One of my favourite things to do at the end of every year is take stock; reflecting on all the good, the bad, and the ugly that has transpired over the last 12 months…and BOY what a year 2020 has been.
Like everyone else, I’ve dealt with my fair share of struggles. I’ve struggled with loss, loneliness and uncertainty. I’ve struggled to find creative inspiration and motivation. I’ve struggled with mental and physical health. Heck, I’ve struggled to put on pants in the morning.
But you know what I did do? Despite being thwarted by block after creative block, I continued this pursuit that I love so much: blogging. Instead of beating myself up for all the things I didn’t/couldn’t do this year, I want to celebrate what I did accomplish with a roundup of blog posts that I wrote in 2020.
From my personal favourite to pandemic-friendly to the downright odd, here are 10 blog posts on TeriakiTalks that were surprisingly popular this year:
85 Thoughts I Had At A Japanese Onsen (While Naked!)
Before going to Japan, the only blog posts I could find about onsens were merely factual and didn’t impart what the experience was really like. Was I the only one anxious about prancing around strangers in my birthday suit? What was the etiquette for making eye contact while naked? What was that red stool in the shower area for??? I answered all that and more PLUS I got to Photoshop myself into a bowl of ramen.
It’s been one of my most popular blog posts this year which leads me to believe that either it’s a) really helpful content or b) people are perverts and searching “Japanese onsen nude” and hoping to find softcore porn. #SorryNotSorry to disappoint!
8 Idyllic Spots To Go Glamping Near Toronto This Summer
With international travel on hold indefinitely 😭😭😭😭😭 it wasn’t surprising that this blog post on glamping near Toronto would be popular.
While researching glamp-sites, I was shocked (but excited) by how many nature oases were a short jaunt from the bustling city. From spacious safari tents to Mongolian yurts, there were plenty of luxurious options for cabin-fever addled Torontonians, desperate to trade confinement for the great outdoors.
The Korean Skincare Routine To Get That ‘Glass’ Skin
After seeing how interested people were in trying to achieve that mochi skin, I started exploring the Korean equivalent — glass skin! Since we’re stuck inside twiddling our thumbs, we finally have the time to indulge in the 10-step skincare routine.
I dove into the detailed regimen of how to attain the enviable glowing complexion that is the pinnacle of Korean beauty goals, discovering that at its heart is double cleansing and double moisturizing. My skin has never looked better which is such a waste since no one is around to see it…
A Curated 10-Day Itinerary of Hawaii
I was extremely lucky to be able to go to Hawaii just before lockdown went into effect. It was serendipitous in the sense that I usually don’t travel that early in the year because I like to be home for my birthday. But this year I had wanted to celebrate in the Aloha State, specifically by eating my bodyweight in poké.
Writing this itinerary of Hawaii — from the Big Island, Kauai and Oahu — was a feat of epic proportions. I nearly went blind ensuring that I didn’t leave out a single meal, activity or experience, but it was worth it to end up with a comprehensive 10-day guide.
8 Drool-Worthy Places To Eat In Oahu For Every Foodie
Speaking of Hawaii, despite having plenty that I wanted to share from my trip, once we went into lockdown I tried to limit travel writing. But when Hawaii reopened to visitors in the fall, I knew it was the perfect time to share all the places to eat and gustatory delights that I indulged in from Honolulu to the North Shore of Oahu.
Dwelling on my drool-worthy memories was a nice reprieve from my homebound reality — refreshing shave ice, piles of garlicky shrimp, poké so fresh that it tasted like the sea, hot, sugar-crusted malasadas and more!
What It’s Like To Date From The Perspective of An Asian Woman
I thought this post would be an interesting twist for Valentine’s Day content but it raised a bunch of uncomfortable questions. Based on the organic traffic that it gained, I learned that a lot of people search “dating an Asian girl” on Google. Hm 🤔
This made me wonder exactly what kind of audience I was attracting to my site. People who are actively trying to pursue Asian women? Guys with yellow fever? Does one pursue an Asian woman in a different way than any other woman? So many questions that I’m not sure I want to know the answer to. Maybe I’ll just stick to writing about travel and food from now on…
Street Food In Osaka & How I Survived The Stomach Flu
Ok, so this post wasn’t the most popular but it WAS the most fun to for me write. Sure, I had to sacrifice my dignity at the alter of your entertainment…but that’s par for course. While I never hope for bad luck when I travel, the silver-lining is that it makes for a very entertaining story, whether it’s almost breaking my nose while paddle boarding in Portugal or getting stranded in Paris when my airline goes bankrupt.
Getting the stomach flu in Japan was the most inconvenient and painful experience but there were so many hilarious anecdotes that I couldn’t let my pride get in the way of telling.
The Best Ramen Stir Fry To Make Use Of Your Leftovers
I had never considered writing recipe blog posts since my idea of cooking is mostly cobbling together whatever I have in my fridge at any given moment. But since it was one of the few activities we could do while stuck at home, I figured it was time that I gave it a shot.
Ramen stir fry is a dish that I make often since it can be rustled up with ingredients that I always have lying around — ramen, eggs, random veggies…Plus it was really fun to flex my creative muscles by experimenting with food styling and photography. I may or may not have rushed through the photoshoot so I could devour the subject matter.
125 Thoughts I Had In Quarantine That Everyone Can Relate To
You know what they say: Misery loves company. Somehow knowing that you’re not alone in feeling all the feels this year – frustrated, lonely, scared, uncertain — makes it a tiny bit easier to endure. 2020 has been anything BUT funny, yet shared experiences like the lack of motivation to wear pants and excessive bread baking are funny because everyone can relate.
My motivation to write this post was to help people feel less alone and maybe even laugh in spite of it all. I mean, who can’t relate to wearing the same pjs for a week straight?
Prince Edward County Wineries and Non-Sober Biking
In March it was completely unfathomable to me that the pandemic would last as long as it has. I kept hoarding my vacation days in the hopes that I’d be able to hop on a plane and traverse the unique landscapes of Iceland or slurp an authentic bowl of pho in Vietnam. Well, I was shit out of luck on that front but it made me look closer to home to satisfy my wanderlust.
I finally had the chance to explore Prince Edward County! I spent a blissful long weekend drunkenly biking from winery to winery, eating my way through charming restaurants in the area, and generally indulging my dormant curiosity. If the frequent traffic to this post is any indication, it seems like a lot of Torontonians had the same idea for a local getaway.
Still fairly new to the blogging scene, I’ve been trying to find the happy medium between content that it helpful; serves my audience and content that I am very enthusiastic/excited to write. That’s been especially difficult this year as I’ve had to pivot from writing almost exclusively about travel and eating out to more relevant, pandemic-friendly topics.
Hopefully travel will resume in 2021 *fingers crossed* but if not, there are still plenty of stories to tell! Like the first time I went to a hammam in Marrakech which is my Mom’s fav story, FYI.
Keep your stalking game strong and follow me @teriaki if you aren’t already!