in Taiwan, is something that I will continue seeking in my future travels, but not at ‘home’. I wasn’t sure of this while I was back in Peru; I was too busy worrying about my life not being socially hectic enough. But now I know.

My ‘home‘ cannot be a physical place, ever, because I am always slightly a foreigner in my homes. In Peru, where my Asian face gives away my origins. In Taiwan, where my slight Mandarin accent suggests I was not raised there. In wherever I set my foot in, because my multiculturalism will shine through my personality. As long as I know my true identity, I can find home anywhere I am.

Michelle (aka Misty Prose)

To New Beginnings

Two weeks away from a new year, and it feels like everything is ending. Christmas decorations everywhere, the festive vibe that surrounds us, and the excitement about things coming to an end is already prepping me for 2017.  These are some things that are getting me excited ready for an amazing new year:

I revamped my blog design to the one you’re seeing right now. This is the first theme that I have ever purchased, and I finally settled on this one because of the multiple layout variations (6, to be exact) that this design offers. And knowing myself, I’m quite prone to changing my blog design every now and then. I’m still getting the hang of it, and I’ve realized that most of my images suck (it makes my blog look like a piece of sh*t, to be really honest). At the beginning I tried using the pictures I had taken on my iPhone, but I grew tired of spending so much time editing them that I guiltily switched to using pictures I found online. But because of this, I lack a ‘consistency’ in my aesthetics that I have yet to find, and I hope I can improve my photography skills for 2017.

I am almost done with college applications. This is my second attempt to get into college (long story), and I’m much more certain about my choices this year. I should be able to say good-bye to all college-related stuff in a few days and, man, won’t I be glad about that. Well, at least until the decisions come out in March-April.

I am going back to my homeland next week! It’s been 8 years since I have last been back in Taiwan, and I can’t wait to see my entire family. I have waited long enough. I’m so ready to eat all the food, visit all the amazing bookstores, relish the Taiwanese culture that has been missing from my life, and just enjoy the change of environment. There’s also a possibility that I’ll be traveling up North to Tokyo! Japan is one of the top countries I want to visit in my lifetime, and though I’d be going for just a few days, I want to see and learn as much as I can in that time. We’ll see how that goes.

2017 will be drastically different for me. Besides going back to my country, I’ll also be attending my brother’s graduation in California later in the year (another exciting event!). Mainly, though, 2017 will be the year I pull myself out of the comfort zone of my country. Up to this year, I have learned so much from school and on my own – but most of that learning has taken place in the country I grew up in, which is nice – but it’s time I stepped out of my shell.

I’m planning to go traveling (solo) on my own at any given opportunity (or opportunities). I originally intended to go backpacking, but because that won’t be financially feasible nor put my parents at ease (me? a girl traveling alone? ya crazy?), I am considering traveling via an NGO or organization that allows me to work or volunteer in exchange for living a food. I want to travel, but reduce the costs of doing so as much as possible.

Finally, 2017 will be the year I begin my college career. I have been out of school for a year now, and being unemployed nor enrolled in any school has brought out all the possible fears that I used to dread horribly. My worst case scenario (not getting into college) happened, and I have learned my lesson and so many other things by being out of an arranged system that I can’t say I genuinely feel bad for not following the traditional track. With this experience, I do feel more confident about my choices once I go into college. I’m worried about how I’ll adjust to the academic life again, but in terms of ‘life skills’, I think I can survive better than I did last year!

How will 2017 be different for you?

Misty Prose

Finding Home in Yourself

Home. The place where you go to at the end of the day, knowing you are safe. Or the place where your family and friends surrounds you. Or the community you grew up in. The country that raised you. Home means different things to everyone, but we can all agree that home isn’t classified as the physical place where your bed lives. It’s an intangible feeling that nurtures you with love; this is why you should find the home within you.

Everything around us oftentimes changes faster than we want it to. The places and people that surround us are constantly evolving, and so are we. Regardless of how much we surrounds ourselves with – family, friends, things, work – we are by ourselves at the end of the day. If we always keep searching for that physical place of solace every time we’re in despair, one day we’ll end up disappointed if we can’t find it anymore. This place of solace could be the home you live in at the moment, your spouse, or anything else.

To me, home can simply be the house that I live in now. This country, I call my second home (as it’s not the country I was born in). But I know that soon, I’m going to college, and everything around me will change. The place I call ‘home’, my new circle of friends and ‘family’, my every day life. Though I’m extremely excited for this change, I know that it will also be a difficult transition for my introverted and shy self. I’ll take my time to adapt to all the changes, and hopefully I won’t miss my current home too much.

This anticipation got me thinking about how I should cope with this change. It was the kind of moment that makes you realize that you can’t keep being the same person if you want to propel forward. As cliche as you may feel when you read this, I searched within myself. I read, researched about spiritualism (meditation, specifically), meditated, and I realized that being at home means being at peace with myself.

You can’t find home unless you dig deep into your soul and personality, and try to understand everything and anything that you may have pushed away in response to the urgent demands of our daily life. I was fortunate enough to have this (bridge) year to do so, and I’m glad I gave myself the time to ‘tolerate’ myself (as I like to call it).

The breaking point of this situation was possibly when I got into meditation. I don’t take it as seriously as I should be, but research led me to unveil an understanding about the philosophy of meditation that helps me cope with daily situations. I plan to pursue this understanding further, as I think that it’s so important to invest time in ourselves, especially if we are living in the midst of the increasingly chaotic society of today.

Once you’re comfortable with your own self, you can be thrust into any unfamiliar situation and you can assure yourself that it’ll all be okay. You’ll know how to go back to your place of solace within you when you need it, and you’ll change with the circumstances in your life.

In contrast to popular belief, it is when we stop and reflect what allows us to see who we are, what our purpose is, and what we’re passionate about. It is not living a hectic life, possibly dictated by the demands of other people instead of those dictated by yourself. Not all of us has the opportunity nor luxury to live the tangible life that we want, but we can always find the purpose in what we do if we search for it.

(I hope this post was not too spiritual/cringe-worthy; they’re thoughts that have been on my mind lately.)

Misty Prose

Why I Have A Personal Blog

Blogging has always been a form of outlet for me ever since I created my first WordPress blog back in 2009, when I had just turned 12. It was specifically to talk about Arctic Antics, an online game website that (a very generous) someone created to offer free Club Penguin Memberships to whoever won the competition every week. It soon became like a small community for us online players, and I decided to create the blog as a platform outside Arctic Antics to connect with other players. The feeling of belonging that the game and blog gave to my 12 year old self was very fulfilling. I kept it up until I was 14-15 years old, and even co-blogged with other fellow online friends for their blogs. Through this hobby, I naturally learned more about the blogging industry, though I never pursued anything more serious (e.g. coding, web design) until now.

This anecdote is one that resonates highly with me today, especially because I have something to look back to after so many years. I can look at all the (silly) posts I made, all the pages and coments and designs that I put up. It’s an actual glimpse into what the online part of my childhood looked like, something that I find extremely valuable today as we often ‘get busy’ with our lives and lose touch of our inner childhood, one of the purest and proudest moments of our lives.

Throughout the years, I have also created other blogs, but they were never as ‘successful’. I created them mainly as online diaries; in other words, I blogged as an outlet for my emotions.

I decided to create this particular blog this year to record my progress with writing and interests. I believe that blogging is one of the best ways to see how you grow: your writing style evolves, your tastes and interests change, and you will inevitably improve with time. WordPress is the best blogging platform I know, as its design allows you to have complete control over your site. Though it’s not as connected as other social media sites in the sense that it’s harder to promote your blog, it’s one that gives me that ‘right’ blogging feeling.

I have also explored other social media sites to explore and compare their usages. One that I have come to love is Tumblr. You can definitely use it as you would use WordPress, as you can upload your own designs and coding (without paying). However, I consider Tumblr a more photography/interactive platform, as not everything you show on your Tumblr blog has been created by you.

I also created an Instagram (for books and stationery pictures, mainly) in tandem with this blog, mainly for complementary purposes. Instagram is strictly for pictures and short videos; WordPress is for blogging mainly. I took on Instagram as my promoting platform, and I’m glad I keep it up. I enjoy taking some time off every 1-2 weeks to take creative pictures for my Instagram, though it will never give me the satisfaction that blogging gives me as Instagram is very aesthetic and superficial-based.

I also use Goodreads, which is absolute marvelous for book-tracking and making friends whom you know have to love books. I use it mainly for myself, but I also sometimes share my reviews on there, which is great. But besides that, I don’t really try very hard to keep up with my ‘presence’ on there.

I have also tried exploring sites like Pinterest and Twitter, though I am not a fan of either. I don’t really use Pinterest other than searching for inspiration, and Twitter is just too 24/7-social-media for me.

Something that makes me feel really uncertain about this whole blogging ‘business’ is where it’s going to go. I do think that WordPress will not go down anytime soon, as it’s been up for such a long time, but I do feel that the audience’s interests is spreading everywhere. Specifically, I’m talking about sites like YouTube. It has become the modern version of having a blog, and though it won’t last forever, it’s a trend that is still soaring today.

Personally, I am not a vlogger nor someone who’s very eager to make videos of herself in any way. My attempts to do that would be horrendous, and I have only ever made one video about my bullet journal as a complementary for my bullet journal setup post. However, because of this trend, I have questioned about my options. If I continue blogging, even if for personal reasons, that means that I’ll continue investing time into it. Time that I won’t always have, unless I can make a profit out of it. Of course, I’m thinking for future purposes, but it’s a thought that I can’t shake off. If I could, I would continue blogging for as long as I can, because I know that – with time – I will be able to create a blog with a more specific and well-defined niche.

If you are reading this, chances are that you have a blog of your own. Please let me know what your thoughts are on how you blog, and what blogging plans you have for the future (e.g. are you thinking about expanding or switching to other social media sites.) Thank you!

Misty Prose

My Love for Language and Literature

It’s my life, inevitably.

For my last two years at school, I studied a course called “English Language and Literature“. It was my favorite class. We studied classic works in English, including 1984A Streetcar Named Desire, and Death and the Maiden. I loved all the books we read, and because we scrutinized every theme, story line and character, these works of art still highly resonate with me.

This year, however, I realized that my love for this course goes beyond that of just “English”. Though it is the language that I think, write and sleep in, my multicultural upbringing has given me the gift to look at everything I do with a globalized perspective.

I have read books in English ever since the day I started learning English (so, 10 years ago). Most of them were English Literature books, set in the Western world. As I grew older, my reading spectrum expanded to a wider selection, and some of them were English translations of books written in other languages. Though I hate reading books in Spanish (unfortunately), and my Chinese level is really basic, I have learned a lot from reading books in English about or set in other cultures, and I plan to continue doing so.

The fact that I have a connection with both the Eastern and Western World (and the Latin American, if you consider it a separate entity) means that I’ll always continue searching for knowledge that is beyond what I’m currently reading or learning. Which leads to my love for the “Language” part of “Language and Literature”.

A Taiwanese native who grew up in Peru, I attended a Peruvian-British school that compelled me to live a life of three languages, and hence – three cultures. I speak Chinese at home, Spanish elsewhere, and English at school and online. Not a day goes by in which I don’t have to speak one of these three languages, and 16-17 years of this balancing act has been enough to prove to me that all three languages and cultures will continue to be incredibly important in my identity.

I didn’t really see this until this year. Before that, I was more focused on English, then Spanish, and left Chinese for last. After all, I don’t live in China/Taiwan, and I don’t plan to do so; that’s what I thought. What I didn’t know was that Chinese is not just a language; it’s an entire culture that represents the Eastern World, which I belong to. I don’t know when I’m going to get back to truly study my native language yet, but I hope to do some study about its culture before then.

As of now, I’m trying to connect the two Romance languages that I already dominate with, ironically, a third Romance language: Italian. I initially took it up for fun, but then I realized that studying Italian vocabulary and grammar enriches my Romance language vocabulary synergistically. I wouldn’t even bother researching about Spanish/English grammar because the rules are unconsciously ingrained in me, but reinforcing these rules through Italian enables my Romance languages to come even more naturally.

I also realized that the more I study a language in my own volition, the more interested I become in everything that has to do with this language: its culture and social implications. It makes me want to visit Italy, and read about it. I actually got really excited when I read and watched The Godfather, because of the Italian cultural/social references. Maybe this is just a language infatuation that will go away after some time, but I honestly don’t think so.

I am not in college yet (bridge year), and I have come to see my education as a preparation towards any future path I take. My interests will evolve as I grow older, which means that my path is subject to change at any point. This means that my higher education has to prepare me for the future with the end goal of preparing for me, not an end-goal or career. Besides Psychology (my intended major), I aim to continue studying languages and literature (possibly on my own). It is through languages that I get a greater understanding of the societies that surround me, and it is through literature that enables my creativity and imagination to take me to new places.

Misty Prose

One Week in Cuba | Travel Blog Post

Earlier this month, I traveled to Cuba for roughly a week and stayed in 2 places: Havana, capital city of Cuba, and Varadero, a beautiful beach resort town.


rainbowWhat was the environment like?

The first destination was Havana. As we were going from the airport to our Airbnb accommodation, the streets, buildings, and especially the cars made me feel like I had stepped into a 1950’s suburban area. The fact the city isn’t very modernized gave an air of nostalgia and antiquity, which is very different to any of the places that I have traveled before. There is also lots of nature that surrounds the city: grass, clear sky, rivers, etc. Though I would have assumed that the presence of nature would have created an environmentally-friendly city, the (few) old cars were enough to pollute the air – that was the main disappointment.

the area where we stayed in Havana

How was the weather?

Unbearably hot. We went during the hottest and wettest time of the year, and though I expected to encounter annoying mosquitoes, I did not get a single bite (or if I did, I must not have felt them) in the whole trip. I did use repellent every day, just in case.

What places did we visit?

We only had under 2 days to visit as many historically-rich places as we could, but we managed to see quite a few places nevertheless.

We walked and toured around the Malecon, a roadway right beside the beautiful beach. The view is amazing during the day here, as you have buildings (some that are pretty cool) on one side, and the amazing sea on the other.

on one side of the Malecon are all the buildings
you can almost see everything here: the vintage cars, the clear sky with patches of polluted air; on the other side of the Malecon is the beautiful beach

The one aspect that jumps out at you when you’re walking in Havana, especially in ‘Habana Vieja’ (Old Havana), is that it’s surrounded by history. We walked through Paseo del Prado towards the Parque Central (Central Park), and got a very nice view of the more touristic site of the city before hopping on on a tour bus that took us through mainly historical stops/museums/buildings (names which I unfortunately can’t remember).


We also got a glimpse of Castillo (Castle) San Salvador de la Punta before taking a cab down the tunnel to the East side of Havana. There, we went inside Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro, and though it was huge and impressive, not having a tour guide did make the visit a bit superficial. I was also stumped by the fact that they allowed visitors to see and touch practically everything in the museum – this was evidenced by the litter that people (rudely) left on some monuments.

I really liked these paintings, and I got 2 of the small ones 🙂


A pretty chic and touristic place we went was Obispo street, a narrow boulevard with lots of stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and museums on the sides.

We also walked inside Colon Cemetery, and that was beautiful. This place reinforced the 1950’s vibe even more, as the cemetery was established in the 19th century. I don’t think I’ve ever been inside a cemetery before, and this first time definitely gave me a lasting impression.

The last place we visited in this city was Havana University. It’s as old and antique as the rest of the city, but it gave me an more ‘abandoned’ sort of feeling. When I glimpsed into the classrooms and hallways, they all seemed dark and dusty.

moi at the entrance of Havana University

What about the food?

I found the food to be pretty ordinary. Prior research enabled me to anticipate what kind of food to expect, but I had hoped to find some ‘unique’ Cuban dishes. I was disappointed. The places we ate at offered mainly seafood (obviously), but none really gave me the impression of eating at a Cuban restaurant.


I probably sounded a bit cynical throughout my descriptions of the places I visited, but I actually found this city very culturally-enriching. Havana is not a good place for a vacation, but it’s definitely interesting to see and learn about a city that seems to be decaying.


We took a 2-hour car trip to Varadero, and the whole journey was a beautiful view. The roads were surrounded by green grassland and clear sky, with few cars and – occassionally – a few horse carriages that would pass us by. It’s the sort of place that one would go to get away from all the problems caused by the human civilization (oh btw, did I mention that there’s little to no wifi connection in Cuba?).


When we got to our beach resort (Hotel Paradisus), I explored the place for a bit. The resort is huge, and has several ‘sections’ separated by long walking distances. We also happened to arrive at a bad moment, as Hurricane Matthew was just striking on the North of Havana (I think?). Luckily, though, Matthew left us in peace the following day, and we were able to enjoy the vacation with (unbearably hot) sunshine.

ah, the classic *casually laying by a palm tree* picture. I had to do it.

Personally, I felt stranded and pressured to ‘enjoy’ myself in this beach resort which, needless to say, was very luxurious. But besides the beautiful sea, several pools, and night entertainment, the other few activities that the resort had were not active during our stay (e.g. the aquatic activities, which closed down due to Matthew). I’m not much of a beach or pool person, but the place is great to take pictures with some damn beautiful backgrounds. The night performances were very nice – we saw Cuban dance, singers, musicians, and other performers present a variety of concerts every night.

I went for it in this one and leaned against a palm tree. Btw, isn’t the scenery just beautiful in this picture?


The resort was alright. It’s not my definition of a vacation/trip, but it was a nice change of environment nevertheless. One thing that bothered me a little, and this applies for the trip in general, was the attitude of some Cubans. Based on research, I found that Cuba is quite a safe place to travel to, but that tourist scams are quite widespread. While we experienced that quite a lot in Havana and not that much in Varadero, the service in the beach resort was not very good at all. I felt it was disorganized and lacked communication among workers, as some people who were supposed to guide us were not up to date on the activities that were going on in the resort. I wouldn’t normally complain about this as it’s not really a big deal to me, but we did stay at a 5-star hotel and pay for the service.

me, walking away from all the troubles in my life / *insert thoughtful, cliche quote*

Anyway, I hope this was not a horrible poorly written travel blog post! I’ve never written one of these before, but I wanted to do it this time so I can remember key moments of the trip. Thanks for reading!

Misty Prose