Category: lifestyle

Matcha Meetings

Some days, life gets the better of me and results in “no time” for anything.

Well, more like my priorities aren’t in line with what I really want them to be. Work gets the better of me, I enroll myself in classes I think I’d enjoy and it ends up being a drab, working out becomes part of a routine (but more in a monotonous and boring way). I’ve felt in the past few months, I haven’t been able to focus on my own goals, even though I’m doing the things I like. So, recently I’ve been attending “matcha meetings” with myself.

Why matcha meetings?

Well, first of all, matcha is just straight up good for you with so many antioxidants. Second, tea > coffee – maybe it has something to do with my cultural background. Thirdly, matcha lattes are easily accessible to American cafes than something like a roasted Japanese Genmaicha (my fav) in a teapot. And lastly, it’s just a chance to reconnect with myself and check-in with what’s going on.

So what’s on the agenda for these meetings?

Honestly, they vary! But I stick to these two items: where am I having my tea and  what activity will be my focus? Some days, I make my own matcha at home, while other days, I explore new local cafes. I use the time to check-in to see what things need to be done and what my current goals are or it’s a free for all where I get to choose something like working on my knitted projects, learning a new language (duolingo ftw), catch up on homework for yoga training, read through a novel, edit photos… The most important thing I gain from these meetings is a sense of peace walking away from the hour where I showed up for myself and got shit done!

Minimalist Packing

On my last few excursions, I’ve managed to just travel with my small backpack. It’s so much more convenient than traveling than with checked bags or even a bigger carry on.

On a trip to San Francisco, my girlfriend I was staying with asked if it would be fine to carry my things with me since we were going straight to dinner. Carrying my shit would suck and therefore decided on packing everything into a backpack.

I brought my leather backpack with me. It’s spacious, yet so comfortable, and it looks great if you’re exploring the city! You won’t look like an absolute tourist with your luggage, which means less chances of being bothered.

Holiday Hustle

With the holidays creeping up on us in a couple of days, I can’t seem to think that in a season where we are to be grateful for everything and unwind, I feel so stressed out, thoughts of what presents are still on my list, events I need to attend, what I’m going to cook for said events fill my mind…

But then I think of what I’ve learned in my Yoga Teacher Training… in yoga, there is a great saint named Patanjali who reminds us, when the mind becomes confused or filled with doubt, the cure and the remedy is to BREATHE DEEP.

And with this simple cure, I’ve been able to clear my mind and enjoy the time with my family and friends. I’ve been able to get shit done by relaxing a bit, because if you’re anything like me, being stressed and rushing just causes little mistakes here and there. And even if I’ve been eating one too many tamales, I BREATHE DEEP and know that I’m enjoying the season of tamales and tamalizas (tamale making party) and go for a bike ride or a walk to help nourish my body.

Breathe deep and be thankful for your life source, the thing that’s keeping you alive at this very moment.


Language Learning

So if you didn’t know, I majored in Linguistics when I was at university. I speak Vietnamese, studied Spanish, French, and Japanese. My fluency levels are in order from native to foreign, btw. I’m a Project Manager by day (wine enthusiast by night) at a translation agency. So I am always collaborating with people from different parts of the world. If you couldn’t already tell, I really enjoy all things linguistic and consider myself to be a descriptivist – yet I also wish people did proofread their work! And I think this plays into my thirst for adventure as it goes hand in hand with learning different languages.

One of my top tips is to always try speaking the native language a little and people will be more inclined to help out. If they see you making an effort, they’ll do the same (hopefully) and meet you half way. I am constantly suggesting language learners to practice with their native-speaking friends. For me, I practice my Spanish not only with my friends and coworkers, but the cleaning ladies at the office. They are just the sweetest! And don’t ever feel discouraged when they are correcting you. Embrace it! It’s for your own good and is the only way you will learn. The process is part of the fun and the progress is oh so worth it! So when it’s 2 AM and you’re ordering tacos after a night out, greet the person taking your order with “buenas noches!”

Because no matter that language you’re learning, no matter your fluency level, no matter your reason, it’s worth it. Being able to speak a second language is a gift that being monolingual can never have. It’s sort of like a second version of oneself, a second version to express oneself.

Destination Races

In a little over a year, I can say I’ve ran two half marathons with my dearest friend, Julie. And although I live in Southern California, I have yet to run one here. So far it’s been San Francisco and Chicago. To be honest, I don’t even plan on doing one here, well San Diego might be an exception.

I found that running the streets of a city I’m vacationing in is the best way to experience it as a local. When I ran my first half marathon, I thought Wow, I’ve been to this city so many times but never have I had the experience like this before.

We got to weave through landmarks, neighborhoods, parks. Seeing the city in a different light just gave me joy that destination races are just perfection.