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New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Hello everyone!

It’s been a real long time. A little too long in my opinion. I apologize for my hiatus. I’ve just been going through a lot of things which I’ll probably talk about in another post soon. I’ve truly missed blogging and the community that I’ve built here. For now, I’d like to keep what I say short because I put up so many pictures. I hope you guys enjoy!

I try my best to travel during my breaks away from school. This summer I visited New Orleans, Louisiana! It was such a wonderful trip. I spent about a week there and we did a bunch of things. We checked out several tours such as the city tour, swamp tour, and the voodoo tour. They were all great. If any of you guys plan to go to New Orleans, I’d recommend going on those tours. They are really informative and you learn a lot about the history and culture of New Orleans. We also walked around French Quarter and Bourbon Street. Both of which I thought was amazing. There’s live jazz playing in most places, tons of restaurants, endless stream of stores, and everyone there was very friendly. I was a bit disappointed in Bourbon Street at night because it wasn’t what I expected. Typically, it’s known for jazz and a more classy culture but I felt like I was at Vegas.

The highlights of my trip was definitely being able to go on a cruise called Steamboat Nachez. You can see the beautiful landscape of the city, great food, alcohol, and the ambience of a live jazz band. The swamp tour as well because we were able to see alligators and the swamps were surprisingly more beautiful than I expected. All in all, it was a great trip!

Photo Challenge: Eye Spy.

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I’ve never done a photo challenge before but thought it’d be fun to try. This week’s theme is “eye” and I didn’t really know what picture to use or capture. As I mulled over it, I came to choose this particular photo.

I chose this picture to illustrate that the “eye” is more than just the physical organ but also a spiritual lens that is used to see the unseen–where the subtle beauties of life become transparent to us. I hope you guys like it!
Eye Spy

Seattle, WA.

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Hello everyone! The last city I visited on my trip last week was Seattle. I personally don’t like hot weather so the climate there treated me well. It actually rained a bit–something I’m not used to in SoCal. We got here around the morning and we spent the entire day till night in Seattle. There’s so much to do! The places I’d recommend is the first Starbucks location, Public Market, the famous Gum Wall, art museums, Seattle Japanese Garden, and of course the Space Needle. This city is definitely a tourist spot unlike Portland. So it’s a bit crowded and there will be traffic within the city.

Before coming to Seattle, we actually slept in the car at a rest stop then drove for several hours from Portland. It was a bit difficult and not quite the most comfortable situation to be in but it was still a great experience. Out of all the places I visited, I’d have to say my personal favorite was Portland. Still, Seattle was tons of fun. For those of you who don’t prefer to spend a lot of money on hotels, check out the website: airbnb.com. That website is meant for travelers so I’m sure it’ll be well suited for those who are interested. I cannot wait for when and where my next trip will be! Thank you to those who’s been following me through my journey. It is truly appreciated!

Portland, OR.

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Now this city was actually my personal favorite from all the cities that I’ve visited during my trip. I think because this place hasn’t blown up as a huge tourist spot yet, it wasn’t as crowded as San Francisco, which I really enjoyed. Also, there’s a huge consumption of culture here but isn’t particularly the same as the other cities I’ve visited. I’m not sure how to describe it but Portland has an undertone of artistic sentiments. In addition, the city architecture may look a bit like San Francisco but it’s as if the entire city rests on a forest–there’s literally huge trees everywhere! It’s definitely breathtaking. Not to mention you see wild animals on the streets! Some places to check out is Powell’s bookstore, Voodoo donuts, Portland’s distillery row (for those of you who enjoy breweries), Nike factory, and for those nature lovers, Crater Lake!

I personally enjoyed this city the most because of how cozy it felt there. Crowded areas and huge traffic is something I like to avoid. Portland was very home-like for me. A big dynamic of culture, beautiful nature, and a cozy community is how I’d define Portland. I would not mind living there if I could. A place I’d love to return to. Portland, you have a piece of my heart!

Solvang, CA.

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“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

I just got back from taking a trip to Solvang,CA. The city here is so beautiful. I usually don’t like to put up this many pictures for a post but I just had to. Everything from the buildings to the scenery was so colorful and breathtaking. Nature surrounds the entire city. I got a very organic feel to the entire place. Definitely a trip I’d love to go on again in the future.

It feels very surreal that I’m back at home. Already, I’m feeling a restlessness to travel. But more than the excitement, I think what truly makes me fall in love is the liberty I experience. There’s a sense of freedom in doing so along with a lesson. I find it so strange that whenever I go on trips I learn something. Somehow, I gain insight into my very being. As if traveling is a tool used to pry into the very depths of our souls. Only there, am I left with an impression that lingers with me forever. A permanent record of an experience; a lesson in my never-ending journey to find solace apart from home.

Subtle moments to appreciate.

imageIt’s all so surreal to me. From a casual conversation among my brothers, things led to a spontaneous trip. It was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing. During our conversation, a suggestion was made, “Why don’t we go on a trip tomorrow? Let’s just do it.”
At the time, I was thinking that it was going to be a hassle and a waste of time. I was already feeling so emotionally exhausted that I didn’t feel like doing anything super adventurous. I wanted to be alone. It’s crazy to me how things turned out though. We ended up going on this random trip and it was the most emotionally rejuvenating encounter for me. After getting back from the trip, I started to think about what we did just a little bit more. If it wasn’t for my friends–my amazing brothers, I would not be where I am today. It’s through these moments that I experience even the most subtle beauty, something I feel like only through the lens of friendship can reveal.

Maybe we can all find sincere gratitude in our important relationships and treasure the moments we have with them. Even though those moments may pass, the impressions reside within us and the experiences can truly become timeless.