A film I made with the footage I had captured at Oahu, Hawaii. There is beauty in nature. There is beauty in the every day. There is beauty in the sky, ocean, trees and every living thing on this earth. I hope everyone is having a peaceful day.
music: m83 – un nouveau soleil
currently feeling a bit uninspired, but i miss writing here so much. if you’re in this mood, i think listening to good music and seeing delicious food photographs can somehow fix this. i’m not positive, but it’s kinda working for me a little (hey, i’m here, right?) looking through my hawaii photographs, i remember this tasty bánh mì i had at this restaurant called the pig & the lady. i don’t know where the name came from, but it sticks with you, right? when we decided to eat here, we knew we had to cater to the hours it was open. after circling the streets of chinatown a couple of times….
the chinatown isn’t as large/complex as others i’ve been to. to be fair though, i didn’t explore it as much as i had wanted to, so maybe there were things i should’ve made a point to see.
a farmer’s market of sorts, i assume. open markets welcoming people on this semi-sunny day. it was humid.
we found a spot and walked on by. check out the cute little things at the waiting bar area. whimsical and cute.
some of the most delicious food i’ve ever eaten… no exaggeration.
Laotian fried chicken
obligatory shot – bánh mì and pho
just in case you wanted to see it in this angle. we dipped the sandwich in the soup and it was phenomenal. messy, but who cares?
some walking around the area and into markets. it reminded me of walking through the markets of taiwan a little. taiwan has much more and a lot more people, but the raw, honesty vibe of what selling and buying is was there.
for some reason, we noticed more than a couple of police cars around. i hope everything was okay.
can’t say how excited we were to see a cat. it was so cute. the first and only cat i saw in oahu hawaii.
They searched for clarity,
From square windows in the sky.
Tipping a glass jar of pennies
Scoring enough to pay the fare.
Seeing rain drops fall upon elephant leaves
Collecting puddles on the floor
As newborn kittens happily drink.
Flowers bloom and birds chirp songs,
Explorers seek their hearts in the tree house
With a bamboo bed and door of beads
As it swings and clicks
Whenever anything crosses by.
There is something so sacred about traveling. Whether I go with people and especially on my own, I can always find this space and time in which I get so immersed in the beauty of being in transit. Being moved physically to another place opens all these new perspectives in my mind. Sometimes I can just feel how “right” and true everything is for me. Waiting at the airport, sitting in the airplane, watching the sunset gives me this necessary reminder to be one with myself. Practicing patience, calming nerves and focused observation teaches me so much about what it means to be human. We are all in this together. In transit, waiting, loving, working, and being; we are all in this together.
Traveling somehow breaks the boundaries of what normal is. People talk more with each other and they are more kind; they can be vulnerable because we are in a lot of ways. When we are in routine, it’s so easy to be stuck in our own minds, in our own cars, in our own cubicle; continuing the patterns of whatever thoughts cycle in and out. But when stationed in unfamiliar lands and going on adventures, the routine is on pause, a halt or an end. We can gain a new viewpoint. A few people came and talked with me at random about their lives throughout my journey and it was so heartwarming and surprising. I was grateful for their trust and their stories. I saw busy parents walking with their spirited babies embracing a whole new life experience. I shared smiles and laughs with strangers.
And I don’t want to exclude acts of kindness as well. Long ago, when I traveled alone, I remember the hospitality I received from people I call my friends now. Without knowing me at all, they taught me so many things about their country and open the doors to their homes and lives and showed me kindness I’ve never felt or seen before. I remember feeling so much gratitude and fortune and inclusion to be there at that time in my life. Similarly, on this trip to Hawaii, there were kind beings who gave me their walking stick for a long hike and a swimming raft without hesitation and with complete selflessness. These gestures lifted me up. I felt so honored and continued their paying forward. It felt natural to exist and to give than it was to receive.
Although traveling can mean going somewhere new or going home or commuting, there is this sense of coming back to what matters. It makes you think about your life as an observer sometimes and maybe a new appreciation of what is and what will be.
Sun shines bright on every single living being,
Overlooking shade in the rainforests
As lovers walk on the uneven roots of your trees
And paths created by waters rushing in floods.
The waterfall cleansed my soul as it did my lungs.
Moved my heart in an unfamiliar way,
Freely allowing me to breathe, explore and evolve.
The long journey to the safety of your arms,
Worth the wait for the embrace you gave.
In harmony, animals and plants create this symphony
That they can only play, as peacocks walk by,
Butterflies flutter on, giraffes stand tall
And flowers burst in color in nature’s way.
You are giving to all who come and give as they give.
Ease of views to those who want,
But also challenges to those who seek more.
There is a peace here unlike any other.
A meaningful experience created by the explorer,
If they are willing to embrace the Hawaiian love.
i found this poem i wrote in a small notepad i sometimes carry with me. maybe this was written when i was on the train
the humidity is inescapable
the love affair is strong
wandering on connected roads
eating fresh fruit off trees.
and learning about my life.
absorbing every bit of difference
as sweat on my skin appear after my walk
It’s been a while since I thought about how it was to be there. Time goes by and I don’t really think actively about being away from home for that long. But this morning, after I peed, I came back to bed. It was light out a little but my room was still sort of dark. After I closed my eyes, I could hear the noises outside. The birds chirping, the wind blowing and a faraway wind chime chiming away. I felt like I was in Taiwan again. I had left my window opened last night and the cool breezes from outside made it all so calm. When I was away, I always had this background feeling of something unfamiliar, but comfortable. Where I could lay in bed and feel really relaxed, but having no attachment to the things around me; only feeling connected to the sounds and…
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people seemed really laid back, calm and peaceful here. they kinda do their own thing and let others do their own thing, too. they’re not mean or overly friendly; a good in-between. it reminds me of the vibe of albany new york with harvard square massachusetts with local small businesses and lots of good food and every place being walkable.
check out some nice architecture, casco bay, too many photos of buildings and cute seating:
let’s talk about food! when i was doing some research before visiting, i could already sense that it wasn’t going to be one of those trips in which i hike or window shop. it’s an eating trip. if you’re a foodie, then you should think about coming here (do some online research and drool over some food pics). i’d also suggest selecting the places you want to go because we just sort of winged it regarding time, so now i want to go back and try more restaurants and different foods :) i didn’t take photos of everything we ate, but here are a few (restaurants pics from top to bottom: the holy donut, fuji restaurant, otto & ramen suzukiya)
my favorite regarding vibe was at ramen suzukiya. the owner is so nice and the whole aesthetics of the restaurant was very clean, smooth and simple. overall, the food of portland is simply fresh and delicious. some more highlights from my trip are:
the art gallery at maine college of art (meca). we got to check out their mfa thesis exhibition 2016
the local businesses like:
the owner is super knowledgeable and had lots of cool stuff displayed and not to mention all the cool records, video game gear and vintage tees to browse.
if you’re like me and you like browsing & thrifted/vintage stuff, then this is a really cool place to check out, too. really eclectic stuff and just a nice place to get lost in and feel inspired by.
and here’s me trying to take some artsy, raw photographs:
Among all the emotions we are capable of feeling, fear is an interesting one that I have found to be both at times very discouraging, but also very empowering. I believe that the fear comes from a place of good intentions. It makes us vulnerable and honest with ourselves.
We fear because in a way, we are protecting and preparing ourselves for unfamiliar situations and/or unknown outcomes. I don’t think we have to face all our fears, but I think it’s good to challenge ourselves and push out of our comfort levels sometimes. We are human and we are all different; invincibility all the time is unrealistic.
And not all fears are easy to face.
To me, my main focus is happiness because that gives me the ultimate joy to feel gratitude, fulfillment and meaning. Determination to your goal (whether it is to be happy, strong, or independent) scares fear away (or at least enough to go for it and face it!)
Fear forces us to explore other options to feel less scared and hopefully, allows us to find courage to overcome it. Exploring in unknown lands, traveling by yourself, getting lost, job interviews, getting surgery, public speaking, heights, failure, relationships–whatever it may be, the more we explore, gain experiences and knowledge, the more informed we are.
Maybe this new knowledge opens up a whole new perspective on what you fear. If you look closely, you’ll see that there are layers and layers of details of the bigger picture.
There are so many angles to see fear. Why now? Why this? How long? Which way? Maybe you try to understand your fear by writing about it, researching it online, practicing a skill or talking with friends and family. Maybe you resolve it through meditation or going for a run.
…And when you pass through the doorway to safety and getting over the fear, you wonder why you were so scared. You see that all the scary parts seem miles away. When seen up close, the scary big monster of fear was actually just this thing that everyone else has or will go through and it all makes sense now.
…that you are not alone. You never were. Through these experiences, we are built stronger than before.
these photographs were taken around the Boston city within walking distance. i was testing out my new film camera (found at a thrift store! ) surprisingly, i used colored film, but it developed into black and white. it’s lucky because black and white film is more expensive anyway. i love the texture of the photographs. the dates are completely wrong, too. taken 2016 not 1994. i thought this impromptu trip around the city (and seeing it in various locations) complemented well with the topic of navigating our varying perspectives of fears and their depths. think about this, when was the last time you faced your fears and your life changed for the better because of it?
Taken in 2008, scanned. I don’t develop many photographs I take, but i found these in an album. maybe in the future i can dig up more photographs. Enjoy.
Every so often, my urge to travel comes so suddenly and I find myself feeling a tiny bit nostalgic. Quick glimpses of images, words and feelings of my travels appear out of nowhere; such as how freeing it felt to sit behind a motorcycle as the wind and I became one through the blurry night of lights and cars or seeing faces of the wonderful people I met and remembering the conversations we had. They were all simple, yet cherished experiences for me. My appreciation for new experiences has never left it seems.
It’s difficult for me to describe the feeling I get from traveling. Feels similar to meditation and anticipation; acknowledging that there is the unknown and embracing it. It’s like when my father told me I wouldn’t understand what falling in love would feel like until it happened. I understand that now. I guess, essentially, traveling teaches me to embrace the freedom to feel, to act, to learn, to be and to change. There’s a vulnerability, innocence and blind trust involved when staying at a new place and learning to live there as a visitor.
It’s worth it. One of the memories I often remember is the night I came home from a six month adventure abroad. I was meeting my family at the luggage carousel and I didn’t see them. I was so used to looking ahead and being on my own that I forgot to look beside me. I heard my mom yell out my name and to my left was where they sat waiting all along. My sister had said I looked so different that she almost didn’t recognize me. I understood what she meant because that’s how I felt about myself. As days passed, it was how I felt about life, them, home and everything around me. I am grateful for all of it.
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous
hello everyone and good day, im enjoying this summer while it lasts. summer always goes by so quickly. here’s one of the video projects i did. it’s short and sweet. this was posted and made for the couple’s blog i write for fun when i’m not here doing fun things. you can check it out here. the post for this particular Lake George trip is here, if you’re interested. yay to film and the beauty and freedom of creativity and self-expression. smile <3
hi everyone, i’ve been working on some video projects and felt inspired to create one of the first black & white film roll i used throughout last year and combine it with a poem i wrote, titled “35mm.” the photography post is here if you’d like to see it. here’s my film/video section if you want to see more.
I created a video of the poem, “vermont journey.”