Travel Fails: Hong Kong Edition

Hong Kong

When planning this trip I was extremely nervous. By this point I’d been out of the country by myself a few times but going out-of-continent was a step further so I made sure to do my research. I went on the ‘gov.uk’ website which advised Hong Kong was relatively safe for tourists, watched vlogs, read blogs of other solo travellers, googled the question, generally got a lot of advice and decided that Hong Kong would be safe to visit by myself. I booked it feeling relatively confident.

Of course no one could predict the protests that would start taking place throughout the city and as my trip began to approach I started to get nervous. I don’t know enough about the protests to comment my opinion on them, I was just slightly selfishly worried that they’d ruin my trip. The news made it sound disastrous but I kept an eye on ‘gov.uk’ website which basically said ‘you can still go but make sure to avoid the protests’. I started checking out tourists’ photos on Instagram and lots of people still seemed to be having a good time in the city. Besides, I couldn’t really risk losing my money so I set off.

The flights went okay. I was due to travel to Amsterdam and then Hong Kong. The first flight got delayed by twenty minutes and I was proper on edge about missing my second flight but even though we set off late we still arrived on time. The only fail from that flight is that during take-off I must’ve looked terrified because once we’d levelled out a member of the cabin crew came over and asked “Are you okay? I saw you gripping your arm rest during take-off.” In my defence, yes there was some shaking from the clouds but also the pilot was flying like a madman. But luckily we made it into Amsterdam in one piece.

My original plan had been to find a souvenir shop in the airport as the only snow globe I’m missing from my collection is Amsterdam (I started buying a snow globe of all the places I visit abroad but unfortunately didn’t start this until I went to Luxembourg). I was so stressed about my next flight that I just went straight to the gate and completely forgot about the snow globe. Earlier that year me and my friends had missed our connecting flight to Belgium and I was desperate not to repeat this as my flight was the only one going to Hong Kong that day. I went straight to the gate and just sat there until we were allowed to board the plane.

Once on the plane we were informed there was a delay which lasted about an hour but I wasn’t too concerned. My flight was landing in Hong Kong in the early morning and I knew I’d be shattered so I wasn’t fussed if we were late. In fact I hoped we were later so that I had less time to kill between landing and checking into the hotel. I was quite lucky on this flight because the middle seat on my row was left unoccupied (the guy had turned up, said it was his seat and then disappeared and never came back) so me and the window seat guy had extra space which was appreciated. We took off and landed in Hong Kong after ten hours of flying bang on the time we were originally supposed to land – apparently they’d put extra fuel in so that we could fly faster and therefore we made it on time. This never happens when I’m in a rush.

Hong Kong 2

I won’t lie, day one wasn’t fun. I landed at 10:20AM and my hotel didn’t open check-in until 2PM and I didn’t want to start dragging my case around the city. It was a Sunday so apparently there were protests happening but luckily not at the airport. I spent the morning in the airport before setting off at 1PM to find my hotel.

To be fair the transport in Hong Kong is so easy to understand that I didn’t get worried navigating. I did get worried on the Island Line when we went via Causeway Bay as I’d heard there were protests there and I’d seen that some do spill onto the MTR, however we passed by and all was fine. I made it to the hotel in one piece to be informed my room wouldn’t be ready for another thirty minutes. Obviously not the end of the world but as I sat down in reception I realised I was way more tired than I thought I was originally as I was feeling super spacey. Luckily the receptionist came over and informed me my room was ready and also that I’d been given a harbour view room. I was pretty happy with this considering harbour view cost extra and I hadn’t splashed out for it but it had paid off anyway!

The reviews had made it sound like the room was going to essentially be the size of a cupboard but it was a decent size and spotlessly clean. I’d chosen an ibis as I wanted a trustworthy chain hotel on my first out-of-continent trip.

Hong Kong 3

Day One was a bit of a write-off to be honest. I was so bloody tired that I went out to try and do some sight-seeing in the local area but it was so hot and busy that after an hour or so I ended up back in my hotel. I read for a bit but found I was nodding off and it was still only about 4PM. I decided to have a ‘half-nap’ for a couple of hours which is where I lie down and try to sleep but also play music moderately in the background so that if I do nod off the music will startle me awake again – I get to relax but not so much that I can’t sleep later. Got up again, had a shower and then finally gratefully collapsed into bed at 7PM.

Unfortunately I was woken up by the woman next door. It sounded like there were three people in the room and one of them, whom I nicknamed Foghorn Voice, was on the phone to someone else and they were on loudspeaker. I didn’t want to get out of bed and check the time but I kindly gave her the benefit of the doubt and assumed it was around 8 – 9PM and she had no idea someone was trying to sleep as it was still early. Luckily she eventually hung up and everyone in the room stopped talking so I managed to get a decent night’s sleep and was up early on my birthday.

My birthday at Disneyland was fabulous, I wrote a long post about it here but the only fail was that I hadn’t brought sun cream with me from England. I’d had a quick look in Boots before I left but hadn’t spotted any so decided not to take any at all – it had been hot in Japan but I hadn’t burnt. I quickly realised this was probably because the dresses I’d worn then covered pretty much all of my skin whereas at Disneyland I was showing a fair bit of chest and all of my arms were exposed. By the end of the day my chest, shoulders and nose were burnt. Also from all the walking I’d done I ended up with horrendous blisters and had to deal with that for the rest of the week.

Hong Kong Disneyland

The next day was October 1st, National Day in Hong Kong. I’d initially been sort of excited upon finding out as I’d heard there was going to be a fireworks display and all sorts of celebrations but of course due to the protests I believe these were cancelled and there were major protests planned across the city. In fact that night I heard Foghorn Voice (at bloody 11PM so she was an inconsiderate hoe after all) telling whoever she was speaking to on the phone that her and her partner weren’t going out as they were worried about the protests. It got me wondering if I was being wise to go out but since I only had limited time in Hong Kong I decided I’d have to risk it.

My sight-seeing that day was on the outskirts of the city and I made it there on public transport just fine. I didn’t see any protests and where I was everything was nice and calm. I managed to tick everything off my list for that day and I decided to head back to the hotel early as I wanted to avoid the worst of the protests.

Too late unfortunately. I made it back to ‘Hong Kong’ station but unfortunately couldn’t change to ‘Central’ station because it had been closed in the protests. The station staff were telling people to go and catch the bus so out I went to the bus station to discover none of the buses were running either. I won’t lie to you I got very panicked at this point until I overheard a member of staff tell another tourist to ‘go and catch the ferry’.

The ‘star ferry’ had been on my itinerary but I hadn’t hoped to catch it in these circumstances. When it got to its destination I realised that although I was technically now closer to the hotel I was also on the wrong side of the river. Google Maps advised me there was a bus around the corner that would take me straight to the hotel. I felt a bit more hopeful as there were other buses working in the area so round the corner I went and started to wait.

The bus was meant to be once every twenty minutes but after forty-five minutes I admitted defeat and I had to go and find water because I was dying of thirst. Even though the sun had now set the city was still boiling and I was still completely panicked. The last thing I wanted to do was walk over an hour through the city back to my hotel and come across a protest. I was proper on edge, hot, thirsty and tired – all I wanted was to be back at my hotel!

After a lot of research I discovered there was another harbour where I could catch a boat to North Point harbour which was right opposite my hotel. Unfortunately this harbour was a half-an-hour walk away but I had no other plan so I set off hoping to find it.

Hong Kong 4

About ten minutes into the journey I made the briefest eye contact with the bloke standing next to me and he turned to me, smiled and said “Hi.” I responded in the smallest voice ever and when he asked how I was I responded “Good, you?” and then immediately beat myself up internally for returning the question. When he asked for my name I ignored him. He asked me a couple more questions before I wearily said “I’m just trying to find my hotel.” “I want to get to you know you a bit better though” he responded and I said “Okay but I’m a bit busy right now”. Luckily he took the hint then and buggared off somewhere else but like? I was sweaty and stressed, some random bloke trying to hit on me was the last thing I needed – or expected to be honest!

Unfortunately I hit a dead end on Google Maps. It was telling me to continue walking but there was a ton of building work meaning I couldn’t go any further. I decided to try and get back on track and went up a ramp and into a tunnel which took me into an MTR station which was still open. I had a quick look at the map and realised if I went up I could change to a different line, go across, change lines again, come back down and end up at the station for my hotel. It was a bit of a risk because if I went up and the line wasn’t running or the station was closed then I’d be even further from the hotel but it was a risk I’d have to take.

Luckily the risk paid off as all the lines were open and all the stations I needed were open. I made it back to the hotel three hours later than I would’ve if the original station had just been open. I was just grateful to be back in my nice air-conditioned room. I had a shower and gratefully collapsed into bed. It sounds so easy and simple reading it back but I was genuinely panicking that I wouldn’t be able to make it back to the hotel at one point. I honest to God don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved to make it back to my accommodation before – I even bought some chocolate from the 7-11 in the metro station to celebrate.

Hong Kong 5

The next couple of days generally went without a hitch, even the people next door were generally quieter until Thursday night. I got into bed at a reasonable time when next door started watching something – sounded like it was on a tablet or laptop and it was a stand-up comedian. They had it literally on full blast and the sound of the studio audience was going right through me. I put up with it for as long as I could stand before getting up and knocking on the door – you have to understand that I’m such an awkward person that this was a big leap for me! I’d expected to hear some grumbling but the programme was immediately switched off and then I didn’t hear anything for the rest of the trip – thank God!

All went relatively well until Saturday morning. I spent most of the morning doing last minute packing and getting ready to go then left my suitcase in the hotel and said I wouldn’t be back until 6PM. However when I left I discovered the entire MTR system wasn’t running due to protests that had happened the night before. I was a bit worried but tried to carry on with my day – I was going to catch a tram to the first sight-seeing place on my list but all the trams were packed and I was a bit confused anyway. I sat in a McDonalds for about an hour before messaging my Mom when it turned 7AM back home to ask whether she thought I should just go straight to the airport. I didn’t know if the public transport situation was going to get worse and I really didn’t need a repeat of Tuesday. She told me she thought that was sensible and I went back to the hotel to collect my suitcase – they seemed a bit confused that I was there so early but I wasn’t taking any chances!

Luckily the buses were still running and I caught one which took me to the airport within an hour. I arrived at the airport at around 2PM and my flight wasn’t until 10:50PM, I hadn’t even intended to set off for the airport until 6:30PM. But at least I was there and ready to catch my flight. I killed the time by watching shows on my fire tablet, got dinner when I was through to departures and had a good look around the airport Disney store before boarding the plane.

The flight home luckily went without a hitch, I slept better on the way back and got to Paris in plenty of time for the next flight. Unfortunately this time I had to go through security so I had to bin an unopened bottle of water and it just really annoys me when you have to do that. I just got off a flight, what would I have obtained between now and then?

The flight from Paris to Birmingham was absolutely horrendous, the turbulence was so bad that a member of the cabin crew fell over as she was walking down the middle and I consoled myself with the fact that at least it was happening on the short flight – you’re in the air probably less than an hour.

Overall I think considering what was going on in Hong Kong during my visit it was a relatively successful visit. I didn’t bump into any protests (I briefly went into a shopping centre where lots of people were yelling but that was it) and any problems that arose were eventually solved. So for my first solo out-of-continent trip I think I did very well! I’d love to go back to Hong Kong one day, hopefully when the political situation has calmed down.

50 Get to Know Me Questions

Hong Kong Disneyland 12

I love tags so much and considering I’ve hit a bit of writer’s block I feel it’s the appropriate time to whip out another tag. So here are 50 ‘get to know me’ questions!

1. Are you named after anyone?

I don’t think so. Originally I was going to be called Nicole but I had a cousin called Nicky so my parents decided it was too similar – in the end it didn’t matter too much as I don’t see her that often anyway but we were a bit closer growing up as our Nan lived locally so we all met up more often. They made Nicole my middle name instead.

My Dad apparently also suggested I should be called ‘Rochene’ which according to my Mom is an Irish name – odd choice as we’re not Irish and don’t have any Irish relatives so I’m glad that name was overridden.

2. When was the last time you cried?

Um I sort of cried yesterday because I choked on my drink at work. I didn’t wanna have a coughing fit in front of the whole office so I headed out and as I was wiping away my tears a girl came out and discovered me which was a bit awkward.

The last ‘proper’ cry though was a week ago. I was at Hirst’s Halloween party and I choked on my drink (??? Do I have a problem?) and spat it on the floor so Hirst’s Mom had to come in and clean it up. I was so worried that everyone was mad at me that I went upstairs and burst into tears so Becca and Jess had to comfort me. In my defence I was quite drunk.

Halloween Party

3. Do you have kids? If no, how many do you want?

I don’t have any and I don’t intend to have any. I’ve looked after my nephews a few times and I love them to pieces but by the end of the day I’m more than happy to hand them back to their Mum’s as they’ve pretty much drained me of all my energy. I don’t think I’d make a brilliant Mum, I’m not very good at being an authority figure – I do care work and if I have to tell off one of the kids they just laugh at me and someone else has to do it.

Regardless of whether I’d be a good Mum or not though I just don’t think I want any. You’d have to accept your kid however they came out and they might just not be a very nice person. I’ve always said I’d rather regret not having kids than regret having a kid. I’m open to the possibility that I may change my mind in the future but right now I’m pretty dead set against it.

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?

If I still had all my same interests then probably because we’d have a lot in common but I don’t know. I might find myself a bit irritating so I’m not sure.

5. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

All the time. My friend once told me I’m 70% sarcasm. I use it so often that sometimes when I say something serious my friends ask “Are you being sarcastic?” I get it off my Dad, he’s really sarcastic as well.

6. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

I haven’t actually thought this. Maybe hair? I’m always drawn to like bright hair or interesting hair, and I think most guys who have thick or long hair are quite attractive so I probably notice that first. Other than that probably what they’re wearing.

7. What is your eye colour?

Blue! I got blue eyes like my Mom and my brothers got my Dad’s eye colour.

8. Scary movie or happy endings?

DEFINITELY scary movie! Even if I think a horror movie doesn’t look very good I’ll go and watch it at the cinema. Horror movies are very hit and miss, I think it’s a difficult genre to get right and everyone will always have differing opinions on whether it was good or not. My favourite horror movie is probably Orphan just because I loved the twist at the end – I love any film with a twist. I also loved The Visit because that was a fun mixture of horror and comedy, with a good twist at the end. I love being an idiot ‘cos it’s very rare that I see a twist coming in horrors making it more enjoyable.

Orphan

9. Favourite smells?

I love the smell of coffee even though I can’t stand the taste but it does make me hungry for some reason? Probably because I associate it with first thing in the morning before I’ve had my breakfast. Bread baking in the oven, freshly cut grass, warm cookies… Most foods smell really nice to be fair.

10. What’s the furthest you’ve been from home?

I have a feeling it was Japan. I’d go back to Japan in a heartbeat, it’s my absolute most favourite country I’ve ever visited.

Tea Ceremony

11. Do you have any special talents?

Define ‘special’ – I think I’m pretty good at writing, not amazing but like pretty good. I can’t think of any like party tricks I have though.

12. Where were you born?

Shrewsbury Hospital, most people in my town were born there. Originally my parents lived in Dorset and I am forever grateful that they chose to move up to Telford before I was born. Telford’s not perfect by any standards but it’s much better than Dorset. Fun fact, I recently found out my parents nearly moved us all to New Zealand before I was born which would’ve been weird. My Mom said it was because of my brother’s autism and my Dad said it was because my Mom changed her mind.

13. What’s your zodiac sign? Do you believe it?

Libra and I’m not sure. I like star signs and I always check mine but I wouldn’t go as far as to say I necessarily believe them.

14. What are your hobbies?

I love going to the cinema or theatre, I love just sitting there and watching other people do stuff. I prefer the theatre but I go to the cinema more often and I enjoy them both. I also love reading but I feel like these days I’m way more fussy with what I will and won’t read because I’m just bored of reading the same romance formula in every single book. I love listening to music and going to concerts but I have more fun at concerts if I’m seated, I can’t be bothered with this standing malarkey. With my friends I like playing games, either on the Wii, laptop or just the verbal games that we play. There’s probably more stuff I enjoy doing but these are the first ones that come to mind!

15. Do you have any pets?

No. When I was really young we had a dog called Bruno and a fish called Fred. We eventually had to put Bruno down unfortunately and my Mom always felt guilty about Fred’s small fish tank so in the end we gave him to a friend who had a pond full of fish in her garden.

I begged for a dog for absolutely years but my Mom wouldn’t have it so I switched form and begged for a rabbit instead. In the end she caved in and got me a guinea pig instead. We bought one off a woman who’s guinea pig had had babies, two of them were going together so I had the third one and she asked if I wanted to have the Mum as well to keep her company so we ended up with two guinea pigs. Toffee the baby and her Mum Tina. We had them a few years until they both eventually died.

Now we don’t have any pets but since I travel so often I’m not too upset about it. It would be a hassle to find someone to look after my pets every time I go away so yeah, not in a hurry to get any pets.

16. Do you have any siblings?

Sure do. Two brothers, five step-sisters and one step-brother. People always ask if we’re close and although I get along with most of them I wouldn’t say we’re ‘close’. I don’t really see my step-brother, in fact I think I’ve only met him once but he’s a bit of a bad apple so he doesn’t come over often.

My two step-sister’s that are my step-dad’s children used to come over every other weekend when we were younger and I was close to them, especially the younger one who was around the same age as me, but they stopped coming as they got older. I don’t blame them, their Dad didn’t really do much with them and I imagine it was quite boring being over here for them.

I’m closer to two out of three of my step-sister’s that are my step-mum’s children. Two of them live in Telford and I’m close-ish to them but not like overly close. I get on well with the one who still lives in her home town but again not close.

I’m not close to my natural brothers either. The eldest is another bad apple and although I love him I don’t particularly like him very much. My other brother who’s a few years older than me is severely autistic – I love him and like him a lot, I look after him quite regularly but due to his learning difficulties I can’t really say we’re ‘close’.

I took a cute question and turned it into something much more complicated haha!

17. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Uh I am grown up now and I’m a Business Support Officer in the School’s Department for our local council which like is a decent job, it pays well and I get on with my team but it wasn’t exactly what I’d expected to be doing when I was a kid.

I wanted to be a writer and I suppose I still do but I don’t really write like… At all. So I’m not going to achieve that anytime soon.

When I was younger I had all the typical aspirations like I wanted to be a vet, a nurse, even a skateboarder at one point for some reason but it flitted about all over the place.

18. Who was your first best friend?

When my Mom was pregnant with me she met a woman at the hospital who was also pregnant. I came along in September and she gave birth in November. They met up regularly and obviously would bring us along for playdates. Her name was Georgia and I believe we went to the same nursery, we went on day trips like I remember us going to Drayton Manor together I think, then we went to the same primary school. We were friends throughout primary school but naturally made other ‘best’ friends. Then we went to different secondary schools and gradually lost touch. My Mom still gets on with her Mom but they’re not as close anymore either.

19. How tall are you?

I’m not sure of the exact measurements but either average or slightly below average height.

20. What is your least favourite thing about yourself?

Um my weight most likely as it’s just embarrassing. I’m a size 20 and I don’t love it.

21. Funniest moment through school?

I have so many fun memories of school that I’m struggling to narrow it down to one particular ‘pee your pants’ moment. My favourite day though was ‘enrichments day’ where we were taken into a room and told to work on our English Higher Projects whilst waiting for our substitute teacher to show up. She never turned up and I tried my best to concentrate on my project for the first hour or so but under the bad influence of my friends I quickly became distracted and we spent the whole day just messing around. Best day of school ever.

22. How many countries have you visited?

Uh let me list them… Spain, Tenerife, Cyprus, France, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Greece, Poland, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, Romania, Belgium, New York, San Francisco, Germany, Hong Kong… And I think that’s it? So eighteen countries. I’m desperate to visit many more and have trips booked to Florida and Sweden next year. I’m bound to book something else soon too.

Orlando

23. What was your favourite/worst subject in Secondary School?

My worst subject was Science without a doubt, it’s the only GCSE I failed but luckily I managed to scrape a BTECH in it and now I never have to worry about it again.

My favourite subject was probably English because that just came naturally to me in secondary school and I just felt like I understood that. I also quite liked RE weirdly because I liked having debates.

24. What is your favourite drink? Animal? Perfume?

Chocolate milk, sea lion and I don’t really have a perfume preference. I’ll happily wear it if someone buys it for me but wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to buy any for myself.

25. What would you name your children?

I love naming kids, even though I don’t want any myself if I ever play the Sims I always make them have kids. For a boy I quite like the name Adrian and for a girl I like Maxine.

26. What sports do you play/have you played?

In Primary School at the end of Year 6 you were presented a medal for any clubs you’d participated in and I was determined to get as many as possible – quite a good idea from the primary actually as I doubt the plastic medals cost much, all the kids were desperate to get one and it meant we were being active. I can’t remember all of them but I remember I did swimming, cross country and netball for definite.

In Secondary after one netball PE lesson my teacher pulled a group of us aside and begged for us to join the netball team so at lunch when they had their practice I went along. The teacher never turned up and I was so irritated that I never went back. It’s a shame because I would’ve liked to have taken part and it may have made a difference on my health if I’d taken an active interest in a sport in Secondary.

Now that I’ve left school I don’t really have much interest in a sport. I joined couch to 5K with my Mom but unfortunately missed a lesson one night because I was away and then never went back. My Mom graduated and now she loves it, she goes running about three times a week at least. I joined the gym with my friend Becca and for a while we were doing well but then we fell out of the habit. I like going swimming with her and we do go to fitness classes sometimes so I do get some form of exercise just unfortunately not as regularly as I’d like.

This was a bit of an essay of an answer to essentially say I no longer play any sports.

27. Who are some of your favourite YouTubers?

Achievement Hunter are currently at the top. I do love Dan and Phil still but probably not as much as I did as a teenager. I don’t really actively follow many other YouTubers, I’ve gotten into watching travel vlogs now of places I’m going to visit which I enjoy but nobody specific.

Dan and Phil

28. How many girlfriends/boyfriends have you had?

Um I had two boyfriends in primary and two boyfriends in secondary. Nothing serious, my longest one in secondary lasted about a week. Since him I’ve not been in a relationship with anybody else.

29. Favourite memory from childhood?

It’s funny because I had a conversation with my Mom not long ago and I realised that she had no idea what she was doing when we were growing up and I’m quickly realising pretty much no parent does. I’ve always said that fair play to my Mom, no matter how chaotic things were with my brothers my Mom definitely provided me with a happy childhood full of happy memories so it’s difficult narrowing it down to one.

Every year my Mom would make sure we went on at least one holiday – not always abroad, most years we went to a caravan. I think my favourite holiday was the year went to, I wanna say Gran Canaria? I don’t really remember the country very well but I remember the hotel and the holiday itself. I went with my Mom, Step-Dad, brother and Nan – my Nan came to share a room with me and my brother and gave my Mom and Step-Dad a bit of a break as well. The hotel was actually incredible, it was all inclusive and I remember helping myself to hot chocolate throughout the day. I spent most days in the pool with a girl named Shakira that I’d made friends with (not the actual singer unfortunately but she was a nice girl), the evening entertainment was amazing and best of all was the restaurant. One of the waiters would leave me teddies and toys on my seat every night when I went down and our reserved table was in front of a chef who would make animals out of food for me and just generally have a bit of banter. I have nothing but fond memories of that holiday and it was so much fun.

30. How would you describe your fashion sense?

I am trying so hard to get more decent clothes because I wrote a while back about how all my clothes were pretty much just suitable for work. For a while I literally just wore the same dress every day but in a different colour. I have managed to expand my wardrobe a tiny bit but not as much as I would like yet.

My perfect style is both ends of the spectrum to be honest – I either want all black or a very colourful outfit. I don’t know what my fashion sense is!

31. What phone do you have?

Samsung Galaxy A8. The Samsung phones are the best I’ve ever had so if I was to upgrade I’d get another Samsung phone.

32. Tell us one of your bad habits!

Digging the top of my fingers into things like sharp points on my phone case or my nails or something similar. I don’t know why I do it but I can’t help it.

33. 3 things that upset you?

People treating me like I’m younger or more naïve than I am (calling me innocent, apologising to me for swearing etc.), feeling left out of things and people commenting on my weight.

34. 3 things that make you happy?

Music, money and having a good time with my friends.

35. How is your relationship with your parents?

Most of the time pretty good. I get on really well with my Mom although we do have the odd fall out. I think we’ll probably get along better when I move out but that’s not happening any time soon. On the whole we do have a good relationship though and always have.

Things with my Dad were a bit rocky when I was a kid, he feels like a completely different person now but back then he could be quite horrible sometimes and I did have moments as a kid where I hated him and wished I had a different Dad. When I was younger I saw my Dad every Friday and even as an adult it annoys me that he ALWAYS spent that Friday in the pub. He’d leave me in the house with my older siblings and if they weren’t there he’d drag me to the pub too. If he had me for the weekend to give my Mom a bit of respite we’d just stay in all weekend, we wouldn’t go out anywhere and I had to entertain myself. Now he’s older he doesn’t go to the pub anymore and when he sees his grandkids he actually does stuff with them which annoys me a bit but like, you can’t change the past.

He’s mellowed out a bit now and I’d say we do get on a lot better. We don’t always see eye to eye admittedly because he HATES when I travel solo to the point where if I tell him he gets very arsey and he admitted he’d rather not know if I’m going away. So I don’t tell him anymore.

36. What’s on your mind?

That I need to walk to ALDI but it’s raining and I’m enjoying my last day of freedom before my parents get home from their holiday later.

37. What’s your talent?

Writing I guess. I’d say it’s about the only talent I have.

38. One word that describes you?

Kind – I hope! I feel like kindness is the most important thing to me but I do often worry that I’m not as kind as I’d like to be.

39. What’s your favourite quote?

“Nobody else is gonna put right for me, nobody but me is gonna change my story” – it’s actually a quote from a song from the stage show of Matilda but it’s actually quite a good philosophy to live by.

40. Any pets?

Pretty sure this was already one of the questions?

41. What is the farthest you’ve been from home?

And this one.

42. Are you an extrovert or an introvert?

Definitely an introvert. Although I love meeting up with my friends I also really value my alone time and look forward to it. For example whenever my parents tell me they’re going on holiday and leaving me in the house alone I’m over the moon. I love travelling solo because I can just chill on my own. I love my family and friends but I definitely need my regular alone time!

43. Are you left or right handed?

Boringly I’m right handed. I had been alive twenty-two years before I discovered that my Dad is left handed. I was amazed.

44. Do you consider yourself a good cook?

Me and my friends regularly have jokey banter about who we do and don’t trust in the kitchen and pretty much every time I get roasted for being a bad cook but I’m not THAT bad! I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m a good cook because I’m not perfect or anything but I’m better than people expect. My main issue is not liking to be in the kitchen at the same time as my step-dad so I don’t get enough time to practice. I make nice dinners when my parents are away though!

45. Does your name have a special meaning?

I don’t think so, I’m not really sure where my parents plucked Hollie from (or Holly as my birth certificate says but I prefer the ‘ie’ spelling). I only know the Nicky/Nicole story from earlier.

46. If money were no object what would you get for your next birthday?

I’d fly business class on a plane to somewhere exotic for a long sight-seeing holiday with all my friends. More than one country and it would last over a month.

47. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

I have actually looked at how to live in Tokyo but um considering I can’t speak Japanese I doubt I’d be able to get a job over there. Also their working hours are different to ours and even a maid in a café whilst we visited confessed she doesn’t get much chance to go on holiday so it’d be moving to work longer and harder for presumably the same amount of money or less. If I could afford to move there just for the sake of it without having to work then I would in a heartbeat.

Tokyo

48. What’s your favourite thing to have for breakfast?

At home I can’t stomach the thought of toast for breakfast, it’s just way too dry. I love toast at pretty much any other time of the day but just after I’ve woken up? No thank you. So at home I always have a bowl of cereal.

However I do love hotels that offer a full English breakfast. In Germany the breakfast in my hotel wasn’t great but they had a pancake making machine and they were lush, I won’t lie. So my favourite breakfasts are probably either full English or pancakes. But on the average morning a bowl of cereal is fine.

49. What’s your favourite gadget?

I literally cannot be without my iPod. It goes everywhere with me and I’m always devastated if I leave it behind somewhere. My iPod Nano finally bit the dust earlier this year which didn’t surprise me as I’d to rip the volume bottoms off a while ago to keep it working and it was just generally in bad shape. For some reason an iPod Touch was cheaper and it took some getting used to but I like it now.

50. What’s your longest relationship so far?

As mentioned, I haven’t dated anyone since Secondary School and it lasted just under a week because once we started dating I quickly began to realise I didn’t like him after all. When I broke it off with him he sent me a message along the lines of ‘but I’m not like other boys, I see past your looks and don’t mind dating someone like you’. Charmer.

So there we go, 50 Get to Know Me Questions! Hope you enjoyed them.

Ten Favourite My Chemical Romance Songs: Updated

My Chemical Romance

Ya’ll, it happened – My Chemical Romance announced they were reuniting for a show in California later this year. There’s a lot of speculation about whether they’ll announce a full tour (I will sell my soul, please make it happen) or whether it’s a one-off, does this mean they’ll make new music etc. etc. But either way I’m excited. I had read a theory they would announce their reunion in 2019 and I held onto that hope with such desperation and it happened. Dreams really do come true.

For a while I sort of ‘got over’ My Chemical Romance and didn’t really care about them very much but weirdly in the past few weeks my love for them had been revived. I have a theory it’s because my Mom finally got my old laptop from when I was a teenager to start working and there were a few MCR related things on there and recently I couldn’t stop listening to the songs. I really, REALLY wanted to see them live in concert again as I think they’re pretty much the only band where they could play any song and I would be word perfect on it but I told myself that wouldn’t be happening any time soon. Now I have a slither of hope and I am CLINGING TO IT.

I decided to write an updated list of my ten favourite songs – I’d love it if they could perform these songs at a reunion concert but like, we’ll see, I’d be happy just getting to see them live again at this point.

10. Headfirst for Halos

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This is a song off of their first album ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’ and it was one of the first songs off the album that I loved. Pretty sure the song is about drugs but like it’s an amazing song. Fun fact, in school we had to write a poem in class and I’m not a big fan of poetry so I wrote down some of the lyrics for this song and passed it off as my poem. My teacher was impressed but my friend Lucy was suspicious so she walked up to my friend who also loved MCR and said one of the lines from the poem and of course my friend started singing the song so I got caught out.

9. I Never Told You What I Do For a Living

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On my last list this was my favourite song and I do still love it ‘cos it’s so f*cking raw. I love the ending of it, I don’t even know how to describe it it’s just RAW. I don’t really 100% even know what the songs about but it’s angsty as Hell and I just love it. For a long time ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge’ was my favourite album but unfortunately I think ‘Danger Days’ has overtaken it now.

8. Teenagers

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Every My Chemical Romance fan loves this song, let’s be real, it’s an absolute bop. For a while I had been intending to go to Birmingham with a bunch of other fans to recreate the music video but unfortunately it fell through and we never got to do it but it would’ve been so much fun. I also remember singing this song on karaoke at my uncles wedding and for some reason it got everyone super lit, even people who didn’t particularly like the band. It’s just that much of a bop I guess.

7. Famous Last Words

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This song is angsty too and oh my god I love it – ‘I am not afraid to keep on living, I am not afraid to walk this world alone’ were like the most important lyrics to me as a teenager. Even now as an adult if everything has gone to sh*t this is still my go to song because it’s so powerful. I remember walking to my friend’s house after school and we were playing this song and screaming the lyrics the whole way back – I sincerely hope we didn’t pass anybody as I doubt they would’ve been impressed. If I am lucky enough to get to go to a reunion show I really REALLY hope this song is on the set list, it would mean so much to me.

Fun fact, this is the first song I heard by them because my step-sister kept playing it when I went to visit my Dad’s house and every week when I went over I’d ask her to put on the ‘pie song’. I thought the lyrics at the start were ‘to change that pie’. I didn’t even realise it was by them until my friend Jasmine played me the song on her MP3 Player and I instantly went “OH MY GOD IT’S THE PIE SONG!”

6. The Kids from Yesterday

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I’m really surprised this song made it onto the list because over the years I’ve never particularly liked it. I’ll listen to it if I’m listening to the Danger Days album as a whole but if I’m picking specific songs I never would’ve chosen this one. I’ve been relistening to the Danger Days album a lot lately and I feel like for the first time I actually ‘understand’ that album – I won’t explain because I’m sure most people figured it out when the album was first released but I’m a bit stupid and didn’t get it until I was bloody 23 but like I got it in the end. But this song just hits different now and I really love it. It’s creeped up my list of favourites and I’d be happy to see this song live again so I could fully appreciate it this time.

5. Dead!

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I mentioned this song in my previous post because I loved it then and I still love it now. I remember buying ‘The Black Parade’ album, listening to it for the first time and loving this song the second it kicked in after ‘The End’ – before the song had even finished I knew it would be a favourite. And it still is – this song goes hard and I absolutely love it. Another song I’d love to see live again but doubt they’d pick to play. I wish I could’ve gone to the Black Parade tour but unfortunately I wasn’t a fan at that point and I was primary age so my Mom might’ve not let me go anyway – and even if she had I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate it enough.

4. Summertime

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I fall in and out of love with this song. At first release didn’t think it was anything special. At their Birmingham concert I remember Gerard announcing they were gonna play ‘Summertime’ but I only cheered because I thought he’d said ‘Cemetery’ as in ‘Cemetery Drive’ so I was a bit confused when they started playing this. As per usual with me I started listening to the song more after the concert and fell in love with it. Then as time went by it fell back into my ‘nothing special’ category until my recent re-listen to the ‘Danger Days’ album when I realised I do love this song after all.

3. Welcome to the Black Parade

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Arguably the most iconic My Chemical Romance song ever. Even people that don’t know much about the band know this song. This was the first song I listened to knowing it was them and I’ve been hooked ever since then. I still love this song so much and I don’t doubt they’d play this at their concert ‘cos it’s their most popular song ever and to be honest I’d be in danger of crying because this song has so many memories attached to it. I hear the G note and I’ll be in floods, I tell you.

2. Na Na Na

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This was the first album they released whilst I was an active fan so it was my first ‘comeback’ as a fan (do we use comeback for non K-Pop groups?). I was hooked straightaway. I mentioned in my last post that one night My Chemical Romance changed their website and I received a message off my internet friend Lauzz to get online straightaway as something was happening. I sat up all night on my sister’s laptop talking to my internet MCR friends and watching the website like a hawk. It was a bit of a waste of time as nothing happened for over a week but part of me misses being that excited about something. Like I get hyped for stuff but I haven’t felt that excited for something in ages. I was meant to be going to a festival the next day and I was absolutely exhausted but I didn’t care.

I didn’t have a laptop when the song finally dropped so I had to watch the musical channels and hope it would come on – luckily MTV or a similar channel put aside some time to specifically show the new video and I was over the moon to finally see it. The day the album came out I walked from school straight to the town centre with my friend Jackie to buy the special edition of the album which came with a bandana – pretty sure I got Party Poison’s – and spent the entire evening listening to all the songs. That album is my favourite now, pretty much all of the songs are bops.

1. Vampire Money

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This song is at the end of the Danger Days album and as far as I can tell was pretty much a middle finger to Twilight as the Killjoys concept seems to end with ‘Goodnite, Dr Death’ and then this song kicks in (which is why I don’t think I understood the album at the time). I’m glad this song comes on after otherwise the album would end on such a depressing note but because this song kicks in it doesn’t. Essentially I’m pretty sure the idea of this song is that Gerard was offered the part of Edward in ‘Twilight’ and didn’t take it, thus inspiring this song. So uh thank you Twilight.

I’ve always liked this song but it’s only recently that it’s become such a strong favourite and I couldn’t even say why, I just really like it!

So yeah, those are my current favourite My Chemical Romance songs. Everyone form a prayer circle that they do decide to return to the UK and that I can go to at least one of their shows if not more. Thanks for reading, feel free to comment your favourites!

Hong Kong Haul

BT21

As the days passed in Hong Kong I realised that a lot of the things I was doing were either free or quite cheap. The most expensive thing when I was there was obviously my trip to Disneyland but I had quite a lot of spending money. I definitely could’ve gone more overboard but I also allowed myself to spend quite a lot extra than I would’ve done normally. I love being able to take a suitcase on holiday, it means way more room for souvenirs. So I decided to write a list of the things I bought whilst in Hong Kong. Enjoy!

I’ve tried to order it correctly but some of it may be incorrect!

Hong Kong Disneyland Tin

Disneyland Tin

I didn’t buy much at Tokyo Disneyland – the shop me and my friends went in at the end of the day was heaving so I felt like I couldn’t have a good browse because everyone was in there and they were getting on my nerves. I bought a plushie, a postcard and a present for our friend Hirst but that was it. At Hong Kong Disneyland I went earlier in the evening when the shop was still quiet and managed to come away with a few goodies.

When in Tokyo Becca had bought a Pokémon tin and I always regretted not getting one similar so when I saw this one in Hong Kong Disneyland I knew I had to have it. I haven’t tried the cookies inside yet because to be honest I don’t imagine they’ll taste amazing and anyway I was more interested in having the cute tin so I could store whatever I wanted inside of it. I’m glad I bought it because it’s so sweet!

Winnie the Pooh Key Ring

Winnie the Pooh Keyring

I think Winnie the Pooh is my favourite Disney character – it changes all the time but he was when I visited the Tokyo park too and he was the character I was most excited about meeting at Hong Kong Disneyland (don’t care how lame that makes me sound, I love him!). When I saw this cute Key Ring of Winnie wearing a raincoat I just knew I had to have it. He’s now on my back pack. I also saw a larger plushie wearing the raincoat and I was so close to caving in but decided not to because I doubt I would’ve done much with it but God it was difficult because it was so cute!

Disney Key Rings

Disney Keyring

I knew I had to get my friends a present from Disneyland; it wasn’t even up for debate. I was having a good look around with no idea what to get when I spotted these key rings. I wanted one for myself and realised I could grab my friends favourite characters. The one pictured above is the one I chose for myself – I don’t think Winnie the Pooh was an option with these ones and I also absolutely love the Toy Story films.

Disney Keyrings

These are the ones I bought for my friends – Mulan for Becca, Belle for Hirst and Alice for Jess. Then at the airport there was a Disney store – a small one in the airport and a bigger one once you’re into the departures lounge. I had a good browse in there and then decided to also get a couple of key rings for my friends Sorcha and Emma – Ariel for Sorcha and Spider-Man for Emma. I think they’re so cute, if there’s any at the Florida one I might get a couple more!

Disneyland Fridge Magnet

Disneyland Magnet

I normally give magnets away as a gift – normally to my Mom or my brother’s ex-girlfriend but never really bother with any for myself because like, the fridge isn’t mine, it’s my parents. But when I saw this magnet I just couldn’t resist. It’s gone so many cute characters on, including my fave Winnie the Pooh so I decided to get it. When I eventually get my own place it’ll come with me and be the first magnet on my fridge!

Disneyland Stickers

Disneyland Stickers

As the Halloween event was on when I visited Disneyland the cast members were giving out different things. When I was queuing to meet Mickey and Minnie there was a cast member giving out candy to children and he eventually offered me some too so I accepted because like free candy, why not? Unfortunately once I had them I realised they were marshmallows of which I’m not a fan but hey it was still free candy! Other cast members were also giving out stickers – I’m not sure if this was just for the Halloween event or if they always do this but it was a nice touch. I was too shy to specifically ask cast members for the stickers but I managed to get these two – one from the woman in the shop who cashed up my items and another from the woman at the front of the Mystic Manor ride who handed one to me. They’re so cute and they’ll look good in my scrapbook!

Disneyland Travel Tag

Disneyland Travel

Something else I picked up from the airport on my way home. I do already have a luggage tag, its Harry Potter themed but when I spotted this I couldn’t resist. It’s gone straight onto my suitcase, I love it so much – I hope my Mom doesn’t bloody lose it when she borrows my case!

Toy Story Pen

Toy Story Pen

This was the last thing I picked up from the airport store. As previously mentioned, I really love the Toy Story movies so when I saw this pen I decided to get it. The idea was I’d take it to work with me to write messages but I tried it out at home and it’s bloody heavy and difficult to write with! So I’m not sure if it’ll end up at work.

Hong Kong Snow Globe

Hong Kong Snowglobe

Since me and my friends visited Luxembourg I decided to start collecting snow globes for all the places I visit. The only one missing from my collection at the moment is Amsterdam – I was meant to look for one actually on my stopover on the way to Hong Kong but the plane had been delayed and I was so fucking stressed about missing my flight that I sprinted straight to the gate and sat there without moving until we are all called onto the plane.

Luckily I did manage to find one for Hong Kong. I had been worrying I wouldn’t find any as I hadn’t seen many tacky gift shops in Japan or South Korea but when I visited the Big Buddha statue there were a couple of stalls that sold water, fruit and souvenirs. The cold water was a saviour and I spotted this cute snow glove which was the perfect size for my collection and also contained Big Buddha, one of the things that had drawn me to the country in the first place. It’s now taken pride and place on my travel memories shelf.

Little Buddha Figure

Buddha Figure

I hadn’t realised how much stuff was at the top of Victoria Peak when I visited, I just figured it would be like the top of a hill – I hadn’t realised Madame Tussauds was up there along with a bunch of places to eat and souvenir stalls the moment you entered. I had a good browse through all of them and although there was a lot of stuff not all of it was incredible. I decided to get this little Buddha figure though because as mentioned, the Big Buddha had drawn me to Hong Kong when I’d been looking at things to do and it was one of my favourite things I saw whilst there. It’s also been added to my travel memories shelf.

Lucky Cat

Lucky Cat

When me and my friends visited Amsterdam I’d bought a lucky cat figurine that I’d put on my desk at work. I thought I was leaving my job so I brought the cat home and then when I realised I wasn’t going I never took the cat back, it stayed on my travel memories shelf. My cat from Japan is also on the shelf but I wanted one for my desk at work again. So I bought this one from Victoria Peak and I’ve put it on my desk – hopefully it will bring me some luck! God knows I need it.

Postcards

Postcards

I really like scrapbooking my adventures so postcards are always a good idea as you can stick them in and they’re a good reminder of where you’ve been. The photos also generally look better than the ones I take so it’s just a bonus all around really!

Hong Kong Magnet

Hong Kong Magnet

I’m never really sure what to buy my Mom as a present so I’ve settled on fridge magnets now as she’s collecting them from places she visits as well and she always buys one for my brothers fridge so I’ve started doing the same. This one was the best one I found and I really like it.

Jackie Chan Photo

Me + Jackie Chan

I don’t know, okay? You weren’t allowed to take photos on your phone with Jackie Chan and I figured I’d never likely go back and get my photo taken with him again so like why not?

Ocean Park Key Rings

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I didn’t get much from Ocean Park but I absolutely love sea lions/seals, they’re my favourite animals and after visiting their enclosure I decided to buy myself the little key ring with a seal wearing pyjamas. I decided to grab my friends one each too – the Whale for Becca as I know she loves orcas, the penguin for Jess and the turtle for Hirst. It wasn’t until I got home that I realised although I’d got my friends some cute gifts I hadn’t really got them anything that screamed ‘Hong Kong’ – whoops!

Wooden Fork

Wooden Fork

I spent so much money on those key rings that I got given this free fork at Ocean Park. I don’t imagine I’ll ever use it but like hey, who doesn’t love a freebie?

BT21 Chimmy Key Ring

Chimmy

I wasn’t all that fussed about BT21 when it was first announced, it wasn’t until earlier this year when me and Becca saw BTS at Wembley and visited the BT21 pop-up shop that I actually decided I liked it. When I saw someone with a Line Friends bag with the BT21 characters on I knew I had to visit the store. I was a bit nervous about visiting Causeway Bay as a lot of protests had taken place there but I figured if I went first thing in the morning it might be okay. As I was planning this very spookily my sister popped up to me saying ‘Don’t visit Causeway Bay’ – she has colleagues in Hong Kong who had been advising her where the worst of the protests are happening. Desperate to visit the Line Friends store I very badly ignored her advice.

Although J-Hope is my bias I still think the ‘Chimmy’ figure is my favourite so I went for this little key ring. It’s now on my backpack right next to my Winnie the Pooh figure. It looks so cute!

BT21 Tata Pen

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I can’t really remember what made me pick Tata but I guess the pen must’ve been the cutest one. This was another one where I wanted a cute pen to take to work so I settled on this one. I did take this one to work earlier this week, used it for one day and then it bloody ran out of ink. Ripoff. A friend on Twitter has advised me of a way to potentially get it working again but I haven’t had chance to give it a go yet. We’ll see I guess!

BT21 Notebooks

BT21 Notebooks

The notebooks were all so cute – I was only going to get one but I narrowed it down to these two and in the end I just couldn’t pick. My original plan had been to also take these to work and use them for note taking etc as I use notebooks the most when I’m at work but mine is the bog standard one that comes with the stationery orders, other people have ones they’ve bought themselves and they look much cuter. But these look a bit TOO cute for work, I’m not sure I want to use them to scribble people’s phone messages inside. Ah, I don’t know!

BT21 Eye Masks

BT21 eyemasks

As my friends Becca and Jess are also BTS fans I decided to get them both something from the BT21 store. I have no idea why but I settled on these eye masks. I got Koya for Becca because she chose Koya back in June when we visited the BT21 store and chose Shooky for Jess as Suga is her bias. Hopefully they like them and find some use for them?

Line Friends Gift

Line Friends Gift

I spent so much at the Line Friends store that I got given this free gift. Looks like a key ring and a lip balm. I’ll probably use the key ring, I bloody love key rings.

Toy Story Plushies

Toy Story Plushies

One evening I decided to visit a shopping centre as I’d heard there was a K-Pop store. It wasn’t a ‘store’ as such, there was some K-Pop merch but you couldn’t take them off their little hooks without getting the member of staff to do it for you and I wasn’t feeling very confident. I didn’t want the things THAT badly, I’d have bought them if it was easier but like I wasn’t desperate you know?

However, I came across a little arcade with claw machines and couldn’t resist having a go. I’d had a go on a machine in Tai O Fishing Village the day before but had been unsuccessful – I partly blame the two little kids that stopped to watch me and were going “Ooooooh – AHHHHH!” as I played, it was a bit off putting but bless them they were cute haha. I had a go on the machines here and managed to win on the Toy Story machine before heading off to have dinner. After dinner I decided to have one more go and for some reason ended up back on the same machine… And won all over again. As I didn’t get Hirst anything from the BT21 store I’ve decided to give her the spare plushie.

So there we go, that’s what I bought from Hong Kong! I splurged a little but definitely could’ve spent a lot more I think!

20 Favourite BTS Songs

BTS

About a year ago I wrote a list of my favourite BTS songs, narrowing it down to ten. I wanted to write an updated list but up it to twenty so that I could include more of their solo songs because some of them are just as good if not better than the group songs and I wanted a chance to include them all. So here we go, enjoy my updated list!

20. Danger

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My favourite choreography video will probably forever be the ‘Danger’ one. It’s just amazing and let’s be real, it was definitely J-Hope’s era because he looked amazing. I’ve always wanted to see BTS perform this live but unfortunately I don’t think they ever will because it’s quite an old song and not really one of their ‘popular’ ones which is a shame because I’d love to see the choreography live for this. So whilst it’s not in the top ten for my favourite songs I’d say the choreography would be number one.

19. I’m Fine

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I low-key wish they’d played this at the Wembley concerts instead of ‘So What’ but at least I got to see it live at the Paris concert last year. This song is amazing, the best bit definitely being when Suga comes in absolutely spitting fire. I really like it, I’d love to see them perform it live again someday when I’m not too tired to appreciate it.

18. I Need U

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This song always reminds me of the first time I saw them at K-Con Paris. They didn’t play many songs because obviously there were a lot of groups to fit in so they had a limited set list but they performed this one and I’m so glad they did. Becca says ‘Run’ always reminds her of our trip to Paris but for me I can’t listen to ‘I Need U’ without remembering that trip. It was our first trip abroad together and to be able to see BTS was an amazing bonus (and also the purpose of the trip haha). I think I’d love this song regardless though as it’s one of the first songs I listened to when becoming a fan.

17. Fun Boys

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This used to be my favourite song but unfortunately I think I listened to it one too many times. It’s still one of those songs though that I always want played at a BTS concert because it’s so much fun! Unfortunately I haven’t seen them perform it at one of their own shows but luckily did get to see it at K-Con Paris. I was certain they wouldn’t play it and when they announced their last song I thought it would be ‘War of Hormone’ or something so when the music for Fun Boys started I literally turned to my friends in shock and made sure I had a lit time watching it. So although it’s gone down a few places, it’s still a fun song!

16. First Love (Suga Solo)

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This was Suga’s solo song from the Wings album and I remember listening to it because Jess was telling me about the solo songs from the album and described Suga’s as ‘intense’. I gave it a listen and quickly saw what she meant. It goes quite hard considering he’s rapping about piano but like it’s still a good song and I don’t care what anyone says, it’s one of my favourites from the Wings album.

15. Mikrokosmos

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This is a song I’d normally skip because I’m not really into slow songs but after hearing them perform it live at their Wembley shows I actually quite liked it. When I was listening to it before the show I was kind of like ‘yeah this is okay’ but I wasn’t blown away by it or anything. However them performing it to close the Sunday show after we’d all made them cry by singing ‘Forever Young’ was a touching moment, it made me feel closer to the members somehow and this song is just associated with a good memory now so it’s one of my favourites.

14. Answer: Love Myself

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Everybody needs this song in their life. I’m serious. Another song that became better after seeing them perform live and one that I can always rely on when I’m feeling down. The message is just so important and I love everything about it. If you only listen to one BTS song from this list I definitely recommend it be this one.

13. Fake Love

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I don’t think I was certain about this song when I first heard it but I think it was released during my phase of ‘oh dear, do I still like BTS?’ before they grabbed me by the heels and pulled me back in again. This is probably one of my favourite ones to see live just because I love the fan chant during the chorus because it’s so easy, they sing ‘Fake Love’ and we yell ‘FAKE LOVE’ back at them, doesn’t get much easier than that. This is another one with amazing choreography, my favourite being when they all line up and like take it in turns to dance, I’m not sure how else to describe it – I tried to describe it to Becca at Wembley and just couldn’t but it’s the best bit of the choreography!

12. Anpanman

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The first time I heard of this song was on my way to a K-Pop Night in Birmingham when my friend Jess was like “HAVE YOU HEARD ANPANMAN BY BTS, I LOVE IT SO MUCH” – I didn’t think much of it but they performed it at their concert and I realised that it actually is a fun song. I feel like I love their songs more after seeing them live? I don’t know, there must be something about seeing a group live that makes the songs more enjoyable. But this song is fun and I loved seeing it at Wembley when they had all the inflatables on stage, it looked like so much fun.

11. Airplane Pt.2

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I like listening to this song at the airport or on a plane for relatively obvious reasons. I’m a nervous flyer so having some catchy songs to listen to is always a good idea. I also love listening to it when I’m out and about, I can’t describe how it makes me feel but it’s one of those songs where I feel like you can pretend you’re in a music video whilst walking around while you’re listening to it. It’s just one of those songs.

10. Dionysus

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This song is so lit, let’s be real. They opened both Wembley shows with it and it was the perfect song to kick off the shows as it got everyone pumped and kick started the evening. This is another one that I loved the choreography for, I need to watch the video for it. Ever since the concert I can’t stop listening to it and it’s an amazing song.

9. Serendipity (Jimin Solo)

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This is another one that for ages was my favourite song but again, I think I listened to it one too many times but it hasn’t fallen too many places because I still love it. I don’t understand people who say Jimin can’t sing, I think the boys got an amazing voice and I could listen to this song on repeat for hours without getting tired of it. I loved seeing it performed live and I hope if they tour again they do their solo songs again (I doubt they will but a girl can dream) so I can see this all over again.

8. Singularity (V Solo)

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Yet another song that hadn’t impressed me too much when I listened to it on the album but impressed me a lot seeing it live. In France V’s solo performance was one of my favourites and after watching the BTS Movie I’m shocked to realise how sick he was and how much it upset him afterwards that he felt like he hadn’t put his all in. I genuinely couldn’t even tell at the time of the concert that he wasn’t well and it definitely didn’t affect his solo performance which was one of the best. I love the hazy feel to this song, it reminds me of being drunk and I just really enjoy it. Definitely one of my favourite solo songs.

7. The Truth Untold (Vocal Line)

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(I couldn’t find a gif for the song so enjoy this gif of the Vocal Line)

I really didn’t appreciate this song enough in Paris. Me and my friends Becca and Jess had literally gotten back from Asia a couple of days beforehand so were jetlagged enough but we then had to get up on Friday at 2AM to catch our flight to Paris, queue all day and honestly we were exhausted so whenever BTS performed a slow song I unfortunately zoned out a little bit. I’m so glad they performed it at Wembley because after the concert it quickly became one of my favourite songs and it was nice to be able to fully appreciate it this time. It’s an amazing song and I love it so much.

6. Epiphany (Jin Solo)

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I actually LOVE this song which surprised me as I normally really hate slow songs (I say as I add like a million of BTS’ slow songs to this list). It’s just beautiful and an amazing song to see live, the venue always looks so pretty with all the light sticks lit up. When he performed it after the first Wembley show Becca turned to me and went “MAN’S GOT PIPES” and she ain’t wrong. She definitely ain’t wrong.

5. Just Dance (J-Hope solo)

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The best solo song from the Love Yourself album, let’s be real. Also one of the best solo songs to see live because J-Hope is just so full of energy and never gives a bad performance. I loved seeing it at the Wembley show because we started up a ‘J-Hope’ chant and you could tell how much it meant to him. This song never disappoints and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it.

4. Lie (Jimin Solo)

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My absolute favourite solo song, loved it from the moment I first listened to it. And now I love the song even more because it’s associated with a happy memory. Unfortunately I never got to see it live but this song always reminds me of our trip to South Korea. We went to karaoke one night, sang this song and it was an absolute mess especially the high note. I think it was my favourite song that we sang because it was so bloody funny. The song itself is just amazing and again, Jimin has an amazing voice. This is definitely one of the best solo songs.

3. Tear (Rap Line)

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This song goes HARD and I love it. It’s one of the songs that if I’d have listened to when I first became a K-Pop song I’d have thought ‘oh God this is intense’ but now that I’m more used to K-Pop it’s one of my favourite songs. This was another great one to see live, the black and white filter on the screens made it seem really edgy and I just loved it. The rap line are so energetic I swear to God, I couldn’t rap like that whilst dancing around the stage I’d be absolutely floored before the chorus even hit. I like whacking this song on when I wanna listen to something ‘angsty’ and it never fails.

2. Mic Drop

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This song is LIT, I don’t even care what anybody says, if you don’t like it then fine but you can’t deny it’s lit. I wasn’t a big fan of the Steve Aoki remix at first but now I think I prefer it, it’s easier to sing at concerts as well as there’s more English lines. This song came out when I was going through that ‘do I still like BTS’ phase and it definitely put my faith back in them as this song was amazing upon first listen and I couldn’t get enough of it. I think it’ll forever be one of my favourite songs.

1. Idol

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I did love this song upon first listen but I think it became solidified as my favourite after seeing it live at Wembley because it was definitely the most fun song of the night. The music videos a bit weird yeah but I still like it and I definitely love the song more than anything. If this song came on during a night out you’d best believe I’d be tearing up the dance floor and I hope BTS don’t remove it from their set-list anytime soon because it’s amazing.

There you have it, my twenty favourite BTS songs. Feel free to leave a comment with your favourites!

Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland

This year I decided that I wanted to do something fun for my birthday. I wrote down a list of things that I could do and then an idea struck. Could I go on a solo ‘out-of-continent’ trip for my birthday? Could I afford it? Would I even dare to go that far on my own? My research began and I narrowed it down to two destinations – Taipei in Taiwan or Hong Kong.

I ended up settling on Hong Kong for one reason – Disneyland. Okay, hear me out before you jump down my throat! I was obviously interested in visiting other parts of Hong Kong and all the cultural sites but it’s on my bucket list to visit every Disneyland across the globe and I also figured that meant I could spend my birthday doing something fun. I hadn’t found many theme parks or anything similar in Taipei so it was settled. I was going to spend my birthday at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Before I even made it to the airport I began watching vlogs and making plans. I only had one day at Disneyland and I wanted to make the most of it. I downloaded the app onto my phone so I could check the wait times for the rides each day. I went on the website and wrote a list of rides I thought I’d be okay on and highlighted any that I definitely wanted to check out – I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to rides but I still love going to theme parks!

One of the main things I was looking forward to was queuing only for things that I actually intended to ride. My friends are more ‘big thrill seekers’ so they like going on big rides so I often end up joining them in the queue and then not going on the ride. And don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t mind queuing for things they want to ride as it’s their day just as much as it is mine but I was still excited to only queue for things I wanted.

In the end I had a loose plan on what I definitely wanted to ride and the order I intended to do things and soon I’d arrived in Hong Kong. I arrived the day before my birthday on the 29th of September and had an extremely early night so that I’d have some energy for the next day. I woke up early on the 30th of September, grabbed breakfast at the hotel and set off nice and early for Disneyland.

I was really pleased with the dress I’d bought. For Tokyo Disneyland I’d really wanted a cute Disney themed outfit to wear but unfortunately hadn’t found anything. This time I was more determined and had a quick look on etsy when I found a cute shop that had tons of Disney themed dresses along with other designs. Although they weren’t cheap they also weren’t unreasonable, and they had sizes up to 5XL. I was still worried it would be too small but after ages I settled on a Buzz Light-year themed dress and prayed it would fit. When it arrived it was actually slightly too big but I was pleased because you can work with too big, there’s not a lot to be done about too small.

Hong Kong Disneyland has slightly weird opening times as it doesn’t officially open until 10:30AM and closes at 8PM. I was so keen to make the most of every second of the opening times since they were so limited that I arrived at the park at 9:30AM. A stranger very kindly took a photo of me in front of the Mickey fountain (that I’d seen in so many vlogs and was really excited to see in person), bought my ticket quickly and then joined the queue at the closed gates. At around 10AM a family were let into the park and they got to take photos with Mickey and Minnie in front of the flowerbed before Mickey and Minnie hopped into a vehicle and were driven off. Then the gates opened at about 10:15AM.

Hong Kong Disneyland 2

The gates are opened early as Main Street USA is open before the park officially opens. I went round the corner and spotted the queue to meet Mickey and Minnie. I hadn’t intended to meet them, it wasn’t on my list but the queue wasn’t long and I suddenly decided that I was GOING to meet Mickey and Minnie on my birthday. So I joined the back of the queue.

I knew Hong Kong was going to be warm when I visited but I didn’t realise how humid it would be and I quickly realised that in the dress I was wearing I was most likely going to burn. I’d intended to pack sun cream but hadn’t been able to find any in my local Boots so I’d given up – it was out of season in the UK but definitely not in Hong Kong! They’d put up some umbrellas so parts of the queue were shaded but unfortunately not enough of it.

Mickey and Minnie went off a couple of times during the queue which is fair enough ‘cos it was 30 degrees or more so they were probably dying but even so I was only in the queue for about 40 – 45 minutes before it was my turn. I’m always worried it’ll be awkward meeting the characters but the ones who can’t talk are easier. I gave them both a hug, got my photo taken and then got a hug off each of them again. Shout-out to the photographer who got some fab photos and then I left to officially start the day as the park was now open.

Me, Mickey + Minnie

My first stop was the ‘Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh’ ride because I’d seen this generated longer queues as the day went on. When I got round the queue was pretty much non-existent and I was let straight onto the ride. In fact as it was so quiet I got a honey pot all to myself. I was feeling a bit nervous, as I always do on rides I haven’t been on but reassured myself it was the bloody Winnie-the-Pooh ride – nothing was going to happen. Unfortunately, being me, I did get creeped out because the honey pot went into each section on its own and just as I began to relax the thought of ‘what if the ride breaks down and all the lights go out and you’re stuck in here on your own’ jumped into my head. When I was a kid I’d been at a place with singing animatronics, think ‘Chuck E Cheese’ but like a British version and I’d peeped behind the curtain to look at them and ever since then there’s something that really creeps me out about animatronics in the dark. Luckily the ride did not breakdown and it was a good ride – not as good as the Winnie-the-Pooh one from the Japan Park but I think that’s a Tokyo exclusive ride. The only downside was you get your photo taken mid-ride and I was so busy stressing about a potential breakdown that I completely missed it!

Hong Kong Disneyland 3

Since I was already in ‘Fantasyland’ I decided to hop onto the ‘It’s A Small World’ ride. We’d ridden it in Tokyo and it’s one of those classic rides that you just can’t miss. Again there was pretty much no queue and I was let straight into the front row of the boat – I had the row to myself but the other rows in the boat were filled, however the people before us had had the entire boat to themselves. It was a relaxing ride and it was so nice to be inside, Hong Kong know what they’re about when it comes to air conditioning so being on the rides was a great way to escape the heat.

Hong Kong Disneyland 4

I decided to go on ‘Cinderella’s Carousel’ next as it was in ‘Fantasyland’. Cinderella herself was next to the carousel and there was a short queue to meet her but I decided not to as it wasn’t shaded and I worried it might be a bit awkward. The carousel was good fun though, I absolutely love carousels.

The carousel ride was quick and I set off to visit ‘Toy Story Land’ – I’d been intending to go on ‘Slinky Dog Spin’ since my friends had ridden this in Paris and I hadn’t because I was sulking (I have no idea why because nothing had happened to put me in a mood but there you go?) but I suddenly didn’t feel confident enough to go on it. I imagine I would’ve been fine but decided not to. I love the Toy Story films but unfortunately other than that ride the others were a bit too big for me so I carried on walking until I’d made it to ‘Mystic Point’.

Hong Kong Disneyland 5

The one ride I knew I definitely had to ride was ‘Mystic Manor’. I’d chickened out of the ‘Haunted Mansion’ in Paris simply because the first room is an elevator and I was afraid of them at the time. ‘Mystic Manor’ is a Hong Kong exclusive ride – I read online they changed the theme of the ‘Haunted Mansion’ ride because China have cultural beliefs about ghosts or something. The general storyline for ‘Mystic Manor’ is that it’s the home of an eccentric explorer and his monkey companion. In the first room the explorer mentions a music box they’ve found that supposedly brings inanimate objects to life and the ride itself shows the monkey, Albert, turn it on and the adventures of all the objects coming to life.

I was a bit nervous about riding but I’d seen brief clips on YouTube and the app advised that although there was spinning and darkness it wasn’t anything too scary so even though I was apprehensive I joined the queue and got put in the front of the first cart. I’m so glad I went on it because that ride quickly became my favourite, it was just so much fun. It’s a trackless ride like the ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ ride in Tokyo which made it even better and it was just so much fun!

Hong Kong Disneyland 6

By this point it was around lunch time and I was starting to feel hungry so I had a look at what was available and ended up in the ‘Starliner Diner’ in Tomorrowland because most of the places to eat offered local cuisine and ‘Starliner Diner’ offered international. I’m not very adventurous with food when I go abroad, I’ll be honest. I had chicken on the bone with chips and an orange juice. This came with plastic gloves to eat the chicken with but it was so hot that I didn’t wanna squeeze them onto my hands and make them all sweaty so I didn’t bother. The chicken wasn’t amazing and I was really keen to get back out and go on more rides so once it had filled a hole I was off out.

Since I was in Tomorrowland my next ride was the ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ ride. The website and app had advised that these were slow rides but I hadn’t 100% believed them so I’d watched the first ten seconds of a YouTube video of the ride and quickly discovered this was true. If you’ve ever been to Madame Tussauds in London it was very much like that ride where the carts don’t stop and you just hop on and it slowly takes you through. You have a blaster gun and the aim is to earn as many points as possible. A lot of people in the comments had complained the theming wasn’t very good but to be fair you’re so busy trying to points that I didn’t even pay much attention to the actual ‘ride’.

Hong Kong Disneyland 7

It was fun but for the first few minutes I hadn’t realised I was pointing my blaster the wrong way. Someone had left it the wrong way so I’d just picked it up and I was wondering why everyone else could see their light and sort of ‘aim’ whilst I was shooting and having no idea where it was landing. Weirdly, I was still getting SOME points before I realised it was backwards. Once it was the right way I started to do a lot better unsurprisingly.

Hong Kong Disneyland 8

I came off and went straight over to the Iron Man Tech Showcase – it was closing soon and reopening later and since I was in the area I decided to go straight in. The app advised the wait was 40 minutes but I definitely didn’t wait that long, I’d say it was probably 20 minutes max and it may not have been that long. This is where you meet Iron Man and it was really cool, they make it look like he flew down behind some closed doors and then he walks in and everyone can take their picture with him.

Hong Kong Disneyland 9

As I was heading off to find the next thing to do I saw the streets were blocked off for the parade so I stopped to watch. It was difficult as all the spots in the shade were nabbed and the only decent spots left were right in the direct sunlight and it was BOILING. The parade itself was quite short and definitely didn’t compare to the Halloween one I’d seen in Tokyo. Like the floats were good but it just didn’t last long enough. Never mind.

Hong Kong Disneyland 10

By this point I hadn’t expected to have completed as much as I had so I was now in my sort of ‘overflow’ of rides and decided to go on the ‘Jungle River Cruise’. This was okay but wasn’t as good as I’d thought it would be and didn’t last as long as I’d thought it would. Still, the boat was shaded so that was the good thing. I’d spent so much time in the sun my breathing was starting to go a bit funny so I think it was making me a bit ill but I was determined to do as much as possible by the end of the day!

They’d added a temporary attraction which was Halloween themed and there were several different lines for different things. I think one was for a scary walkthrough and I sort of regret not going through it but since I was alone I didn’t feel confident enough to. I did however join the queue to meet Jack and Sally from ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’ – I was at the front of that queue and by the time we got sent inside there were only about three people behind me.

This one was a bit awkward as Sally could speak although Jack couldn’t and to be honest Jack was creeping me out a bit, it was really odd! Sally noticed my birthday badge and wished me a Happy Birthday and said she hoped ‘Birthday Town’ were planning a huge celebration for me. Then she noticed I was wearing a Jack choker so she was like “Look Jack, she’s got your face on a pendant! The Pumpkin King is honoured! Would you like to hold his arm for a photo?” which I won’t lie did make me cringe a bit but I had my photo taken and it came out looking pretty good.

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I was in desperate need of some water at this point and decided to get a snack as well so I headed back to Main Street USA because in vlogs I’d seen some really cute doughnuts in the theme of Disney characters but unfortunately there was a queue to enter the café where they were sold and I needed water like now. I found a cart selling water and also the Mickey waffles that I’d also seen in vlogs so I decided to order one of them too. It was tasty but also extremely sickly – I appreciated having a few minutes to just sit in the shade though to be honest.

I checked the app to see what else was available in the park and saw that there were character meet and greets going on in ‘Fantasyland’ for the Winnie-the-Pooh characters. I absolutely love Winnie-the-Pooh so I decided to go and take a look. There was a short queue for Piglet but people weren’t being allowed to join, however they were being directed to what looked like a short ‘overflow’ queue so I stood with everyone else. After a few minutes Piglet left and we were let into the proper queue. I was low-key hoping that since Piglet had left Winnie-the-Pooh would come out instead now and he did! It may be childish but I was super excited to meet him. When it was my turn the photographer pointed out that it was my birthday and started singing while Winnie-the-Pooh danced to the tune. It was really sweet and the photo came out looking cute.

Hong Kong Disneyland 12

By this point it was absolutely boiling so I decided to hop onto ‘It’s a Small World’ again to escape the heat. By this point the lines were getting a bit longer but again, nothing too long. I was in the queue maybe 10 minutes if that before getting into the back row of the boat. It was nice to just relax in the air-con for a bit.

Next up I decided to go on ‘Mystic Manor’ again. I’d heard there were slightly different variations of the ride depending on which cart you ended up in. I don’t think the differences were major but I wanted to see. I joined the queue which again was longer but still wasn’t ‘long’ in the grand scheme of things and unfortunately ended up in the very same cart I’d been on originally. Oh well, the ride was a lot of fun and as before I’d managed to escape the heat.

Since I was repeating rides I wanted to go on ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ again – it would be more fun having my blaster pointed the right way round for the whole ride! I headed over but unfortunately it was temporarily closed so I ended up sitting in the shade for a bit before seeing another small ‘parade’. Again, this didn’t last very long but I had only caught the end of it – it was mostly the Mickey characters on various floats but it was still cute.

I’d wanted to see ‘Mickey and the Wondrous Book’ – not desperately but I had heard it was a good show but the next show time wasn’t for ages yet so I headed to ‘Mickey’s Philhar Magic’ first in ‘Fantasyland’. It was essentially a small cinema where you got 3D glasses and it was a short film about Donald trying to perform with Mickey’s magic hat and then getting sucked into several Disney films and trying to get the hat back. It was cute but it unfortunately meant that when I came out ‘Mickey and the Wondrous Book’ was now full. There was another one later but I decided not to bother.

I headed back to ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ and luckily it had reopened so I jumped into the queue and rode again. As predicted it was definitely more fun with your blaster pointed the right way the entire time. The ride does stop every so often, presumably if someone is having difficulty getting in or out of their cart as the ride doesn’t stop it just keeps going.

By now the sun was starting to set and I made the decision to go on ‘Mystic Manor’ again. I was absolutely determined to get on a different cart at least once but as luck would have it I ended up in the exact same cart. Again. As mentioned though that ride was definitely my favourite so although I would’ve like a different cart I’m just glad I got to ride it at all. It’s definitely the one ride I’d recommend if you’re at Hong Kong Disneyland.

When I got off I realised I was hungry again so I had a look on the app at places available to eat. As I already mentioned I’m not very adventurous with places to eat so I’m ashamed to say I went back to the ‘Starliner Diner’ and got some fish nuggets with chips and a water this time. At least in theme parks I’m more likely to eat an actual meal, I often make do with snacks when out and about sightseeing because I’m too nervous to order actual foods.

Once dinner was done the sun had completely set and I wanted to watch ‘Jack’s Villainous Gathering’ at 8PM so I decided it was time to start doing some shopping. At the Tokyo theme park we’d left our shopping until after the fireworks display but unfortunately so had 75% of the park so I wanted to get it done now before it was too busy. I headed back to a shop in ‘Fantasyland’ and stocked up on things for myself and also a present each for my friends Becca, Jess and Hirst.

I was going to head to Main Street USA and do some shopping there but on my way I noticed people were already sitting in front of the stage for ‘Jack’s Villainous Gathering’ and I wanted to nab a good spot so I sat down too. I ended up in the second row and hoped we’d be able to sit down throughout the show but a Cast Member told us all to stand up closer to the time. This low-key annoys me because sitting down I had such a clear view but when we stood up the guy in front of me was much taller and therefore blocking my view. And if my view was ruined then God knows how all the kids’ views were affected. But whatever.

The show began and although it was good, again, it wasn’t very long and there wasn’t much of a story to it. Jack and Sally were hosting a gathering of villains and it was cool to see a lot of villain characters as I hadn’t really seen any in the other parks I’d visited, only the heroes and princesses of the story. The villains I remember were Captain Hook, Oogie-Boogie, the Queen of Hearts, Maleficent, the Queen from ‘Snow White’ and Jafar. I’m glad I stayed to watch it but disappointed there were no fireworks.

Hong Kong Disneyland 13

I haven’t previously mentioned but I’m also slightly disappointed the castle was still under renovation. It was when I booked the trip but had been predicted to be finished by ‘Fall 2019’ but I think it’s been pushed back to early 2020 now. It does look like it’s going to be incredible, definitely an improvement on the little one that was there before so I’ll have to go back someday to see it when it’s finished.

After the show I decided to call it a night. I didn’t want to cram into the shops with tons of other people so I headed back to the MTR and headed back to the hotel. Overall it was an incredible day and I’m glad I got to visit. I saw many people saying that the Hong Kong park is a bit of a let-down since it’s quite small but I think it was fabulous – it may have been small but there was still plenty to see and do. I managed to do more at this park than any of the others I’ve visited, I think the Florida park will come as a bit of a shock now!

I definitely recommend a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland, it was so much fun and definitely ride ‘Mystic Manor’ if you get the chance.

Top 5 Favourite Memories from Seoul

Seoul 5

It’s been almost a year since me, Becca and Jess set off on our adventure to Asia and to be honest I’m still not over it. Not a day goes by when I don’t wish I was back on that exact trip, reliving the entire experience. I wanted to share my five favourite memories from Seoul. It was an amazing city but unfortunately I don’t think we spent anywhere near enough time there. We arrived on the Thursday from Japan and were boarding our plane back to the UK on the Monday. We will definitely have to return to South Korea at some point but for now I’m gonna relive my favourite moments!

Banana Tree Café

Banana Tree

I’m not sure where I heard of this place, I think I’d been googling whacky cafes to visit in Korea since we already had so many lined up for Japan and when I heard of this place I wanted to go. They make cakes served in little flower pots and you receive a little shovel spoon to eat them with. When I told my friends they were happy to go too and off we set.

The café was actually tiny upon arrival, there was maybe like three or four tables when we arrived. There wasn’t a table that seated more than two people so my friends sat on one table whilst I sat on a seat by a little ledge. Unfortunately I believe we’d eaten at the SM Town café earlier and had been keen for something savoury but they only served sweet food so by the time we arrived at Banana Tree, again, we were craving something savoury. Unfortunately for me the only savoury food wasn’t anything up my street so I ordered a chocolate and banana cake so at least I’d still get the cute flower pot. I also got a chocolate milkshake.

I can’t remember what drinks the girls ordered but when our drinks arrived first theirs was bloody impressive as it came with a large dollop of candyfloss on top. My chocolate milkshake was lush and then the food came. Becca and Jess had ordered mozzarella toast, a sensible choice as Becca’s a veggie and they both like cheese on toast and fancied something savoury. For reasons known only to the café the mozzarella toast also came with peanut butter and pieces of ham. That’s the thing I found most bizarre about Asia, most food didn’t have a description of what was in it and for those that did they occasionally missed ingredients out. At one café in Japan Becca ordered the one item she thought was vegetarian and it still came with meat in. That would definitely not fly in the UK.

Banana Tree 2

On the bright side my chocolate and banana cake was gorgeous and was really cute. It was a shame that I fancied savoury food but luckily there was a rib place over the road so once we were done in Banana Tree we headed over – me and Jess shared some pulled pork with fries whilst Becca had a serving of fries. So in the end I got the cute cake and something savoury so it was a good experience!

Ice Museum/Trick-Eye Museum

TrickEye

The journey to the Trick-Eye Museum was eventful as Google Maps advised us to get on a specific bus but unfortunately this bus was only supposed to go to the airport and wasn’t meant to let travellers off beforehand. The driver wasn’t thrilled to let us off at our stop but luckily we made it to the Trick-Eye Museum with no further problems. We’d been cutting it a bit fine as it was getting late and wasn’t long off closing time.

When we arrived we received a ticket for the Ice Museum as well as the Trick-Eye Museum as they were in the same building and we were advised to go straight into the Ice Museum as that was closing quicker than the Trick-Eye one. I was looking forward to it as the year before we’d visited an ice bar in Amsterdam and that had been enjoyable!

Seoul 3

They didn’t give us anything to wear – in Amsterdam you were given a large coat to keep yourself warm but in Seoul we weren’t given anything and very quickly we were all shivering too much to particularly enjoy the sculptures. There was an ice slide which we all took a turn on but it didn’t go as fast as one would’ve expected from an ice slide and in the end it was too cold for us to stay in there. None of us had any jackets or anything with us and it was bloody freezing! It took me forever and a day to warm back up.

We headed over to the Trick-Eye Museum which was right up our street as it was mostly just photo opportunities but as it was nearing closing time we were literally tag-teaming getting some decent photos, kicking our bags to the next thing and then starting all over again. For the first few rooms I was genuinely sweating my balls off as we tried to get everything done. We did calm down in the end and the museum was tons of fun, I’d definitely recommend if you’re visiting Seoul. As it was late we had the place pretty much to ourselves and it was so much fun.

SM Town Videos

SM Town

As massive K-Pop fans we couldn’t have visited Seoul without a trip to SM Town so it was one of the first things we did. The museum was fun as it was cool to spot all the references to our favourite K-Pop artists but arguably the best bit about it were the photo opportunities.

On the top floor there was a photo booth where you could take a photo with two K-Pop artists of your choice – I chose mine quickly as I just wanted Sunny from Girls’ Generation who came with Tiffany which was fine by me, and then Jess chose hers relatively quickly and Becca took forever a day. Then when she finally did settle on someone she closed her eyes just as they took the photo so she had to retake it.

Then there was a section of the museum that you had to pay to enter and as you walked through each group had their own ‘room’ and just like the photo booth there were photo opportunities but these were more fun as two members would saunter onto the screen as if they were really preparing to pose with you and then the rest of the members just appeared as photos. In this room they also had small intros – for example my favourite one was in Super Junior which was ‘Mamacita’ themed, two members came on the screen and had a ‘shoot-out’. There was also two toy gun props and a cowboy hat – Becca donned both and made me pee my pants as she pretended to fire straight into the air – it’s hard to explain but there’s a video on my Instagram and I laugh every time I watch it.

It was really fun going from room to room pretending to interact with my favourite idols – if you’re a K-Pop fan in Seoul I definitely recommend a visit to SM Town as I imagine most K-Pop fans are fans of at least one SM group.

Lotte World

Lotte World

I wrote a long post about everything we got up to here but theme park days on long trips are NECESSARY! It’s a chance to just have fun without getting stressed about getting from one tourist spot to the next or running out of time to do everything etc. It was nice to just relax and have a good look around.

Unfortunately as we didn’t know much about Lotte World I don’t think we planned the day as well as we could have. For example the big thrill rides were in the outside section which we didn’t discover until the early evening which by that point all the queues were massive. I didn’t mind too much as I’m not a big thrill ride kind of person but I know Becca and Jess are so we should’ve gone outside first but we had no idea it existed!

My favourite parts were probably the parades as they were just whacky. I still get the ‘you’ve got a pum-pum-pumpkin head’ song stuck in my head occasionally and it was just a lot of fun. So was the night parade with the indoor fireworks. If in Seoul I’d definitely go back to Lotte World ‘cos it was just so much fun!

Karaoke

Karaoke

My favourite night from the trip! We took tons of videos and I love rewatching them, especially the ‘Lie’ (Jimin) video because we sound so drunk even though we were sober. We definitely wanted to do Karaoke whilst in Asia and Seoul seemed to have a lot of places to do it so Jess found one and off we went.

We were given a room for an hour and it was quite small with no windows but as there was only three of us it fitted our needs just fine, there were even maracas and tambourines for us. Unfortunately only two mics but it didn’t matter as we just shared. On our way to the room we could hear people in the other rooms and I don’t think we once heard anyone singing an upbeat song, everyone was singing slow ballads – if they could hear us they probably hated us.

In the first room we kicked it off with ‘Bang Bang’ by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj but I also remember singing Mic Drop by BTS, Bang Bang Bang by Big Bang, Breaking Free from High School Musical, Boombayah by Black Pink and Waterloo by ABBA. I can’t remember everything but all our songs were upbeat and we sounded like messes – especially when we had to sing in Korean.

Once the hour was up we didn’t want to stop so we went downstairs and paid for another hour. Becca also grabbed us each a bottle of water as screaming lyrics for an hour had absolutely killed our throats. We were given a different room number and when we went up it was bigger with a large window which although felt nicer as it was less claustrophobic meant that people could see into the room whilst we did karaoke. It definitely didn’t stop us though!

In here we sang Lie by BTS’ Jimin, Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, Hello B*tches by CL, Ring Ding Dong by SHINee and I’m sure tons of other songs – we also sang Sorry Sorry by Super Junior, I’m pretty sure that was our last one, and as Becca was doing the choreography she looked out the window and noticed two guys from the street were watching her.

That night was so much fun and we got some amazing videos of it – the only downside was that our throats killed by the end of the night but never mind, definitely worth it.

So there we have it, my five favourite memories from Seoul! Let me know yours if you’ve ever been or what you’d like to do if given the opportunity to visit.