I got back onto United States soil 2 days ago, and I’m happy to be back despite all of the craziness of Trump. I was ready to be home again, and I was ready to be with family again. Really, I was ready for my trip to end, and I don’t feel bad about that.
It wasn’t that my trip was going badly. On the contrary, my trip was going as well as I could have hoped! I wasn’t running out of money, and I wasn’t getting tired of seeing new places. Wonder was still at least somewhat abundant, although I was starting to feel a little lackluster about some aspects of travel.
We had just seen all of Bangkok together at a fancy rooftop bar in a hotel downtown. Some of us got drinks, but I didn’t as I mostly just wanted the view and didn’t feel like overpaying for crappy imported beer or a fancy cocktail. Now we were in Bangkok’s Chinatown, seeking some street eats for the evening. The tables were in rows all the way down the street.
He came up to me and thanked me so graciously that I was taken aback. This has never happened before. Continue Reading
What’s your elevator pitch?
What excites me about my life is breaking down expectations. I like to observe and learn by osmosis. Sometimes that leads to interesting insights and ideas, and that’s what I’d like to share with the world.
I grew up as the middle child in a family with 3 daughters. As such, my life’s been full of a lot of push and pull between my older and younger sisters. Maybe what I know most about is tolerance.
I want to surprise myself in challenging the unchallenged. I want to bring people along on my journey so they can see through my eyes too. I want to challenge others to break barriers and expectations to surprise themselves.
What’s one thing you’re proud of?
It’s 8th grade. Mr. Galvin calls me to his desk. He points to a place on a page and waits for me to realize what it means.
A moment of disbelief and I look at him and he looks at me and smiles. I don’t even think we said anything to each other. Maybe I hugged him before going back to my seat.
This might not be a big deal to a lot of people, but I remember the day that I found out that I was accepted into my high school. It’s one of those magnet schools with an exam. I had taken the exam for a different school a few years before that and didn’t get in. But this time I took the exam and I got in!
What do people thank you for?
In the last year, I’ve put time into helping younger players in my ultimate teams. It’s a sport that I really believe in, and have been playing for 15 years.
It’s a community. It’s a passion. It’s a competition. It’s all of those things.
What makes me angry about the world?
This is an interesting one. I don’t want to be angry, but I do get angry or frustrated sometimes when others are taken advantage of.
I get mad when people aren’t treated fairly, or when it seems that the system is so heavily in favor of one group above the others.
Sometimes I don’t know what to do with these feelings. I know that in my life I don’t want to let any real or perceived barriers keep me from doing what I want to do.
One thing that frustrates me to no end is the way that academia is structured. There are so many issues with how it functions, that I don’t know if I want to even try to get into the industry. There are a lot of reasons why I don’t care to get into academia, but I’m a believer in you can’t change a system from outside of it. So that’s my dilemma.
My story wouldn’t really be my story if I didn’t also mention my parents’ stories.
In a way, all children of immigrants have a similar story. Our parents gave up something to start their lives in a new place, often without knowledge of the language there and with no job prospects. They may have worked long hours, or several jobs, so that we could attend a good school or go to college.
I’m going to be an aunt times two! Whoa!
My sister is about 3 months along with baby number 2! She is due in March 2016. This means I’ll have to plan a trip to go home to New York around that time. But this also means another little person is going to be in the back of my mind, nagging me to go home more often.
This is a recent photo of me and my nephew in New York:
How I’ve changed as a person
What I love about travel is that you challenge yourself. You can challenge your beliefs of what the world is like, what other people are like, and who you are. I’ve grown the most through traveling, and much of this has been because I’ve gotten to know myself better. Instead of floating through life living on a routine, travel has broken it up by giving me new experiences, exposing me to new cultures, and making new friends. It’s also forced me to think about what is important to me.
I’ve learned that I love being around different languages, and that I can be braver than I thought I could be.
Bangkok is changing very rapidly, just like any other major city in Asia. The interesting thing about Bangkok is that you’ll find areas that have become something entirely cosmopolitan overnight next to others that aren’t changing at the same rate (or at all).
Two sides, same coin
Two sides of a lightrail train station in central Bangkok