Marriage Lessons #1

photo credit: studio kibo

It’s been six months (minus three days) since Will and I got ~*married*~! Time really flies, huh?

I think it’s easy for people to view older couples as jaded. Like once you’re a certain age, it’s easy to lose interest in your partner. Some people feel that a successful marriage doesn’t last forever. There is a Humans of New York post where the subject said, “If you talk to most people my age, and they’re really being honest, they’ll tell you that they’re dissatisfied with their partner. But then they’ll shrug their shoulders and say: ‘Where else am I going to go?’” That painted a really depressing picture of the future for me. It’s not that I disagree some people’s relationships may get exhausted over time. But to assume that the majority of marriages go downhill is super discouraging!

When I was working as a Costco vendor, though, I had the privilege of meeting some really fantastic older couples. You can really tell when two people are happy together. They have a special type of rapport that outsiders might not fully understand. There’s a way they smile and look at each other, even when talking about boring things like what type of cheese to get. Once couple started telling me about their marriage once. I had told them I was about to get married. The way they were so nostalgic and excited when looking back on their relationship was so encouraging. Even more encouraging was how joyful and content they were in the present. I could tell they were still going strong.

Not that I’m an expert or anything, but I’m sure everyone can agree that a successful marriage doesn’t follow any single specific formula. People are different. The way people communicate isn’t always the same. Circumstances change. You can’t account for it all. It’s really easy to judge what you think other people are doing wrong in their relationships, but my gosh, when it comes to YOUR relationship? It’s so easy to believe you’re always right! Your partner is wrong! And why can’t they just agree and listen and follow what you’re saying?! This goes for both men and women, by the way. Basically, everyone sucks.

My biggest takeaway from observing and chatting with other couples is that relationships should be ever-growing. If a relationship isn’t growing, then there’s no room for it to strengthen. With no room for strengthening, the foundation of a relationship becomes weak. And a weak relationship can only live for so long. Relationships are meant to be challenged, to grow, and to change for the better, but only if you let it. So, anyway, here are 3 big lessons I’ve learned so far, that I wish I’ll keep in mind in hopes of a successful marriage: Continue Reading


Five Days in Seoul, South Korea

me nerding out in front of the coffee prince coffee shop 😀

Seoul is a lot like being in LA, but with a convenient metro system. Everyone is really stylish and it sort of makes you embarrassed to not look your best. It was such a different feel from Vietnam, where we flew in from, which was raw and grungy. Seoul is hip, fresh, and modern…not to mention, the traffic-laws seem more up to date!

The first thing I noticed when we got off the place in Seoul was the temperature. It was cold! Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam were all hot and humid, and that was the type of weather we had packed for. Fortunately, we had our new custom-tailored jackets that we had just bought in Hanoi. We planned our trip here to match up at a good time to visit his Uncle, and we also got to catch up with my friend, Zoe, whom I hadn’t seen since I met her…6 or 7 years ago? Crazy. As always, I love meeting up with friends in new places; actually, I’ve come to realize that I generally like going out to eat with more people than just Will and I, because that means we can order a wider variety of food 😀

As with every trip that’s under a week, I regretted not being able to stay in Seoul longer.  We stumbled upon a lot of random street fairs and festivals, so there’s always something going on and always something to see. There are so many other parts of Korea that I want to visit, and things to see/do/eat, but I can safely say that I had a good first-round this time. I ate all my favorite foods, bought enough skincare products for a whole year, and got to spend time with some of the best people.

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Birthday #27 (& 7 Things I’ve Learned)

living my dream life

This past Saturday was my 27th birthday! Will and I went to Taipei’s National Palace Museum, and then ate our way through Shilin Nightmarket with my cousins. Yesterday, we celebrated some more by spending the night at a hot springs resort. We bought a sushi platter and a tiramisu from the nearby Costco to eat in the hot tub. #dreamlife!

I’m excited because 27 is my favorite number, so that means it’s going to be a great year. I am now in the advanced stage of my late 20s, and feeling pretty great. Growing up is kind of crazy – I’ve always thought that, as we grow older, we start to get our shit together. I think part of getting older is realizing that that is not true, and, actually, no one really knows what they’re doing. Even the people who seem like that have it all together…there’s always something going on. You just never know.

This year was a really great one. Left a job that made me unhappy, and excelled at a new one in a short amount of time. Got married. Traveled A LOT. Picked up a freelance job. I’m so lucky. I love my life.

I’m sure I could list 27 things I’ve learned in my lifetime up until now, but that’s a little excessive, so here’s 7 things I’ve learned (and am still learning) from the past 27 years. Continue Reading


Street Markets of Old Phuket Town + Last Day Lagoons

Cost Breakdown: 5 days, 5 nights in Old Phuket Town, Thailand

Accommodation – $126 total for 5 nights
Transportation – $42 total (taxi from Thalang to Old Town; tuk-tuk to weekend market; taxi to airport)
Food/Drinks for five days – $45/person
Attractions/Activities – $160/person (3 massages + John Gray’s Hong by Starlight boat tour)

Total: $373/person

Will and I spent the remainder of our time in Thailand in Old Phuket Town. Our first day was uniquely rainy – the river next to our hotel actually flooded and spilled into the roads! The water blocked off the happening part of town for a couple days, but we found things to do in other directions. When we booked our initial flight to Asia, we knew that we were coming during rainy season, but this was only the second time in our whole trip we had a day-changing downpour. The silver lining, though, is that the rest of our time in Thailand felt just a little bit cooler temperature than the rest – still grossly humid, just not as sunny.

A lot of people visit Phuket for its beaches and islands. Old Town is, by contrast, an inland city, but it’s walkable and has a lot of character. Five nights in Old Town might be a little bit much for some vacationers, but we’re not bar people or partiers and it was perfect for us. We love the markets in Asia, and there are a few different night and day markets that happen on different nights of the week in Phuket Town. The colorful buildings in Sino-Portuguese architecture style are charming to stroll past as well. Also, this week Will was getting over some food-illness, so we were more relaxed about our daily activities.

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Waterfalls and Elephants in Phuket, Thailand

Cost Breakdown: 2 days, 1 night in Thalang, Phuket, Thailand

Accommodation – $36 total for 1 night
Transportation – $38 total (taxi from Patong to Thalang; hotel to Phuket Elephant Sanctuary)
Food/Drinks for two days – $9/person
Attractions/Activities – $96/person (Bang Pae Waterfall admission fee + Phuket Elephant Sanctuary Tour)

Total: $179/person

The second leg of our Phuket trip was a dream, and probably my favorite part of Phuket overall. After we caught our bearings in Patong, we headed toward Thalang, located in the northern region of Phuket. The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, recommended by an elephant-loving friend, and it was a top priority on my Thailand checklist. The Sanctuary offers two 3.5 hour tours a day, one in the morning and the afternoon; I decided on the 9am morning tour because I thought the weather might be cooler, and also because it included being able to feed the elephants some breakfast!

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Four Days in Bangkok, Thailand

Cost Breakdown: 5 days, 2 nights in Bangkok

One way ticket SFO to BKK – $254/person
Accommodation – $110 total
Transportation – $50 total
Food/Drinks for four days – $100/person
Attractions/Activities – $97/person (2 temples, 2 museums, 3 massages)

Total: $611/person

Most videos of Thailand often capture the temples and the nightlife and the chaos of Thailand, but W and I spent our first day meandering around the more-residential neighborhood of our Airbnb, located conveniently surrounded by a coffee shop, restaurant, and food court. After breakfast, we decided our first stop would be to get a much-needed massage, especially after our 16-hour plane ride from the night before, and later that night, met with an old friend of mine that I had met 9 years ago in Taiwan.

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