Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry

From The Daily Post.

I dug this up in the very deep photo archives.

I really need to put my photos in an external hard drive.

Anyways this is from hotel window from Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan from 2007. It’s been years since I’ve been there. Thinking about coming back just to enjoy a little more (I only had BARELY two days there :-/). I remembered when I first got to Tokyo, I remember how it was clean, not because there was almost no trash on the floor, but also how the shapes in the urban planing was clean.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

From Daily Post

April 2012

The first picture I took when I was going to South East Asia. First stop, a long layover at Hong Kong.

It’s the picture of the sunrise from the plane and we were about to land within an hour. I remembered that initial feeling of excitment and adventure mixed with refreshing and free — something I haven’t felt in a long time. I remembered the “rules” people told me…

Person A: don’t talk to anyone you don’t know.
Boyfriend’s sister-in-law: (snickers) she’ll have no one to talk to!
Me: you don’t know what you’re talking about!

Why are people who have never traveled before (or even left town for the weekend) giving me advice? When I was in the plane heading for Hong Kong, I thought “thank god I don’t have to listen to their rules being thousands of miles away.”

May 2012, Anza Borrego Part II

The following day, I woke up because it got so hot. Had breakfast and went to the mud caves. Yes, it’s literally made out of mud — not stalagmites or stalactites. Just mud. It reminds me of my many attemps in making sand castles but it was really just a bucket of wet sand with random holes I poked with sticks. Never made an awesome sandcastle like this:


(source: Wikipedia)
More like:

(source)

Unfortunately we were only there for two hours because it got too hot.

A couple week before our camping trip, on the news, there was a UCSD student missing and they found his body in the mud caves. When we were there exploring, there were markers all over the place from the search-and-rescue team indicating they were here. Losing your group and having them not find you is actually my biggest fears. I rememered the days coming towards the camping trip, I thought I would fall into a hole and get stuck for so many hours waiting…waiting…waiting. It would be the worst possible situation since it’s 100+ degrees outside. Anyways, moral of the story: always stick with the group.

I believe it’s very easy to lose people or break away from the group in the mud caves. When we were on top of the caves, there were all these holes and if you trip, you might fall into one of the holes. These holes may look small but they might have a crazy deep drop. I’m not sure how one would get out? By digging themselves out or rope — but you don’t know how far you’ve gone. Plus there was ABSOLUTELY not cell phone reception.

When my boyfriend went out to scout around and told us to stay behind for a bit and he comes back asking if we heard him and we said we didn’t. He said he yelled for us several times but then decided to go back and fetch us. So you see, it’s very easy to lose yourself in Anza Borrego.

Here is Part I.

July 2012 according to my phone

Wow, what a month and I ended it with a burn out. In a good way of course! So much to do but I decided to limit my months according to my phone to 10 photos.

Ideally I did want to finish my PM courses by the end of July but it looks like I’ll lock myself for the month of August to finish the course. I’m 60% done with the courses and I do want to hit myself but then again, I think I did a lot of fun stuff in July.

Btw, on instagram (@itsjuliebear) I am doing the daily photo challenge for August. Hope I don’t forget a day!

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Started the month off with the Del Mar fair. Didn’t eat as much fatty food this year. This year we only tried the bacon wrapped mushrooms stuffed in gouda. This can be easily made.

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I went to NYC earlier this year. How would I describe my trip? YOLO.
FYI, this just less than 1% of the pictures here. I am determined to upload all my travel photos and share by August or maybe…I should take my time. Like I tell myself, it’s like reliving my trips.

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Went to a TEDxAFC event. It was AMAZING! I would’ve never guessed I would stay 10 hours at one place. Still waiting for the videos and I can’t wait to share!

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Got this mug from UncommonGoods.com. I think it’s cute and would like to collect the rest but my roommate and my boyfriend think it’s weird and creepy to find a little animal in your mug.

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View of Mission Bay from the freeway.

I know I said I was going to share 10, but I want to to squeeze a sneak peek of my Sequoia trip.

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The hiking boots — actually they’re army boots my boyfriend was pushing me to wear. He was even pushing me to practice in them too so I wouldn’t get blisters (girls and heels and blisters are quite a common thing honey). Kept forgetting and finally gave them a test run the day before the trip which was meeting my friends for happy hour. No you don’t do a lot of walking in happy hour, just  wore them just to say I wore them at least once before the trip.

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

II

III

IV

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

III

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


I

II

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!

ONLY 48 HOURS IN VIETNAM!!

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 :-).

Our first couch surfer!

Wednesday night, my roommate went to North Park for a Couch Surfing event.

Did not know that Couch Surfing had events.

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(source: johnbritton.com)

Before I get myself ahead, Couch Surfing is an international network of travelers connecting with locals. It’s a great alternative (and cheap) alternative to hotels and a tour guide. I was first told about Couch Surfing back in 2010, my friend from NorCal came to visit me told me this: “want to get acclimated everywhere you go? Try couch surfing.” It was in the back of my mind until one day another friend from college and her boyfriend decided to take this year long road trip and I hosted them when I was in San Diego. I took them around the city, to the bars, the beaches, and Balboa Park and I thought it was a lot of fun. I decided maybe this couch surfing thing was not a bad idea after all.

Go to present day, honestly, I was never as active as I thought until recently. My current roommate also has a couch surfing account and he has been a couch surfer himself.

So anyways, my roommate went to the couch surfing event because he wanted to meet fellow travelers. He actually thought the event was just a travelers only meet up. He hangs out and walks back to his car and but he stops and talks to more people and then someone said he needed a place to stay for a couple nights and that was when my roommate decided to take him in.

He’s from Wales but he was teaching in Korea for a year and is on his way back to his home country the long way by exploring the U.S. It  was really exciting to have a traveler in our apartment. We look forward to hosting more. We were sad that last night was our last night hosting him. I didn’t think the past two nights just were not enough to spend more time with our traveler.

Actually correction, the first night he knocked out as soon as he got to our place and so it was really one night to hang out with him.

I was so excited talking about hosting foreigners but, the objectives I’ve got was “he better not be a robber.”

Wrong crowd. The art of being a traveler is that your intuition become better but yet you learn how to take risks. We have had messages from people whon were interested staying at our place but we knew based on our correspondences, they were not a good match.

Or “if couch surfing is so great, then why do we stay at hotels?”

Wrong crowd. Couch surfing isn’t exactly family oriented. It’s mainly for young travelers usually solo or maybe two people. Don’t know any couches that can dorm a whole family.

Wish more people could share my excitement. Maybe that’s why I write. I write about what it mean to be a twenty-something– it’s about being excited about life. I’ll draw more upon that later.