Lifestyle & Travel

Hi, My name is Tiffany and welcome to the phamily! I am an adventurer who is currently based in NYC.

Towards the end of 2018, I quit my corporate job to travel the world and since then I have had the opportunity to soul search as well as challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone. This experience has taught me to embrace uncertainty, to be grateful, and to stand up for what I believe in. I hope my journey can inspire you to walk your own path and to ultimately live life to the fullest 🙂

About me(and my former self):

I am a 25 year old from the Bay Area( I grew up in San Jose, CA and moved quite a distance–a full hour and a half drive– to Berkeley, CA for college then even further–a whopping 20 minute drive– to San Francisco for my corporate job) and am now residing in the Big Apple( where I had to ditch my car for the Subway).

My travel philosophy revolves around spontaneity and saying yes to every opportunity that arises to pack my bags and hop on an airplane.

Thanks for visiting!

Road tripping from Monaco to Paris–France

I took a long break from publishing posts for awhile since there were more urgent matters occurring in the world–such as COVID, BLM, the world ending, etc and I wanted time to process as well as show respect by taking a pause. This was written awhile ago and I hope it helps you take your mind off of the heavier things that seem to be ceaselessly occurring and gives you a slight reprieve from being stuck wherever you’re currently quarantining.

Thanks for traveling with me, let’s have some fun!

We drove from Arles to Paris in the middle of the night because we were creeped out big time!

Part 1:

The original plan was to take a train from Monaco to Paris but while we were in Monaco, we had gotten news that there had been a terrorist attack at one of the train stations in Marseille and decided that we’d feel more comfortable driving.

I recommend doing this drive since you pass by a lot of unreal scenery but at the same time, I also don’t recommend it. Here’s why:

South of France Vibes

The route from Monaco to Aix-en-Provence was absolutely stunning– You pass by Nice, Cannes, Saint-Tropez, and Marseille(we skipped this area because it was pretty chaotic due to the recent acts of terrorism mentioned above).

The drive along the coast of Southern France is absolutely worth doing and I can’t recommend it enough. This is probably my favorite coastal scenery in the world and I’ve seen a lot of stunning coastlines as a California native. There is something so timeless and elegant about this part of France; it makes you think of summer done right(not comparable to the hot and humid summers of New York, sorry NYC still love you). Time moves slower and everyone is soaking up the sun as well as the seconds…there is no hurry and nothing else matters in the world.

I believe this overall vibe is attained through the mixture of multiple European cultures condensed into one small area–Spain, Italy and even Greece are close to the border and the run off of the cultures mixed with French tradition creates an eclectic and unpretentious laid back atmosphere.

In short, the south of France is effortlessly cool.

The drive was pleasant and you are driving along a curvy cliff road that encompasses a stunning coast(I suggest taking turns at the wheel if you are traveling with other people so you can be safe and take in the views while someone else is driving).

PART 2:

The French Countryside

National parks, lavender and sunflower fields and tolls galore: Aix-en-Provence to Avignon, Arles, and Lyon.

Important tip- Have cash on hand because you will encounter a lot of tolls on the way and some do not take foreign credit cards.

This strip of the journey was filled with farmhouses, bridges and vast fields. There is a ton of historical french architecture–such as castles(both abandoned and occupied), wineries and cute French villages. Oh, and a ton of round-a-bouts.

Our first stop was in Arles–where we planned to stay the night and explore the next day. Our plans were thwarted by the creepy bed and breakfast we chose to stay at(there were not a ton of options in terms of hotels in the area).

Here’s a little history lesson about Arles and its significance. Have you heard of Van Gogh? Well, if you haven’t then you should Gogh and look his work up on the goog. If you have, then you might know that the sunflower fields in Arles were what inspired him to paint his famous painting, Sunflowers in 1888-1889. Since he is one of my favorite artists, I wanted to stay in the town that he lived in and figure out why the fuck he cut his ear off while living here. I think I might’ve discovered why after spending the afternoon in Arles. Fun fact: Picasso was another artist known to frequent the town.

The vibe in Arles is…charming with a slight hint of tortured artist. What I mean by this is that it was pleasant in the day time, painfully beautiful even; and if you are lucky enough to catch the sunset then you would understand why Van Gogh chose to live here but at night it was a little eerie. Arles left you alone in the quiet, dark nights with only your thoughts and the starry night.

The old stone architectural style gave the town an old school gothic vibe. It was very mid-century pre renaissance middle ages mixed in with a contemporary revolutionary era undertone.

We saw cars parked but no people and to this day, we still have no clue as to where those people could have gone since there were not many buildings nearby, the restaurants/bars will not at full capacity and the streets were pretty empty. Not out of the ordinary enough to make us pack our bags and run, yet.

On the way to our Bed and Breakfast, we were lucky enough to witness an unforgettable sunset that lit the sky up a crimson red color; a total foreshadow of what we were in for that night. It wasn’t until we arrived at our B&B that we started to feel uneasy. The place was set up in a sterile looking old mansion situated in the middle of empty fields, and as soon as we parked the car and walked in we were greeted by an older woman who didn’t ask for any identification(this was the first place that did not ask for a copy of our passports and credit cards…should’ve been a red flag but she’s a cute old lady so we didn’t think too much of it) and just led us to our rooms. The hallways were eerily dim and we passed by several dark empty “chambers”(I think this means room in French) before reaching our room.

As soon as we stepped foot into the room, we got a whiff of something that smelled like a mixture of embalming fluids and a rotting dead body; it made me recall the rat dissection that we all had to do in high school biology, the chemical scent was strong enough to almost mask the rotting smell. We thought someone had been murdered in that room because it stunk, we told the lady and she seemed unfazed. She robotically offered to move us to another room, which to her defense didn’t smell bad but was just as creepy looking because it was furnished in an atrocious red/hot pink color(you know, probably to mask up the blood splatter). The way that room was decorated should be a crime in itself. Anyway, she winked at us and called it the “romantic room”. That was when the terror started to set in and we were admittedly a little scared. We had gotten the infamous Arles experience we wanted. So we told her we were heading out to dinner and got our luggage and literally sprinted out of there before this turned into an episode of CSI: Dumb Bitches.

The drive to Paris was a total of 8 hours nonstop and by the time we arrived in Paris it was 5 am. We were running on adrenaline and about to collapse. I tried calling every hotel and begged them to let us check in early but there were either no vacancies or we were too late for the night and had to wait until the next day. Only one hotel agreed to let us in early and even let us sleep in their spa; I am honestly forever grateful to them and will recommend this hotel to anybody who asks where the best place to stay in Paris is–it actually is one of the best places to stay merit wise despite them doing us a huge favor. There was a (very, very cute) French guy manning the front desk at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome and he was kind enough to take us in and he even opened up the spa early just for us so we could wash up and rest. I am still grateful for his kindness to this day. This experience taught me to always remember that you never know what someone else has just been through and is currently going through and just a simple gesture of kindness could mean the world to them. Kindness goes a long a way and can spark a chain reaction, you never know what you could be contributing to so let’s help lift each other up and if you are ever in the position to do so, I hope you help make someone’s burden a little lighter.

We ending up staying at the Park Hyatt for a week–when we originally planned to only be in Paris for 3 days– because the experience was unlike any other. They let us check into our room early after napping in their exceptional spa and even sent up macarons and a bottle of wine after giving us time to settle in. The service is truly the one of best I’ve experienced after traveling around the world…the Four Seasons Resort in Maui was the other hotels that I would go back to just to stay at the hotel because it was so great (though Maui as a destination is wonderful).

Paris was wonderful and everything I imagined it would be, though the itinerary will have to come later in another post since it will be a long one as I have a ton of food recommendations and things to rave about.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Covid-19: a wake up call for society

Maybe this is the C-19 and diarrhea talking but this is something I had to get off my chest since there is currently no cure to literally get the Coronavirus off of my chest(and lungs rip) and apparently my gastrointestinal tract. So call me dramatic but honestly #calledit.

2020. What a year it has been and despite all the events that are happening in the world, we are still refusing to acknowledge that there is a universal crisis. One dilemma after the next, we choose to remain in denial and to keep on with our lives, we turn the blind eye to the suffering; until the universe no longer gives us the option to ignore each other’s pain and more importantly the planet and living beings that we share this planet with. Now is a time where it is necessary to come together as one and to offer the love, support and kindness that should’ve already existed long before we had to be forced to awaken. Nature is extremely intelligent and self-regulates every so often. Our job is to listen to and respect it. Why did this virus come into existence in the first place? Because humans were fucking with the natural law of the world.

Since people refuse to take time for stillness and opt to numb everything by adopting the “gogogo mentality”, the universe is forcing us to be human again. To simple BE. Trust me, this will be difficult with everything that is happening around us–I can tell you that I am having a tough time processing current events. We are being forced to be alone(maybe because we need to face ourselves) as people start self-quarantining and given an opportunity to reflect as the world is currently changing and trying to adapt itself to this widespread disaster. Most of us have all the time in the world now that we are stuck at home avoiding contact with other humans and so we will be forced to choose. To choose between two paths, action or inaction…one that leads to change or the other which leads to widespread catastrophe. Either way, fear will prompt the demise of humanity if we let it run rampant and lead us astray. Being fearful means we will be more inclined to be unkind in an effort to protect ourselves. We must not let it escalate to this. We have to listen to our fears but not give into them. Why are we afraid? How do me minimize this emotion? Through awareness, preparation and by taking action..taking back control.

So how do we take action? By showing love for those who share the earth with us and tuning into the needs of those around us. It is not just about you. Everything is connected and everyone is tied to each other. Every decision you make and every word you speak becomes translated into existence. The entire universe is working to help you. Let it. All you need to do is remember what is truly important. What is important to you? It’s time to ask yourself the serious questions. Is your job more important than your loved ones? If you were to die tomorrow what would you have wanted to get done today? Of course, we should be prepared in a physical/survival sense as well because in being ready, we put ourselves in a position to help both ourselves and others. You should stock up on food and water but remember to share with those who are in need as well. Every life counts. Notice how I said every life and not person? Animals and our environment are part of the picture. We cannot exist without both. That is the circle of life(what..you didn’t think I’d make a Lion King reference to emphasize the harmony of nature?)

To end this on a super realistic note..If you are one of my close friends, you already are aware of this but I have contracted the c-19 because I was being careless and chose to travel during this time. You never think it could occur to you until it does and this is a costly lesson to have learned. I hope that my mistakes did not affect anybody negatively but this is wishful thinking. I had a trip to Europe scheduled next week but will immediately halt my travels for the time being until we learn more about this thing. The only thing I can do now is to prevent someone else from contracting it, perhaps you might think that it is trivial in the grand scheme of things but one person can make a huge difference. I mean, this whole thing started off with one bat. In the words of Trevor Noah, “started from the Wuhan, now we’re here”; the problem wouldn’t have gotten to this point if we as humans did not use denial as a way to avoid and downplay all the issues we don’t feel like confronting. As a species, we are getting lazy. We would rather die and let those around us die than face our issues face on. Stop buying toilet paper and choose to be aware. Stop acting out of emotions and listen. If you were to stock up on anything, buy food/water/medicine.. you will not die if your ass is un-wiped omg. On a more positive note, get ready for more posts because I have so much free time I think I am going insane!

Asian American and a Woman…OOF!

Warning: It gets pretty controversial so feel free to stop reading if you get offended. Your body, your choice…wait.

This is a topic that I have been debating whether or not to officially address publicly since it is extremely controversial and I am aware that no two experiences are alike. ‘Tis a complicated subject matter to discuss, especially from only one viewpoint which makes it an even more dangerous task(who doesn’t love a little danger though). Of course, I’m writing this with the hopes that openly talking about my own personal experiences could potentially help someone who feels that they are left without a voice or are alone with their struggles. Despite experiencing my fair share of unjustified shame(sometimes self-induced) because I was born a certain race and gender, I am very fortunate because many of my close friends also happen to be Asian American women and so we are able to discuss certain aspects of our childhoods with each other that the other can relate to. It helps a great deal that I have more than just my own experiences and multiple perspectives to refer to when addressing such a multi-layered subject. However, most people do not get to grow up in the Bay Area where Asian people are the majority and have to deal with the general discrimination that all Asians face but on steroids. I am also aware that not everyone has the luxury of being understood by another person so I would say my true aspirations for the reader(aka you) would be to use this as a guide to lead yourself closer to building an identity independent of what society stereotypes you to be and forces you to conform to. Don’t let anyone define you or keep you in a box…unless you like being in a box then more power to you, you do you.

So what is it really like growing up as an Asian American woman? Let’s tackle this one step at a time.

Asian

Being Asian I always felt like, dare I say, a freak. Albeit I got the longer end of the stick and grew up around an abundance of asian people, I still felt like the odd one out so I can’t imagine how asian people who didn’t grow up around other asian people feel. We were given the “model minority” status by society but not to surprise anyone, that didn’t make us prideful or proud to be asian. It was quite the opposite. The pressure placed on us to achieve was more anxiety inducing than it was motivating. We were conditioned to feel like it was a privilege to be “positively” stereotyped. Sure we faced less bias and blatant racism than say, African Americans, but we were still discriminated against. Oppression is oppression even if it is disguised as something else. I have been called racial slurs like “chink” and referred to as “ching-chong” or some racist Chinese sounding name by a non-asian person who was simultaneously stretching apart the ends of their eyes with their hands so they achieved smaller looking eyes. NOT a good look btw so could you not. It was either that or they would ignorantly call me another ethnicity(not all asian people are Chinese). It was extremely dehumanizing. But hey, it’s all fun and games..why are you being such a Debby downer? Lighten up it was just a joke. So we would pretend to laugh and play along because this was expected of us…agreeableness. That’s part of the reason why everyone loves the token Asian person, right? We are supposed to be benign, absolutely harmless and good at math but oh so horrible at driving. We don’t like conflict/confrontation and never ever stir up the pot. Any of this sound familiar? If not, let me clear things up…women deal with the similar generalizations.

In regards to previous generations(our parents and grandparents), Asian people did not have the language skills to speak up for ourselves since we left our countries and immigrated to a foreign place where no one understood anything we were saying. Instead of considering this as admirable, people made fun of our accents even though we were attempting to learn their language to be able to communicate with them. Most of my fellow Asian American friends have parents who have immigrated to America when they were a bit older and as a result have an accent when speaking English. I think this is commendable because it indicates that they can speak another language aside from English(which they put a lot of effort into learning). Not everyone feels this way though and so they make fun of them for not having perfect English. Their hard work is not appreciated. When you see a white person speaking Chinese you automatically are amazed. Which brings me to my next point, all of our accomplishments are downplayed and nothing is ever good enough. We must work twice as hard to even be recognized for half the things that a white person gets credit for(no offense to white people…but admit it ya’ll are undeniably privileged).

Maybe this is why our parents expect so much of us. Because they never felt like they were good enough to fit into American society no matter how hard they worked. Asian parents want their kids to be so high achieving that their children no longer have to face the struggles that they themselves battled with their entire lives. In a way, they are mirroring the culture that pushed them to strive for the impossibility of perfection and are protecting their kids by embodying the society that has supplied them with countless obstacles because if they became the enemy then they could prepare their kids for what they themselves were so unequipped to battle.

Asian American

Piecing the parts together…being Asian American you feel like you do not belong. You’re not fully American because you do not fit the mold of the typical American but you’re also not Asian because you grew up in a different environment than your ancestors. So you end up feeling misplaced. Your exterior is contradictory to how you feel on the inside. You end up having an identity crisis because you are not what you appear to be on the surface and it’s fucking confusing. We struggle to bare the weight of our parent’s culture as well as the culture we grew up with. I had to learn to balance both these parts of myself and to own who I am but it didn’t come without a lot of pain and endless self-reflection. This adversity made us stronger but the pressure we faced from both our family and peers either made us or broke us. More often than not, many Asian Americans grew up feeling inferior and unseen. It was not until recently that here was even an effort being made to include Asian people in popular culture and to attempt to represent them as members of American society. When you are brought up to feel ashamed of what you are, it is tougher to develop a stable identity so I see a lot of asians either fully commit to their asian heritage or completely deny it. I may never be white or have naturally blonde hair but you can’t take away my Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte, Lululemon yoga pants, Uggs and my attraction to Chad/Brad/Thad(kidding).

woman

This one’s tricky. This has been a battle that has been fought for countless generations and hopefully it won’t have to extend to many more. Where do I even begin? Okay first off, fuck the patriarchy lol.

Being a woman in a man’s world is harder than it looks. I don’t need to be the person telling you this, of course. It is currently 2020 and if you are not aware of the oppression that women have faced and are still fighting against, which rock have you been living under and why haven’t you invited me over for dinner under this blissfully ignorant rock? As a matter of fact, women have faced similar struggles that asians have faced but just played out in a different way. We get paid less for the same work, are not encouraged possession or ownership of our bodies(in all senses of the concept) and are looked over when a position of power is up for grabs. The inequality women face is not acknowledged because the people who are writing and enforcing the rules are mostly men. Our voices are stifled by our gender and the differences in our anatomy just serve to emphasize the claim that we are the weaker sex.

Throughout my entire life, I always felt like I had to tone it down because being assertive and seen as a leader could be construed as “bitchy” if you have a vagina. So I just played along and nodded quietly when and if ever my opinion was elicited(it rarely was). Essentially I had to sit down and be humble whereas my male counterparts would be encouraged to go balls to the wall. I was not born with the golden balls(in reference to being born with a golden spoon if you did not catch on) and so I could not bring them to the wall. However, as I grew older, I learned that being a woman is a strength because we are taught to internalize at a young age and in doing so we are able to master ourselves more effectively. Self control and emotional regulation came earlier for girls than boys because we were forced to be aware of others’ feelings and to put them before our own. Though tragic, it made us resilient and aware of what it takes to be compassionate to others. Not saying that men do not possess the same qualities, they do but it takes them longer to fully master it. We had to create our own golden balls and this built character.

As you know, this portion can be elaborated into a whole separate post or even turned into a book…maybe a series. But I will save you the pain of me complaining about periods and men who can’t take no for an answer. If you’d like to learn more about the oppression women face, just go outside and have a look around you.

Double Minority

Growing up as a minority–or should I say a double minority–I was always taught to never ruffle the feathers and was encouraged to stay within the lines…”you should always listen to and respect your elders” and yes the stereotype is true, being asian two things were expected of you. Excelling in school(especially in math) and being obedient(to everyone but your own inner voice). People assumed the asian kid enjoyed being invisible and always followed the rules. This was true to an extent( though I rebelled at times). It’s even worse if you’re a girl. Now it wasn’t a matter of just your race that was scrutinized and appropriated but your gender as well. As an Asian American woman you had multiple battles to fight. The triple standard(being smart, attractive and competent) that women are expected to uphold combined with the double standard(being overachievers and model citizens) that asians are bombarded with were all aspects that I had to confront growing up. The pressure to succeed was heavy on my shoulders and when I did accomplish something it was shameful to be proud of it and unheard of to expect any acknowledgement that was proportional to the quality of work I produced. So I learned how use self-deprecating humor in order to make others feel comfortable at my expense(I know so many friends who do this too and it’s sad). Instead of receiving positive reinforcement for the things I did right I found that I got more attention when I did things wrong which is probably the root of all my problems now that I think of it.

Treating other human beings with respect and love should be the universal code but unfortunately there is still racism and discrimination present in the world. The sooner we openly acknowledge the issue, the sooner we can find a way to resolve it. Many millennials use humor(especially memes) as a way to address the issues that are present in todays society and although it is sometimes not the best way to solve problems, it offers a platform for open communication and if we talk about it then there is potential for deescalation. Once we identify the problems that each of us face because of another human then we can work out a compromise because we are all one and the same. There is no other species that harms their own–whether intentionally or due to ignorance–except ours. That is something to ponder.

Anyway, the moral of the story is just be who you are and fuck what everyone tells you you need to be. I am expected to write a proper conclusion because that’s just how things are done around here but I give zero fucks.

Aruba(where the desert meets the sea?)

Disclaimer: COVID-19 FREE ZONE. Since ya’ll are encouraged to not travel and to avoid human contact at this time, please enjoy this post instead. It wont give you coronavirus I promise. And you get to join me in the Caribbean. SO many wins.

Arrrruba! Prior to moving to NYC, I had no idea Aruba even existed and I am so glad to know that it’s real. This place is the best of both worlds. Who would’ve thought that you could find beautiful white sand beaches in a desert? It is the second best option if you aren’t able to travel all the way to Africa and want to experience both the desert and the sea in the same setting.

Namibia(the only place in the world where the ocean and desert meet) has been on the top of my bucket list since forever as well as Australia’s Pink Lake(which I heard, sadly, is no longer pink) and coincidentally I found similar phenomenons in Aruba. Although we accidentally stumbled across this pond and am not sure if the color is natural or man-made, this was overall a pretty cool experience. Word of warning though, it was stinky and reeked of sulfur aka the infamous rotten egg smell. That didn’t stop me from getting out of the car to take a million pictures though.

Coming from NYC where it was both freezing and raining, I got a little too excited to see the sun and, dramatically put, to finally feel warmth again so as a result got a nasty sunburn despite applying SPF 50 every hour. Before arriving, I expected the climate to be tropical and boy was I wrong; the savannah-like landscape was a pleasant surprise. It was not humid but rather quite dry(like a desert lol) which made going into the ocean even more satisfying and at times, necessary. The temperatures stayed in the mid to high 80s the entire time we were there and it rarely rained outside of San Nicolas(on the southern part of the island) but when it rained it never did so for more than an hour.

Not an ad ’cause didn’t even work

Apparently, Aruba is the only spot in the Caribbean that does not experience extreme weather such as typhoons or storms which makes it a perfect place to visit year round. It is also one of the safest countries in the Caribbean to visit if that is a concern as well. The abundance of beaches with white sand and turquoise colored water is mind blowing. My favorites were Eagle Beach and Palm Beach. Both had very different vibes despite only being a ten minute drive from each other, which if you consider how small the island is could be considered quite a distance.

I’ll start off with Eagle Beach since it was my favorite due to the fact that there were less people and you could always find a semi-private spot. In addition, the accessibility to water activities like jet skiing was a plus since it made the entire experience more convenient. It was around $60 to jet ski for one person and $15 more for two people, but my advice is to get your own so you can race hehe. The sunset at Eagle Beach was insane and I would definitely recommend watching it by the Divi trees(exclusive to Aruba). The only con I can think of is that this beach does not have any spots to grab food at which are walking distance so you would need to bring your own food. There is a bar, however.

Palm Beach is a lot more crowded and rowdy because of it’s proximity to all the main resorts and shops. The food options here were more abundant and better and if you ever find yourself in Aruba, you should try Eduardo’s shack. They have acai and poke as well as pressed juices and smoothies. Finding healthy food options that were also tasty was a bit tough here so we were super excited to discover this gem. This beach was where we went to grab food and people watch whereas Eagle Beach was where we opted to chill out and swim at.

Another stunning beach is Baby Beach, which is located on the Southern end of the island near San Nicolas(not as touristy and despite being known as the “run-down” portion of Aruba, I found it to possess lots of personality and to be pleasantly quirky). The water was very pleasant but it is a bit more rocky than the other beaches which had soft and silky sand.

If you are looking for more excitement, I can happily tell you that Aruba is the kitesurfing mecca. It gets extremely windy here which makes it the ideal place to kite surf, I did not see that many regular surfers because despite being windy the water is quite calm. There were two locations that I found where you could kite surf and one was conveniently located next to the Ritz Carlton in Oranjestad, no need to travel far. The other was a bit out of the way, it was called Boca Grandi but the wind looked stronger here so it is a better option for the more experienced surfers.

Another super exciting activity(not for the faint of heart because you will swoon) is feeding the stray dogs on the island! *In baby voice* They are so cute, smart, independent and all good boys/girls, oh yes they are.

OKAY so this is something I would like to mention since I could not find information about it from ANY online sources, but in Aruba, they don’t give a shit if you’ve got places to be…they will just close off all the roads for impromptu parades that go until 2 am. I found out the hard way and got stuck in the middle of one and could not find a way out for four hours. It was lit though.

Other cool attractions consisted of the natural bridge in Arikok National Park, California lighthouse, natural pool, Arashi Beach, Druif Beach, Casibari boulders and off road beaches/cliffs. There’s also a flamingo island which we did not get to visit. Word of warning, almost popped a tire getting to Druif beach because the road was all gravel and rocks.

Stay healthy and safe everyone!

Kauai

You’ll be Kauai’ing(crying) if you pass up this Hawaiian island for your next getaway because this place is unfathomably beautiful(or maybe you’re crying because of that horrible pun, either way get ready for the waterworks). Imagine Jurassic Park scenery minus the man eating dinosaurs. There is something to do for everyone and countless activities for nature lovers. Kauai is pretty dope in an unpretentious way which creates a casual and laid back atmosphere. It is more underdeveloped and natural than say, Oahu or Maui, so it’s perfect for people who want to get away from the city and go somewhere that provides a change of pace. Also, if you’re lucky you might get to see a double rainbow cascading over the Napali coast!

This trip started off in Oahu(of course) and included a flight to Kauai from Honolulu which took around 40 minutes and there was an amazing view of both coasts from the air during takeoff and landing so try to sit near the window if you can 🙂

Taken during the epic helicopter ride

Where to stay

We stayed on the Eastern side of the Island in a town called Wailua, which was not too far of a drive from Lihue airport. It was a cute area with lots of small shops but if I were to visit again I would choose to stay in Princeville or Hanalei in the Northern part of the Island just because it is closer to more attractions and seemed more fun at night. We drove up to the northern part of Kauai quite often so staying in the area would’ve been easier although the Island isn’t very big and there is only one road so driving wasn’t difficult at all. Wailua didn’t have many nighttime activities other than going out to dinner and stargazing(again, not bad options so I’m not complaining). Just a note, Hanalei has a bit more of a touristy feel to it as opposed to Wailua which had a local vibe so depending on what you’re looking for keep this in mind. I look like a local when I’m tan so I fit in very well regardless LOL.

To be completely transparent, there was a lot of homelessness in the area where we were staying and people would camp out on the beaches, however I never felt unsafe. We also never wandered off at night other than going out to dinner so I can’t speak of the night time safety aspect but everyone seemed super friendly in my opinion, just use common sense and you should be fine. A result from the underdevelopment and pristine environment is that this Island is less well off than other Islands because as you can already guess there are less jobs/opportunities for locals. Anyhow, that is another post altogether; there is a lot to cover since we accomplished a lot(like eating ice cream and doing absolutely nothing) LOL.

Matcha place a bike ride away from the hotel.

Things to do

Where do I even start…

  1. Hiking the Sleeping Giant Trail Head: The hike wasn’t too difficult but I think it took around 2-3 hours one way and by the time we got down to the bottom it was dark and you could hear the wild animals(I don’t recommend doing this at night). The view was amazing and worth risking getting attacked by a wild boar or whatever animal was lurking in the bushes.

2. Biking along the coast to Wailua Beach Park: You pass the cute boutique shops along the way as well as the gorgeous coastline. We found a cute matcha ice cream place and glass art shop.

3. Going on a helicopter ride to Jurassic Falls: Highly recommend this, it was one of the most breathtaking helicopter rides I have ever been on due to the fact that Kailua has the most unreal mountain peaks, coastlines and waterfalls. They made a stop at Jurassic falls and let you off to go explore and admire the fall for about 15 minutes.

4. Tan on Hanalei Beach: I don’t have any pics to show you how beautiful this beach was but its a must do, perfect place to chill with a couple beers.

5. Hike down and swim in Queen’s Bath: Heads up the hike is very muddy and you need the right footwear or you’ll end up slipping, I think this was one of my most favorite hikes of all time because of the scenery. Turtles were spotted. Enough said.

6. Get a drink and enjoy the stunning views(and watch people Windsurf) at the St. Regis Princeville Resort: This was such a relaxing way to end the day, the views at this resort are insane.

7.Hike down to Hideaways Beach to watch the sunset: Prettiest sunset I’ve ever seen, watch out for the mosquitos though. The hike down involved holding onto a rope since it was very steep.

8. Go on a booze cruise along the Napali Coast: We saw it from the air so now seeing it from the sea is obligatory and much more intimate. You can get up close and personal with the stunning coastline.

9. Visit Waimea Canyon(the Grand Canyon of the Pacific): Really cool Mars vibes.

Favorite Books of the month: January+past reads

Here’s the list of the books I have been consuming and mini reviews in no particular order.

Cyropaedia; The Education of Cyrus by Xenophon

One of my favorite books of 2019. If you are looking for a good leadership/management book then this is a must read. The teachings of Cyrus can be applied to any time period because they illuminate the universal knowledge that every human should embrace which is being kind to each other while maintaining enough discipline in oneself to lead others by example. It reminds us that we should not expect of other people what we would not do ourselves. By remembering to be generous to one’s friends and ruthless to one’s enemies, Cyrus has grown to be undefeated as an opponent; he acts as the ideal leader figure and does in fact, lead through example by embodying his own teachings and always being a couple steps ahead of his opponents. Fairness and justice are also emphasized in the Persian customs of the time as well as equality, all traits we often more than not fail to accomplish in modern society. The war strategy is a bonus, you know, in case WWIII comes up again.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Frankl is a genius and his humble attitude despite what he has accomplished and the hardships he has experienced is truly inspiring. If you ever feel like you’re going through a rough patch, reading about the Nazi concentration camps and what people had to survive will change your mindset. Despite being treated less than a human being, Frankl’s persistence and optimism brought tears to my eyes as I was reading this book; he has contributed so much to society even though it took everything away from him. That is the definition of a strong person. The first half of the book speaks of his personal experience in the concentration camp and the conditions are worse than you could ever expect. The second half goes into logotherapy and how it can help people overcome mental health challenges.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People By Stephen R. Covey

In this book, Coven gives you the tools to become the best version of yourself you can be; it is broken down into 7 parts and is easily digestible due to the simple and concise writing style. He uses personal examples from his life to convey the message of the importance of having good character by not taking shortcuts and to instead change how you look at things. This is pretty much a guidebook to being a decent human being and I cannot recommend it enough as it is one of my favorite self help books.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Bronte writes in a way where it allows the reader to feel like he or she is the main character and is walking in Jane’s shoes as well as experiencing things as her. This book is a nice escape from reality for a while and the compelling storyline could replace reality television(a positive since you won’t be losing brain cells). It is deeper than that, of course, since Bronte’s literary style is way ahead of her time and her way of thinking far exceeds that of her fellow writers of that time period. She is the perfect example of feminism done the right way, but I won’t give too much away.

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

I fucking love this man. He knows what’s up, and dare I say he’s #woke…in today’s society we are too consumed with what we own and want to have that we often forget the truly important things in life. Walden reminds us that we are all the same underneath the masquerading, dress up games and roles we play in our communities everyday.

The Enneagram by Jeef Reed

I recommend this book if you are looking to figure yourself and other people out. Learning about oneself will help facilitate empathy and by understanding yourself you also learn how to understand other people’s behaviors since it is impossible to know someone else when you don’t even know yourself.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

This book taught me that without struggle and challenges, people will ultimately become weak and lose their ambition. The lack of need in the future has caused a backwards effect on human societies and have made people less intelligent and has halted creativity since necessity fosters innovation. Lack of want/need has caused evolution to create a being that lacks the grit and sharp mindedness that is associated with humans. Definitely worth a read.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

This will always be my favorite book of all time because of the message that it teaches. Rand calls out the individuals in a society that only talk about the greater good of citizens without actually contributing anything tangible to the cause. Although the author is known for her stance on supporting selfishness, the idea that one should focus on his or her own achievements and well-being is commendable. You can’t pour from an empty cup and this is emphasized through the two types of people in this book.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

This is a tribute to Trevor Noah’s mom and it was hilarious. If you love a good laugh as well as life lessons then this is the book for you. Noah speaks of his childhood and dealing with apartheid–which usually is not a humorous topic–but somehow he manages to lighten up the mood by offering us a view into his mind.

Why Nation’s Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

This book might be the key to decreasing the inequality in regards to the standard of living between first world countries and developing nations. Education is the first step in solving the wealth disparity issue that the world is currently facing and the main solution is changing the way people handle politics in their country.

Circe by Madeline Miller

Fun and easy read but warning you will not want to put it down. If you like greek and roman mythology then this book is the one. It revolves around the life of Circe and puts into perspective the role of strong women in a culture that always tries to trample an outspoken and independent female.

De Anima by Aristotle

So this book is just Aristotle trying to figure out what the human soul is all about. Most often it sounds like he is attempting to explain the concept to himself as he is writing but it is worth a read if you are curious about the soul. Tbh I just want you to read this so you can explain it to me, thanks lol.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

I lost a lot of sleep because of this book. It is a story that spans across multiple generations of a family and left a deep impression on me. I won’t ruin the plot for you.

How to Day Trade for a Living by Andrew Aziz

I honestly did not know any trading terms when I first got introduced to stocks so this book saved me. It is pretty informative even if you are not planning on quitting your job and becoming a day trader.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

My opinion will probably be so controversial but I did not find this book to be as good as other people have said it to be. I have gotten into a couple arguments because I said the book was overhyped but it is basically just a timeline of the evolution of homo sapiens, nothing special in my opinion. I put it on this list because of the argument that my friends have made against this, people have claimed that this is one of the most influential books they have ever read do you should read it and judge for yourself.

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

I mean, it’s Mark Cubans favorite book for a reason. The book altered the way I look at architecture and the buildings I see everyday, it conveys the message to break away from the crowd and tradition because that is the only way to advance and improve the world. Inspirational.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson

Just fucking read it and stop giving fucks about irrelevant stuff so you have enough fucks leftover for the important things. IDGAF vibes.

Singapore

TEA’SER: possibly the cleanest and MOst Arsty asian country I’ve ever been to + TEA’d at Queen Elizabeth’s SPOT

I honestly don’t even need to use words to show you how stunning this place is, I can just post pictures and it will probably be all the more convincing. Someone once said, a picture is worth a thousand words so that is exactly how I am going to start this post off!

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Wow! 10,000 words…this is my longest post yet.

Jokes aside, let’s get to it! I had the opportunity to visit Singapore last summer for about 4 days(which was an ample amount of time) and it was the most unique experience I have ever had in an Asian country. I think it is one of the cleanest places I have ever seen and will ever see; that being said, a lot of my friends who have been have mentioned that it was a bit too “sterile” for their tastes. I agree it was rather a bit too clean but the pros definitely outweigh the cons on this one(if clean can even be considered a con lol). The public transportation was amazing and as a woman who travels alone quite often, I have never felt safer. In fact, I met a couple other solo female travelers when I was here and we were able to give each other travel tips which was awesome! I noticed a larger population of women traveling alone here than anywhere else I have been which prompts me to say that if you are just starting out and are afraid of going to a foreign country alone, Singapore may the gateway country for you.

My favorite takeaway from this trip was the tea ceremony I got to experience, I highly recommend it if anyone is planning on visiting Singapore. I learned how to properly pour and enjoy tea. Albeit very traditional and old school, it is a good skill to have under your belt to impress people with! Who knows? Maybe one day you might be having tea with the Queen and will be able to show off your tea pouring skills and win some points. The place is called Tea Chapter and they make killer tea eggs, trust me you HAVE to try them. The oolong jelly is also to die for and is a good accompaniment to the bomb tea. You can enjoy your tea and snacks in a traditional tea room and relax in the same room that the queen had her tea in! Yes, they even serve the same exact tea she orders when she visits. Who knows good tea better than the Queen of England?

Another thing I recommend checking out is Gardens by the Bay. It is honestly so so so beautiful. The entire area is like a museum except it’s public and outdoors and just casually part of the architecture. This entire country is art. There are three different areas to check out when you are here, one of which includes the most magnificent flower exhibit you will ever come across in your life. It even smells like flowers in there! Details people, details.

Now, mostly every big city has a Chinatown but the one in Singapore has these food markets which are called “hawker” centers where you can get yummy and cheap food. Another exclusive attraction that you can only find in Singapore is Little India. It honestly feels like you are in India when you are here, and the Indian food is so authentic and delicious too. I tried a vegetarian spot called Komala Vilas and if the tasty food wasn’t enough, the kind people add to it by providing such a welcoming vibe. Tip: try their mango lassi

Lastly, if you are a fan of shopping, Orchard Road is the place for you! I stayed close to this area and took the hotel shuttle to the subway station and it was super easy to get around. The hotel I stayed at was called the Shangri-La and I cannot recommend this place enough! They were so helpful/nice and even helped me convert money(what hotel does that?).

Happy travels!

NYC New Years Eve Ball Drop!!!

I started off 2020 in Time’s Square wearing a diaper and it was INSANE

I have memories from when I was little and would watch the New Years Eve ball drop in Times Square on TV with my family wishing I could one day attend and be part of the enthused and overly energetic crowd. Looking back at it after being in their shoes this year, I have no effing clue how the people on the screens looked so joyful because I know for a fact that they had been standing in the cold for over 12 hours without access to a bathroom or food/water. However the 30 second reward might be worth waiting patiently (and at times painfully) for in the New York winter. Plus the fact that over a million people come from all over the world every year to gather in one place and celebrate this act of ball lowering is both baffling and extraordinary and I am so grateful I was able to be part of it. Humans are so adorable sometimes(when we aren’t destroying the planet)!

Despite the “slight” inconveniences one has to endure in order to secure a prime spot in the crowd, I think it is worth experiencing the NYE ball drop at least once in your life and I will recall my own experience in case anyone is crazy enough to try it in the near future. To be completely transparent, my patience wore thin about 2 hours into waiting and I debated going home where it was warm and there was access to a bathroom but luckily the vodka that I snuck in kept me rallying(also your girl could not get past the crowds and was stuck so that was a significant factor as well). Complaints aside I have a couple tips and tricks to make the wait more bearable and to score a good spot where you can be up close and personal with the famous Times Square disco ball. I am happy that I stuck it out because boy oh boy did my patience improve after this; if you’re looking to work on your patience…ball drop 2021. You heard it here first.

There are couple things that come to mind now that I am writing this and one of these things is that when I first arrived in midtown, I realized that the police had blocked off most of the streets and since I am directionally challenged I had no idea how to get to the viewing area. I noticed that you could still get through if you can provide documentation of why you belong in a certain area–whether it be a restaurant reservation, if you were staying in a hotel close by, worked in the area or lived on a certain street–as long as you have physical evidence. This was the only way you could get past the barricades and the flock of police officers on every single street from 38th-59th(I believe, I could be wrong). They really do check to see if every person who was allowed past the barricades has proof that they belonged there, trust me I devised a plan to sneak in with a group of people but failed. Secondly, it was so crowded that if you were planning on meeting up with friends, you would not be able to find them. It’s a good idea to meet further away and to go into the frontlines of the battle together instead of meeting up in Times Square. The entrance areas are on 7th/8th avenue and a couple streets(39th, 42nd, 48th and 52nd) at the time which change as the spots fill up so be sure to ask a police officer when you arrive where you can enter without needing to provide documentation.

TIP: Of course, if you do not feel like waiting for over 10 hours in the cold and don’t like crowds, you could always rent a hotel room with a view(which will cost you upwards of $1000 for the night of the 31st) or make a reservation at restaurant that has a view or access to a viewing area(according to the dude in front of me, it will cost around 300-400 per person for a mediocre place). In my opinion, if you have a larger group I would totally do the hotel thing and turn it into a NYE ball viewing party! The ball is at One Times Square, which is on 42nd street and 7th Avenue and so the areas where you can see it most clearly are between 39th and 52nd. Anything behind 42nd is the back of the building and you won’t be able to see the concert and the count down screen but you have the opportunity to be closer to the ball itself. I learned this the hard way LOL but it’s fine, everything is fine. As you can already guess I entered on the wrong side and was on 39th but since my only goal was to see the actual ball itself and not the concert, I was content settling in at the back of the stage. Plus I came two hours later(2 pm) than I had planned and all the good areas in front of the stage were filled anyway. I think if I were to redo this, I would arrive at 11 am in my diaper(make fun all you want but a couple people near me lost their spots because they had to go to the bathroom around 8 pm, imagine waiting all that time for nothing!) and have snacks ready. I would also try to enter on the correct side LOL.

This was the line to get into the viewing area on 7th Avenue. It was as long as the entire street!

They started the sporadic fireworks and raised the ball at 6 pm.

There she is!

I got to sit on the metal barricade thing so that was a perk of getting there early, although my butt hurt the entire week after.

Berkeley, CA

My Experience at UC Berkeley: Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

BONUS: WHERE I GO TO CRY ON CAMPUS

Campanile aka building that let’s me know I am late everyday

Imagine being surrounded by a bunch people who are significantly smarter and more talented than you(possibly better looking and funnier as well lol). This was my college experience. I was the dumbest kid in the room…every single room on campus. Even the bathroom. I’ve heard many people claim that UC Berkeley students are “the cream of the crop” but I didn’t feel like the cream of anything. In fact, I’m lactose intolerant(and oat milk wasn’t a thing back then) so as you can already guess life was hard; every midterm wrecked havoc on my digestive system(figuratively and literally). I’d be shitting myself if I didn’t admit that I felt like absolute crap whenever grades were posted. Apologies for the poop puns, you get the gist; I didn’t feel like I belonged because I never considered myself exceptionally smart or gifted.

My classmates were intelligent in all aspects–whether it be emotionally or academically and I was the kid that asked the stupid questions(yes, there is such a thing) and came in late and sat in the back eating snacks because I was too busy cramming to eat a proper meal. Don’t even get me started about my professors…these extraordinary humans literally created waves and are still influencing the world as we know it. Everybody I knew had the potential to positively change the world and here I was, making bathroom jokes. How the F*** did I manage to get a seat in the same room as them?

To this day, I still ask myself that question…I don’t know how I managed to get into UCB but I am extremely grateful to have received the opportunity to be surrounded by and to learn from such incredible people and even call some of them my friends. I would not be who I am today and would not have learned how to think so critically and deeply had it not been for my experience at Cal. I am not going to lie, it was academically challenging for me and I had to work my ass off in order to keep up. I slept 4 hours a day on average and looked like a “stoned zombie”(according to friends who saw me on campus) lugging around my fat backpack full of textbooks and almonds for the campus squirrels. It was not a good look. As a matter of fact, I considered dropping out every time midterm season came up but I decided to tough it out(not without lots of bitchin’ of course because who doesn’t know that it’s the best form of stress relief).

How did I manage to graduate? I had to learn how to learn. Sounds confusing, I know. I think the most important thing I got out of college is the ability to learn quickly and to fully entertain an idea without completely submitting to the terms of that idea. What this means is I realized that understanding something and agreeing with it while attempting to apply it to real life are two different things and I had to juggle this everyday both in and out of classes. As many of you are aware, Berkeley is the protesting mecca of the country; the liberal way of thinking combined with endless ambition creates a setting for people to really fight for what they believe in. Like literally fight, I kid you not. Sometimes these beliefs are right and sometimes they are so wrong. I had to learn how to distance myself from the group think mentality and to think for myself by formulating my own opinions. It’s harder than it sounds. Most of the time, we just agree with what the majority believes in because it is easy and requires less effort/thought on our part; it is also a way to easily avoid responsibility for what occurs in our society. News flash, YOU ARE SOCIETY. You can’t blame society for your problems because you are a part of it and learning how to think is crucial in order to save this world from literally burning down.

Anyway, in my opinion college is not a mandatory component in becoming successful in life or making a difference in the lives of others; although I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn from such a great institution and to have that experience, I do not think it is necessary unless you want to pursue a specific path. So don’t feel bad if you did not have the luxury of going to university, the only thing you might’ve missed out on are the networking opportunities but those can be found anywhere if you seek them out, really. Don’t sweat it.

Side note: Aside from struggling to pass my courses, sorta maintaining a social life and always feeling out of place, I managed to find time to explore the area and have a couple recommendations for people who might be in town or are planning on going to Berkeley. So feel free to scroll down for that.

Berkeley is definitely not a party school but it does have a college town vibe and bomb food. Cheeseboard pizza makes up for whatever the school lacks in terms of frat parties and school spirit. FUN FACT: When I was deciding between UCLA and CAL, Cheeseboard was the determining factor LOL I chose Berkeley because of how good the pizza is. Yes, she’s a smart cookie.

HIKING!!!

There are ample hiking spots in Berkeley. If you are looking for a good sweat, the Big C, Grizzly Peak and the fire trails(my go to date spot at the time lol nothing like holding hands when you’re sweaty) are the best spots.

EATING!!!

Cheeseboard and Sliver are my most fave pizza spots in all of California. If you get the chance to visit, please do not skip Cheeseboard. They have a different topping everyday and my favorite is the corn mmmm 🙂 Also try the sauce!

CAMPUS!!!

  1. Doe Library aka my crying spot! It is the most aesthetic library on campus in my opinion and I exclusively studied here because I liked the ambiance LOL.
  2. Campanile: The most recognizable spot on campus. You can go up and get a view of the entire campus/surrounding city.
  3. Frat row: What? the houses are really nice and there is a cute cafe across the street. You are also super close to Artichoke’s Pizza and Little Italy??? not sure what the name is since it’s been a long time but theres a spot with cheap and delicious food on this street.
  4. Science and engineering wing: It’s like a mini hike to get there and bonus you get to see the nerdy engineers in their natural habitat(LOL much love to my nerdy comp sci friends).

Go Bears!

7 life lessons snowboarding has taught me

Swiss Alps

Before I started snowboarding, I had always admired the people with their boards on the slopes because they looked extremely cool and gnarly(whatever that means)…let’s be honest snowboarding is the most badass looking winter sport out there.

Here’s the full story regarding how I got started: I had injured my leg while skiing one day and was soon traumatized thereafter. As dumb as this sounds, my downfall went something like this…I did the splits on my skis and heard a crack(and it was goodbye and farewell to my right knee). I literally took an arrow in the knee. During the next 6 months, I was limping and had a tough time getting myself to go back on the slopes so I decided to try something different. Since both of your legs are bound to the board while you are snowboarding, the probability of getting a leg injury was much lower and this appeased my fears for the time being. My first time going was with a friend who was also a skier and so we both were complete beginners and had a blast laughing at each other mess up. After strapping in and going out for my first ride, I can confirm that it is harder than looks; which is a good thing in my opinion because once you get the hang of it you feel a sense of accomplishment. Snowboarding was so much more fun for me even though I was falling on my butt quite often. I did not expect to love it so much more than skiing and to learn so many things that are applicable to everyday life from it.

Lesson 1: Always look in the direction that you want to go and keep your head up.

  • In order to get anywhere in life, you need to know what you want; you have to be able to see and visualize a goal in order to reach it. When you want to steer your board left or right, you look in the direction that you are trying to go and you face your shoulders that way. Making the real life connection, knowing what your goals are and how to reach them before executing is crucial; another thing to keep in mind is to always keep your head up–both figuratively and literally. If you look down, that’s where you’re going. It’s that simple. Look straight ahead with confidence and scan your surroundings and you won’t fall or run into a tree!

Lesson 2: It is okay to fall as long as you get back up.

  • When I first started I was terrified of people seeing me fall and I would be so embarrassed every single time I would fall on my face trying to get off the ski lift with one foot strapped onto my board. Then I soon realized, no one fucking cares. They are too occupied not looking foolish themselves to care if you look stupid or not. My advice to people who are just starting to learn how to snowboard is to get your first tumble out of the way, you’ll realize that it’s not that bad and then enjoy yourself a lot more than if you were busy being anxious about looking silly or getting hurt. I was very fortunate to have trained in Karate and TKD my entire life and so I learned how to fall without seriously injuring myself but I will go over some pointers on how to fall on your face safely. I am expert in this topic. These skills have kept me from injuring myself when I fall(which is pretty often, trust me).
  1. Do not try to catch your fall with your hands or you’ll end up breaking your wrist or hurting your hand.
  2. Usually when you are on your toe edge, you’ll end up falling forward so try to land on your knees and not your face. I learned this the hard way and almost broke my nose.
  3. Brace for impact by rolling if you are going at a fast speed and end up losing your balance(saved me from breaking my neck but I got whiplash LOL).
  4. Let go. Just fall on your butt, it won’t hurt as much as you trying to catch the fall with another body part. Worst case is you break your tailbone but highly unlikely if you’re wearing snow pants(padding) and are not boarding in icy terrain.

Lesson 3: Growing pains are a real thing. Embrace the pain. It means that you are improving.

  • Feeling pain is a good thing in some instances. It means that your body is developing into a stronger version of itself. I always feel sore after a good powder sesh and this can last up to a week. In life, you will be hurt and you will feel pain no matter how much you try to avoid it; just know that it is a crucial component of learning. Some things are worth feeling pain for and sacrificing comfort to attain. #DEEP

Lesson 4: Work with what you have and try not to focus on what’s missing.

  • When you are on a snowboard, you have limited mobility because both of your feet are strapped onto the board and you need to be able to get used to this unnatural sensation and utilize this “handicap” to your advantage. Instead of facing forward and having separate control of both legs–like you would on skis–you are going sideways strapped to a piece of wood. This is not a position that humans are supposed to be in in nature. And as intimidating as this sounds, it introduces a foreign task for your brain to process which increases spatial, if not overall intelligence. In the real world you will sometimes be dealt with the shorter end of the stick and sometimes situations will not be ideal and you need to work with what you have to overcome obstacles. Instead of thinking about how tough it is to maneuver with both legs strapped to a board, learn to take advantage of having only one thing to control and focus on which is the board itself. You learn to change your way of thinking and move away from what is comfortable and tackle the problem constructively by being creative and through trial and error.

Lesson 5: Concentrate on the current task because it could mean the difference between life or death.

  • The reason why snowboarding is so therapeutic for me is because it is the only things I can focus on when I am doing it. If my mind were to wander to other things and I got distracted by what I am going to have for lunch that day then I could potentially get injured or even die. One hundred percent of my attention is required to stay alive. Engaging in activities where it is dangerous to lose focus really helps improve your focus. Yeah, call me captain obvious but if you’re snoozing while boarding you will be in a coma snoozing for a looong time after hitting a tree or a skier. Snooze you lose.

Lesson 6: Be fearless and chill the f*** out.

  • As the joker once said, ” why so serious?”. The more comfortable and relaxed you are , the better you will be at snowboarding. Have you noticed the riders who look like pros always seem so relaxed and nonchalant? This is because they are the honey badgers of the slopes. Honey badger don’t care, honey badger don’t give a shit(before you call me crazy please watch the youtube video on the honey badger). The honey badger is a badass because it doesn’t give a fuck, it does whatever it wants and gets away with it because it is calm cool and collected.

Lesson 7 : Have fun.

  • Grab a beer and let loose because life only happens once and it really isn’t that serious. We are just advanced primates on a floating rock circling around a ball of fire. Snowboarding is a sport and sports are fun. It shouldn’t feel serious. The same can be said about being alive. What you put into it is what you get out of it so just have fun with it and stop beating yourself up for messing up. You’re here to learn, enjoy life and “apres ski”(whatever that is as well).

I wish I could add a video of me falling on my face here for y’all but I don’t know how so cheers to falling on our faces and living life to the fullest!