Life without borders

1959795_10104597322241254_1641446197_n-1

In two weeks, I leave for an anticipated challenging adventure to India. My heart has been anxiously pursing something to stay passionate about, and that kept me close to my wanderlust and love for people.

As I join a group of diverse people from different ages and backgrounds, we share a common mission in putting love into action. Love is powerful and poverty is something foreign to most of us living in a place where we can access clean water and a toilet when we want. India has been on my heart for years and I am trying to prepare my heart with little expectations.

This short, two week (yet rewarding) opportunity allows me to grow in my faith in humanity, learn from a different culture than my own, while being open to what India can teach me about life. I don’t pretend I know what it is like to live in poverty, but I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with new friends in India. My hope is to be fully engaged and revealing kindness in action, without hesitation or fear. I don’t think you need to fly across the world in order to practice this, but I believe God is creative and values our willingness to explore His world.

Preparing for this adventure takes patience and consistent reflection. However, I have come to realize that we can only prepare ourselves so much for adventures; part of the experience is learning how to respond when challenges arise, and how to trust that things will turn out just as they should.

What would your life look like without borders?

What Chinese Buddhism taught me

DSC_0095DSC_0181DSC_0223

Be balanced, be kind, unwind your mind.

After a challenging, yet rewarding five-day retreat at a Buddhist Monastery, as part of my Philosophical Buddhism course this past January, I couldn’t help but return back to the Hsi Lai Temple. I was involved in the Chinese New Year celebrations where the women were dressed in traditional Laos and Indian costumes, and it felt strangely comfortable not needing to have everything translated into English–I instantly felt like I was being transported to Asia for the day. So who’s ready to explore SE Asia with me now?

Up on the rooftop

DSC_0960DSC_1056DSC_1218DSC_0810DSC_1167DSC_0882DSC_0283DSC_0250DSC_0821DSC_0140DSC_0709DSC_0328DSC_0510

Can we talk about how gorgeous my friends are for a hot minute?

They’re my undercover models.

I’ve grown up with these gals and we’ve seen each other at our worst and at our best. No matter what happens or where life takes us, we still hold on to each other. And we’re always, always laughing.

P.S. after getting into trouble for our shanahanigans on the rooftop, our next move included splitting a pitcher of margaritas and tacos for happy hour and planning our next adventure.

Impulsive dreaming

“It’s ok to be sleepless and restless.Late nights and early mornings are worth it.It’s ok to let a dream consume you.To breathe it, eat it, drink it, make love to it, let it seep in, permeate through your pores, pulse through your veins, rise the hair up on your skin, bounce from cell to cell and let it radiate from the very core of you.I feel we have to dream a dream that way, otherwise it’ll only be just a dream.”-Satori

148770_10151214937052694_1142000070_n

My impulsiveness loves that life is always the biggest adventure if we want it to be.

Boston Strong

DSC_0169DSC_0180DSC_0137

My mom always told me I’d love Boston. The idea of me attending graduate school at Harvard and meeting some gorgeous guy studying Political Science or something probably gives her hope that I won’t run off to some South American country and elope.

I’d have to admit that my mom is right about a lot of things, I did love my visit to Boston. Not only do I love the anticipation and thrill of exploring a city for the first time, but I had a mini reunion with some friends I met when I was living in Perugia, Italy!

It felt refreshing to be in a city that actually embraces Fall (seasons don’t exist in L.A.) and Boston has this undeniable tenacity, integrity, and pride that I appreciate and love (not to mention the U.S. was founded in the heart of the city).  But between the rides on the T from one part of town to another, passing by the impressive amount of Dunkin Donut shops and quoting Good Will Hunting at any given moment,  it dawned on me that the North End didn’t seem to spark like North Beach, and I couldn’t help but think of San Francisco…

*Bostonians refer to the train in Boston as the “T”

*North End: little Italy in Boston

*North Beach: little Italy in San Francisco

Celebrating life

I’m a big believer in honest introspection and learning from the string of moments that make up our lives. My friends call it real talk, so let’s get real. 

Here’s a look into what I’ve learned, and am still learning  in my own life:

1. You are incredibly powerful and capable, stay passionate.

2. Soak up experience. There’s no rules how to live.

3.  Travel is one of the most rewarding gifts you can give yourself.

4. Loving someone means accepting and celebrating everything about them.

5. Don’t be apologetic about your faith.

6. Nothing is worth sacrificing your own joy.

7.  Take care of yourself-mind, body, & spirit.

8. Don’t underestimate what you can accomplish in one day.

9. Confidence in your own individuality is straight up sexy.

10. Make an intentional effort to strengthen your friendships.

11. Don’t underestimate the power of eye contact.

12. Reading is an easy form of knowledge and perspective.

13. Fall in love with yourself. You’ll realize how freeing it is.

14. Be dependable, keep your word…people appreciate that.

15. There is beauty everywhere and in everyone.

16. Learning how to love again is just as incredible as falling in love for the first time.

17. There’s no such thing as strangers, we all have to start somewhere. Be friendly towards everyone.

18. Be in tune with your aspirations and future goals.

19. Challenge yourself often; learning never really ends.

20. Your vulnerability unfolds into courageous beauty.

21. Stop waiting/complaining for something to happen, make things happen.

22. Liberate your mind. There’s nothing sexy about hatred or close-mindedness.

l

How to fall in love with your life

1

Let go. Find your bliss. Give joy.

Love without ceasing. Appreciate exactly where you are. 

“Realize that the world is athrill with beauty and excitement. Keep yourself sensitized to it. Never lose your enthusiasm.”(Stay Alive All Your Life, by Prentice Hall1957. Discovered serendipitously in my college library)

What San Francisco taught me

DSC_0176
The Golden Gate at dusk

To those who are fortunate enough to experience San Francisco, it’s easy to catch the city’s infectious energy. This city is proudly photogenic and individualistic. Creativity is found everywhere–from the people  entertaining you on your bus rides across town, to the genius concoctions in novelty restaurants and cafés lining Victorian pastel painted houses.

This city is fully alive.

View of the city from USF campus
Divisadero street art

San Francisco taught me that life can be anything you want it to be. Whoever you want to love–love them fiercely. Whatever enthralls you to your bones–push your own limits and create a new project for yourself. I truly believe everyone is creative, they just don’t know it.

Experiment with your senses. As an international city, every type of food you can imagine is probably right around the corner. There is always something to do and see. I’ll admit that I get bored doing the same thing for too long, so I love the opportunities the city always offers (my favorite was the celebration of India at the Festival of Chariots in Golden Gate park).

Go fall in love with San Francisco!

My heart aches to live with intention

0hI6n5P-DabM0iZ0g4HbXo3glwvXasNtw_w3sBH_Bfo
Morocco Feb 2012/ Photo credit: Stephen Doyle

The most powerful thing travel taught me was how to live.

The memories you create, the people you meet, the things you see.

It changes you. Inspires you.

For the past few months, I’ve felt like a storyteller. Now, I want to take serious action to serve others.

Action on a global, tangible scale.

While researching humanitarian organizations to collaborate with, I came across charity: water. Their mission is simple yet groundbreaking: bring clean water to those who desperately need it. We take water for granted, but it’s the most basic, deserving daily need. The integrity and authentic enthusiasm of this nonprofit is what caught my eye. Immediately, I thought to myself: wow… I want to work with people like this. People that share the same passion to serve others, because we understand that taking action and giving love brings life meaning. This is what life is about. To be blunt, my goal is to work with a passionate, creative group of people who actively seek living life with intention and courage.

I want to share this because this is what’s on my heart and I know the world isn’t so big after all. Life is sometimes a series of actions, and I choose to make my dreams happen.

“I learned from a very young age that if I pursued the things that truly excited me, that they would reward in more important ways, like happiness.”

What adventure do you choose?