but where are the elephants

Jul 11

I ended up landing a job back at the place I was last October. The new kid at work heard that I went travelling.

"That’s amazing, how did you manage to get a year off?"

"Well, I quit my job. And then I left."

Nov 26
It’s easier than you think
Every year, I fall more and more in love with mountains.
Nov 26

Every year, I fall more and more in love with mountains.

A boatful of pineapples in the Mekong Delta.
Oct 9

A boatful of pineapples in the Mekong Delta.

The water would rise at night until the boats looked ready to sail down the streets.
This blog is officially one year old today. It’s sad and funny to think of where I was a year ago.
Oct 9

The water would rise at night until the boats looked ready to sail down the streets.

This blog is officially one year old today. It’s sad and funny to think of where I was a year ago.

A sun gate along the Inca Quarry Trail. This was near the end of the day, and we had to race the sunset to our campsite afterwards.
Aug 20

A sun gate along the Inca Quarry Trail. This was near the end of the day, and we had to race the sunset to our campsite afterwards.

I quit my job in October to go on my trip, and now I’m back home looking for another job. It’s not really all that fun. (Though there are still aspects of home that continue to blow my mind. Like drinking straight from the tap. What do you mean I can just turn on the faucet and potable water comes out?! What kind of sorcery is this?!)

I miss travelling, and I miss Southeast Asia the most. This nostalgia usually involves me looking at other people’s travel blogs. I’m also constantly wearing those drop crotch pants that are ubiquitous among SEA backpackers. I have two pairs, one of which was a gift from my friend who bought them and discovered that for some reason, this giant droopy crotch thing is not the most flattering or practical way to clothe the lower half of your body. I (happily!) took them because who turns down free pants? Nobody. (Especially when you have had four daily pants options for the past six months.) 

But the best thing that has happened to me all week was when I was wandering through a local asian supermarket and I found out they import pandan kaya from Malaysia. I actually gasped out loud, grabbed it off the shelf, and clutched it to my chest as if it was my long-lost twin. As if I was scared someone (who? the produce guy??) would physically try to take this beacon of happiness away from me. I didn’t even like pandan kaya that much back in Borneo when I was having it every morning with toast. But these are different times. I went home and ate it on some waffles and it was the best. 

Lessons learned:

I could never live long-term in a place that didn’t have a decent asian grocery store.

Job hunting is slightly more tolerable when you are wearing drop crotch pants and eating pandan coconut jam spread on various things.

Also, I still don’t know what pandan is but I don’t care because it is delicious.

Aug 15
The sad reality of the post-trip job hunt
This is the sweetest elephant I met at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. She hung out around us as the guide talked to us about the work they do at the sanctuary. 
It’s World Elephant Day. Learn more here.
Aug 12

This is the sweetest elephant I met at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. She hung out around us as the guide talked to us about the work they do at the sanctuary. 

It’s World Elephant Day. Learn more here.

Hey, new moon.
Aug 6

Hey, new moon.

A bayside sunset.
Aug 6

A bayside sunset.

"Wasn’t that the definition of home? Not where you are from, but where you are wanted."

- Abraham Verghese, Cutting of the Stone (via larmoyante)

(via nogreatillusion)

Aug 2
Always stay with your buddy.
Aug 1

Always stay with your buddy.

An unedited, unfiltered, beautiful Key Largo sunset.
Jul 30

An unedited, unfiltered, beautiful Key Largo sunset.

I left home without a set itinerary and only a vague sense of where I wanted to go. People ask me how I ended up planning my trip, and there were a lot of things that influenced me (weather, national parks, gut feelings).
One of the biggest factors was weddings because I would have to fly all the way back home. But it was worth it. I mean, when a Chinese Canadian marries a French Canadian, you get some ridiculously awesome wedding food - a traditional eight course Chinese banquet followed by poutine. And dude was serious about the poutine. The wedding was in Ontario and the groom’s mother brought in fresh cheese curds from Quebec the morning of. This is why I love you, Canada.
Jul 30

I left home without a set itinerary and only a vague sense of where I wanted to go. People ask me how I ended up planning my trip, and there were a lot of things that influenced me (weather, national parks, gut feelings).

One of the biggest factors was weddings because I would have to fly all the way back home. But it was worth it. I mean, when a Chinese Canadian marries a French Canadian, you get some ridiculously awesome wedding food - a traditional eight course Chinese banquet followed by poutine. And dude was serious about the poutine. The wedding was in Ontario and the groom’s mother brought in fresh cheese curds from Quebec the morning of. This is why I love you, Canada.

It wasn’t all about the steaks - there was also the wine. Cafayate has a billion bodegas offering wine tasting (this number is accurate). Also the hiking there is amazeballs.
Sidenote: I was confused when people kept talking about bodegas because I was thinking of NYC style bodegas. But bodega there means winery and not convenience store. Learning is fun!
(June 2013)
Jul 27

It wasn’t all about the steaks - there was also the wine. Cafayate has a billion bodegas offering wine tasting (this number is accurate). Also the hiking there is amazeballs.

Sidenote: I was confused when people kept talking about bodegas because I was thinking of NYC style bodegas. But bodega there means winery and not convenience store. Learning is fun!

(June 2013)