I won the lottery when I was a kid. Not in the scratch-off ticket instant money kind-of-win. But in an instant life-changing win all the same.
When I was four years old, my family immigrated to the United States in 1998. My aunt was a refugee in the Vietnam War and moved to America many years before us. She slowly built a life for herself in a small town in Ohio. Through a tedious process and many years of trying, she eventually was able to sponsor my family for immigration. My parents in their late 30’s / early 40’s at this time, uprooted their entire life for the American dream. They left loved ones and everything they knew behind. With little formal education and no knowledge of English – their journey to America was filled with uncertainty and obstacles. Looking back now, I realized just how incredibly brave my mom and dad were. Their leap of faith would set the course for my life.
The summer of 2016 was the first time my family traveled back to Vietnam. Since this was 18 years later, I didn’t really know what to expect. My recollection of memories was vague and distant at this point. However, the trip turned out to be a colorful whirlwind adventure leaving me with vivid new memories. From sightseeing ancient temples to visiting the idyllic countryside village where my father grew up – I felt like a tourist because I was captivated by it all. Some of my favorite pictures I took are down below. 🙂 I also got to see my family members that I have not seen since I was a little baby. It was a rush of emotion, to say the least. I felt overwhelmed with love – because no matter the span of time and distance, your family is still your family after all. Seeing where I came from left a profound impact on me. It made me appreciate my parent’s selfless sacrifices so much more. This trip will always remain near and dear to my heart. ~b
When in Los Cabo, Mexico – camel rides are a must!
Hi guys! In the next few blog posts, I will be sharing one of my favorite trips of ALL TIME. A few years ago, Urban Decay flew me out to Cabo and it was honestly one of the most amazing experiences that I ever had! They booked my flight first class, had me stay in a fancy resort, and I was even chauffeured in a limo at one point. Urban Decay definitely knows how to spoil a girl (hehe..) and I felt extremely pampered the whole time. On the getaway, I was allowed to take one guest so I brought my father. The year prior to this trip, he was actually quite sick and had to be hospitalized for some time. If anyone deserved a break – it was definitely my hardworking dad. I felt extremely grateful to be able to share this once in a lifetime adventure with him. Urban Decay took care of everything and even covered all of our activities in Cabo. One of the things we were really excited about was camel riding in the desert. We ended up taking the Camel Quest Riding Tour at Wild Canyon. There, we were able to ride and interact with these friendly giants. The guides also allowed us to feed and play games with the camels. It was such a fun and memorable experience. I was actually surprised by how playful they were! Below are some of my favorite pictures. 🙂 ~b
Bonjour!!!Sharing my final pics from my mini France travel series with one of my absolute favorite cities – Paris! It’s one of those places that I love to visit over and over again. There are so many things that come to mind when I think of Paris…. picnics by the Effiel Tower, casual strolls through the immaculate gardens, sightseeing at all the top attractions…The list can go on and on but I’ll truly never forget my first time seeing the iconic Effiel Tower. I remembered turning a corner and suddenly having a “pinch me” kind of moment when I first laid eyes on the majestic structure. It’s grandiose and timeless, I couldn’t stop marveling at it! The historical monument is one of the most famous landmarks in the world and a symbol of Paris. If you have the time, you can also climb the tower to get a beautiful view of the city… I posted a pic down below. It’s an amazing experience that you have to do at least once in your life! The City of Lights is awe-inspiring, romantic, and simply magical. I am honestly sooo entranced by the lovely atmosphere of Paris so I can’t wait to come back soon! ~b 🙂
I’ve been lucky enough to visit the beautiful country of France twice in my life. Once was on a school trip with a handful of honor students from my university. I had the opportunity stay in a French villa in the charming village of Valence Sur Baise. We stayed in a stylish historic maison with five bedrooms and five bathrooms. The home came equipped with a grand library, chef kitchen, entertainment center, courtyard pool, etc. It was elegantly decorated as well, with a ton of collectibles and antiques. I literally felt like I was living in a museum so I was pretty much petrified of touching/breaking everything (ha!). My bedroom had a magnificent view of the rolling countryside fields which made mornings that much better. The room was also filled with classic furnishings and had an on-suite bathroom. All these posh amenities and fancy features made my stay feel like a luxury retreat!
While in the South of France, I had the chance to visit the nearby villages, art museums, and also the city of Toulouse! My favorite memory from my trip, however, was attending the village community feast. It’s a traditional gathering that takes place once a week in the summer. Tents are set up with live bands and scrumptious meals. The carefree atmosphere is fun and upbeat. I loved watching the locals get tipsy and dancing the night away! It was an incredible experience to have everyone come together to simply celebrate life. Overall, my sunny escape to the South of France was an idyllic vacation. The memories and adventure that I made that summer are ones I’ll always appreciate and remember. 🙂 ~b