"What is glamping?" one might ask? Well, it is "glamorous camping" and it is my way of easing into full-on wilderness camping. I've always wanted to go camping because the Disney Channel told me that it's a typical American summer past time. (I suppose I forget that I my parents are Chinese immigrants so that doesn't apply to me.)
Anyway, this girl needs a shower wherever she goes and the idea of not bathing for a week while camping was not something I felt ready to dive into. Instead we stayed at our humble abode below this past April:
Earth domes!!! We found this place on Airbnb --> https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/499485. Lisa, our host, was wonderful in giving us the lay of the land. It was also hyper-convenient that Joshua Tree National Park was only a few steps and a hop over the fence away!
The landscape was amazing and one of a kind. This is one of the reasons I love California - you can drive a couple of hours in any direction and you feel like you end up in a completely different part of the world.
Amateur wheel pose below from April of this year. I can see some progress from April to my paddleboard wheel pose in Belize this past September but there is still a ways to go.
I recently created 2 gigs on Fiverr. For those who are unaware, Fiverr is a social selling platform in which individuals can sell their services for $5 +. For example, some people sell their voice overs for $5! Or personalized drawings...or even excel formulas!
Meanwhile, I will plan your trip to Asia for $5! Just five bucks. I'm not posting this here as a shameless marketing plug but I'm posting this here because I have received actual orders! This is amazing. I posted this up for fun since I have had some free time but now, I've already planned trips for people to Thailand and Korea. You have no idea how unbelievably fun and fulfilling this has been - it has also allowed me to live vicariously through the people taking these trips. Ahhh, yes, the joy of traveling in Asia.
As a spin off of this success, I will also plan your trip to California for $5! Telling people the best things about traveling and living in California like a local has been such a dream. Born and raised here, I adore this state and love sharing all the experiences I have had with foreigners coming in to visit. From places like my favorite hole in the wall restaurant to the best non-touristy view of the Hollywood sign and Pacific ocean, I lay it all out for my fellow adventurers.
I wish I never began a long distance relationship.
You're on the opposite end of the world from the person you are dating. Okay, it may not be the total opposite end of the world but it is sufficiently far that any amount of distance is considered large as long as it keeps you two apart.
There is no way you can come home after a day at work/school/both to find your S/O readily available to hang out, have dinner with, or even cuddle with (this is blasphemous). (This is also tied to Reason #1) If you're having a hard time at work or school, having your partner comfort you over video chat/call/text is nothing compared to a reassuring hug. Similarly, if you have had an amazing day, it simply isn't the same sharing great experiences virtually
No (real) sex. Enough said.
The time difference is real. The sun may be up over here but the dark evening sky has long fallen over where they are living. If you're living in the same time zone, awesome. But you're still far apart.
Because the time difference is real, if you have a busy schedule, it is unspeakably difficult to find a mutual time that you can TALK. Yes, just finding time to TALK and have a substantial conversation is a massive struggle in the days/nights of late working hours + overtime + life priorities.
Reason #5 (Perhaps the most emotionally gut-wrenching, for me at least)
Long distance is a HUGE leap of faith. A leap of faith in that your relationship will work out and you will have spent all this time together (but physically far apart) effectively...to build your relationship, gain stronger communication and deeper understanding of your S/O. However, this faith is wavering - it has its days in which you think "Yes, I love this person and I cannot believe I have found THE person for me" but there are also the days where you reconsider "Is this relationship worth it? Will we ever close the distance? Who will be the one to close the distance? What am I doing with this person who I mainly communicate with over the internet and phone?"
Obviously, there are innumerable amazing qualities but for me, it may come down to how strong my faith is in long distance. This is my negative Nancy post of the month. For all you travelers out there who have found someone you love who lives in another country...Best of luck...and welcome to the struggle bus. Hopping on is easy but the ride may not be for everyone.
This is a tough topic for me tackle. Almost a full year after I concluded my travels in SEA, I have been plagued by increasing hair loss. Initially, it was not noticeable (to me, at least) but I've recently gotten a bit of commentary on my now very thin hair. I searched the topic and other men and women have experienced this same phenomena after travelling through very humid and tropical climates as I did. After much research and perhaps some irrational thinking during this (continuing) ordeal, here are some reasons I considered as the cause for my hair loss as well as some discussion around them.
1. Female pattern baldness
My scalp after two days without washing my hair. Apparently, the Christmas tree hair loss patterns here may be indicative of female pattern baldness. As a 21 year old, this is absolutely terrifying for myself and a massive bash to my self-image and self-confidence. I know, many people will say that I shouldn't care about how I look and contribute a plethora of sayings along the lines of "confidence is from within." Let's be real. I'm 21 and losing handfuls of hair in the shower and I'm scared out of my wits about being prematurely bald.
2. Stress from moving to another country/travelling extensively
Admittedly, my hair was always thin to begin with as you can see from this picture from 2012, long before any sort of travelling. That was the texture but not the density of the hair on my scalp. I never felt any extreme stress while abroad especially when getting used to the new environment, foods, peoples and cultures. However, my body and physicality displayed quite the contrary with my yearlong hair loss. Physical and/or emotional stress might have sent my body into rest mode in which I'd tend to notice more hair loss. Actually, I might have forgotten about my hospital episode in Cambodia wherein there was the stress of a 104 degree fever that wreaked havoc for 4 days.
"During the telogen, or resting, phase the follicle remains dormant anywhere from 1–4 months. Ten to fifteen percent of the hairs on one's head are in this phase of growth at any given time." Source
Bear in mind that I am no dermatologist and I plan to seek professional help once I am back from my internship in South Korea. All of this is done with the most minimal of research and maximum of freaking out.
3. I wore a cap/hat almost everyday while backpacking
Unless my cap was excessively tight, then this would not be a good reason and/or cause for hair loss.
Hair loss myth busters
4. I dyed my hair too goddamn much
No, that isn't my real hair colour though it might as well be now that I've exposed my hair to so much sunshine. I've dyed and used heating tools on my hair for over 6 years now and I thought that my current hair loss is extreme karma for disobeying the almighty Asian parents that I have when I dyed my hair against their wishes multiple times. However, dyes are generally only harmful to the hair strands themselves and don't necessarily lead to hair loss.
There are SO MANY reasons I thought of that could possibly explain the current state of my scalp but of course, I should seek professional attention and I will! For now, I am using OTC 2% minoxidil treatments to help revitalize my hair follicles and combat some of my unfortunately low self-esteem. If all is well, I will post a hair loss/scalp update in 6 months - 1 year.
Does this discourage me from travelling to hot and humid locations? NO. Not at all. But it does make me more aware of how I'm taking care of my body.
Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself in light of impending finals...but this girl is excited! My last day of undergrad classes will be this Friday, May 2nd! Yes, I do have exams coming up but in 5 days, it will be the next milestone of my life! Graduation is less than a month away and I'm pretty sure it hasn't struck me that I'll be leaving Berkeley so soon. Until then, I have promised myself to blog everyday of this week.
Berkeley has been the time of my life - full of innumerable ups and downs, sleepless nights, failed endeavors and unimaginable experiences.
When I first came to Cal, I was frightened and not the most optimistic about the insane competition, difficult courses, and lack of friends. I went through bouts of heartache and homesickness. I had never been "away" from "home" before but Berkeley managed to become one of my homes. I recall refusing to refer to my dorm room or apartment as "home" but not I cannot think of it as anything else. How did this all happen? What am I going to do next? What's with all of this introspection?! I call it #senioritis (Exam tomorrow? I got this....)
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