This past year I went through the process of taking the LSAT and applying to law schools while also working full time with lots and lots of OT along the way. While I loved my firm, I knew that I wasn’t going to renew my lease and I definitely wasn’t going to move in with my mother again. So I did what any reasonable adult would do, quit my job and loosely plan a solo trip to Asia.
Okay I’m kidding, this wasn’t reasonable at all, but I knew that I needed a break and that I wanted to visit my family. I had worked at my firm for a year and eight months and due to some fiscal miracle, I had about half a year’s salary in my savings.
A couple of people have asked me how I was able to save so much in such a short amount of time, but honestly I just have a really low cost of living. In March and April, I only spent money on rent, utilities, take out, groceries, monthly metro cards, and a few Lyfts — and also my flights to LA, Manila, and Japan. But I wasn’t budgeting or spending cautiously because of my flights. I was just a really boring person those two months.
I’m grateful for the opportunities in my life that have allowed me to get to this point, but in no way can this be attributed solely to thriftiness or hard work.
Some day in the future I’ll create a budgeting how-to, but I have to say that a lot of my good fortune comes from a place of privilege. I didn’t graduate with student loans, and for six months I lived rent free with my mother. Additionally, I won’t have to pay for health insurance, vision, or dental until I turn 26 (shout out to my mom’s union). I am also lucky to have worked at a job that paid me well above the minimum wage. Even now, I am currently living (rent free) at my cousin’s empty condo in Manila while he is studying in Vancouver. With all that said, I’m grateful for the opportunities in my life that have allowed me to get to this point, but in no way can this be attributed solely to thriftiness or hard work.
I am currently writing this post in a cafe in BGC, Manila. After a week of planning I’ve finally finished my itinerary and budget for my trip to Japan. However, since leaving my apartment (and my Helen’s couch) I’ve gone to both Los Angeles and Hong Kong. I’ll save my Hong Kong layover post for another time, but today I wanted to share some photos I took in California.
My favorite thing about visiting new places is seeing the different trees, flowers, and other plants local to the area. Seeing all the succulents and cacti just chilling in their nature environment was breathtaking, and I definitely took way too many photos. The Manhattan Beach greenery bathed in the pink light from the sunset was incredibly beautiful, and seeing so many lush green spaces in a city gave me an extra dose of serotonin that weekend.
My favorite thing about visiting new places is seeing the different trees, flowers, and other plants local to the area.
Besides taking copious pictures of plants, I explored Venice Beach, discovered my new favorite children’s book series (read Circle and Square by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen if you want a good chuckle), celebrated a birthday in Santa Monica, toured SpaceX, and definitely wasn’t murdered by some online friends I met for the first time. After months of nonstop studying, essay writing, and overtime shifts, it was so nice to be able to take some time to take care of myself and spend time with the people I love.