Happy 25 year anniversary to my beloved parents. My everything. My entire world.

The next few months I want you to start to get to know me and my family. I’m shocked and ashamed I haven’t talked much about them on my blog. I have shown pictures of them on Instagram but I think it’s time you really get to know where I’m from and who I am. 

When I see photos of them I can’t help it but think of home. My beautiful country, Vietnam.

The place where I was born, went to school and grew up my entire life. It’s so important for me to keep the traditions that I learned back home, but at the same time remain modern and progressive.

I can’t wait for you to get to know the real me. Not the version you’ve been reading back home in Vietnam on the news. All of it does not accurately resemble who I am as a person. That’s why I’m so incredibly grateful that I have my blog, my Youtube and Instagram. All these platforms where I can showcase who I am and voice my opinion.

I’m not sure what time it is where you’re from, while reading this post ,but it is 9:09pm in Los Angeles. I just finished a long day of class. I am studying philosophy and law this semester. I’m having a great time so far and look forward to Christmas break so I can be reunited with my loved ones in Vietnam.

I hope you enjoy the photo. Here’s another photo of them on their wedding day.

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I want to share with you one photo I found on Ralph Lauren Home. I love everything about this photo. It makes me smile.

I love animals: dogs, parrots, apes, gorillas, dolphins you name it! Oh and guinea pigs and cats too 😛 I especially love horses because of how majestic and beautiful they are.

I find equestrian to be such a beautiful sport. The bond that you have with your horse is such a beautiful thing to witness. I highly recommend horse riding if you have a chance.  You will feel so empowered afterwards. That’s really the reason why I started horse riding, to help me heal emotionally and become mentally and physically strong.

I moved into a new place so I’m very inspired to make it very equestrian chic but most importantly create a feeling of home.

If you are new reading to this blog, I am originally from Vietnam and settling in America has been a difficult transition. I know first hand what it feels like to move abroad and not ever feel like you’re 100% ready and settled. I want to let you know if you’re reading this that you are not alone and there are so many people in your shoes who come to America and feel lonely. I myself included. Things will get better and I know that because I have gone through a lot of dark and lonely times to be where I am now. I love the woman I’m becoming into and will continue to better myself.

Please don’t give up and never let a person or situation define you.

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It was nice to take a break from school, blogging and social media in general. I became frustrated that I was stuck in the same routine, let alone be in America for so long. I needed to go somewhere new and inspiring to feel young again. I felt like being LA too long made me lose my interest in things that I used to love like: photography, reading and making collages. While, I love Los Angeles for school/work and opportunities related to my field, there is no charm here unfortunately. Sometimes, I even begin questioning if I should move back to New York but I haven’t given LA a chance yet so it’s not fair for me to assume that the grass is greener on the other side 😉

I went to France a few months ago with my sister and we had so much fun. It was definitely worth it. I came back feeling more refreshed and ready to create more content. Did you guys like the photos we took in France? I hired a photographer and we had a blast making memories together. So how do I even begin, with summing up how much change has happened over the last few months?

I think that’s how we all feel when change is overwhelming. There are no words to describe it.

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This song and a hot warm bath sounds like a perfect way to end the night. I’m really loving Disclosure at the moment. I’ve been playing all their old songs in my car the past week and it’s taking me back to my freshmen year when I was studying in New York. After listening to Disclosure it made me think of other old music I used to love listening to growing up. Death Cab for a Cutie, Toro Y Moi, Coldplay, Two Door Cinema Club and The Beatles.

I love how music can transport you back in time. I feel younger and rejuvenated after listening to old songs. Somehow in the process of doing that I also become more grateful about where I am right now in my life and what I have.

I think especially in today’s age where everything is so fast paced, it’s nice to slow down and just pause to reflect and see how far we’ve come.

Music like this makes me happy 🙂 It makes me feel like wow I cannot believe I am 24 and living alone in LA!

What an exciting time it is to grow and learn new things.

I also added some of my favorite candles down below if you want to check it out. If you have a hard time falling asleep I recommend taking a hot bath with epsom salt or lavender oil. Plus the candles really help sedate you 😉

Goodnight xx <3

 

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Not going home for the holidays? You’re not alone.

I know I’m not the only one feeling sad, lonely and anxious right now. In fact, many international students who study abroad just simply can’t see their loved ones as much as they want to. Airplane tickets are expensive when your family doesn’t live in America.

Holidays are a time of joy and celebration and when you feel sad and lonely you’re made to feel guilty about it.  

I thought I would write a blog post sharing my experience on how I deal with the holidays and how I overcome the sadness and guilt for not being with my family. This is not the first Thanksgiving break without my family. I’ve probably gone through this season for 4 years without having family and I’m doing ok.

The holiday season often invites unwelcome guests.

For me, the holiday season triggers many emotions. I call it emotional overload because for some reason many of the big changes in my life occurred during the holidays and that’s why I can’t help but look back and reflect on it.And when you live alone all that voice in your head just amplifies up and it feels like you can’t escape! 🙁

But I want to let you know that you can overcome the holiday blues and be thankful for what you have. Don’t compare your holidays with the one on TV where you see that big family eating together and buying nice gifts for each other.

Just don’t compare yourself to other families! All families have their own problems even if they look like they’ve got everything.

I don’t know how many times I’ve cried in the past wishing that my holiday sadness and grief would go away only to see it pop up again during this time of year. It can be hard when your friends are with their loved ones and you are left to spend thanksgiving break alone.

My first thanksgiving was with a vending machine in the basement of my dorm room in New York City. I didn’t even know it was thanksgiving and I was supposed to do something. Most of the students were away and I felt like I was the only student on campus. That day wasn’t a good day and to make matters worse, I got into an argument with my father because I had to drop out of Sarah Lawrence college.

Every year I’m reminded of that incident and all the other not so happy memories that happened to me. Sure, it could be the weather because the days are getting shorter and it’s getting colder outside. The weather has such a big influence on your mood. It may seem like I’m victimizing myself but I am not. I still haven’t forgiven my father and I’m just trying the best that I can each day to get by and process those unresolved feelings. Thankfully LA has great therapists 😉

Each year it doesn’t get easier but I get better at handling the holiday blues. I know what to do when a bad feeling comes up. And I am proud of myself that I can do this all alone. Calling my parents and talking about my “feelings”  is not an option  so I came up with ways to combat it on my own.

So how do you find joy and comfort in the holidays when you’re studying abroad and living alone?

Here is a list of things you could do to help you overcome the holiday blues while living alone.

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