Planning a Vancouver, Canada Trip

Top 10 Must-SeeTravel Destinations

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!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back  Get $10 when you sign up! Enjoy!

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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…..

The Language of No

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I had a dream where I was going to Japan and then I couldn’t find my passport or was paranoid that I didn’t bring it because I had to leave my house really quickly. The trip was a planned tour so we were rushed and didn’t even have time for the bathroom. I started yelling, I need to use the bathroom! Cut scene. Next scene, there is a creepy man who is hitting on me and I’m very uncomfortable.

The language of no. Why does that relate to anything. Well, I realize whenever I dream of Japan, it usually relates to “politeness” or the culture of politeness. Japan is probably the most polite culture on earth, I remember feeling a bit suffocated. I loved the people, I love the cute things, but I was NOT big on “don’t talk on the subway”. NOT big on polite culture. I’m not big on it because I used to live “polite culture”.

I lived “fake smile” culture…again especially at church. For some reason, no one seemed to notice that I was actually very depressed. No one knew the turmoil I was actually facing at home.

And then when I actually decided to say no to the elders of the church I was excommunicated with “you should be a better leader”. 

Sometimes we need drastic overstepping of boundaries to learn that we need to set boundaries.

Sometimes that means a really creepy guy breathing in your face and saying your pretty and you slapping the shit out of him, sometimes it’s your mother guilt tripping you to the point you explode, sometimes it’s your boss abusing his power so that you lose it and quit your job. 

Here’s a real story:

I was on an airplane flying home from Europe or Asia, there was a man on my left and within the first hour I knew there was a problem. ARM REST PROBLEM. 

He kept shifting his arm and ebbing mine out. So I had to push his. This probably went on for….well 11 hours. I’m not kidding. Okay yah I slept and all but this went on for a long time. During the 11 hours, he (and I) were so PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE that he decided to drink his way home. He probably ordered over a hundred dollar or more of alcoholic drinks and shots.

He got sloppy drunk, it was gross. His face was red and as he was talking to his friend on his left, he started spitting everywhere, just saliva all over the seat, in the air, in my face, everywhere. 

In my NOT knowing how to just ask for what I needed, I withstood this. I thought “okay I am learning perseverance, I am learning longsuffering”. 

It finally got SO explosively bad that he yelled “WHICH SIDE OF THE ARM REST DO YOU WANT?” and I started saying shit I don’t even remember.

The flight attendant came quickly and asked what was going on. I explained and she said “do you want to move?” YES I EXCLAIMED. The guy was still asking “just tell me which side you want and we can work this out”. No.

NO.

No. No. No. No. I was like a dynamite ready to explode. I finally moved.

And guess what? I had an empty seat next to me and a like-minded friend who I talked to for the rest of the 2 hours. I COULD HAVE HAD THAT COMFORT AND FRIENDSHIP FOR THE LAST 11 HOURS IF I HAD SPOKEN UP instead of thinking “I’m learning patience”. 

Maybe God isn’t teaching you patience, but The LANGUAGE OF NO. 

Because if we learn to confront what we don’t want, we can actually get to the other side of yes…of what we do want. Why do we negotiate with the things we don’t want in our lives? Why do we partner with it, why do we accommodate them?

If your boyfriend is really so bad, why don’t you break up with him? If you job sucks that much, why don’t you quit? If your mother keeps stepping over your boundaries, why don’t you say something?

Don’t get me wrong. You might not have a lot of friends for awhile, you might need to break up with a few associates, you might be lonely for awhile, you may have moments where you doubt why you said no to that opportunity and why everyone seems to be thriving and you are still waiting for the right type of opportunity.

This is just part of knowing and growing in your worth. Same goes with dating. You don’t just date anyone you see on the street right? Why go to bed with every opportunity that has a $ sign on it? Know your worth and you will attract the right level of genius, love, hope, people peace and opportunity into your life. 

But first, you must learn to say NO to the wrong things that does not resonate with you.

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Embracing “Badness” In Ourselves

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(photo from the internet)

I had a dream last night. I was in a competition but the leader expected perfection, I was having an argument with my mom and yelled “SHIT”…the leader immediately canceled me (or outed my from the competition. I was eliminated completely. The leader in the dream used to be a leader in a christian group I was in.

I was so angry when I got outed. I couldn’t believe that just by being authentic I was outed. Then in my car outside, I saw a few other members of the competition come to my car. They sat in my car and I asked “you got outed too?” Yah they replied. I started driving but reached a beautiful land where I actually had to carry my car because no cars were allowed and we had entered from a side that didn’t have a parking lot (the wilderness). 

I believe this is a prophetic dream about where I have been, the wilderness and in the beginning being outed for revealing my “badness” or imperfections especially in the church, or in my previous hidden persona of “always being the positive one”. 

Imperfection wasn’t really accepted in my household, I was the strong one, you know the rock that people leaned on…even in my group of friends…and perhaps the institutional church encouraged perfectionism even more. So when I started to say no and started to show weakness, I was outed. The thing is I have always been different, I always had differing opinions, but for some time I pretended to agree, I tried to love the unlovable, I pretended to be patient when I was a boiling pot inside. 

I woke up from the dream with a knot in my heart and a strained neck. Yes, perhaps I had been hard on myself as well…being polite, not knowing how to say no, forcing myself still to go to things I didn’t want to when in reality I needed to accept and embrace the badness….

The badness we all have:

Being judgmental, mean, harsh, bitter, angry, sad, depressed, ego-centered, selfish, sly, manipulating, lazy, lustful, indulgent, unforgiving, loveless, discouraged, unhealthy, etc.

The badness represents a part of ourselves that wants to be loved but we often hide those parts of ourselves because we have not met people who have had enough grace to love us in spite of our “badness”. I have found that God completely loves and accepts us in our most baddest self…in fact we have to acknowledge and love ourselves in our baddest self in order for grace to heal us.

Because if we continue to hide our “weaknesses”, we will actually starve from love-malnutrition. 

I remember one time I was feeling really shitty and my ex said “I thought you were the positive one?…You are supposed to be the positive one and I’m supposed to be the negative one that you encourage”. It hit me. I hated that.

I don’t want to be the positive one.

I’m tired of it. I want to be able to be the weak one. I want to cry, I want to be weak. I want to be sad. I want to be angry. I want to hate someone. I want to feel those authentic emotions because it is relieving and it is real. 

When your real emotions are pent up, you feel tension in your body. I have been experiencing late periods and now dealing with healing my low thyroid (hypothyroid). I quit caffeine 4 days ago and have also realized that I used to block out negative emotions, tiredness or spiritual weariness by drinking coffee.

I have been learning to love myself through it all. Because grace is sufficient in our weakness. Living the authentic life means being honest with yourself. Find people that can love you despite your differences. 

In our culture, we are applauded for being good at something, but when was the last time you embraced your badness?

Design Genius Season 3 Commercial

Hey folks! The design show I was in premiers March 13. Enjoy the commercial and spot me!

Info about the design show I was on.

Design Genius: Los Angeles is finally premiering next week on March 13, 2017 on Fashion One and Fashion Television channels.

Although the network isn’t available yet in the United States, Fashion One and Fashion Television are available in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and recently in Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.
And also the website! http://fashionone.com/designgenius/season3

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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.