Walking In Faith Always Requires A New Level Of Trust

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(Catba Vietnam)

Whenever a new challenge comes my way and I have doubts and feelings of lack, I remember how God delivered me.

For one, as I was walking home, I thought about how whenever God called me to something, I never actually had the finances or resources for it. It required faith and trust and follow through. I had to obey and walk through the steps. I don’t know why God has given me this kind of faith or why He has required it from me, but maybe because I was born into situations that required me to have faith.

When I went to Thailand I had a one way ticket and $1000. The paycheck I was “relying” on never came through and as much as I chased down that client, I had to learn to let it go and forgive him. 

I would hear a country, a city, and go. One way tickets. There were times I pretty much ran out of money and then something would show up like the idea of selling an old tablet, which afforded me one week at a 10′ by 5′ prison celled size room.

Or how I would be dancing at a bar and a Vietnamese lady would offer to pick me up at the train station the next day and I would learn about their lives while I lived with her.

Or how I would forget but randomly mention my blog and be offered rooming for my marketing and writing skills.

But at the end of the day, God always called me to people.

He never showed me exactly what would happen, but He would tell my heart to trust Him. And I would be petrified, but I would walk forward, trusting that I wouldn’t be stranded on an island.
And that has almost happened too.

But then I’ll be eating my last $2 and then a group of travel agents would join me and ask me to drink with them. And then somehow I would become friends with people I would have never met if I wasn’t out there eating alone at Catba Island, Vietnam.

MY life is full of stories like this.

And so when I am feeling challenged, I would remember, God did this and that….and I would never fail to be in awe once again.

So whatever new challenge you are facing today, remember how God delivered you then and how our whole life is a series of trusting for the next level. 

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My couchsurfing host in Hanoi, now a sister.

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Saigon, Vietnam

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Biking in Melaka, Malaysia

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Dancing at the temple, Melaka, Malaysia

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Catba Islands, Vietnam

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The Value of Trying

Today I met with a publicist. She was incredibly nice and kind- unlike the many people I have met in LA. She offered me advice on putting together a media kit and showing companies my numbers on social media and blog.

To be honest, I was pretty overwhelmed. Because I’ve done all that before. I’ve put together media kits before. I’ve tried to show people my value….but at the end of the day, if people really truly know WHO I AM, I wouldn’t have to try so hard. Because I know what I have to offer- me. 

Not the numbers, not the views.

Me. The authentic, the imperfect, the enough me. 

Instead of being gripped by fear, I did approach some of the past opportunities that I felt like “it wasn’t the right time” to pursue last year….and even though I knew the “numbers” weren’t there. Yes, I don’t have 80,000 followers on instagram. I have over 1,200.

So I got no’s. 

But I felt relieved. 

I felt like “you know what. I actually don’t want to go down this path”.

Because I know what I have to offer is greater than numbers, followers, views.

It’s about authenticity.

I write and live out authenticity. 

I am not better or less than. 

I am who I am and I want to write about the imperfect, complicated and simple life that I have. I want to write about how I get rejected, how I get no’s, how even though my numbers and qualifications don’t add up, God’s grace is enough for me. 

And so if God’s grace doesn’t open that door for me, I know God’s grace isn’t on it. 

I want to write about the fear that is so real and makes my arms numb, about the belly fat that I sometimes loath, and how I try to do yoga at night but realize I just need to love myself for what I look like now, fully and completely. That NO I can’t get abs in one week.

Self- care.

Self- love.

Self- acceptance.

Take it or leave it. That’s me.

I’m not going to figure out how to get more followers so I can go on a press trip, because I’m more than that.

I write to change lives, to tell people, it’s okay to be authentic and imperfect…to speak your mind, to speak the truth, to be politically incorrect, to be insecure, to make mistakes. 

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I’m going to keep doing what I love and what I’m good at.

I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole of trying to be good at something I don’t like doing.

Trying and getting a “no” is better than not trying and living in fear.
Because when you get a “no” or a rejection letter, you feel relieved.

You know you can move on and no longer have to be thinking about it. You know something more SUITABLE is ahead for you.

It’s like closing a chapter and knowing that another is coming.

What doors are you leaving open that needs to be closed?

Sometimes those new doors won’t open until you say NO firmly to the last door.
If you claim it’s a new season, why are you still flirting with the past. If you claim you don’t want to, why do you keep doing it. Do your words mean anything if you don’t stick to your own intention?
Half ass intentions leads to half ass results.

Let your no be no. Let your yes be yes. And last of all, say absolutely YES to yourself.

This is me. All of me. I believe that if it’s meant to be, God will open the door. It doesn’t mean you just wait on your ass for manna to fall down from heaven…you still try, but you try knowing that rejection is just an open door to the next good thing.

Let the spirit lead. Everything has already been completed.

Planning a Vancouver, Canada Trip

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2 days ago I saw a really great deal on roundtrip flights to Vancouver and immediately texted my mom. It was $195.11 per person. I know! RIGHT! Anyways, I subscribe to Airfarewatchdog, Tripadvisor and several other sites for good flight deals. I input cities I want to go to and watch my inbox as the year goes along.  I get flight deals sent to me so I don’t have to search. 

The great thing is that my mom is just as spontaneous as I am, but we’ve been wanting to go to Vancouver for a few years.

I know that deals like this are rare. I hopped onto American Airlines directly since it was the same rate and I heard customer service is usually better when you book direct (also complaints are heard). While I was waiting for my mom to reply, and every SECOND MATTERS WHEN IT COMES TO GREAT DEALS, the best return timed flight WAS TAKEN. I was left to book 6am RETURN flights, which is a bummer because you have to wake up at 3 am or even earlier. And I HATE waking up early because I feel like throwing up but I can’t. 

We are leaving in about 2 weeks. That is the reason I NEVER tell people where I plan to go, BECAUSE I really don’t know! It’s true.

My mom wanted to go to the rocky mountains and lake louise, but now I had to do my research.

When I backpack on my own, I usually book one night at a hostel or hotel and then wing it from there. Since I don’t usually have time restraints, I ask around the hostel what and where I should go to. To be honest, when I was healing from some heart wounds, I literally walked around the city, wrote in my journal and drank coffee. Sometimes I would make friends with people and travel with them. It was very laissez-faire.

I started by googling “how to get from Vancouver to Rocky Mountains”. This led me to several tour sites. One was deceiving well-priced at $354 for 4 days. I knew immediately, “this is an ASIAN TOUR”. Of course, when I plugged in the dates it was actually $700 or so.

I HAVE HORRIBLE experiences with ASIAN TOURS. I hate them. I really do. I don’t care how cheap they are….the only thing I remember is HOLDING MY BLADDER YO!

They won’t let you piss on the bus!!! Every two hours you get a bathroom break, but as a paranoid bathroom person…the whole time I’m on the bus, I’m thinking about the bathroom (I think it’s a safety thing for me). Even though there is a bathroom on the bus, they don’t want you to taint it with your smelly piss.

And then you are rushed like a herd of cows. Last time I went to San Francisco with my mom, we had like 30 minutes to eat and look around at Solvang. I literally waited 10 minutes for my food, ate for another 10 and was rushing back to the bus afraid to be left behind! LOL. Also we usually had to wake up at 6am or 5:50am and some of the stops were not vital for us to see. We finally had enough and told the tour guide we wanted the afternoon off and NO we did not want to go on the city bus YO! 

I think the most enjoyable moments of our day was going to Philz Coffee.

I will continue this later….I haven’t eaten breakfast and I’m getting hungry.

SO far, I have decided renting a car is the best, easiest and most affordable way to travel to the Rocky’s. I google mapped it and saw that there was a HOT SPRING PLACE so WE ARE DEFINITELY GOING. HOT SPRING IS MY THING!

I hope you look forward to everything I’ll be writing about for my SUMMER EDITION!

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1571 Werninger St.,Houston, TX

Ecuador, My Life In The Jungles- The Sequel 1

This day brings into remembrance of my time in Ecuador. I wrote about my first leg of the trip on Kiss From The World but of course, time and perspective holds even more colorful stories.

As I lay in bed trying to go back to sleep because it’s 7am on a Saturday, I suddenly saw myself on a truck riding to the jungles of Tena. My mind replayed my trip in vivid details as if to remind me of all the adventures I’ve had in my life. For some reason, people accuse me of my inexperience and youth because I look young….but if they heard what I’ve been through. But it’s really none of their business.

So here goes.

Backpacking solo as a women.

  1. Do research, but don’t RESEARCH TOO much. Don’t ask too much of other peoples’ opinions. It was my first time backpacking in a “3rd world country”. My last backpacking trip before Ecuador was Australia. I asked a few Asian women and was filled with more fear than excitement. My boyfriend at the time gave me pepper spray and told me to hold onto it at all times. My experience was contrary to those opinions…I met the kindest, most welcoming people I have ever met.

A kind man offered to help me translate, my Spanish was quite broken. I finally arrived at a local hotel, it was $10 a night with 2 beds. One for me, and one for my backpack. The plastic walls separated me from the grandma who owned the hotel and was watching some drama. I could see the technicolor bouncing to my wall, as if to welcome me. My bed sheets were thin and crinkled from the 1970s and hot red florals covered my second bed. Please excuse the quality, I don’t think I had an Iphone back then.

My days in the city of Tena was a blur but after visiting my sponsored child, I roamed the streets and attempted to eat street food without getting sick. I was successful. Ecuadorian salsa is BUENO. Almost as good as Mexican salsa out here in LA. They also love animal innards, and as a Taiwanese person, I could get with that, no problemo.

I decided to visit the jungles, there was another $10 hotel over there. I asked my new buddy whether he wanted to go with me. He was hesitant as he was very American, even though Ecuadorian American…and also he had gotten robbed once at an Ecuadorian bar. Oh I meant, he got roofied and robbed, and woke up in the bushes without his Iphone or wallet. So he was pretty petrified at the thought of going with a strange Asian woman to another city hours away.

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First we were to wait in front of my hotel for a yellow taxi. We waited. 1 hour, 2 hours. Wow. Okay, we called a few times and finally taxi came.

Second, we were dropped off at a bus station where tons of people played volleyball or was it basketball, I can’t remember. Now, we were transported into a truck but we had to wait for the tour guide. Now, this was another hour or so.

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The trip took 2-3 hours, riding on dirt, rocks and rickety paths. Towards the end, we were pretty much off-roading and the sky was getting dark. We finally parked and the tour guide took out his flashlight. In these photos I think they were carrying gas into the hotel.

We walked into the jungle and I thought “that’s it, I’ve met my time of death”. (No, actually I was a lot more positive back then since I was young and inexperienced (LOL)). A huge castle jungle house appeared before my eyes.

I was in heaven.

The individual rooms were not fancy, but it was enough. Mosquitoes roamed around me as I quickly sprayed myself. The bathrooms had concrete gray walls and straw walls surrounded me in the bedroom. All I could hear was birds, bugs, snakes and whatever else was out there. I could feel my soul spreading into the jungle and saying hi to each creature. I was becoming one with the earth. 

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The one part of the jungle that had reception was on this outdoor patio on the second floor. You had to put your phone on one point of a statue.581041_10151770635875603_255176119_n

The next day, I was expecting my friend to be there but after some looking and asking, I found out he had left. YEP, I am not kidding. My new friend left the jungles early in the morning, I think he was SO scared by the whole journey that he decided to leave. 

And yes, he was a male person. And yes, I am a female. And it just so happened I was the only person staying there. So I had a whole castle to myself. SO please LORD, do not judge people based on gender.

“hey what the fuck? you left?” -me on the phone.

“yes, well my mom needed me for something, so I had to leave right away”

“oh okay, whatever. Have fun!”- me

So my friend for the next few days was the tour guide, who I was not paying because I did not want to go on a tour. However, as a friend he still showed me a few things like how to cut down cocoa.

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He had escaped from a life of American gang -hood to live in the jungles. He saw friends get shot, and the most horrific of all, children being trafficked in crates. There was nothing he could do about it because he could get gunned down right there and then. This was no Narcos, this was real life. Then we talked about Jesus and I showed him how to hear from Him directly. Jesus and gangsters all in one day.

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To be continued…..

You Have A Clean Slate for 2017

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In 2016 I was healed of FOMO (fear of missing out). 

I had probably read too many travel blogs and was hoping my 2016 would be non-stop traveling and well, it wasn’t. In fact, I rested, wrote and painted a lot. I actually stayed in LA for a consecutive 3 months. Yes I did fly to Paris to film a travel show, Morocco to backpack, and then to the Philippines for another show…but when I came back from Cebu in June, the most out of state traveling I did was a cruise to Mexico.

Also the last few years, I happened to be traveling during the holidays. On my birthday 2 years ago, I traveled to Catalina Island and spent a few days alone.

Instead of the “hoo-haa I want to party and dance”, I did not feel that way this year. I was okay staying in and watching Netflix. I was comfortable with the peace of just being with God. Peace was something I attained more of in 2016 and I realized it was better than the crazy drunkenness that comes with partying.

Peace was better than dating guys that messed up my peacequilibrium.

Peace was better than forcing myself to attend family events where I would be attacked verbally.

Peace was better than spending time with people who were constantly striving because they don’t know their worth.

Peace was better than the struggle of speeding into other peoples’ lanes because of jealousy. You see, there are dreams that people have that are not YOURS. Know your vision, know your dreams, know what you want and don’t go hopping into other peoples’ lanes because you have a minute of jealousy.

Shut off your phone, laptop. Unplug for a minute. Sync with God. You are enough, here and now….not when you achieve something else, when you attain something more, or when you meet the right person…you are enough now.

Stay in your lane, focus on your life. Don’t go “but they’re doing this or that….”.

I learned that if it is God, it feels peaceful. I learned that if it was the right way to go, it is peace. Yes, new paths might be scary, but deep down there exists a tremble of excitement. A scary excitement. 2017 will bring new levels of promotion, love and joy.

I see your past wiped out, you have a clean slate for a new life. Forgive yourself. Let the past go. Let’s move forward together. Are you in? 

Your Breakthrough Is In Your Presence

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How do you deal with uncertainties? Life is full of unknowns.

God often surprises me by destroying plans I had, even for Christmas. I might have assumed something but then those plans are easily pulled away from me. This week I woke up with horrible vertigo and puking. Yes, it was awful. I thought I was going to die and I prayed really hard. The sickness came and went, tried to come back again, but finally left.

I was grateful. It humbled me as well. Sickness is humbling. It reminds you, you are fragile, weak. 

I felt that the puking was like a cleanse to the negativity in my life. I realized it also stemmed from my not eating when I would get hungry. Deep down, I had some insecurities about my recent inability to exercise and was afraid that I was gaining weight. But I think deep down I felt that I was not good enough. 

During my time in bed, I kept hearing “you are good enough, you are enough” over and over again. In my inability to do anything, I soaked in God’s unconditional love for me. I was reminded that I had been trying to figure my life out again, even by planning my days, I was trying to control my life. I wasn’t handing over the reigns. 

Soon enough God heard my prayers and my mom actually took me to this Chinese medicine woman who gave me a diagnosis and some herbs. Soon enough, I was also alone again. This time a little disappointed that I would probably spend the holidays alone. I didn’t really understand what was happening.

I know that 2017 is a year of alignment, but even in those days where I’m writing, painting, watching Elementary, I’m wondering what my life will even look like soon.

What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[
    the things God has prepared for those who love him- 1 Corinthians 2:9 

But today as my flesh and mind finally let go of plans and the need to KNOW, I went to the movies (which always calms me down), cried my eyes out watching Moana and Collateral Beauty (good for emotional cleansing, the movie seriously left the whole movie theater room sniffling), and then in following my desires for some food and boba, was led to divine appointments with strangers. One lady I met when I asked her about this hat I wanted to buy, I said “just to make sure, this is the English flag right?” and then I continued the conversation by asking if she was Irish and she said German. Well, since I was born in Germany, we had no lack of conversation.

Our need to know always ruins the moment doesn’t it? In the story of Adam and Eve, that is what ruined their life at first….the need to know without the relationship with God, which is based on trust. We are unable to live in the moment, to see all the beauty and love around us when we are in our head, figuring every detail of our lives out.

I remember when I was dating an ex, we went to an Italian restaurant in Santa Monica but his mind was absent. The bill was over $100 but I could have stayed at home, watched netflix and ate mcdonalds for $5. It wasn’t about our surroundings, how delicious the food was, or even how romantic the ambiance was. I thought the food was okay, but my ex said it was a waste of money and that the food was horrible. To be honest, if I was eating by myself, I would have enjoyed everything a lot more. His energy totally killed my vibe.

His mind was somewhere else and I was unable to connect with him. 

We can truly enjoy the moment when we choose to be grateful, to notice the miracle around us. Everyday is a gift. When we are present we are able to connect with the people who are around us. That is one of the reasons I love traveling because I am usually present. I see the world with wonder, everything is new to me and I am not thinking about anything else. I don’t plan either, I usually allow spirit to lead me to the right place at the right time. I follow my bliss, I follow the adventure. When I am tired, I sit down at a cafe and observe the beauty around me. By being present I meet the most wonderful people.

When I was in London, I ate at a market in Brixton and met this girl. She asked if she could share the table with me. Turns out she worked at the Globe Theatre and she invited me to watch a play with her. I was truly grateful because she gave me free tickets and I had made a new friend. I was reminded that God was watching over me in every step of my journey backpacking through Europe. I have thousands of stories like this, divine appointments I call them.

Solitude

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I like being alone.

I can spend 2 weeks alone, and the few encounters with strangers. I like solitude because it clears my mind. I can hear God clearly again in the chaos of human voices.

Sometimes when I spend too much time with people, my mind starts to sound like their voice, their troubles, their worries. I have learned to set boundaries and say “I need to be alone” and “I need alone time”.

Sometimes people get offended. They take it personally. They get mad.

I don’t care. I’m good with people, people love me, but I also love myself. I need to hear my heart. I enjoy my company more than most people. I really enjoy my voice, my words, my time.

I feel confident in my identity with God. Sometimes people ask me if I’m dating yet, I have no desire right now. Sometimes I just really love netflix and chill with myself time. A cup of ramen, some fruit, cheetos.

My love language is not quality time, too much quality time makes me cranky.

So if you like being alone, don’t feel bad. Some people are just made that way. Some people like coffee shops and a book. They like small group setting, meaning +1 only.