Pick a pastry

Sugar brings happiness. Eating it once or twice a week in a dessert, that’s what life is about. There is nothing wrong with it.

Adriano Zumbo

One of my favorite things about travelling is eating pastries and desserts — it’s always on my travel itinerary. This is from a pastry shop in Rome. Feel free to pick one — or pick them all!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #142 – You Pick It!

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: 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: 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

Still around

This was a photo from two years ago when my husband and I finally went to Italy for our honeymoon about a year after we got married. This photo was taken on our first day arriving to Rome at the train station walking to our AirBnB. We were elated to finally take some vacation, we wanted to take it all in — the free time, food, the culture, and old structures that have been around far longer than America itself.

On to way to our AirBnB, we were walking along the Aurelian Walls — these have been here 275 AD. Rome did a great job preserving it so someone like me could appreciate it 2 millenia later. What I love about Rome is that it retains these ancient elements around the city — like a wall, a theatre, a forum–blending it more modern buildings and shops. That is something I have not seen in any other city. If anything, other cities would get rid of the old structures to make room for more roads and to create a more uniform skyline of skyscrapers and edifices.Rome Porta Tiburtina

Weekly Photo Challenge: Weathered

Check out other bloggers and their photos around the theme, Weathered:

Week 14: Part one of many…my favorite travel destinations

Week 14: Top three favorite destinations

For this week’s Travel Tuesday, I’ll be sharing my top three travel destinations. Top Three? How did I narrow this down? Well I did not… Think of this little list as part of a far longer list of favorite destination ;-).

Angkor Wat (Cambodia): 

This was my first big trip after college. I decided to go explore Southeast Asia. I went here back in 2012. These temples are something and far larger in person.


Denali National Park, Alaska, USA

Denali National Park is one of my favorite national parks I’ve gone to so. I went here back in 2004 with my parents. It’s a huge park with 90 miles of road and they only allow your private vehicle to drive up to mile 14. To explore the rest of the park, you need to take a National Park Service shuttle. They do this to preserve the wild life of the park. Imagine if they did it to all the national parks?

Denali National Park 1Denali National Park 2

Rome, Italy

Unfortunately we did not take our time to enjoy Rome. We only spent two whole days exploring the city, when it should deserve at least 5-7 whole days. We’ll be back, Rome!


Rome Collosseum

Honorable mentions:

  • Amalfi Coast
  • Zion National Park
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Kyoto, Japan
  • Mt. Apo, Davao, Phillippines
  • Versaille, France
  • Paris, France
  • Florence, Italy

What are your favorite travel destinations?

Read more posts from the Travel Blogging Challenge:

Week 1: Your Favorite Travel Photo of You and Intro
Week 2: Little Known Travel Tips
Week 3: Funny Travel Story
Week 4: Travel Misadventures
Week 5: Top three cultural foods
Week 6: Unusual Travel Activities and Photos
Week 7: Inspiration for traveling
Week 8: 5 Favorite Blogs
Week 9: Gross/disgusting travel stories
Week 10: Best adventures while traveling
Week 11: What’s in my backpack?
Week 12: Happy and Sad Travel Stories
Week 13: Unique Cultures Encountered

Who else is doing the challenge?

Interested in participating in the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge? Feel free to make your own today!

I miss looking out the window…

My husband and I went to Italy for two weeks and we spent the second half of our trip in a farmstay in Furore along the Amalfi Coast. We loved getting farm-to-table meals and wine during our stay. It was wonderful getting this view every day from our room. I thought that town were always looking over was a cute little corner point towards the Mediterranean.

Corner Amalfi Coast

Weekly Photo Challenge: Corner

Check out some of these submissions for their interpretation for “Corner“:

Week 10: Some of my many favorite adventures

Week 10: Best adventures while traveling

I am going to begin this post but going off-topic. My friend who I’ve known since my college years inquired about starting a blog. We met in LA and it’s funny how we kept in touch after all these years. I moved to San Diego, she moved to Monterey Bay. I moved back to LA, and she moved back to El Salvador. I think she should go for it :-).

It’s Travel Tuesday and I am halfway through the challenge. So far it’s been fun writing all about my adventures and an excuse to pull out some old photos. I am not sure how to organize this post, so why not just list down my many favorite adventures!

  • Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour – This was from my Costa Rica trip last year. I loved how everything was so green and the fauna was so diverse!

  • Ziplining – When you are in Costa Rica, you got to go zip-lining. It’s quite a unique 360 experience of the absorbing the rainforest around you.


  • Going on a boat –– really any activity on a boat is fun. Unless you get seasick.


Me on a boat from Amalfi to Capri

  • Taking public transit – I enjoy taking the train whether it’s Amtrak at home, the Trenitalia in Italy, or the subway in Paris.


  • Hiking the Amalfi Coast, National Parks, cities — hike anywhere really… Just go outside!


Mt. Tre Cali at Amalfi Coast


Yosemite, CA


Sequoia, Kings Canyon, CA

Me wandering around Florence, Italy

  • A lot of times, my adventures are local. I like going to quirky events like the Lego exhibit in Glendale, driving all the way down to San Pedro after work to see the large rubber duck, or taking the subway to downtown LA to see large inflatable bunnies.



Read more posts from the Travel Blogging Challenge:

Week 1: Your Favorite Travel Photo of You and Intro
Week 2: Little Known Travel Tips
Week 3: Funny Travel Story
Week 4: Travel Misadventures
Week 5: Top three cultural foods
Week 6: Unusual Travel Activities and Photos
Week 7: Inspiration for traveling
Week 8: 5 Favorite Blogs
Week 9: Gross/disgusting travel stories

Who else is doing the challenge?

Interested in participating in the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge? Feel free to make your own today!

Land Urchins

When we were in the Amalfi Coast, I found these spiky-looking green ball around the ground. I’ve never seen them before and I jokingly called them land urchins. Later I learned these were called castagne, or chestnuts.

There you go…land urchins :-P.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture

Check out some of these submissions for their interpretation for texture:

WPC: Textures; snaphappi
Weathered by the Sea; Note to Traveler
Textures: Needs A Rake; Photoessayist The Blog
Textures; The Traveling Book Club

Texture; Through the Lens
Low Tide; By Sarah
5pointz: Geisha; AlphaPRJCT

Week 5: Bangkok, Los Angeles, Naples

Week  4 of the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge: Top 3 Cultural Foods

“Travel Tuesday” is a back and I am so excited to post this set because my favorite thing about travel is the food. Here are my Top 3 Cities with the best food.

Bangkok, Thailand

I was in Southeast Asia back in 2012 exploring Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam…and I had a brief, less-than-24-hour stint in Hong Kong. I have to say, Bangkok has AMAZING food or my friend who lives in Bangkok took me to all these great places. Maybe because I was young, I loved how places opened late and there were still people around. It reminded me of living Los Angeles when I was in college. At the time, I lived in sleepy San Diego for about 3 years and being in Bangkok made me miss the liveliness of living in the city.

I have to say, fruit in the food stands in Thailand was good. Keeping the fruit under the shade makes all the difference. It was a contrast in buying fruit laying out in the sun from a stand in Cambodia.

Naples, Italy

This was from our long overdue honeymoon in Italy. We went to Italy in September 2015 — our wedding was in October 2014. See, overdue. We went to Rome, Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre, Naples, and the Amalfi Coast. Out of all the cities, Naples had the best food and the most diverse. Naples had the best pizza — after all, that is where pizza was invented. My favorite snack (from this whole trip!) was this fried seafood medley.

Los Angeles, CA

I know, I live in Los Angeles, but I feel no matter what your budget is you can find really, good food. Sometimes the saying “you get what you pay for” does not apply in food in Los Angeles.

I love how I can always somehow find food reminiscent of my travels somewhere in LA. If I want Neapolitan style pizza, I can go to Midici’s down the street from my house. If I want kanom krok, I can find it in a Thai stand in Grand Central Market.

Read more posts from the Travel Blogging Challenge:

Week 1: Your Favorite Travel Photo of You and Intro
Week 2: Little Known Travel Tips
Week 3: Funny Travel Story
Week 4: Travel Misadventures

Who else is doing the challenge?

Interested in participating in the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge? Feel free to make your own today!

Bridges around the World

Wow, I had to dig really deep to find some photos of a bridges from my travels. There’s something so charming, pensive, or adventurous about bridges no matter what the size.



Bridges in Italy (2015)
Top (from left to right): Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast
Bottom: Florence, Amalfi Coast

costa rica monterverde cloud forest

Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica (2016)

New York City Highline

Highline Park, New York City, USA (2012)


Bridges of Japan (2007)
Top: Shirikawa, Tokyo
Bottom: Kanazawa, Takayama

Somewhere in the California Central Coast (2006). This view along with a cup of coffee makes me feel pensive.

San Francisco (2015). This was from the Google San Francisco office.

From the top of the Eiffel Tower (2005)

And of course, home

Weekly Photo Challenge: Bridge