US Botanic Garden

These photographs are from my first visit to the US National Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. It’s surprising to even think that I’ve been living in DC for almost 5 years, and I haven’t been to this big tourist attraction. When you become a local, I think it’s automatic to avoid the tourist attractions, but this is definitely encouraged to see.

You’ll be immersed in a mix of colors and smells, spotting various species of plants from different parts of the world.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park 

This was my first time in West Virginia and at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. I did two hikes on the Loudoun Heights Trail and through the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail runs from Georgia through Maine, so kudos to those who have completed the 2,200 mile trek. From my experience on the trails, it was completely peaceful being able to escape the chaos and crowds of the city. It’s incredible how much scenery exists in just an hour from the city.

I’m trying to fit in as many hiking trips I can this spring and summer. One of my biggest goals include hiking the Grand Canyon (fully). I know, I know…As an amateur hiker, I have a lot of training to do. Until then, I got the endless views I plan to seek and enjoy.

San Francisco, Part 1

In April, I traveled to California to be with my family and boyfriend. I recently blogged about my visit to Los Angeles (City of Angels, Part 1 & City of Angels, Part 2 & City of Angels, Part 3) , but I’m finally getting around in posting about the Bay Area.

San Francisco has a special place in my heart. Here’s what I captured during my stay (more to come).

Greetings from RVA

It’s always nice to escape DC for the day, especially when friends come together for an adventure. We all went on a road trip to Richmond on Sunday, where we explored a few of my favorites in the city.

  • Belle Isle – Scenic and historic park that is perfect for easy hiking and kayaking
  • Proper Pie – Need I say more? I got a slice of coconut cream pie and a cup of coffee
  • Carytown – Quriky neighborhood that is aligned with restaurants, cafes, boutique shops, and bars
  • Street Art – Richmond is home to over 100 murals around the city. You won’t get tired of how vibrant and fun this city flaunts itself on the street

Got any more suggestions? I would love to read your favorite spots in Richmond, VA!

Women’s March on Washington

What a historic moment to be a part of. I am so incredibly amazed by the millions of people who united and came out to support the Women’s March on Washington. For those who couldn’t make it to DC, there were also large marches being held in other cities.

I am grateful for all the women and men in my life who continue to support and fight for women’s rights. Let us continue to speak out, and make history for our families and communities.

2017

Almost 3 years ago, I made some unaccepted but certain decisions in my life. I took a break from college to travel and volunteer in South Africa. It stirred a lot of judgement from family and friends for me to just step down from a very important milestone in my life to fulfill what was empty inside of me.

With the beginning of a new year, I’m here to reflect how that part of my life really helped me become who I am today.

Before I left for Cape Town in the summer of 2013, I was dating someone who helped me grow and learn a lot about myself. Like young college students, we were idealistic and very naive. We were dreamers, striving for passion, meaning, and success. I left to Cape Town in the beginning of September and felt a part of me being filled by an experience I had to do in solitude. After I returned back to the states and saw him for the first time in a while, he jokingly shook my shoulders with his endearing hands and said: “You don’t have to be so strong all the time.”

Throughout the hard and frustrating moments in my life, that one statement still applies to me then and today.

In 2016, I bought one of those ginormous backpacks and hopped on a plane to Asia. I saw my best friends doing incredible and inspiring things all around the world. Each country I touch down upon was like a stomping ground for me to breathe new air. I met strangers who I now call friends, exchanged hilariously absurd and heart wrenching stories, risked my life a few times on some thrilling adventures, and dipped my toes in the Indian Ocean again.

2016 gave me another opportunity to make more special moments to travel, fall in love, work hard, and remind myself that it’s certainly fine to not be so strong all the time.

I’m inspired by the past, present, and future. I am grown by the people who have shaped who I am. I am open in expressing the pieces of love, sadness, laughter, heartbreak, passion, and kindness that has been apart and remains in me. Here’s to the past, present, and future of our lives.

 

Bali, Part 1

Continuing my journey through Asia (please see Seoul Part 1 & Part 2), my next adventure was in Bali! Landing in Indonesia around 1 am,  I was exhausted but overjoyed that I had finally made it to the paradise island. Although I was sad to be leaving my best friend in Seoul, I was excited to see another part of Asia. I woke up early in the morning and headed to the beach to surf in the Indian Ocean again.

Seen in the photo(s): Seminyak, Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary Ubud, Mount Batur, Gunung Kawi Sebatu