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Traveling back "Home"

Home: a vital sensitive core

 
 

Table of Content:

  1. What is “Home”?

  2. Quick recaps of time in Indonesia, Vietnam, Tokyo, Honolulu, Houston, and New Orleans

  3. Finally settled back in Wyoming (for now)

Jakarta, Indonesia with President Jokowi

Quick Recap in Indonesia:

  • Departed for my Fulbright grant in Indonesia
    Sept 2017-Sept 2018

  • Research site:

    Wakatobi National Park

  • Moved 7 times.

  • Lived in 4 cities: Jakarta, Semarang, Salatiga, &
    Wangi-Wangi

  • Scuba Diving Heaven &
    Logged more than 40 dives

  • Certified Rescue Diver & Science of Diving Certification

  • Certified low-intermediate in reading, writing, and speaking Indonesian

  • Forever friends, who taught me Indonesian slang & ways of life

  • Gained like 10 pounds thanks to all the delicious deep fried foods and ice cream

Vũng Tàu, Vietnam

me & my kindred spirited grandma

Quick recap in Vietnam

  • Sept 2018 - Dec 2018 (3 months)

  • Lived in Saigon (HCMC) & Vũng Tàu

  • Spent time getting to know my dad’s side of the family in his home town of Vũng Tàu

    Discovered my grandma and I are kindred spirits

  • Scuba Diving in Phú Quốc

  • Logged 7 dives

  • Surprisingly a lot of coral

  • Saw my first ever cuttlefish (they’re huge!)

  • Wyoming family came to visit

  • Completed Vietnamese language classes

  • Learned to drive a scooter in crazy Vietnam traffic

  • Met up with friends from Denver

  • Gained 5 pounds thanks to all the delicious, non-stop eating and napping.


Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Official flight back home:
Vietnam>Tokyo>Honolulu>Houston

TOKYO

  • Durian binge before flight = stomach ache on the plane & puke right before landing.

  • 13 hour layover in Tokyo

  • Spent 3 hours sleeping in the airport first

  • I felt so sick & tired. I almost didn’t go out of the airport because of thought induced anxiety about my baggage, getting lost, not knowing the language, etc.

  • Took me almost 1 hour to convince myself to JUST GO!

  • Japan is known for their planners, so I set out to an IG recommended stationary store: Tokyo Hands

  • Quickly found a place to exchange money, luggage storage, and the train ticket and station I needed to go to. (loved this part about travel) Kinda like
    problem solving with no idea how to do it except intuition & confidence guiding me.

  • Re-ignited my love for travel

  • The sights, sounds, smells, and inherent excitement for new experiences

  • Spent 3 hours walking around Shinjuku and bought the most perfect planner.

  • Spent 2 hours traveling on the train and loved every minute of it.

  • Thank You Japan for the new experiences. Now, please re-join the International Whaling Commission IWC and stop killing whales and dolphins. Thanks.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu for Christmas Eve

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Quick Recap in Honolulu

  • 13 hour layover

  • Easily found the bus to Waikiki

  • Spent the day soaking up the sun

  • Reunion with college friends

  • Drove to lookout point in pic above

  • Ate local poke from the local grocery store

  • Inspired by my friend that Hawaii is totally
    an achievable dream

  • Found my new goal/ HOME

Houston, Texas, USA

Houston, Texas, USA

Houston for Christmas

Fulbright

Quick Recap in Houston

  • One month in Houston

  • Upon landing, skin immediately flaked and shriveled up because of change in latitude. (I am genetically made for equatorial climate)

    Quality time with Mom’s side of the family

  • Grocery stores in the U.S. are excessive

  • ALL US big box stores are excessive.

  • Forgot basic driving rules of the U.S.

  • Watched Ralph break the internet and it rocked my world because the main character struggled with finding her place of belonging and her home & being away from family #SOML

  • Ate all the delicious food: matcha soft serve, grilled oysters, crawfish, food truck tacos, macaroon ice cream, wedge salad, potato chips, banana foster soufflé, Whole Food’s famous TTLA (tempeh, tomato, lettuce, avocado) vegansandwich, sushi burrito, etc.

  • Quick 2 days solo road trip to Austin & ate the infamous Impossible burger (VEGAN burger)

Louisiana New Orleans crawfish.jpg

Quick Recap in New Orleans

  • Wedding of a dear big brother of mines

  • Visited more of my dad’s side of the family

    Spent time with my
    day 1 cousins

  • Ate at my favorite sushi place in the whole wide world: Mikimoto

  • Forgot that places in New Orleans like Target can sell liquor, beer, and wine!

  • Celebrated New Years 2019 in NOLA with family and friends

NOLA family

Casper, Wyoming

Casper, Wyoming

Finally settled in Wyoming in February 2019

wyHOMEing: Live and Let Live

Wyoming_openroad_carselfie

The state’s motto: Live and let live. Eight years in Wyoming and it always feels cozy to come back to the frozen, tundra like state. Winters here are tough and it has definitely made me a stronger person because of it. Without this beautiful place and space, I wouldn’t have had all the travel adventures in the books. I find myself complaining less and less about the snow and 60+ mph winds. I truly love this state and the people I’ve met while living here. It’s been a place that keeps me balanced and grounded.

Back home and taking care of business

  • Being a good Vietnamese daughter doing first generation tasks like: finding care insurance for the family, dealing with medical bills, cleaning up health insurance mix ups, picking up lil brother from school, calling up Verizon for bill related issues, learning to set up about investments and IRAs, YA KNOW….

  • Applying for ANY & ALL environmental & conservation positions

  • Getting back to fitness, health, and well-being

  • Braces

  • Marie Kondo-ing all of my belongings

  • Hustling and saving for my next adventure

Being settled into my own space and having my own car are the two biggest joys in my life. The feeling of independence and control over my life are things I do not take for granted. Honestly, now that I’m back I realized I needed to come back. Wyoming still has a lot to teach me in terms of emotional, spiritual, and mental growth. (that’s for the next blog post)

Wyoming will blow you away

Conclusion

As you can see, I have many places I call “home”. It’s a feeling rather than a specific physical boundary of space. The various cities in Indonesia, Vietnam, Houston, New Orleans, Laramie, Casper….all places I’ve called home. Each home has had a profound impact on my life. I also lived in Singapore for about 5 months. (it was the highlight of my life/best decision I’ve ever made). No matter where I am, life has been so full of excitement and energy. It ebbs and flows. Right now, being back in Wyoming is a time to take a breath and focus on myself in a settled place. Decision making for things such as place to live or how I am going to get where I need to go, has been a huge weight off my shoulders. I am more grounded to focus on manifesting the next adventure.

Although I am not traveling at the moment,

Life has been the
greatest adventure yet!