Compiling my South East Asia entries

It took me a while to get around making entries for every single city I visited but I DID IT!

So to make it more organized here it goes :-)

1) Hong Kong





I wasn’t too crazy about Hong Kong. Wanted to leave early and head to Bangkok–which I did!

2. Bangkok

Ia, Ib

IIa, IIb


This city was so much fun! Wish I stayed longer! Didn’t get a chance to go to the floating markets though, a princess died the week of my arrival. Until next time Bangkok (and maybe explore a couple other cities in Thailand too!)

3. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Day one

Angkor Wat: A, B

Day two

Check out photobucket for more pictures!

4) Phnom Penh



We arrived here on Khmer New Year. Significantly less locals because they all went back to their hometown this time of year.
And this was how I learned avocados don’t grow abundantly in South East Asia.

More Phnom Penh Pics.

5) Sihanoukville

More at photobucket.

6) Chau Doc

Photobucket album

7) Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Photobucket Album

So here is the condensed list folks! Enjoy!

Think I got bitten by the travel bug–ouch!

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam — ONLY LESS THAN 24 HOURS FOLKS!

This is the last of the South East Asia series. Coming up is the weekend trip at Anza Borrego.

If you ever been to Paris, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is a little reminiscent of Paris. We arrived at 13:00 and I left the following morning at 7:30 because my flight was at 11. Would like to stick around HCMC longer but my boyfriend has never been to Vietnam and I didn’t want to spoil it for him.

Road to Saigon.

Crossing the Delta.

View from my hotel

City Hall

Opera House

Post Office

Interior of Notre Dame

Interior of the Ben Thanh Market.

My last night. In fact, everyone was going separate ways. Some were going back to their home country, some decided to explore Vietnam on their own. Some stuck with the group all the way through Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.

The following morning on the way to the airport. Thought this motorbike picture was funny. You’ll see plenty of motorbikes with families and their dogs like it’s us American families (plus dog) in our mini-van!

For more pictures check-out my photobucket!

Stepping up to the plate

During lunch I was checking through my Facebook on my phone and on my newsfeed I see “Ted? That movie looks great! Haha!” Then below that caption there was “” — my heart skipped a beat and I said “no way!” Hopefully no one heard that!

TEDxAFC shared my blog post on their Facebook. I am so honored. My boyfriend is the only one who shares my blog on his Facebook and I tell him to delete it because I am really shy.

I am just an average girl with an average blog. My blog is basically a really long postcard shared with my friends of pictures of places I’ve been and recording my experiences and aspirations.

At lunch time, the first thing I did was text my boyfriend and my friend Nataly the crazy news. Never been shared by anyone before, except for my boyfriend.

They asked me, “what are you going to do now?”

I said, “I don’t know.”

I was really nervous to say anything so I went on twitter because I was too coy to post on Facebook saying “that’s me!”

Maybe I was nervous to step up on Facebook because I did not want everyone’s feed to say hey “Julie’s got a blog!!”

Nataly asks “don’t you want everyone to know about your blog?”

I’ve been writing on blogs since high school and I never write for the intention of attention, I write simply for myself. Like I said, I only write my experiences and my aspirations and share pictures I’ve taken from my adventures. I do it for the sake of preserving memories.

Then finally I decided to step up and say “thanks for posting my blog!” on the Facebook post. It felt nice letting it out.

Anyways thank you TEDxAFC for the recognition! Means I need to post more consistently.

Anyways, my boyfriend and I are on our way, driving to Sequoia. We will be backpacking and hiking for the weekend. Don’t know of there’s going to be any reception. So folks, follow me on twitter (@itsmejulie) and/or instagram (@itsjuliebear) for my adventures in real-time :-p.

Turning red…

Last week, my friend who is moving to the Bay Area gave me her dwarf bell peppers and tomato plant.

Here is the dwarf bell pepper plant a week later.

My challenge is taking care of the tomato plant. The problem is that I live in the third floor and we get so many hours of sun. I placed it on the AC generator but the leaves kept drying, I then put it underneath the awning where it gets SOME shade during the day. It’s looking better…but I still need to trip the dried and wilted leaves so the tomato plant can form new, green leaves. Goods news is that it’s starting to form flowers.

But ugh! Thursday night, I’m going to Sequoia and I won’t come back until Sunday afternoon. Might give my tomato plant a lot of water before I go on vacation. I want to give it to my roommate but I think he’s got an unlucky touch when it comes to plants. After three plants later, they’re all dead. Maybe, I  can just hope for rain.

So yes, the other announcement is that I’m going to Sequoia for the weekend! Yay!

How has your summer been so far?


Here I go again still posting pictures from Southeast Asia even though it’s been 3 months. That’s crazy how time went by so fast. I promise I’ll compile a more organized list of the places I went in Southeast Asia.

Even though it’s been 3 months since my SEA trip, I’ll think of posting these as reliving my moments.

I still keep in touch with the people I traveled with on Facebook and I remember one mentioned they were going to the Bahamas with family over the summer before the new school year starts and the other one was going to be in Australia after spendin 3 months volunteering in South Africa.

I was so excited to leave Sihanoukville and we took a van to Chau Doc, Vietnam. If you’re from Vietnam, you probably have heard of Chau Doc — it’s a small town by the delta and it’s a good overnight stop leaving from Cambodia going to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) City. This is my second to last city before heading back home.

We took a van all the way to the Cambodia-Vietnam border and walked across the border. I think it’s an awesome feeling WALKING from one country to another. Sounds dorky, I mean there is no line or a big flashy sign saying “Welcome to (name of country)” but just the idea of WALKING to a country feels adventurous already. Something brag-worthy to tell your friends. So far in my trip, I have walked the Thailand-Cambodia border and the Cambodia-Vietnam border.

Also when crossing the Cambodia-Vietnam border, the scenery just changes. Vietnam was more greener — maybe because it is a coastal country.

On the way

Crossing the Cambodia-Vietnam Border

Town of Chau Doc

The fish market

1 dollar pho (1 dollar = 20,000 dong)

We rented a motorcycle and rode to the top of the mountain and admire the sunset

For more pictures check out my photobucket!

It was just a simple day of relaxing and just slow traveling. The night ended with karaoke :-).


On Saturday July 14th, I went to the La Jolla Playhouse for the TEDxAFC (America’s Finest City) and I had a lot of fun. Didn’t think I’d stay in one place for the whole ten hours. I checked-in at 11 am and didn’t leave until 9 pm.

It was a great event. Met so many amazing people in one day — the founder of Stone Brewery, a man who created the Tupac Hologram, the Marco Polo of neuroscience, Sociologist studying the Tijuana and San Diego border, a paraplegic who has climbed up 2,500 ft and skied the whole way, a rocket scientist who has reminded me the importance of journaling, and a yoga instructor who has taught us to live in our truth. I’m currently waiting for the videos to post up so I can share them with you, don’t think I’m done naming all the amazing people I met and heard them speak that day!

I am so disappointed in people never hearing TED talks and it’s kind of hard to explain what TED talks are without sounding pretentious or snobby (one of my biggest peeves because everyone assumes I am — more on that later).

Example would be when my frend asked what I was doing for the weekend last week.

Me: I’m going to a TEDx event?

Friend: Oh my gosh! You’re going to see “Ted” (as in the teddy bear movie). It looks so funny!

Me: (pause) No. TEDx event.

Friend: What’s that?

Me: It’s just a lecture from people.

Friend: What kind of people?

Me: (pause) Really smart people.

It became a little awkward from there.

Didn’t exactly know how to explain what TED was and I wanted to sound like it’s an exciting event to go to. I told her that I was going with friends (which I was) who also like to listen to TED talks online (which is true) just to make it sound like it’s the latest trend when really, the trend is that a lot more people I know have never heard of TED.

It was relief when I was at the TEDxAFC event because I was telling someone how I had a hard time explaining what TED is about and the person I met felt the same way too.

How would you explain what TED is all about?

My little standby

As I was packing for NYC and figuring out what to wear, I came across this dress:


This dress does not look very flattering on the hanger but it does flatter on the body and I think on ANY BODY!

I bought this dress in Target back when I was a freshmen in college trying to look for a dress for an end-of-the-year banquet. Wasn’t too sure when I first saw it on the hanger but when I tried it in the fitting room, it looked really nice on me.

Since then I’ve had it hibernating in my closet and haven’t worn it as much as I thought I would. I’ve bought other dresses too and wear it several times more and then they go into the pile to send to Goodwill by the end of the year but not this dress. The thing I love about this dress is that adding a pink sweater or a white sweater or even jewelry or a belt or a different pair of shoes transforms this outfit. I guess this dress has another few more years to go.

Got any wardrobe staples that just STAY in your closet?