In 2017, I set a goal to read 2 books a month and blog about them. Though I failed spectacularly on the blog front, I exceeded my reading goal by 2 books! Here's to reading 30 books in 2018. :)Read More
I moved to the city four months ago, and what a good, growing time its been.
Living in San Francisco has made it impossible to ignore the blatant disparity between the rich and the poor. On my commute to work, I walk past the same people experiencing homelessness every single day. I see the tents, the signs, the makeshift beds and the people scurrying past — right outside my office lobby. And when I badge in, I eat free catered lunches and dinners and complain about the rate fancy snacks are consumed. The dichotomy between these two worlds seems impossible to close. How can it be that in a city so innovative and wealthy, so many homeless line the streets?
What has helped me begin to process and bridge this gap is volunteering with DrawBridge. DrawBridge is a non-profit that provides free arts programs for homeless and other underserved youth at homeless shelters, safe houses and low-income housing sites. I’ve had the privilege of volunteering at one of these sites for three months now, and it has been an illuminating, rewarding experience.Read More
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
- Edgar Degas
Paying a visit to the Seto Inland Sea “art islands” in Japan was a profoundly moving and creatively rejuvenating experience. I’ve spent the last couple days reflecting on how deeply visiting these art islands has affected me. The perspective I have on my own work (among other things) has been transformed. And for that, I am endlessly grateful.Read More
Hello, my dear friends! Though I’ve completely obliterated the March deadline, I couldn’t be more excited to share last month’s powerful reads.Read More
As someone who fell in love with design unconventionally, I was struggling to find peers at UCSD that I could connect with over my passion for design. I wasn’t a Cognitive Science/HCI major — I studied Communication and minored in Economics & Art History. I wasn’t well versed in the Human Computer Interaction or Neuroscience courses, but I wanted a space where I could build community through design. Enter Design at UCSD. I was invited to join the Design at UCSD Facebook Group by a friend. Initially, I wasn’t really sure what the organization’s value to me was. As a new member, I was intrigued by the club, but a bit confused by what Design at UCSD was. I had so many questions — was it for me? How could I contribute? Do they do design work? And how do I even become a member?Read More
Hello, beloved friends! I was concerned this reading goal of mine would deteriorate rather quickly, but lo and behold, here we are in month two of A Year in Books! A little late, yes, but nonetheless, the existence of this blog post is a pleasant surprise. ;) Here are this month's three brilliant reads:Read More
Happy new year, dear friends! 2017 — the year I graduate, begin real life “adulthood,” and, hopefully, cultivate a continuing love for books. My goal this year is to read 2 books a month, and attempt to blog a bit about them! With a little extra time this month from winter break, I kicked off a year in books (thank you Zuck, for the title inspiration hehe) with 3 incredible reads:Read More
I can’t quite believe it’s already November. This semester is flying by (as semesters always do) — but this one in Tokyo feels especially fleeting. Senior year, stay a little longer, please?
My attempts to squeeze every second out of my time here in Tokyo have resulted in a balancing act between getting the most out of the city and making my way out of town. Two weeks ago, my friends and I went for the latter, and spent the weekend away in the mountains. Best. Decision. Ever. It was so rejuvenating, and a welcome break from the monotonous day to day routine that being a student can sometimes become. With Kshitij’s glowing recommendation, we travelled to the famed Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route in northern Japan. This route is a seven part sightseeing trek across the Tateyama Mountain Range (aka the Japan Alps), and takes an average of 6-8 hours to complete. Here’s a quick breakdown of our weekend trip (cleverly hashtagged #imallthewayalp by David).Read More
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you.”
― Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach
Visiting the city where the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped and detonated in 1945 was a powerful, emotional experience. It was by far one of the most important trips I’ve ever taken — and Bourdain’s words above couldn’t be truer: Hiroshima left a “mark on my memory, [and] on my consciousness.”Read More
Ohayo gozaimasu (good morning) all the way from Tokyo, Japan! As per usual, apologies for the lack of updates — my Evernote is filled with drafts of blog posts that have virtually developed a light coat of dust. So be forewarned: a bunch of #tbt blog posts are coming (is that a thing, blog world?) — from visiting the Glass House in Connecticut to summer adventures in Northern Europe.
Anyhow, what better way to start my senior year (!) of college than with one last adventure studying abroad in Japan? I feel so lucky to be living in one of the most futuristic, colorful and charming places in the world. From the high-tech conveyor belt sushi restaurants of Tokyo, to the gorgeous Japanese countryside, to the art islands in Southern Japan — I'm hoping to spend the next four months getting to know this beautiful country as best I can.Read More
Summer is here, finally! I’m so happy to be in back home in the Bay Area. Home is always a good idea, but even better when shared with the sweetest friends. Last weekend, I got to explore Santa Cruz with my creative soul sister Mariel, who showed me around Brooklyn earlier this year. I’m so happy she’s in town for the summer, and secretly ecstatic that we pried her away from NYC ;). To celebrate her summer in the Bay, we squeezed an entire weekend’s worth of activities into a single day (probably thanks to the Philz we picked up before our quick car ride, ha!).Read More
In between binge watching (aka giggling ridiculously at) The Office and recovering from an untimely bout of laryngitis, I’ve been meaning to blog about my recent travels to beautiful Brazil!
South America has always been on my bucket list — and getting to see Rio de Janeiro putting its tuxedo on and gettin’ all jazzed up for the 2016 Summer Olympics was dreamy. To top it off, I got to take this trip with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Alice. Alice is one of the most fearlessly ambitious people I know — and does casual things like write for Fast Company and New York Magazine. Oh, and also, casual things like moving to Lima, Peru (!) with Hope International for a one-year missions trip post-graduation (I know. My friends are the coolest). I couldn’t resist visiting Alice during her year working abroad, and when we decided to meet up in Brazil, I knew this was going to be a spring break to remember. And indeed it was. :)Read More
Seattle, last weekend, was so wonderful. So many things we ate! So many things we heart-eye'd over! And so much laughter — the kind that only comes from catching up with the best of friends.
Evelyn, Caleb, Sam and I flew out from all over California to meet up for a weekend in Seattle. This weekend was a long time coming — with attempts to get the four of us together in Seattle beginning two years (!) ago. And it finally happened! A miracle indeed, especially given all of our crazy calendars. We’ll have to start planning our next trip now ;).Read More
Two whole months (!) with crickets here on the blog. I’m trying to get better at this documenting-my-life-via-a-blog thing — but adjusting back to the grind of junior year has been unwaveringly busy. Nonetheless, I’m excited to squeeze in a blog out of my recent travels to New York City. I’ve been to NYC 5 or 6 times over the last few years (thank you for living there, Chris hehe), but still can’t get enough!
My first day in town, I met up with the lovely Mariel, whose work and writings I admire immensely. She planned a Brooklyn date for us that made me fall madly in love with Greenpoint and good ol’ Willy-B!Read More
Hands down the most difficult thing for me to get used to in London?
Not the driving on the left, or the let’s-jaywalk-everywhere-cause-its-not-illegal mentality, or the English slang (like "I’m queueing up to top-up my oyster" aka I’m waiting in line to put money on my public transit card). Yes, school (or Uni as they say here). :)Read More
This past week, I turned 21 (wooooohoo! even though the legal drinking age here in London is 18… hehe). It was a milestone birthday nonetheless, and to celebrate, I hosted a Pinterest-inspired wine and cheese party for my flatmates and London friends.
In preparation for the party, I spruced up my teensy flat kitchen with some flowers, a banner, candles and of course, tons of fun complements to the wines and cheeses (including prosciutto, salami, crackers, figs, honey, jams, peach chutney, red and green grapes, lemon tarts, chocolates, granola, baguettes, a freshly decorated cake and of course, nutella!). I asked each guest to bring a wine and cheese pairing for the group to try. I had absolutely zero idea which wines and cheeses paired well together so I referred my friends to Passport and Pancakes' "How to Host a Wine & Cheese Party" post. This blog post did us wonders!Read More
Wahhh— has it really been more than a month since my last update? Major apologies for the crickets on the blog — it’s been such a hectic couple weeks juggling traveling and attempting to be a student (anyone else out there cramming in psets before plane rides?!). Since my last update, I’ve explored cities outside my London home (Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor to be exact), been enamored by Monet in Paris, blown away by the beauty of Iceland, and charmed by the weather and food of Spain and Portugal.
But for now, a recap on the sunniest, yummiest and most glorious weathered places I’ve been thus far: Spain and Portugal! My friends and I planned a 10-day trek across Spain and Portugal for reading week. Yes, “reading" week, aka the time that UCL gives us to catch up on our assignments (aka, an extended travel break for us exchange students heh). Over the course of our trip, we had so many memorable outings — way too many to recall here — but here were some of my highlights:Read More
In between my attempts at being a student again (you guys. I haven’t studied in so long — the struggle is real) and going on weekend trips, I’m trying to remind myself to really get to know my absolutely phenomenal home base: London, England.
London is so special to me. It stood out to me on a trip to Europe with my family three years ago and I knew I wanted to come back ever since. There’s something so historical and grand, yet modern and artistic about this place. The gorgeous clothes, rich coffee, iconic transportation, British accents (*sigh*), buildings seeped in years of history, the little “look right” or “look left” block letters painted on the ground that tell you which way to look before you cross because of their whole drive-on-the-left thing — I love it all. Today, I walked to my art history lecture at the National Gallery (in Trafalgar Square, which has this killer view of the Big Ben) and just felt so, so lucky to be studying here. Who gets to do this!? I don’t ever want it to end!!Read More
And just like that, trip number two is in the books! This let’s-go-to-two-countries-in-one-weekend thing is so much fun — and I must admit, a little exhausting. Nevertheless, so much was eaten, learned, and appreciated whilst in Antwerp, Belgium and Amsterdam, Netherlands. We lucked out with the weather this weekend -- it felt like I was back in San Francisco with gorgeous clear skies, crazy wind-hair and a flight delay due to fog (Karl — is that you?!).Read More
A big hello from Europe! It’s been a hurricane lately — from spending time with my mama, auntie, cousin and her lovely husband in Zurich, to moving in and meeting fellow exchange students and locals from London — the last couple weeks have felt like a travelers’ dream.
I left London as hurriedly as I arrived — my fellow University of California exchange students and I spontaneously planned a trip to the beautiful Scandinavian city of Copenhagen, Denmark.
We picked Copenhagen, Denmark on a whim and booked tickets two days (!!) before we were scheduled to depart. Copenhagen was so different from any other place I’ve ever visited, and I fell head over heels for the quiet serenity, cobblestone lined streets (albeit difficult to walk on), romantic canals and pastel colored houses. The herds of flawlessly dressed bikers on the streets (with their adorable bikes with woven baskets) and the beauty of Scandinavian design took my breath away. I wanted to refurnish my entire room with the mid-century modern pieces in the stores here! Everything and everyone is so darling — it's no wonder that it was named the happiest place on earth. Although I could go on and on and on about how much I loved this Scandinavian capital, here were my four favorites from Copenhagen:Read More