Tuesday Photo Challenge: Salvaged

I went to the September 11 Memorial and Museum in the summer of 2012. I came across this sculpture of the old New York sky line. The medium was a salvaged piece of the World Trade Center. Definitely not junk.

Theme: Junk

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Our Shared Yard

When we travel abroad, we noticed in large cities there tends to be a lot of parks. What is shocking is that people actually use them and use every amenity available from soccer (football) fields, gym equipment, playsets, and open space to practice yoga. The afternoons in Paris were filled with elementary school children playing in the park. When the sun is out, people come out to the parks to celebrate good weather by running, walking, wandering, using the gym equipment, and simply people watching.

Luckily living in Los Angeles, people do use parks and green spaces. There are some parks I drive to and times there are no spaces for me to park my car. But I think Los Angeles falls in the minority compared to other large American cities who have parks. One time when we were visiting our in-laws in suburban San Diego, we took our dogs to a dog park nearby. Sadly we were the only people and they were the only dogs at the dog park. There is another neighborhood park nearby my in-laws’ home and most of the times it is deserted. You would think in suburban neighborhoods people would be encouraged to go to the parks — it uses so much land. Also, it is not like people in the suburbs play in their large backyard with a swimming pool and plastic playground set. Instead I’ve observed most of the suburbanites tend to stay indoors playing on their smartphone or their Xbox.

Sempione Park – Milan, Italy

Tuesday Photo Challenge Theme: Yard

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Markers along the Walk of the Gods

When I do long walks or run long distance, I always keep my eyes peeled for any markers. It indicates that I am going on the right path and it is a way of how I measure progress. I remembered when I ran my first half-marathon, each mile marker I crossed meant I was closer to the finish line.

For this week’s theme, Number, I want to feature the Walk of the Gods  (or Sentiero degli Dei in Italian) in the Amalfi Coast. It is a 7 km hike between Bomerano and Nocelle (the town above Positano). My husband and I started from Bomerano. It is a fairly easy hike. Along the way, you will find these numbered markers. From Bomerano, it starts at 15 and counts down. If you are starting from Nocelle, it counts up.

Walk of the Gods sign
Let’s start walking!
We finally arrived to Positano

Weekly Photo Challenge: Number

The delayed gratification of posting travel photos when you come home from your trip

Phew…Quite the post title.

Instead of live posting every moment of our trip, I decided to wait until I come home to do it. I had many reasons to why I waited and I’ve been doing this practice for the last few trips with the exception of a few.

We don’t have a roommate or someone watching the house

This is my primary reason to why I don’t post live on social media. It tells people the house is empty and attracts people to break in to rob or vandalize your home. There would be times where we would share live, but we either had a roommate living with us or a family member staying in watching the house. Safety is more important than social status.

It takes a lot of time

I finally got around to posting on my social media. Speaking of which, follow me on Instagram and my Facebook page! Side note: I am still figuring out how to use my Facebook page for my blog. It’s been going through quite a bit of iterations.

Anyways, I forgot it takes quite a bit of time to share. It has nothing to do with choosing the perfect filter since I don’t filter or modify any of my photos. Yesterday, when I was sharing photos of my 36 hours in Milan, it took me some time to choose which photos, type a caption, attempt in micro-blogging, and share it on all my social media platforms. To me, it is that nagging thing each day when I come back to the hotel. At least when I am home, I can enjoy my travels more because I can use it to reflect. It’s kind of like a project where I share pieces of it throughout the week.

The cellular network and WiFi may not always be plentiful

When I am abroad, I rely on WiFi rather than cellular network because the speed at max 2G rather than 4G back home. If I were to share on social media in real-time, uploading would suck a lot of battery throughout the day. When we went to Peru (and I promise there will be more content for Peru), I did not quite post these photos in real time. I posted at the end of each day at our accommodations.

In our last trip, two of the hotels we stayed in had good WiFI, but two out of the three AirBNBs had less than reliable WiFi. Since I already made a decision to not post until I come back, I was not too concerned about being connected all the time. If connectivity is that important to me, I would have hung out at McDonald’s for the WiFi. But who want to do that? Unless you’re eating at McDonald’s.

I don’t overshare. Instead, I curate and do storytelling.

Delaying my posts allows me to tell the story of my trip rather than bombard people with picture after picture. A lot of the times, these pictures shared in real time are terrible.

Instead of making my photos the star of the trip, I wanted my stories and observations to take front and center. I am not talking about a history lesson or spew out random facts about a landmark even those are okay, but anybody can go on Wikipedia to copy and paste facts for their captions.

I wanted to share my most frequent phrases in a foreign language, observations on how the rest of the world sees United States culture, a conversation I had with a local, and opinions. I wanted to share a more enriched travel story rather than show the superficial. There is nothing telling behind captions like “Slice of life” or “Views on views” or “Woke up in paradise” or “Should do this (what’s that?) more often.”

instagram story screenshot Milan
The United Tastes of Hamerica is an authentic American restaurant in Milan. I guess their take on American foods are burgers, bigger burgers, ribs, tacos, burritos, and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. For the most part, they’re not wrong.
Source: My Instagram stories
instagram post screenshot Milan
I enjoyed Milan but people may complain that the buildings are too modern compared to the rest of Italy.

Do you share your photos on social media during your trip? Share below!

Tuesday Photo Challenge: The Campaign

This photo goes back to 2005 when my family and I went to Paris one summer. We were on a bus and we saw all these rollerbladers. It appeared to be an impromptu parade by the Parisians. There were also runners, people dancing on parade floats, and music — though I do not have any pictures of that. Anyways this parade was a campaign bid for Paris to participate in a future summer Olympics. It was lively to watch.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Action

Lounging on a pool float


I’m blogging from Paris. I’ll be on vacation for the next few days so the timing of posts will be a little funny. 

Anyways, this is a photo I took at the Getty Villa in Malibu last year. It is like a smaller version of Hearst Castle in San Simeon. I do envy the statue who gets to relax in the pool. It looks like he is on a pool float rather than a rock.

Tuesday photo challenge: Rest

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Like a stone

I do not have any cats of my own. But I do have this photo of a feral cat. I took it when exploring the little Italian fishing village, Riomaggiore. It looked like it preferred being left alone.

On another note, I know I haven’t posted a lot lately. I”ve got plenty of posts in draft mode waiting to go live. It just needs a little bit of polishing.

Tuesday photo challenge: Cat

Tuesday photo challenge: Transport

The most underrated thing about Los Angeles is the nature. You don’t need to drive very far to find it.

Wisdom Tree Tree of Life

Tuesday photo challenge: Transport

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Portal

Let’s see if I can keep up this weekly photo challenge.

In Florence (Firenze), Italy, 2015. I could not help but pose next to this little door.

My husband and I went to Italy for our (finally) honeymoon. I am excited to come back to Italy five years later.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Portal

Travel Tuesday: Jardin Sagrado, Cusco

I am still in the process of organizing my photos for my SmugMug site. Now since I feel like I’ve settled, I can use this opportunity to organize my SmugMug site and share some photos I find on the way. I’ll perhaps use this time to do a little reminiscing.

To start, Cusco is a charming city worth exploring. If you are going to Machu Picchu, please do not overlook Cusco. On our first day of exploring, we found this large patch of green and I could not help but admire it. It just looks relaxing.

201901Peru (873)
Jardin Sagrado from the top of a hill

Travel Tuesday: Along the Central Coast

For years when I go to the Bay Area, I would take a plane ride. It only took 45 minutes from LA to SJC.

Then again, most of my trips to the Bay Area were related to work. When I had to work somewhere in Southern California, I drove a lot. My long travels for work made me hate driving.

When I went to Hearst Castle at the beginning of the month, we drove. I almost dreaded the idea of driving so many hours because it brought back a lot of irritating memories of driving long distances everywhere. But I no longer work there, and I now take public transit for work. I need to remind myself that I can now drive for fun.

But also I forgot how wonderful the central coast is.

We get to pass by the cute Danish town of Solvang. Enjoy split-pea soup for lunch at Buelton.

Admire the golden hills in San Simeon.

…and of course, admire the coastlines. We passed by a cute little beach town called Cayucos.  We did not spend too much time there. We stopped by for a bathroom break and got some coffee at Cayucos Coffee before heading back home.

Cayucos

My summer will mostly consist of reading, writing, final grad school project, and home remodeling. Somehow we were able to fit in some excursions too. They’re not too far… One is even 30 minutes away from us.