30 Beauty Questions Tag! Sunday Funday.

Welcome back to a new segment I like to call “Sunday Funday”, I will be posting random and fun posts like this one. I hope you like this segment, and if you have any requests for posts do not hesitate to leave me a comment.

As I am looking through my answers for the “Beauty Tag” post, I have noticed my beauty/makeup preferences have changed significantly. I wrote a post like this one in 2013, on my main blog and I used to be makeup obsessed. Now as a 28-year-old, I have changed and I tend to wear less makeup. It feels better to let my skin breathe, nevertheless I still like makeup and have fun shopping for makeup.

Let’s dive right in and find out a bit about my beauty likes and dislikes.

30BeautyQuestions Tag

 

1. Do you remember your first makeup item?

I can’t remember, but I’m pretty sure it was one of those rolls-on lipglosses they used to have in the 90s. Just for the record, those were the best.

Image result for roll on lipgloss

2. Describe your perfect mascara. Have you found one that fits your specifications?

I love the Tart mascara, it makes my lashes look extra long. However, I only wear mascara when I got to concerts or some sort of fancy event.

3. What kind of coverage do you prefer from foundation?

My preference for foundation coverage has changed dramatically over the past 5 years. I wear less or no makeup at all now, so I prefer light coverage.

4. Favorite high end brand?

Tarte is my favorite, every product they have is to my liking.

5. What cosmetic brands have you always wanted to try but still haven’t?

I’ve always wanted to try YSL, Chanel and Urban Decay.

6. Favorite drugstore brand?

I mainly use drugstore makeup and I love ELF, Revlon, Marcella, and Almay.

7. Do you wear fake eyelashes?

No, I’ve never tried them on and I don’t want to. Anything that could touch my eyeballs needs to stay away from me. When I was 11 I had a piece of wood fall in my eye and ever since then, I’ve been very sensitive about my eyes.

8. Is there any kind of makeup you can’t leave the house without?

Yes, lipstick. Lipstick is a must for me.

9. What is your most cherished beauty product?

Coconut oil, I don’t know if this is considered a beauty product, but it is a life savior for my skin.

10. How often do you shop for makeup? Do you like to pick up an item here and there or get lots of goodies at once?

Not often, once in a while I will go a buy a makeup item. I buy lipsticks the most, everything else I buy when it runs out.

11. Do you have a “beauty budget” or you spend freely? 

Yes, I do. I don’t want to spend more than $40 dollars for makeup. I’ve become a very frugal shopper because I want to spend my money for traveling.

12. Do you utilize coupons, rewards cards, and sales when you shop for cosmetics?

I have a points card with Sephora, I used it when I get enough points and then get a discount on an item.

13. What type of product do you buy the most of?

Lipsticks!!!

14. Is there a brand that you absolutely can’t stand?

Covergirl, sorry, but their products are not for me and I don’t like the quality.

15. Do you avoid certain ingredients in cosmetics like parabens or sulfates?

Yes, I definitely avoid parabens. That’s number one for me, and I’m trying to switch to organic makeup. I’m actually going to write a blog post about some organic makeup I’m planning to purchase soon.

16. Do you have a favorite place to shop for makeup?

Sephora and Shoppers DrugMart.

17. Do you like trying new skincare products or do you keep a certain routine?

I used to but not anymore because they are certain products my face is used to using. These are products I know for sure won’t make my skin breakout.

18 // Favorite bath and body brand?

I actually haven’t used bath and body works products in four years. Ever since switching to natural products, I’ve haven’t gone back to buy anything from BBW.

19. If you could only buy from one brand, which brand would you choose?

Tarte because they are cruelty-free, and their products are to my liking. I especially love their eyeshadows and lipsticks.

20. What brand do you think has the best packaging?

I love the Tarte packaging because it’s colorful.

21. Which celebrity always has great makeup?

I love Emilia Clarke’s makeup.

22. Do you belong to any online makeup communities?

No.

23. Favorite Beauty Gurus

Michelle Phan, Ingrid Nilsen, Zoella, and Jenn I’m.

24. Do you like multifunctional products like lip and cheek stains?

To be honest, not really. I usually find that I only end up using it for just the lips and not the cheeks.

25. Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?

Yes, especially when I try to do a cat-eye.

26. Do you use makeup base/primer for the eyes?

I use the Urban Decay Primer Potion for my eye lids because they are oily. For my face I use nothing.

27. How many hair products do you use on a typical day?

Absolutely nothing, I only use coconut oil.

28. What do you apply first, concealer or foundation?

First foundation, then concealer.

29. Do you ever consider taking makeup classes?

No, I like doing makeup for fun, I don’t want to become a pro.

30. What do you love about makeup?

I love creating fun looks and how different you can look with makeup. I don’t use makeup anymore as a mask, now I use makeup for fun. Makeup is supposed to be fun and not conceal insecurities. Love yourself the way you are!

Thank you so much for reading! I will be back this week with another post where I’ll talk about the importantance of self-care and much more.

See you soon 🙂

Advertisements

50 Facts About Me!

Hello everyone,

I hope you are having a lovely Saturday and you make time for yourself to rest!

I am planning to be more regular with my blog schedule here, but first I want you to know a little bit about me. Years ago on YouTube, there used to be tag video floating around called “50 Facts About Me”. Even though not many people film these types of videos anymore, I decided to use the idea as a blog post.

Let’s begin with sharing some interesting facts about me.

  1. I hate coffee, I dislike the taste and smell. Some people like the smell of coffee in the morning, but I feel sick when I smell the coffee.To be honest, there are times when I crave lattes, but that’s a rare occasion.
  2. I hate kiwi, the sour taste is not to my liking.
  3. I am a homebody, I prefer to stay at home and work on blog posts, edit my photography, and watch Netflix. I like simple things.
  4. I am an introvert. I used to fight this and I thought being an introvert is a negative thing. But I love it and I’ve embraced it. I am not a full-fledged introvert, I enjoy hanging out with people but then I need my space to recharge.
  5. I am a photographer, I began my photography journey in 2007. Now I post my work regularly on Instagram.
  6. I used to have a Youtube channel in 2005, I had about 500 subscribers but I deleted it because there were lots of weird people messaging me.
  7. Speaking of Youtube, I used to post anime montage videos. The anime community was big back then, so I posted a video every other day.
  8. …and speaking of anime, I used to be a HUGE anime fan in high school. I literally watched anime every day and when I started university I stopped.
  9. I am a huge Kpop fan, I love Kpop music because it is different and unique.
  10. I also love Jpop music, also known as Japanese pop.
  11. I enjoy watching Japanese dramas
  12. I am Bulgarian and lived in Bulgaria until I was 13.
  13. I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child and Youth Care Counselling.
  14. I work for the YMCA as a teacher.
  15. I am a major geek 🙂 I love going to Comic-Con and Fan Expo.
  16. I love hiking and being around nature
  17. I can understand a bit of Japanese.
  18. I am an Aquarius.
  19. I am an only child.
  20. I have a phobia of heights.
  21. I am a huge tea lover.
  22. I have recently realized that I love collecting cups, I have too many and I won’t stop buying more.
  23. I hate horror films, I can’t sleep well for a long time if I watch one.
  24. I dislike country music, it’s not bad but it’s not to my liking.
  25. I love rock music.
  26. I used to act in school plays as a child and now I want to get back to acting.
  27. I immigrated to Canada in 2003 with my family and I am a proud Canadian citizen.
  28. I can dance. I don’t share my talent often because I am still shy about it. I can’t freestyle, but I can learn choreography fast.
  29. I have a fear of being on a boat or ship. I think Titanic had something to do with this, but it absolutely terrifies me. I don’t think I’ll ever go on a cruise ship.
  30. I am extremely sentimental person, I hold on to so many items from my childhood for the nostalgia feeling,
  31. I am not a fan Harry Potter. It’s not bad, but every time I try to watch it I get bored and I can’t focus on the movie.
  32. I am a night owl, I love to stay up until late but only when I’m at home. If I’m out, I’ll start yawning and wish I was home. I’m so fun lol.
  33. I’ve never been to a club, it’s not my cup of tea. But I’ve been to bars with a dance lounge, does that count?
  34. I’ve never had a pet, but I really want to get a dog soon.
  35. I don’t have a drivers license. Someone my age should have one by now, but I can easily use the public transit so I never needed a car.
  36. I hate winter, it is the worst season because it’s so cold, and gloomy.
  37. My favorite season is Spring.
  38. My favorite holidays are Christmas and Halloween.
  39. I am very clumsy.
  40. I love the fantasy genre, I think it’s fun and unique.
  41. I don’t like spicy food.
  42. I am 96% vegetarian. What does that mean? Well, I try not to eat meat but I occasionally do eat fish and some other meets because of my health.
  43. I haven’t drank soda in five years. After learning how bad it is for you, I decided not to drink it.
  44. I don’t like alcohol. Even though I drink it sometimes in social settings, I usually avoid it.
  45. I have a major sweet tooth.
  46. I am the biggest bookworm.
  47. I am a shopaholic, I love shopping.
  48. I barely wear makeup anymore, I like how my face looks when I don’t wear heavy makeup.
  49. I was on TV once for 10 seconds haha, it was for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  50. I love to travel.

Wow, ok this was hard and I had to think so much about this. Thank you very much for reading and please share with me one unique fact about yourself.

See you soon!

Reconnect With Yourself

Have you ever felt pressure from others to always do what they want because if you don’t then you’ll feel like you disappointed them? Have you ever felt like you are overworking yourself and you do not take a break? Do you feel overwhelmed? Stressed? Depressed?

If you answered ‘yes’ to all of these questions, then you are not alone.

You see naturally I am a very optimistic person,  always positive and believes that everything happens for a reason. However, I have been enduring a lot of things these years and I had the worst burnout I’ve ever had. I developed severe acid reflux, I had chronic fatigue, and  I became depressed. I had to really stop and reevaluate what was going on in my life, how to get my life back and how to reconnect with myself.

There were lots of things that happened this year which opened my eyes to many things.  I told myself, “It’s ok, I can endure it”, and then my breaking point finally arrived. I remember waking up one night with the worst feeling in my stomach, I wasn’t feeling well at all. This lasted from February to July 2017, there were so many doctor visits that I lost count. I was planning to work this summer until my doctor told me I had to take some time off work. So I submitted a sick leave notice for two months. In July I got a medical procedure done and when I got the results back I had to go through an antibiotic treatment. My doctor told me, “This is happening because of stress, you are making yourself sick and you have to take control of life again. You can’t be stressed out you have to be calm to heal”.

That’s when I realized, I can’t suppress it anymore, I can’t keep things bottled up inside, I can’t keep doing things people want me to do when I don’t want to. IT WAS TIME TO GET MY LIFE BACK! I realized nothing else matters if my health deteriorated.

So now I will tell you what to do to reconnect with yourself and find a balance in your life.

Reconnect WithYourself

  1. Let Go.

People will hurt you so much that you’ll feel like you won’t be ok again. Allow yourself to go through the emotions and then learn to let go. You only do yourself harm if you hold on to these negative emotions. Trust me, when it comes to this I know what I’m talking about. My health has suffered so much because I couldn’t let things go for a long time. I’m still not good at it, but I’m working on it. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

2. Embrace change.

Without change, there is no progress! Without change, you won’t move forward in life. Change is hard because you get used to being in a familiar and comfortable situation. Can you grow as a person without change? No! So my advice is to try and see change as something positive, rather than something negative. If you train your mind to think of it that way, then you will get used to it and with time it’ll become a habit. I’ve always had a problem with change, and there are times when I really hate it. But down the line, I realized I’ll be thankful for it.

3. Learn to relax.

We are always on the go, taking on so many tasks at once. Remember that it is ok to take a weekend, a week, a month to get back on track. Do some yoga, watch your favorite movie/TV show, have a bath, or go out for a brisk walk. Remember not to overwork your body too much.

4. Be on your own for a bit.

Do something for you, dedicate an entire weekend to yourself and things you want to do. It’s ok to take care of yourself and forget about other people for a while. Sometimes we need time alone to put ourselves back together, and remember what really matters to us in life. When you hit rock bottom, you need to get away from the noise and tend to yourself. It’s ok to say no if you need time to yourself. It’s ok to put yourself first.

5. Take care of your health.

I have learned that your health is the most important thing, and there are so many things to take into consideration. Eating clean should be a lifestyle, not a diet. When you eat unhealthily your body will suffer, so eat in moderation. If you notice there are foods that make you feel sick, cut them out of your diet. I recently noticed I am sensitive to dairy products, I haven’t done an allergy test yet but I’m sure I have mild lactose intolerance. Watch what you put in your body, drink lots of water, eat more vegetables and fruits, more fiber. Ditch greasy foods, deep fried food, spicy food, and alcohol. This is when the term “my body is a temple” comes in and that’s how I treat it now.

There is more that comes into play when you take care of your health, such as getting enough sleep, controlling your stress levels and exercising.

6. Be Selective.

Be selective of who you welcome into your social circle and your life. Something happened recently that made me realize I will be more picky about welcoming people into my life. Some people mean well, others may be fake. Let go and get rid of anyone who may be toxic to your well being.

7. Don’t share too much.

Now there is a difference between having your walls up and being cautious. I was reading a book written by Canadian Youtuber, Lilly Singh, and in one chapter of her book she shared words of wisdom said by her mother:

The more details people know about you, the weaker you become!

There will be people you can trust, but ultimately you can only share big things with family. Not everyone needs to know your life story, so be smart and be careful to whom you disclose your personal life. I learned this the hard way, but it was necessary to know this. Most people are simply nosy, so be careful to whom you open up to.

8. Focus on something you love.

When you hit rock bottom, I think the best thing to do is to focus on something you love. If there is something that brings you immense happiness, then do it. It could be traveling, performing, painting and so much more. Find something that makes your soul sing.

9. Take your time.

Reconnecting with yourself takes time, please do not be hard on yourself and think that you have to get better ASAP. It’ll take time, you are starting from scratch and that’s what self-growth is all about. You’ll have your good and bad days, one day you’ll have your good days again and learn how to deal with the bad days.

I hope this was helpful, and just know you’ll get through this. Life is all about change and this is just a bump on your road to true happiness.

Thank you for reading and see you soon! 🙂

Geek Corner! Convention Tips.

Hello everyone,

I have a confession to make, I am a full-fledged geek and I think I’ve been one since I was a child. I always gravitate towards nerdy things, that’s why I thought it would be appropriate to create a new segment dedicated to all of the nerdy things I love. I call it, Geek Corner, pretty simple and straight to the point!

The first topic for this segment is conventions, conventions are a wonderful place for people to come together and discuss their favorite shows and movies. Conventions also bring out the creative spirit in people who cosplay as their favorite characters. The word cosplay means fans dressing up as their favorite characters, people put tremendous effort in their outfit creations. I started going to convetions in 2004 (Anime North was my first one) and the last time I attended a convention was in 2007. I simply lost interest in them and I didn’t feel like going anymore, but in 2014 I attended Comic Con for the first time. I heard a lot about it from social media and I was intrigued, so I decided to check it out. While I was at the convention, I got an idea to write a convention tips post for any newbies who will be attending a convention for the first time. These tips will be based on my personal opinion, so they may differ from other people’s tips, please feel free to share some of yours in the comments box below.

Let’s begin

1.Do not buy a weekend pass

From my experience, buying a weekend pass is not worth it! You will not see anything new and everything is pretty much the same all three days. Any major appearances from voice actors will spanout over the course of three days! So if you feel like you’ll miss out on meeting someone, don’t, but always double check the schedule. I always go on Saturdays because that’s when the day feels more dynamic and fun.

2. Purchase tickets online

I do realize that some of you may not be old enough to have a credit card, so ask your parents or guardian to purchase it for you. Buying tickets online is easier because you beat the lineups and enter the venue right away. In 2014 at Comic Con, I didn’t purchase a ticket online and we were told they weren’t any tickets left. As were were about to leave, they announced there are a few more and we got them. Not everyone can be so lucky, so buy your tickets online!

3. Go early

Beating the lineups and big crowds is worth it, it will give you some time to look around the merchandise room before it becomes packed with people. I like to be there when the convention doors open or maybe ten minutes after they open, haha. If you are claustrophobic like me, you probably want a few minutes to yourself.

4. Cosplay

I am always fascinated with people’s ability to create their own costumes, I have seen many impressive designs. I personally have never cosplayed when I went to conventions because I was nervous people on the public transit will look at me in a weird way. Don’t let that happen to you, it is fun to cosplay because people complement you and acknowledge your designer skills. Plus, you have the opportunity to feel like a celebrity for a day because people want to take your picture.

Image result for naruto group cosplay

5. Wear comfortable shoes

You will be on your feet all day, so might as well wear something that will not kill your feet. If high heels, or some kind of uncomfortable shoes are part of your cosplay outfit, bring an extra pair of  comfortable shoes to change into later.

6. Bring a snack

There aren’t always food stands at the venue or restaurants near the venue. This depends on where the venue is located, so if you get hungry throughout the day bring a snack with you. It could be a sandwich or whatever is to your liking.

7. Have fun

The most important thing is to have fun, enjoy your time there, take pictures (always ask cosplayers for permission before you take their picture) and socialize. Your first convention will be unforgettable and enjoy each moment. Go to the shows performed by cosplayers, meet your favorite voice actors and buy some merchandise.

I hope this post was helpful and enjoyable for some of you, I take requests for future Geek Corner blog posts, so please let me know what you want to see next time.

Thank you for reading and see you soon!

Alberta Trip 2017 Part 1

Welcome everyone,

For those of you who don’t know me, I love to travel. It brings me a sense of peace and of course, the adventure.

Last summer I embarked on a journey to the West Coast of Canada. I visited Vancouver and Whistler, I also went on a road trip to Portland Oregon, Seattle, and Cannon Beach Oregon. This was my first big trip and it was unforgettable. So I made it my goal to try and travel at least once a year. That meant that I had to save money instead of shopping for trivial things. Naturally that’s what I prefer, I rather spend my money to go on enriching adventures.

This summer I decided to go ahead and book a trip to Edmonton, Alberta and then drive down to Jasper National Park. One of the main reasons why I wanted to travel was to get away from my everyday life routine. I am also on sick leave at the moment for burnout, therefore, travelling was essential for me. In a hurry I booked my five day trip and I was eagerly waiting for my departure date. My friends live in Edmonton so they offered to stay with them and then go to Jasper, Alberta together. July 19, 2017 I departed to Edmonton at 7am, you know I’m not a morning person at all but for travelling I can be. The flight was approximately three hours, there is also a two hour time difference between Toronto and Edmonton. Upon arrival I took the shuttle bus from the airport to Chateau LaCombe Hotel. As I mentioned above, I stayed with my friend but because they were at work during the day I had to keep myself occupied in downtown. By the way, the airport is so far from the city. Anyways when I arrived at the hotel I informed one of the staff that I was going to stay there and wait for my friends to finish work. To my surprise this lovely gentleman offered to take my luggage and put in storage for free. I was thrilled and I thanked him for being so kind. Isn’t it so nice to meet people like this, it made my day.

I was very tired from my trip because I was woke up at 4:30am and when I got to Edmonton the time was two hours behind. I was desperate for sleep but I knew I had to move around to keep myself awake. So went to a cafe my friend recommended to visit. Remedy Cafe can only be found in Edmonton but I absolutely loved it. I believe it is a Indian Cafe based on the foods they had. I spend two hours there working on my laptop trying to make time go by faster.

  
 Afterwards, I thought it was time to get up and walk around. So I walked a bit throughout downtown, in all honesty Edmonton is not that exciting. If you come from big cities, like Toronto, Montreal or even NYC, you’ll feel disappointed. However, Edmonton has its own charm. There is a sense of community because it’s a smaller city. I found Edmonton’s charm when I discovered a beautiful view of the city by the hotel. I got a beautiful view of Saskatchewan river and the Muttart Conservatory, as usual I took a ton of photos.

  
 After I was done I went back to the hotel, took out my laptop and watched some Netflix shows until my friends came to get me. When it was time to go my friends and I went back to their place to catch up and chat for a bit.

After catching up my friends decided to take me to Whyte Avenue for dinner! Whyte Avenue is a hip and trendy area of Edmonton with various shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, basically if you want to party go to Whyte Avenue. I really liked the vibe of this street, there was so much to do. We decided to go and have Mexican food at Julio Barrio, the food was so good and it definitely satisfied a craving I’ve had for a while.

   
   
 After dinner we walked around to find an ice cream place, I was so full from eating so I decided to get tea. The coffee place we went was the cutest, the interior was very pretty and they even had a book/board games section.

   
  To sum up my first day in Edmonton was a success and fun, despite feeling a bit sleep-deprived.

DAY 2 – Edmonton

My second day in Edmonton began with a trip to the largest mall in North America, known as West Edmonton Mall. Why is it the biggest mall in NA, well it has a world water park, indoor lagoon, and so much more. I went out around 8:30am and I was there until 1 or 2pm. I explored and I was really jealous of their water park, I wish Eatons Centre had something like this. 

   
  

Around 2pm, I took the bus back to downtown and I found myself feeling super bored. Downtown Edmonton is not that exciting, so I didn’t know what to do to pass time until my friends got off work. So I hopped from coffee shop to coffee shop. Well, I only went to two coffee shops: Remedy Cafe and Starbucks.

Then it was time to go, so my friends and I went to a diner. I can’t recall the name of the area, but I liked it. We had delicious dinner and then we went home to binge watch the Big Bang Theory.

DAY 3 – Edmonton

This was technically my last full day to explore Edmonton, on that day I woke up around 7:30am to go and watch the K-Days Parade and capture some good shots. Before I went to see the parade, which began at 10am, I decided to go to Edmonton City Centre. Edmonton City Centre is a mall conveniently located in downtown. I waited until 10am for the stores to open because it was a gloomy and I needed to buy a sweater. Since we were driving down to Jasper later on in the day, I knew it was going to be a bit chilly so I wanted to be prepared. After I bought my sweater, I walked down to exit of the mall to go and watch the parade. But, I was greeted by the rain. I didn’t want to walk in the rain so I decided to go back in and window shop. When I travel, I do not like to spend money on trivial things I can get at home. My money usually is spend for food, and tourist attractions. I got the sweater I needed and I made way over to the parade. Despite the gloomy weather, there was a wonderful vibe of togetherness.

   
  That’s why I like to get away from the city and go somewhere less busy. Also the West seems to have a friendlier vibe, if that makes sense. I was there for about an hour but I started to get cold so I went back to the mall. Luckily there was a movie theater in the mall so I decided to warm up by watching Despicable Me 3. Such a cute movie, if you haven’t seen it then you must!

After the movie, I went to have lunch and then walked around downtown for a bit. I had to charge my phone before our trip to Jasper, so I went to the library to relax.

I will end the story here and share my Jasper adventures in my next post! Thanks for reading and if you’ve been to Edmonton, tell me what you liked about the city!

See you soon! 🙂

Happiness From a Child’s Perspective

Hello everyone,

In world of constant hatred and sadness, we need to remember what makes us happy in life. A year and a half ago, I worked with children and I decided to ask them a few questions about happiness. Their ages ranged from four to six years old. Some answers were silly and questionable, but I decided to include them so we can all have a good laugh.

Let’s take a look at what they said!

  1. Smiling. Many of them said to simply smile, so lets smile more this year 🙂

2. Be helpful. Being kind and showing kindness is important, so let’s do  it often.

3. To do something nice. Pay it forward, have you head of this saying?  Doing something nice for reason, I’ll give you an example. A few  months ago my friend was in a Tim Horton’s drive thru and person in front purchased her coffee. I’m not saying to do that exactly, but maybe something along those lines.

4. If someone gives an outlet cover. Haha well, I’m not sure what to say about this one.  I asked the child what he meant and he did mean an actual outlet cover. Interesting, he can say very silly things 🙂

5. Making someone happy. I asked the child in what way and he said to do something the person liked. Sounds good to me 🙂

6. Spending time with family. There is nothing better than spending time people close to you.

7. Being different from other people and you don’t have to be like someone else. I was surprised when I heard my student say something so wise, I guess we cannot underestimate children and we shouldn’t. Be you and no one else!

8. Sharing.

9. Take away the tears and smile. From an adult point of view, I would say this means picking yourself up when you are down. Keep going forward no matter what!

10. Be giving. The whole point of this post is to show it doesn’t take much to feel happiness, and we can also do a lot to make people happy. As adults we complicate things more than we should, we forget how to be carefree like a child. This year try to find happiness in the small things in life, you don’t need a Ferrari or a mansion to feel happiness.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and let me know what makes you happy.

See you soon 🙂

 

My Experience With AEON

If you are a lover of Japan and Japanese culture, then you must’ve thought about living, working or studying in Japan.

I am 28 years old now, but I became interested in Japan when I was 13 years old. This was primarily because of anime and popular culture. After I stopped watching anime at the age of 18, I began to appreciate Japan for its culture and history.

My Experience With AEON

 

This year, 2017, I decided that I will try out and apply for agencies to go teach abroad. One thing you should know about me is that I have a hard time stepping out of my comfort zone. However, this time I wanted to see if I can do it and follow through.
I did my research and I found out JET is the best program for foreigners. However, their deadline to submit applications was closed. Naturally, that didn’t stop me so I decided to find other Japanese agencies. As I was searching, I found out about AEON. I read their website and I thought, “wow this sounds great”. I also decided to go online and read reviews about the agency. To my surprise, there were a lot of people saying negative things about this company. People were saying the following:

1) Foreign teachers are used as a scapegoat if the manager is doing poorly.

2) You will never get a pay increase no matter how many years you do it.
-6 month contracts make it difficult for you to plan your future if you depend on the income from this job.
3) Salary is too low, if you have ever had a real job before you will find it hard working for AEON in Japan. Do not do this if you want to save any money.

4) The thing I hated most about working for this company is the lack of respect the management staff has for foreign female workers.

5) The downside of this company is that foreign teachers are expected to just take abuse or disrespect and say nothing about it.

There you go, this is a few of the comments people have wrote online about this company.

I didn’t know what to think, I just assumed that everyone has different opinions and experiences. Then my coworker at my school told me to stay away from this agency because it is terrible. He said to me that there are cases of sexual harassment against female teachers, and the upper management do not do anything to stop this. Yet again, another person was telling me something negative about this company.

So I decided, I would take a look for myself and still apply. So I applied, I received an email to schedule a Skype interview within a week. The interviewer asked me to get up, bow and introduce myself. The Skype interview was about 15 minutes long, and they ask you questions about the company, your work experience and why you want to go to Japan.

I was excited, but also nervous to attend the second interview! The day of the group interview came and I got ready early to go. I prepared notes and studied all of the information they had outlined on the website. The door to the meeting room opened at 9am. I was greeted by the interviewer, she was polite and always smiling. However, my initial thought was that it didn’t seem genuine. The smiles seemed a bit forced, if you tried to make small talk they wouldn’t really participate in it. There was a clear boundary, which is fine but in the past my interviewers were more warm with their interaction.

At the beginning, we were given a form to fill out with our basic information and then we sat down and did small talk with the other candidates. The meeting began at nine o’clock sharp. You see in Japan people are very punctual, so this was the expectation for this interview. I loved that because I am someone who is punctual as well.

The interviewer started off with a self introduction and then it was our turn. We did something called lobby talk, we make small talk with the other applicants and get to know each other. We were in groups of three, and had about three minutes to interact with each other before we moved on to another group. After we completed this exercise, we sat down and the presentation began.

There were slideshows and we were going over everything that AEON does as a company. From the types of teaching lessons they provide, to the work teachers have to do other than teaching. Afterwards, we went over information we need to consider before moving abroad i.e. the financial, emotional side, and health side. After going over all of this, we took a 15 minute break (or 10 minutes if I can recall correctly). Because Japan is a country that’s super punctual, we were expected to be back in the room on time. Punctuality is very important and something the interviewer observed closely. When we returned, the interviewer went over the structure of various types of lessons and we had to participate, while she was giving examples of the proper way of teaching. The way she was explaining everything was done in clear manner and to the point. Then it was our turn to conduct a lesson, so we divided in groups of five (or four, if I can recall correctly). The first lesson was geared towards children, so each one of us had to take turns doing a lesson, while teaching the other group.

After we did that, it was time to do an adult lesson, for this we were asked to leavethe  room while the interviewer changed the setup. I cannot remember for how long we waited, but I think it was about five minutes. When we came back inside we had to get into groups again. We were given a sheet of paper with a grammar exercise, and we had to make sure we were conducting the lesson in an interactive manner and make it engaging. I’m not going to lie, it was a bit nerve wrecking and there were candidates who did better but I think I did well too even though I have never been a teacher. Each one of us did this teaching exercise and each candidate had a different sheet. When we were done, we were given a questionnaire which was double sided. On one side we were tested on our grammar i.e. envelope vs. envelop, and there were a few examples like this one. There were a few words where we had to write the definition, and even though I speak English fluently, I caught myself overthinking it because I was nervous. The other side of the questionnaire was about the applicants, I can’t remember the exact questions but it was about why I would like to teach in Japan, something about how my teaching will be different from others and has my start date changed. For the date change, I initially stated that I could start in August but because of my OSAP loan, I had to change it to November.

The interviewer left for a few minutes and then came back with the envelopes that let us know whether or not we are successful candidates or not. Before she gave us our envelopes, we were told the following and I would like to point out I cannot remember everything word for word.  It was something like this, “Thank you all for coming today, I would like to let you know getting this far is a great accomplishment. However, now I will give you these envelopes. Please do not share you results and go your separate ways”. I was utterly confused by this statement, why did we have to be so secretive about this? I didn’t like it and I didn’t get a good vibe from this organization. I think by now you can see where this is going, I did not pass the interview. Why? Well, I have a few ideas in mind, 1) changing the start date and 2) being nervous while presenting my lesson.

However, I decided to still email them to ask about some feedback and I got the following response:

Dear Radostina,

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, our company policy doesn’t allow us
to give feedback to our candidates. If you’d like to reapply for a position
with AEON, we ask that you wait 2-3 months before doing so.

Best of luck with your future plans.

Why would a company policy not allow their employers to give feedback to potential employees? I didn’t get it and I think I dodged a bullet here. You may say that a lot of potential employers do not give feedback to people who haven’t passed an interview and that may be true. However, that may be a personal choice, not the company’s choice. That’s why I thought it was strange!

I won’t proceed any further with this company, from what I’ve heard eikawas are not the best but that is decision you have to make for yourself.

So what now? Well, I am going to try with JET one more time to say to myself that I’ve tried everything I could to make this happen. On the other hand, I am ready to become more settled down in life so I am also considering now applying. I guess we’ll see what I’m in the mood for. Sometimes you just have to go with flow.

I want you guys to tell me if you have experience working abroad and what were the pros and cons. Looking forward to your comments!

See you soon with a post about my trip to Jasper, Alberta 🙂