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Sunday, August 30, 2015

I moved back into university today, and it was a little complicated to say the least. I'm in the process of a direct swap-- that means, I found someone else that wants the dorm I'm assigned to. Basically, I moved my stuff into her assigned dorm but have to sleep in my assigned dorm until the paperwork processes. It's a pain.

The good news is, the dorm I'm moving into is really pretty. It's a brownstone with a beautiful front entry. My new roommate wasn't there so I got to pick my side of the room and move furniture around to my liking. I took the window--- I'll post pictures of my dorm once it's all prettied up. 

I had dinner tonight at an old family friend's house. When I was little we'd go there for Easter and Thanksgiving sometimes, and it was always lovely. I realised when I was there tonight that I got my old-fashioned hosting skills at least in part from this friend. She's really a lovely lady. I'm not sure how she makes hosting people look completely effortless, but I think it's because she genuinely enjoys it.  Whilst I was there, I got to meet the number-one fan of this blog! Another truly lovely lady with plenty of interesting opinions. Between those two, they've got me sorted. 

When I got back to my dorm (well, the soon-to-be-mine-one), I started unpacking a bit before repacking my backpack for my overnight stay in the other dorm. Then I realised I couldn't find my toy bunny. This bunny has been my travel companion and cuddly toy since I was very little. He's white and worn, and wears pink overalls because he's completely threadbare. And even though I'm nineteen, I sort of went into panic mode trying to find him. My parents (who helped me bring yet more stuff up to the room) snapped into "find the bunny" mode, which while they haven't done it in a couple of years, seemed to come back pretty naturally. 

Thankfully my bunny was already in my backpack and I was just being an airhead. But it made me remember that even though I'm moving into my second year in university and I'd like to believe that I'm a little bit older and wiser, I'm still young. 

Here's my bunny and his friend on my hotel bed in Sri Lanka. 

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015



Freshman year is about to start for a lot of new college students... or it's started already! It's so fun to see people posting pictures of their brand new dorm rooms. I wish I had made mine prettier... Oh well.

What is crazy about this blog is that you can go back and read all about my experience as a college freshman just by searching around a bit. I suppose that's the cool thing about a blog-- even though it covers beauty and whatever else I feel like posting about, it also covers my life and what happens in it. There are things I wish I had known as a college freshman though.... and they are below.

1) This is a really good chance to reinvent yourself, so don't feel committed to being who you were in high school.

Actually, the person you were in high school is probably not the person you want to be in college. Embrace the fact that you are going to change, and that you have to change! Take risks, go on mini adventures every day and learn as you go.

2) Laugh at yourself!

You're going to make some mistakes your freshman year of college... you're new at this whole college thing after all. Don't take yourself too seriously if you walk into the wrong lecture or forget someone's name. Move on.


3) Set boundaries with your roommate(s) early to avoid issues down the line.

This was really only an issue with my suitemate, but regardless, lay down some ground rules. Rules about cleaning, bringing boys (or girls) over, bedtimes... whatever you are even a little bit worried about, discuss.

4) Don't eat so many sweets.

I didn't gain a full freshman fifteen, but I did put some weight on in college. If you plan on drinking in college, you also better be planning on working out because that's where most people gain their weight! I didn't drink a lot which is probably why I didn't gain a tremendous amount.

5) Enjoy the ride, because it only lasts four years and seems to move a lot faster than high school.

College is fun. Living on your own is great because you get to be in control of your own time. You get to learn about things that you generally care about rather than the stuff you wasted time on in high school.
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Because I clearly haven't travelled enough this summer, under 72 hours after landing in the United States I was back on an airplane to Minnesota! My mother has always wanted to come back to this state after winter camping here in college.

Minnesota sure feels empty after China. Even though there are high rise buildings and cars parked it seems like a ghost town. It's cute that with this small a population it's considered a city... in China this would be considered a large town at best! Regardless, it's nice to unwind.

I'm looking forward to getting back into regular blogging after this trip. I think the direction of this blog might be changing soon to follow along with my current interests... but never mind that for now! It will still follow my life, wherever it goes.




A photo posted by Natalie (@natalie.mei) on

A photo posted by Natalie (@natalie.mei) on
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Thursday, August 13, 2015

I am officially back in the USA! The flights back were decent but long-- 4 hours from Singapore to Hong Kong and 14 hours from Hong Kong to New York. I had some dim sum in the Hong Kong airport which was pretty tasty, and made sure to drink lots of Hong Kong style milk tea! Also lucked out and got upgraded on my flight to New York so I got to eat more fancy dim sum whilst watching some of season five Game of Thrones. Never flew Cathay Pacific before but was quite impressed.

Now that I'm back though, the reverse culture shock is hitting me almost as badly as the jet lag. I still don't know what time of day it is, or what day of the week it is. In China, every white person you saw was a "wai guo ren 外国人", a foreigner. But in the United States, there are lots of white people and I'm the odd one out! If I'm not paying attention I throw Chinese words into my speech, which is a fairly normal habit of foreigners living in China. Now I have to translate.

Western food. Riding in cars. Using a knife and fork again (freaking difficult). Drinking water directly out of the tap. Sweet smelling air. Blue skies. Open space. Silence. English spoken everywhere. It's like another world here, and I have to admit I don't know if my head and heart are home yet. I made China home for three months, longer than I've actually lived in my house in America.

I had a hamburger and french fries and American ketchup, and it was fabulous. Except I'm craving Tibetan food...




Where is my yak meat? Above, the most delicious thing ever. 


I miss China >.<

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I've officially left Chengdu! I'm updating this blog without a VPN... it's kind of crazy (and a great change). Since I extended my stay in Chengdu to 10 weeks, my flights had to be rebooked. The earliest flight my parents could get me was on the 11th, I was initially meant to just leave Chengdu late. Instead, all the stars aligned and we managed to rebook my flights (again) to Singapore for a few days. Here's what I did!



Went by where I used to live!


My darling friend Lauren who is on "Dance Singapore, Dance". We went to Slappy Cakes. 


Happy National Day! 


Gardens by the Bay, the one touristy thing I didn't do whilst living here. 




So pretty. 


DIN TAI FUNG. DELICIOUS. 


Chilling with DiCicco at Din Tai Fung. Friend from high school that now lives in Canada :)


I had an amazing trip catching up with people! I actually stayed at my friend's house who's doing NS and forgot to take a picture with him. He's completely fabulous and calls me Lee sometimes. But not often. 

Now that I'm out of China, I'll be updating more often! I can't believe my summer is ending so quickly and it will be back to school, routine, and consistent blogging. 

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

I'm writing this post from August 9th, 2014. Yesterday, I started this blog to share my thoughts, beauty knowledge, and life with those on the Internet.

I started out on Sent to Singapore almost four years ago, and it's amazing to think of how far I've come from then. Rather than write to family and friends, I am now writing to whoever reads me, my wonderful readers. Hopefully in a year's time there are a fair few of you now, just so I know I'm not talking to myself.

By this time, I've finished my first year of college. I hope it was a good year, and I learned a lot. Hopefully you enjoyed following me on that journey, and I didn't make too many fresher-mistakes.

Most of all, I hope I've decided what sort of a blogger I am. Everything one ever reads about blogging, and how to blog, talks about finding a niche. At the moment of creation, I thought my niche could be thoughts, beauty and life. But did I sustain it? I don't know. 

So, happy one-year anniversary.

Love, Natalie
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Saturday, August 1, 2015

I've had a really busy week and a bit since I've last written... and I think it's time to sit down and write something personal. Whilst I do have a goal and general direction for content on this blog, it's also my space to write about things that interest me. It might seem a little silly but what has been interesting me a lot over the past week is me, and how I've changed since coming to China. People always say that studying abroad changes you, but I didn't realise how much I had changed until I really stopped and thought about it.

When I arrived in China I thought I was only going to be here for five weeks. I never thought I would brush my teeth with tap water, eat the street food, or get used to the craziness. Last night I was out at 1am with some of my friends eating spicy street food from a cart and learning Sichuan-dialect from the cart owners. I came here terrified of making mistakes in Chinese. Now I make mistakes every day and don't care, even though I fully understand the concept of face and hate losing it. Culturally I feel like at this point between three years of Singapore and three months here I can honestly say I'm not 100% American anymore. My heart is going to be living somewhere in Asia for the rest of my life.


I think for now it's safe to say that I've caught wanderlust and ended up with a bit of a gypsy heart. But that's okay, because I'm ready for whatever life throws at me. I can handle it.

What does the future bring?

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