[DIARY] LOVE YOUR IMPERFECTIONS

31 days into 2015 and it has been surreal. I’ve been thankful each day for the people I’ve met, especially to those I’ve learnt to count on for simply being there.

The obstacles in my current career are finally levelling out. I’m beginning to understand why some of my colleagues would fall in love with this jet-setting lifestyle. Don’t be fooled – good money and free travel comes at a price. When I tell my friends about the hardships we face on a daily basis, everyone rethinks the facade of a glamorous lifestyle we lead. A certain kind of sadism cannot be denied (of me) since I’ve stayed beyond my 2-year bond not for the money but the sheer intensity of hard work involved. I love challenges and when they come my way, they become means of making me a better person, because the process of clearing major hurdles forces one into endless introspection.

I like to think that what I’ve really done in this past 2 years was to experience the world, gather my thoughts on living, get to know a lot more people. And then I really want to write them down. Whilst I will leave my job, the journey is not over. For those who can live vicariously through my words someday I hope you know that life is about giving and receiving experiences, not the things you buy or get to keep. I also know that life is not about making sure something or somebody stays in your life as long as possible when you know they are not yours to keep.

2015, I don’t expect you to be awesome. I foresee bad days, heartaches, disappointment and yet another emotional roller coaster ride. But I trust myself to know that when 2015 comes to an end I’ll emerge triumphant with battle scars that makes me both imperfect and wiser. This is what we have to do.

Accumulate experiences like it is the air you have to breathe, for in time to come we’ll have our own stories to tell. Tell yourself to keep going, run the extra mile, and don’t be afraid to fight losing battles, or to lose. Never lose sight of who you were. Never forget who was there for you when you needed them the most. Most importantly, never fall out of love with yourself. Love who you are, and appreciate who you’re not. Embrace and acknowledge all your imperfections. Because the most imperfect people have been through the worst.

“I am not a graceful person. I am not a Sunday morning or a Friday sunset. I am a Tuesday 2 a.m., gunshots muffled by a few city blocks, I am a broken window during February. My bones crack on a nightly basis. I fall from elegance with a dull thud, and I apologize for my awkward sadness. I sometimes believe that I don’t belong around people, that I belong to all the leap days that didn’t happen. The way light and darkness mix under my skin has become a storm. You don’t see the lightning, but you hear the echoes.”
Anna Peters

I want to hear some good stories when December 31st comes round.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

viktoriajean

5 Best Blogs on Cafès in London

This time tomorrow I will be in London, trolling SOHO’s awesome cafès. It’s time to share my favorite blogs when I’m seeking the best of UK’s brews!

The 5 Best Blogs on Cafès in London

Caffeine Mag
What it is: UK’s only consumer coffee magazine, available in independent coffee shops
What I love: Their dedication in seeking alternative to high-street coffee chains currently dominating the global coffee scene.

Coffee Hunter
What it is: A no-nonsense guide to cafès in mainly Shoreditch, SOHO and central London.
This guy definitely knows his stuff!
What I love: The writer, Peter Thomson, walks and talks and blogs coffee. He says things like “the flat white had pot marked bubbles and the crema had collapsed”. How can anyone not to trust this caffeine-ista?

Cozy Coffee Shops
What it is:  Review dedicated to artisan coffee and terrific independent coffee houses. Featured by the BBC in 2008, the page is still going strong after 7 years with über-regular updates.
What I love: The beautifully taken pictures and top-notch recommendations of indie cafès. When time permits, the duo (Mr and Mrs Cosy) also reviews cafès from Peru, Bolivia, etc.

London Thru Cafès
What it is: A blog andalso an app that maps the backbone of fabulous London coffee houses, with hundreds of great things to do nearby.
What I love: A comprehensive guide with crazy accessibility. The reviews pretty much names and covers all of UK’s popular and indie coffee chains.

London Coffee Blog
What it is: A quest to explore London’s ‘cute little independent coffee shops’. What I love: The personal touch that makes the reviews a tad closer to heart.

So if you’re a coffee-lover heading to London, discover these exciting cafès! It’s all about creating that perfect coffee moment, in the words of UK National Barista Champion, Simon Robertson: “However busy you are, in the time it takes you to finish that coffee your normal world is put on hold and you go somewhere else in your head. It’s about creating a moment, creating an experience.

For the Love of Music

Inspired by LP Cover Lover, an amazing site containing the world’s greatest collection of record album covers from the golden age of LPs, I checked out Amoeba Music on my recent trip to San Francisco.
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Occupying a 24,000 square foot former bowling alley on the eccentric Haight-Ashbury district, Amoeba Music is the world’s largest independent record and vinyl music store. The sheer size is insane. I literally had a jaw-drop moment when I saw floor to ceiling shelves chocked full of CDs, cassettes and records.
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If my parents had still kept their vinyl from the ’70s I would have considered getting the players
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Despite the impossible size, the store is impressively well-organized.
Just look at their cassettes collection.
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And from these books you can check if your desired CDs are available.
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I went with a bunch of people who weren’t planning on returning empty-handed, so we spent an entire afternoon flipping through records and grooving to the tracks on free-listening stations.

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Now, onto the amazing LP Covers I’ve found!
Here you go, LP cover lovers.
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Despite getting lost in the store for hours, I’ve barely touched the tip of the iceberg. There are too much awesome stuff in here.
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Amoeba Music even stocks up on AudioBooks
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Amoeba Music’s selection of vintage gig posters and ’70s pinup printables was just as impressive as their music collection.
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Madonna’s 1987 gig at Madison Square Garden.
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THE ROLLING STONES
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THE BEATLES
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Even Elvis Presley
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We barely grazed the punk, rock and roll section and already the sun was setting.
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If you’re here on a collector’s mission, do plan a list of records you’re looking for!
For non-LP-collectors like me, you’ll never know what you’ll unearth amongst the mountains of vintage and contemporary music. Art, loads of hidden jems, crazy album covers (and apparently loads of dust, true to a vintage store). This place is truly holy ground for music fanatics.

1855 Haight St
(between Shrader St & Stanyan St)
San Francisco, CA 94117