Hey everyone, I drew sadness.

Trying something new to improve my skills.

I used to be good at art. Now, after years of letting go, holding a pen (and the fact that I’m using a pen, not pencil) to draw art makes me feel like a newbie.

I don’t really know why, but I felt very motivated to draw “Sadness” from the movie inside out.

And I don’t really know why I chose to draw something sad, which was what I searched up on Bing. I just started a new job, so it really should be a good thing going on for me.

Maybe it meant that I’m not doing all the I have the potential to do? Like, what is a hobby?

As a resolve to change my busy bee way of life, I’ve decided to take a picture of something I enjoy doing at least once a week (I’ll try for once a day, if it works out).

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By the way, sorry this picture is so bad. I thought about redrawing so that it looks better to put on my blog, but I wanted it to be authentic.

My family is pretty artistic, and by “pretty” I mean that my brother and sisters put my newbie drawing to shame. Seriously, they’re, like, 10 and they have a Youtube channel with animated videos. Feel free to follow them!


My sister, 12 years old, animated this one:

She is literally obsessed with art. She spends 10 hours a day in the summer, just drawing. And when we come home at night, she still wants to draw.


My brother, 10 years old, animated this one:

He has lots of talent, which I think is such a waste that he spends most his time watching Youtube videos.


My other sister, 15 years old at the age of drawing this, is super talented. It’s a pity she’s so ambitious and is boggled down with 6 college and high school classes in a semester. I’m really pushing for her to continue drawing, but we’ll see.


I wonder if it’s the commute that’s bringing me down. For the first time, I have to commute 30-45 minutes by CAR. New York doesn’t count because at least I got to sit down in the subway train, and read a book. /sigh/

Well, thanks for stopping in!! I really appreciate your reading my blog. 🙂

 

 

A Blogging Post to Get the Ball Rolling

What is the definition of procrastination? 

I’ll tell you later… 

Ha, get it?

I saw that joke in a video on the internet, and related to it too much. Which reminded me of the blog posts I have not been writing and the endless list of things I want to put on there. It’s been awhile since my last post and I have not updated on my Vietnam trip.

It really is a lot easier said than done, while everything is a work in progress. The more things I do while traveling, the less time I have to write about it.

But as I am too familiar with it, all it takes is to get the first post out to get the ball rolling. I hope my readers will forgive me for my absence and understand that I also owe it to myself to have a good time on vacation. This post will be one that will hopefully kickstart my routine, so it’s really for me, not you.

As I get back into the groove of being in the United States again, blogging is not the only thing on my priorities (though it is, because I did decide to buy a hosting plan that costs plenty of monies). I’m once again making money by working from home.

A short version: Vietnam was awesome. We had absorbed so much during this 2.5 month trip with family. I’m in much more control and aware of myself and my surroundings.

Though I did not come up with as many posts as I’d like, here are some that I had written on Nha Trang. Please peruse and enjoy our photo adventures of Vietnam.

Sunset in Hoi An, Vietnam

 

Last Post: Travel Blogging Challenge Highlights and What I’ve Learned

I made it!!!!!!!

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For those who have never heard of this challenge, here is your opportunity to read it all the way ’til the end: 21 Weeks of Travel Blogging Challenge (feel free to do a challenge of yourself!).

After over three months of blogging, there are a few posts that I’m quite proud of for writing myself. Here are some of the best:

Challenge Highlights

As I approached this last post, I feel nervous and excited. Nervous because I feel as if I have exhausted my writing topics. What else is there to share aside from all the experiences I’ve had?

With the end in sight, I’m excited because I’ve stuck to this challenge through the end. There were definitely weeks where I did not feel like writing, but this challenge had motivated me to get back into my blogging grind. Furthermore, this challenge was born from one of my monthly goals list, and I’m quite happy about being able to finish it.

I’ve learned a lot from this blogging challenge. I have practiced determination by pursuing a hobby and passion of mine through long, lazy days. I have learned to flow my writing better. Best of all, I’ve made great fun blogging friends along the way.

Again, do check out my 21 Weeks of Travel Blogging Challenge, where you will find the rest of the challenge prompts!


What’s next?

Well, now that I’m out of a 3+ month long blogging commitment, I want to take a break from challenge prompts for a little bit.

I’m hoping to get an actual blog domain for myself in the next few months. This would be a great way to explore uncharted waters and take a dive in the deep blogging pool. Adventures ahead!

What are some of your goals and proud accomplishments?


Thanks for reading! This is a response to the 21 Weeks of Travel Blogging Challenge!

Here are some other posts you might like:

Read more of my posts from the Travel Blogging Challenge:

Week 1:  A favorite travel photo of you and intro
Week 2: Little known tips
Week 3: Funny story
Week 4: Misadventures
Week 5: Top three cultural foods
Week 6: Unusual travel activities/photos
Week 7: Inspiration for traveling
Week 8: Five favorite travel blogs
Week 9: Gross/disgusting stories
Week 10: Best adventures while traveling
Week 11: What’s in your backpack?
Week 12: Happy and sad stories
Week 13: Unique cultures encountered
Week 14: Top three favorite destinations
Week 15: Travel regrets
Week 16: Scary and cool travel stories
Week 17: Things to purge
Week 18: Humbling things learned from traveling
Week 19: Confessions
Week 20: Travel bucket list (countries/activities)
Week 21: Your challenge post highlights and what you’ve learned during this challenge

These awesome people are also doing the challenge!!! Click to see their stories!

Interested in participating in the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge? Feel free to make your own today!

What’s in my Journal Entry?

My journal is what keeps me from going mad.

I recently filled up my Eagle notebook, given to me by my little sister as a Christmas gift. Its lifespan was 1 year before I ran out of space. I miss it a lot. So, today, I decided to write about what I keep in my journal and why I love it so much.

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First of all, my journal isn’t like most people’s journal. It doesn’t have a beginning, middle, end. It doesn’t follow a paragraph/sentence structure.

My thoughts often flutter incessantly and annoyingly. My journal captures it and shuts it up, giving it a sense of closure.

When I’m overwhelmed or stressed out, I sit down and write whatever comes to my mind. More often than not, I’m already thinking about these things, so what comes out on paper is a flurry of segments, undecipherable rubbish that makes perfect sense to only me. I start connecting my thoughts.

So- my writing looks like this:

Oh yeah, I also enjoy drawing stick figures. 😛

In my journal, I frequently assess myself. Where I’m at in life. Am I making a difference. Am I moving forward or at a standstill. This keeps me in check of whether or not my goals need to be adjusted.

After the general first thought, I reflect on the things I’ve accomplished in recent times, and whether I’m happy with it. Here, I specifically list activities that I’ve been pursuing lately. I write down everything worth noting.

Lately? I’ve been pursuing photography (very amateur, but please do check out my Instagram or Facebook for my recent photos!). My goal here is to capture pictures at an perception not thought of before. I have also been spending a lot of time exploring my own backyard in the mountains, and have been doing lots of hikes with my younger siblings.  

In my reflections, I also give note to life lessons I’ve learned. I enjoy writing reflection blog posts on my discovery of things in life that I did not understand before. It’s amazing to see the cultural differences between my parents’ generation (raised in Vietnam) and my younger siblings’ generation (raised in the United States).

When I’m not pondering my recent accomplishments, I turn to my future. I list my goals, my to-do list, my list of things to improve on. This is usually where I write down my next steps in career, travel destinations, new recipes to try, things to research, etc.


Travel notes

  • Here, I jot down a bullet list of the things that happen while traveling- and especially, my thoughts and feelings on them. I find that when I’m writing about blogs, it’s more difficult to remember what I felt while traveling versus the technical detail (which a quick google search can refresh my memory on).
  • try to come up with a blogging schedule, but it’s easier said than done. I get into inspirations and would write a blog post.

10 Things I’m Thankful For

Something I’ve picked up over the years, is that when I’m down, writing a list of things I’m grateful for gives me more purpose.

  • Family and loved ones
  • I appreciate where I’m at now, and my awareness of myself, my culture, my surroundings
  • I appreciate my small town in the mountains (which I cared for before)
  • Autumn and the beautiful photo opportunities
  • Classical music (which I’ve been listening to a lot lately)
  • Books – currently reading the Kite Runner
  • Food – I’m hoping to bake a pie for the first time this fall- eep!
  • Writing/blogging – and especially my fellow blogging friends. <3
  • The ability to do the things that I love
  • My future

Thanks for reading! This year, we’ve been getting into the Halloween spirit. Ready to take my siblings to go trick or treating! What’s on your journal/itinerary? Cheers to another beautiful autumn. <3

Here are some posts you might like!

Travel Planning and Stress

Ask anybody, I’m one of those people who enjoys travel planning, and end up packing each day with things to do.

I would want to sight-see, eat lunch at a place I checked out on Yelp, then go see a live music performances in a consecutive four hours of activity. I would constantly check my watch to see what’s next on my itinerary.

If this sounds familiar, raise your hand.

I mean, I try not to plan every single second of the trip, but I just get so excited that I want to do everything with every second of travel.

But if you’re anything like me, then doing activity one day after another can get overwhelming very quickly. This is especially true in the case of me planning several outings in the same day.

You do things up to the point where it doesn’t feel like vacation any more.

… Not only that…

When you travel with other people (like my boyfriend), things are not going to be on schedule all the time.

The bus is late. There is traffic. The event is longer than expected. Someone has a sudden emergency. The weather is doing its own thing. It goes on.

I’ve planned and planned trips around the world, and we have missed so many of those heavily planned days because it simply doesn’t always work out

How to Save Yourself

In situations like these, it is important to realize that everything will be okay. There’s nothing that needs to be done while your on vacation.

First. Don’t be like me. Don’t pack everything you want to do in all seven days of vacation. Leave a day or two free to just do anything that catches your fancy, spontaneity is half the fun. If you’re not a spontaneous person, then at least leave several of your mornings or nights free to kick back and relax.

Second. Realize that you stressing out makes it less enjoyable for everyone else. Nobody likes being rushed. Plan with plenty of time to spare in between to get ready. If you can’t relax and chill, group travel probably not for you.

Third. Always be ready for your plan to fail. Have one or two thing that you have to do (like going to a Queen + Adam Lambert concert), and plan for that.

Fourth. Wander around. You’ll definitely find something worthy of spending time to do.

Isn’t it the plan to spend time relaxing and pampering yourself anyway?


Thanks for reading, here are some posts from the Travel Blogging Challenge you might like!

Interested in participating in the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge? Feel free to make your own today!

Week 1:  A favorite travel photo of you and intro
Week 2: Little known tips
Week 3: Funny story
Week 4: Misadventures
Week 5: Top three cultural foods
Week 6: Unusual travel activities/photos
Week 7: Inspiration for traveling
Week 8: Five favorite travel blogs
Week 9: Gross/disgusting stories
Week 10: Best adventures while traveling
Week 11: What’s in your backpack?
Week 12: Happy and sad stories
Week 13: Unique cultures encountered
Week 14: Top three favorite destinations
Week 15: Travel regrets
Week 16: Scary and cool travel stories
Week 17: Things to purge
Week 18: Humbling things learned from traveling
Week 19: Confessions
Week 20: Travel bucket list (countries/activities)
Week 21: Your challenge post highlights and what you’ve learned during this challenge

One Lovely Blog Award!

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I would like to give the biggest, warmest hug to Avid Observer for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award. If you don’t know the Avid Observer, go check ’em out! Their blog features thought provoking life lessons, that are both humorous and inspiring! 

A Giant Thank You to you all. These bloggers posses their own unique styles of representing their thoughts. Do make sure to visit their Lovely blogs.

Rules:

  • Each nominee must thank the person who nominated them and link their blog in their post.
  • They must include the rules and add the blog award badge as an image.
  • Must add 7 facts about themselves.
  • Nominate 15 people to do the award!

7 Fun / interesting facts about me:

  • I believe that success in life is defined by: Experiences, Pursuing your Passions, Family and Friends, Learning/Improving/Evolving, Food, Travel, Music. PS: money is not part of the equation.
  • My current hobbies: Blogging, Cooking, Photography, Broadway Shows, TV Shows (Series of Unfortunate Events)
  • My favorite websites to peruse when I’m bored are: Quora, Daily Flight Deals, educational and self-improvement sites and articles. I believe social media is a huge time-drainer- I unfortunately use them more than I’d like. /sigh.

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  • I am Vietnamese, born in the Philippines, and live in the United States. My parents were refugees from the war and I am forever thankful of the life they gave me. I’m hoping to write a book called The Refugees’ Daughter (or The Refugee’s Child – which title is better??)
  • I have been vegetarian/vegan all my life. My mom is best chef in the world, and I’m still learning.
  • Though I’m not a great writer, I love to write. I organize my thoughts through writing, and would be lost without my journal. Most of my thoughts come out as a page full of hectic, gibberish writing, but it makes me productive. I was freaking out on the bus to NYC when I had forgotten my notebook at home (18 hours by bus away). PS: electronic journalism will never replace my physical notebooks. 

My Nominees:

Shout out to all my nominees! You guys are awesome, let’s have some fun!! <3

 

Spread the LOVE 🙂