29 June, 2010

Better than nothing...

...a good friend reminded me of that simple sentence today in an email. 

When you think about it, it's one of the most positive thoughts you can have. 

Every Little Thing you HAVE is better than nothing

- a 20 minute nap instead of the 2 hours you'd like....
- 10 minutes of sunshine through the clouds
- finding 5 dollars in a pocket when your damn near broke
- taking the stairs instead of the lift
- Seeing friends or family for a few hours, or minutes even...
- Traveling for only two days... Only? Aren't we looking past the initial word TRAVELING? 

I mean honestly. We should be so lucky. Most people take everything in their life for granted. There are times of thanks but that don't come easy, or thoughtlessly. 

Life is much more fulfilling when you appreciate the little things.... remember, they aren't little. 


Another thing I've encountered today, is procrastination. Or actually winning the battle of procrastination vs. myself. 

I often find myself saying things like - Oh I'll do that next month when I get paid, or I'll grab that item on my way home from work TOMORROW, or I'll forgo the morning yoga for an extra 30 minutes of sleep (leaving me groggy until lunch time) etc. etc. etc. 

I have been saying since my first yoga class (I've actually only been to two) that I would love to have a yoga mat at the house so I could do some yoga every morning before work and keep up in between classes... well tonight I actually purchased it. Not only did I purchase it, I also got a month's unlimited membership which includes pilates classes and at a %20 discount. I feel like a weight has been lifted now that I've finally committed to Yoga and it worked out to be MUCH cheaper than I thought! 

It kind of inspired me to take note of those instances when I say "I wish I could do this" or "I wish I could go there" and just simply suck it up and do it. Because in the end, what have you really got to lose? At least you tried it out... you followed your gut and you grow because of it. 

28 June, 2010

1st day of school.

It's funny, I didn't realize how nervous I was to get back into full time teaching until I tried to sleep last night... woke up at least every hour on the hour, if not a few more times in between as well. 

I guess the biggest part is that I didn't know what to expect. I've substitute taught a few classes there, however they were more towards the end of the year so they were kind of free for all days. Funny part is, that's how they roll at that school! Kind of a free for all. I mean granted it's kindergarten. I'm teaching 5 year olds, most of the day is nap, play, art, eat, swim etc... how stressful and complex can that be? 

It feels definitely like its the right place for me. Especially at this point in my life. Being able to spend my days with lovable little 5 years will get me out of any funk I might find myself in and give my days a bit more purpose. 

This week is going to be great, a whole lot of 'getting to know you' activities rounded off with a trip to Nha Trang. I've only been there once before and we were more or less passing through... I think it was only a night or so. I guess this isn't a longer trip since I am just going for the weekend, but I'm going with more open eyes than before. Ready to take it all in. Take it for what it's worth. 

I had to exchange my train ticket, since it was booked to leave on Thursday night and I got an impromptu summer gig which is Monday-Friday. I couldn't very well take the first friday of work off for holiday now could I? It's a shame though, the train on Friday night was booked for sleeper tickets, meaning I have an upright airplane like seat... not ideal for my first overnight train ride in Vietnam, but one can't complain right? The inconvenience is worth that extra day of income, believe me! 

After changing my tickets I headed over to get my legs waxed... a much less painful experience than the first time! Now I'm ready for the beach! I rounded out my Monday with a delicious indian dinner and two glasses of red wine... and was home by 8pm! Sometimes it's quite fun being an adult.  Oh and while I was out in the backpacker district I saw an old vietnamese man in a tiny little alley wearing a 92KQRS shirt. The radio station my pops was a DJ for in the late 80's (early 90's?) and it blew my mind, not only is that station no longer called 92KQRS, it looked as if it were brand new. Odd for sure. Had half a mind to get my picture taken with him. 

I'm really beginning to love all aspects of life again, even the not so pleasant ones. : ) 

27 June, 2010

Dr. Dog

Sitting here
I am very far away
Looking back, on yesterday
And it won't be long before
We all belong
Cause all the time that's left to kill
Is drawing out its' final will

Lady luck
She is always by my side
She woke me up
When I died
Taking me higher and higher
Just above the line of fire
Cause time and time and time again I'm shown
That I have never been alone at all

We all belong
We all belong
We all belong
We all belong

My old man
He is always on the run
He is the moon
And I'm the sun
We don't belong to the earth
We both belong to the sky
Mother me told me don't you cry
Stay at home or learn to fly
Oh my

We all belong
We all belong
We all belong
We all belong


Into the Wild

I just happened to stumble onto 'Into the Wild' on TV. This movie always brings such inspiration and awe. Well, I say always but this is only the second time I've seen it. 

It's filmed so beautifully and captures the raw awesomeness that is 'the wild'. It sparks thought and reflection. 

I've you've happened to miss this story, or the film I highly recommend it. Especially in times of confusion, loss and loneliness. You can learn many different lessons, some intended and some you will find that suit you personally. 

25 June, 2010

Good things come to those who wait.

While I waited patiently for the summer months to pass, I was rewarded with a 6 week summer school course! 

Not only will this be a financial saver, but it'll be a much better way to pass the time! I'm glad I didn't get a summer school job at some other school, because this one will give me a head start into the main school year. A smooth transition considering it is at my new school! 

I will be teaching 5 year olds, most of which I got to know over the few days of substitute teaching last month. It's going to be a bit of a challenge, I've never taught one class for a full day like this before. But I'm really looking forward to it.

Hopefully put me back on course to being me and fitting myself back into life. 

However, the social scene has been fun lately, mostly due to the world cup! And surprisingly, America is kicking ass in it! It's been fun actually having a social life, I started to build one up in the last few months back in California but it took almost a year to fit in and get sorted. Here I've come back to a life I've already started and met some new great people along the way. 

Heading into the weekend I feel a little bit of a cold coming on so I'll take it easy (minus heading out to watch the game tomorrow night) maybe hit the pool, go to yoga and book club. Nice way to chill before heading back to work! 

23 June, 2010


This was a quick read and very entertaining. I've grown quite fond of period pieces and this one is a great twist on Shakespeare 'Hamlet'... and fortunately it's written in novel form, a bit easier to read. 

I recommend it as a casual read, all though it isn't very well written and is written for a younger audience. 

The Reunification Palace

Yesterday, Aimee and I spent the afternoon touring the Reunification Palace here in Vietnam. 

To Learn the basic history, click here.

We start the day out with a lazy morning, sleeping in reading and taking it easy. We headed out for lunch at one of my favorite bistros near the park... cleverly name Au Parc. I had my new favorite sandwich, a salmon and avocado sandwich on a delicious wrap. Seriously amazing. I paired this up with a beet root, ginger, apple and pear juice.... delicious : ) 

We then walked over to the reunification palace just in time to join an English speaking - hour long tour. It cost only 15,000 VND to get in (19,000 VND = 1 USD) so it's the perfect way to spend the afternoon. 

Here's a glimpse of the tour (the rest will soon be posted on flickr): 

This was my first arranged tour in Vietnam, everything else I've done has always been improvised or self guided. It was actually really fun to go with a group and watch a cheesy tour. I'm looking forward to taking more tours around Vietnam, learn more of the history and culture. 

We returned to Au Parc to have espresso, fruit and gather our bikes. We followed our afternoon tour up with some lovely spa treatments. Got a 75 minute facial that was supposed to be free because of some gift certificates we had yet we got screwed into paying about 25USD for them (yikes, I don't have the money for these luxuries right now...haha) Then we left that rip off of a spa and went to our usual haunt to get mani - pedis for a grand total of $3.50... more my style : ) 

Tonight calls for a sushi date with my good friend Susanne and watching the English and US Soccer matches. I'm actually growing very fond of pro-soccer... the world cup is addicting. 

20 June, 2010


Today... I'm drunk with happiness. I've broken through the clouds of frustration, sadness, feelings of loss and confusion to a point of confidence and excitement towards the future.

I'm looking forward to getting out and experiencing life. Purely because I want to, not because I am forced to. I've spent a little over a week in self pity... in the security of my house feeling lethargic and uninspired.

Part of this is a result of the rainy season coming on strong, part of its because it's that glorious week I experience once a month due to the honor of being a woman and part of its due to life happening a little too fast around me. A little too much to handle all at once.

But I do believe you can't get anywhere in life without going into it head first. Blindly walking into and facing life's challenges head on. Rather then hiding, ignoring or making excuses for it.

It takes a hell of a lot of energy to face life's fears and dig in deep looking for the true you.

Self discovery is a painful process yet it can only yield one thing: Happiness.

I've been asked in the past what my 5 year goal is...'Where do you see yourself?" "What's your plan?" And I firmly believe that I have no other answer for this but to be happy.

I don't have those drives to be wealthy and successful in business. I have a drive to not only be happy, but to share that love and happiness with those who need it most. Whether it's through education, laughter, play, touch, listening, sharing or experiencing.

I don't think its wrong to have these goals or aspirations. I just think it's a way of life that most people aren't accustomed to.

I'm excited to challenge myself. Challenge who I thought I was and who I truly am. I don't think these two are incredibly far apart, but I'm looking forward to bringing them to the same playing field.

Some ways I'm tackling this new challenge:
discovering Saigon
Culinary tour of Vietnam with Aimee
Trip to Nha Trang with the ladies
Taking pictoral notes of all experinces
and living my life openly sharing it with others

Why waist your time trying to be something your not? Why not spend that time discovering and sharing who you are

15 June, 2010

A beautiful site...

An excerpt from the site I've 'stumbled' upon: 

“Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities.” ~Dalai Lama
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Lori Deschene of Tiny Buddha.
If there’s one thing we all have in common it’s that we want to feel happy; and on the other side of that coin, we want to avoid hurting. Yet we consistently put ourselves in situations that set us up for pain.
We pin our happiness to people, circumstances, and things and hold onto them for dear life. We stress about the possibility of losing them when something seems amiss. Then we melt into grief when something changes—a lay off, a break up, a transfer.
We attach to feelings as if they define us, and ironically, not just positive ones. If you’ve wallowed in regret or disappointment for years, it can seem safe and even comforting to suffer.

To Read More: Click Here

13 June, 2010


Wow. The time I've spent here so far in Vietnam has been life changing. And to think it has only been about a month and a half.

I'm looking forward to there being a bit more time in between intense life lessons. Hopefully, once I start up the kindergarten school year everything will fall into place, and I can begin starting a normal life.

At such time I'll be able to write more freely, and frequently. Sharing the curiosities, the adventures, and the smiles of my new life living abroad.

As for right now, I ask for everyone out there to put a friend of mine into their thoughts and send good energy his way. He's been in a serious motorbike accident with a severe head injury. He spent the past week here in an ICU unit and just yesterday he was evacuated to Bangkok.

I'll keep you all posted and hopefully keep in touch more with the great big world out there.

01 June, 2010

Hello June!

Today is a new day. A new month in fact. Wide open to possibility. 

This month (and some if not most of the next month) will be spent slowing down, calming down and discovering myself. Who am I now?
Who was I then? 

On the agenda for this (and next) month: 
A few- hopefully more than one- beach trips,
 spa days, 
starting yoga, 
touring southern Vietnam, 
volunteering at a number of different places, 
teaching private lessons, 
watching bad movies,
 eating sushi, 
drinking wine, 
enjoying dinner and drinks with friends and 
preparing myself for this new life I'm in. 

I'm in a position that few people get. I've found the pause button on life. I can view it as if it's a video, rewind, analyze, skip ahead, and stay on pause for as long as I'd like. 

Sometimes I have this feeling of being alone, but to be honest, it lasts no longer than 5 minutes. I'm fortunate to have a grip of friends here that were my friends from before, and I'm also meeting a whole lot of new ones! If I ever feel like doing something, I can easily find someone to hang out with. 

The expat community is something that drew me back to Vietnam. That sense of belonging, of getting along with everyone, of giving every one a chance. 

Hopefully, within a few months I will really begin to understand myself and appreciate myself. Then I'll be ready to give my self to those who need it most.