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Bangkok, Thailand Part I

February 19, 2018


Cinq a Sept crop top
Marques Almeida skirt
Staud purse
Quay sunglasses

There was so much about Bangkok, Thailand that I still can’t get out of my head. And it’s been almost a month since our trip. I spoke before about how special it was for me to be able to take time from my work schedule to travel with my parents across the world to see family and take a few days to discover this city that is new to us. It was very important for me to make this time. And it was a time that was unforgettable. To this day, my parents and I still laugh about all the thing we saw and did in Bangkok. None of us have been before, so we weren’t sure exactly what to expect. We did know that it was going to be loud and bustling. But man, was it a thousand times more than what we just imagined. The city truly is alive. Larger than life. Almost turned upside down on its head with hecticness. Walking down the street was always a process. Everyone going this way and that way. Even under the humidity, the city never succumbed to a lazy sort of slowing down that sometimes overcomes NYC in the summer. The people friendly and always wanting to spark conversation. We started to know some of the tuk tuk drivers on the street of our hotel by name. They all wanted to know where we are from. If we want them to take us here and there. The fed us bits and pieces of Thai history and culture. Maybe they just wanted that extra tip, but that didn’t matter. We wear learning and taking it all in.

It was astonishing how plentiful food was. The most plentiful out of any city I have been, too. This made me happy to see, in a country where the locals make very little income, a family could always eat. And really good food at that. Pad See Ew was my dish of choice, with a bottle of Singha beer on the side to cool me down. One of our favorite restaurants was a tiny family own one on a side street close to Khao San Road. It literally like eating in a family’s kitchen. Fresh and traditional and super cheap. Exactly how it should be. Our stomachs drove this trip, that’s for sure. In a place where spices lead, one must always allow the tastebuds to try it all. We never started our days with an exact plan, just a general idea, and that was a nice change. Bangkok is large, and it’s stressful thinking about all the millions of ways to fit it all in. Instead we took our time exploring. Our strides were slow. In the end, what we fit into our three days in Bangkok felt like it was exactly what we were meant to see. No worries or regrets about not being able to see it all. And like that, the days felt long. And every night contained a heavy sleep. And that meant we had a good day. 

Despite the noise, the terrible traffic and the sometimes dirty nooks and crannies of this hectic city, I felt myself right at home. It’s hard for me to describe really. But the feeling that I love the most out of traveling is the one that makes me feel small within this world. It brings me down to earth the closest I can be to it. To know a place like Bangkok exists, yet far, far way there is also New York City, and Los Angeles, and everywhere else that we may never get to explore in our lifetime . . . all existing at the same time. Just thinking about it, bursts my bubble of the life that I live in. It stops the action of the world revolving around my routines. It makes me just stop and think . . . WOW. My story is just one of many, many stories. And it just keeps going and going. That is what fascinates me. And the conversations about culture. Political realities. The lack of freedom of speech. Environmental changes. The media. How our world effects theirs, and vice versa if we really stop to realize it. So much of what we learned about Thailand came from our conversations we had with our drivers (we used the app Grab to get around). We heard so many honest opinions about life in Thailand. The king. The day to day life and struggle. The poor air pollution. Perspectives about what it means to be an American. How much many Thai people would love to come to America, but cannot because of the cost. The exchanges made everything about this trip worth it. To see the world through the eyes of others. The world keeps turning, people keep on living in their own unique ways, and no one is more important than the other. Different yes. But no less important. The world’s differences, from Thailand to NYC and everywhere else, is beautiful. And there is still so much more to see. 


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The Importance of Family

January 31, 2018

When I had my crystals read a few weeks back, it felt very close to heart indeed. My crystal reader brought up the subject of family to me quite a lot. It just happened that the next day I was to embark on a 10 day journey with both my parents. It has been quite a while since the three of us took a trip together without Natalie. Natalie had to cancel last minute because of work, but I decided to keep my travel plans locked. I was looking forward to some well spent, quality time with my parents, both of whom I love so, so very much. My parents are both very different people, but they complement each other so well, and I see so many parts of myself in each of them. As I’ve grown older, I understand them so much more, and vice versa. The way a family grows stronger with time, it is a beautiful way of blooming. Quality time like this is quite rare in between my work schedule and other travels throughout the year, so this trip was very important to me. My parents are getting older, even though there spirits are so young that they seem not much older than myself, I know time flies and I want to make the most of the time that I have with them. They are in fact, my favorite people. And I owe so much of who I am to them. As an adult, I want to give them everything. Even more than what they have given me. Because they deserve it.

Now back to the crystal reading. She told me that in the years to come, family was going to be one of the most important things in my life. I told her how excited I was about my trip to Asia to visit my mom’s side of the family. I told her how important it was for me to see my parents more. To talk to them more on the phone and update them on my life more regularly. To treat them more like friends, rather than parents. To take the time to hear their perspectives on things and allow them to reflect alongside with me. To be more patient and respectful with them, unlike when I was a teenager. The crystal reader told me that I needed to find more focus on the things that I held passion for, because then I would truly be great. And she told me, that I am the type of person who must always be happy with the things she does in life. And that in fact is very true. I’ve quit jobs in the past because I was unhappy. I remove myself from situations and from friendships where I find myself doubting myself. When I find myself feeling empty over something, I always step back to breathe and figure out a practical way to make things better. And I always follow through.

I found myself so happy on this trip in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok with my parents. It was one of the most refreshing trips to date, even though we were jet lagged and low on sleep. I was glad that my dad was able to come to this part of the world again after 10 years. He needed this vacation. He has been a hard worker his entire life, and chose to work over take time off most times. But this past year, because of personal family stuff, his perspective changed. My father wanted to enjoy life more. Work less. And I saw how much my mom’s face lit up whenever we gathered around the home of her mother’s, with her sisters and brothers who she only gets to see on rare trips like this. She was in her element. It made me happy to see both my parents so content, as we hotel hopped and jumped around from relative’s houses, stayed up late to eat food from Malaysia’s diverse cultural background. My family life is a unique experience, and I feel blessed to say that it is mine. I only find myself in Kuala Lumpur once every few years (or even longer than that), but I find so much of that feeling of home in this city. Almost as much as I find that feeling in Los Angeles and New York City. In a way, one can say I feel it even more so in KL. Maybe it has to do with the reason that we are not as close to my father’s side of the family in LA, and that made us find comfort in the family that we do have all across the world. 

I promised my parents that we need more trips like these. All of us together, with Natalie. To see as much of the world as we can together, as a family. Because who knows how much longer we have to do so. The world is so full of adventure and the unknown and other magical things that has the potential to take our breathes away time and time again. I want to experience all of these, but differently each time, in a different place. With the people I will love and trust for the rest of my life. This is my main goal in life. And hopefully, these stories will be passed on, never to be lost in the shuffle. But retold in ways that make them unforgettable. This trip certainly was unforgettable for me. It was precious. Imperfectly perfect. Offbeat in the most wonderful way. And I think we all learned so much. Until next time.


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The British Countryside

November 7, 2017


All looks by M Missoni

Some pictures that didn’t make it to Instagram during our stay at Soho Farmhouse in the British countryside. We had a really love two nights in our cottage on the farmhouse grounds with the lovely Julie of M Missoni. It was a little autumn escape right at the beginning of the season. At this point, autumn didn’t yet hit New York City, so being in this environment where a sweater was much needed was quite the treat. Autumn is really my season! The cottage was decorated so warmly and quaintly. Fully equipped with a fireplace, a tub meant for a long bubble bath, the refrigerator full of cakes and other savory treats, this abode was very hard to leave. Basically, this was a fancier version of what I’m used to on my upstate New York retreats. That English flair came across through and through, starting with a morning cup of tea. Then came the knitted sweaters. The wellies. The striped cat in the garden in bloom. A boat ride under cloudy gray skies. Our very first horseback ride through grassy green. Yes I got hit in the face by a branch, but I most definitely survived and enjoyed a good gallop. It didn’t rain enough for it to pass as truly British enough, but I think I did my first English countryside trip right. 

The current fall collection by M Missoni that Natalie and I wore fit the Soho Farmhouse in everywhere. In fact, it literally went hand in hand. The earthy, rustic colors brought to life the everlasting green and muted tones of the farmhouse grounds. I like to describe the collection as wearing a warm fireplace that you never want to take off. It’s the changing of colors in every way, and especially so with every knit. The colors. The patterns. The richness. It was made to be worn exactly where we were. Soho Farmhouse. A fancy mind/body recharge for the fashionably conscious. We rode horses. We took a cycling class. We wore M Missoni. Now that’s what you call a modern day retreat. Thank you M Missoni for having Natalie and I on this mini escape. 


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A Coastal Spectrum

November 6, 2017


M Missoni dress
Fendi purse
Cutler and Gross sunglasses
By Far boots

Daylights Saving’s Time has ended and night is already falling upon us at around 4:30pm. The black of hole of winter is staring at us from a far, inching closer day by day. At least I have these warm weather Southern California memories to keep me toasty during the upcoming months. Hehe. Blue, blue skies are a lingering highlight from back home, and I’m happy that I get to find happy homes to match them whenever I visit. Looking at pictures of myself like this, sometimes makes me wonder why I decided to choose NYC over staying in California. But then I realize . . . just having a taste of back home every now and then is enough for me. For now at least. I’ve been through six east coast winters, which feels like enough to drive a person nuts, but here I am. Still here. Stick kicking. Still finding new places to see and new people to meet in this city. And summer comes again and I forget winter ever happened. Winter on the east coast has its charms, of course. So many reasons to stay in and enjoy the company of oneself, a book, a lover. So much more time to focus on simple things that we sometimes forget about when we are out and about in this city that never stops buzzing. Even just one flame of a simple candle makes me feel so at home. Winter gives us that. And a glass of wine to go with it. And you know what, that is pretty awesome. 

But still, California has a lot going for it. It’s just different sort of things. Things that make it a world within a world all on its own. And that is a part of me, too. The sunshine and bold colors and the matcha lattes and grain bowls and the barefoot walks by the beach. Friends and family. There’s always a reason for me to eventually go back. All I know for sure, is that I have two homes now. I don’t think I can ever give one up for the other. But having them the way I do now . . . well, that makes me a lucky girl. 


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