Overseas Travel: Taiwan and Hong Kong

Last month, I had the opportunity to take a ten-day trip to Taiwan and Hong Kong with my parents and brother. Prior to this trip, I hadn’t traveled abroad in the last decade, especially with the ebbs and flows of my career (and my personal finances). This particular trip was well-timed, since it was right after the Christmas holidays, so I could still stay with my family until we departed overseas. This was also a moment where I saw the huge benefit of working for myself/freelancing: I could work from anywhere in the world (of course, I also see the downside of this–I can work from anywhere, and I must keep working at least part-time to make sure I’m able to pay bills!).

Here are a few highlights from the trip:

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History Repeats Itself in March

….or at least for me it does, and especially since 2013.

History Repeats Itself in March

I had anticipated March to be busy this year with two trips planned (one to SXSW and one to Beaver Creek, Colorado); I don’t know why I didn’t prepare better for the month of travel, though.

In 2013, I had three separate trips planned in different parts of the country: San Francisco, DC area, and Colorado–that was the start of my family’s annual ski trip in Colorado. On top of that, my parents also spent some time with me in Denver that year in March…so I remember that year being super busy. However, my first business wasn’t doing so well by that time, so I didn’t have much work to think about then.

I had two trips in March of 2014 and only the ski trip to think about last March–but again, still, I didn’t have much work to think about.

Hopefully this Texan town is truly happy. Seen on road trip to Austin, Texas.
Hopefully this Texan town is truly happy. Seen on road trip to Austin, Texas.

This year has been very different from the previous three years: lots of forward motion happening with Hashtagitude PLUS two trips equals a frazzled, nonstop-working Helene.

But, this has been an enjoyable month though–lots of reunions with friends at SXSW and spending quality family time at Beaver Creek. The best news of all is that I’ll be able to come back up to Beaver Creek on Saturday to celebrate my niece’s birthday with the rest of our family (minus my younger brother); that’s what makes all this hustle and stress worth it.

It’s important to know when to pause work for those priceless moments.

Highlights of 2015, Part 4 of 4: Speaking Engagements & Vacation in NYC

For the month of December, I’ll be posting weekly about a couple highlights from this year; granted, these highlights may very well leave out what happens this month, but we shall see what happens! ;) Also, I couldn’t decide on only four highlights, so each post I will highlight two moments/topics from the year. Enjoy!


More Speaking Opportunities

Speaking at Ignite Denver 20 on June 11, 2015. Thanks to @b_wleung for the photo!
Speaking at Ignite Denver 20 on June 11, 2015. Thanks to @b_wleung for the photo!

This year, I definitely got out of my shell more by engaging in more speaking opportunities around town: I spoke for the third time at Ignite Denver for its 20th show and also polished my Leads Group 7 presentations to make them more educational for my fellow members. I also had a blast speaking at SheSays Denver for their second SheShares event of the year: honestly, I’m still on a high from that event, even though that occurred in mid-July!


Some Much Needed Vacation…

Ryan and I in Times Square after watching Les Miserables on Broadway.
Ryan and I in Times Square after watching Les Miserables on Broadway.

I really enjoyed taking a week off in June to explore New York City with Ryan: first vacation together in almost a year (and the vacation we took in 2014 wasn’t completely relaxing either). We walked all over Manhattan, across the Brooklyn Bridge, and rode the subway around as we explored the many attractions around the Big Apple. I love visiting New York City, but I am very happy living in Denver!

Daily Post Day 58: Final Thoughts on New York

As my time in New York winds down, I look back on what I have learned here:

  • I have realized many more things about myself: personal defects, what I can fix in my struggles, and that I am not alone in this. It helps to go to groups and hear others talk about their experiences. We really are not so different.
  • The hustle bustle of a city is for me, but it also depends on how people come off to one another. This was the first time for me to stay in New York for an extended amount of time. Before I stayed here, I remember how people always said that New Yorkers are rude. After this month, I beg to differ. Here, I felt that even among the anonymous numbers of people I walked by, they were not afraid to exchange a smile or make small-talk. That small-town feeling in a big city; I rarely had this feeling in San Francisco. For instance, while standing in line at Korilla BBQ, the lady behind me asked me, “What kind of food do they serve here?” And I explained the fusion of Korean and Mexican foods with her and we laughed at how long we stood in line together and hoped for the food to be worth the wait.
  • Family is so precious, and it is especially precious to watch my niece and nephew grow up. I love watching children learn and grow; it’s a wonder I’m not a mother yet. Well, I have my own goals to take care of first.
  • It doesn’t hurt to indulge in popular culture every once in awhile. I realize that the fashion scene is so much more fun here! Or, at least, fashionable stores are much more accessible for me here than in San Francisco. Then again, I’m here in Manhattan in the middle of it all…not out in the boroughs.

So here’s to my time in New York and the memories made during this month.


Daily Post Day 52: Road Trips Thus Far

Down Highway 1, California.

I haven’t taken many road trips in my life, or at least none I can remember too well so far. When I was a child, we went on some road trips as a family, but most of them I don’t remember too well. Just bits and pieces of visits to Virginia Beach and West Virginia (to watch dog races, hm).

When my eldest sister took us younger siblings to Williamsburg and Washington, D.C. in 1996, we had fun times singing along to radio songs and just relaxing in the heat of the summer sun while watching everything pass on by. I felt like we were on the road for awhile, but then again I was just a child at that point. Four to five hours in a car is a long time for a kid.

In the past year, I took smaller road trips around the Bay Area/northern California. Always an adventure to see new sights with other novice eyes. The drive I enjoyed the most was driving down Highway 1 to Santa Cruz. Watching the Pacific Ocean’s endless horizon beside us was frightening yet also majestic. The glory of nature followed us all the way to the Beach Boardwalk.

Then, there was a road trip to Las Vegas in late August. Although it was intriguing to me to see another part of the state of California along the trip, I didn’t care much for the arid scenery around us. To me, seeing desert is depressing. I need lush greenery, mountains, and water.