Inside Look: Packing The Essentials


Packing for any trip is sometimes tedious because you have to take into account the weather and what you’re planning to do so I wanted to share some of what you’ll find in my bag typically when I’m on the to!

Carry on

Any trip I go on, I always make sure to bring a pair of slippers or sandals because it just makes my life easier–after showers, not having to step around barefoot (it’s just in my Asian blood to wear slippers indoors) or just going out for a late night bite or drive and you don’t want to put on socks. Either way, I always make sure to pack something easy to wear.

Comfortable shoes are another staple I always pack when I go anywhere. Always pack  good walking shoes because chances are, when you’re traveling, you’ll be walking a lot and exploring the city like a local. I recently invested in Nike Flex running shoes (mainly because my old free runs are dying and I need new ones) but I heard they were extremely comfortable so I’m super excited to start wearing them! I’ve gone on a few trips where I just brought regular sneakers (Chucks or Janoskis skate shoes) and my feet tend to hurt fairly early in the day so I started bringing comfortable shoes. I’m not too much of a girly girl so I don’t bring a ton of shoes to match my outfits–I’m more of a comfort over style kind of girl if you will :-).

Long sleeves and t-shirts. I am always grateful that I pack these aside from ‘going out’ clothes because there are bound to be days where you don’t want to dress up too much and you want to be lazy, or if you decide to take an easy day to just laze around your Airbnb and it makes your chill time that much more comfy. Plus, sleeping in big, comfy t-shirts is one of my favorite things.

Bathroom Essentials! I don’t use make up of any sort and have like a very minimal daily routine when it comes to skin care so I can pack all my bathroom essentials in a small bag. I usually bring with me a travel size shampoo and conditioner (thank you, Target!), a tooth brush and toothpaste, some q-tips, a razor, face moisturizer and face wipes. That’s all you really need, in my opinion! Keep it minimal, so that your bag isn’t too heavy.

Last but not least, obviously, your intimates. I always bring 1 more than the planned amount of nights I’m traveling just in case and I pack them in a small bag so that I’ll have a bag to throw the dirty ones in.

Personal Bag

Ever since I bought my first down jacket from Patagonia, I never go anywhere without it and I bought a second one because I just couldn’t pass it up! I have a regular down (hood recommended) and a thinner down (perfect for not-even-that-cold-LA weather). It’s such an easy staple to carry and it is so useful, especially if you’re traveling somewhere with cold weather. What I like best about Patagonia downs is that you can turn it into a small little bag so that it fits easily in your carry on.

Another staple item is a torrentshell/rain jacket. I have one from Columbia and Patagonia (I love both equally) and they are super light and easy to carry and trust me, you will thank me in the future! I always use this the top layer over my down to provide as an extra shield from the wind and it works wonders. I’ve visited New York in the dead of winter and I was able to survive with a total of 3 layers: my normal top, my down, and then my torrentshell. My Patagonia shell is also able to be turned into a little bag so that I can easily carry it in my backpack without it taking up too much room.

The other miscellaneous stuff that I carry in my personal bag includes wallet and/or passport, my chargers, basic skin stuff like chapstick and lotion and that’s about it!

I hope this helps you when packing for your next adventure! Pack light and smart and you’ll be able to enjoy your trip 🙂

Leave your comments, suggestions or concerns!


3 Days In New York City

I had dreamed about visiting New York City for so many years and it finally became reality. As a kid, I thought of New York as this grand place where big things happened; famous people are always on the streets and being able to see it with my own eyes was.. to be honest, a bit underwhelming. I grew up with this idea that I wanted to live in New York and work at Wall St. but as I got older, I realized I did not want to live in the city. I enjoy the hustling and bustling of the city but I enjoy the quiet and peacefulness of the suburbs more. Either way, visiting and seeing Manhattan with my own eyes can finally be checked off my list!

I was only able to spend a weekend in New York City and it was nowhere near enough time. I barely saw anything but it was a good start. Here’s a recap of my weekend in the big apple:

Day 1: Friday, 11/10

We took a redeye flight on Thursday night so that we would land Friday at 5am aka we’d have a full day. When you’re still young, this is doable but it still really takes a toll on your body, especially being crammed in a plane for 5 hours in an uncomfortable position that makes it hard to fall asleep. Anyway, I digress. Our group all arrived and reconvened at about 7am and we took a hour Uber ride to our Airbnb in Midtown. I forgot to take photos of our weekend home so I asked my friend Ruby to share hers!

After we checked in and rested a bit, we headed out into town. Our first stop was The MET museum! It is an absolutely beautiful building; the exterior was just so grand and magnificent as well as the interior. We spent a few hours there and then went to grab some lunch at Shake Shack! Shake Shack had opened up in Los Angeles but I was too lazy to make an adventure to go try it but hey, I got to try it in the city it originated from! Everyone raves about Shake Shack and I didn’t really buy into the hype but after trying it, I have to say that it is pretty good! I opted for the Shack Stack (Cheeseburger and Portobello Mushroom burger combined) and their portobello was so ridiculously juicy (yum!). Their fries are a bit underwhelming; like 3 small slices of bacon for their bacon fries and like one spoon of chili for their chili cheese fries. After Shake Shack, our group split up and half of us went to shopping for a bit and then decided to take the subway home. I was a bit scared to take public transportation because of what everyone had told me: NY’s subways are disgusting and dirty; filled with rats, etc etc but it wasn’t that bad. It was definitely dirtier than most if not all subways that I have been on (3 Asian countries) but it was bearable. The subway system in New York seemed a bit confusing  (probably because we’re weren’t locals) because we went to one platform, realized it wasn’t the one we needed so we crossed the street just to find ourselves on THE SAME PLATFORM. We had to ask for help and crossed the street again to get to the right one. Our journey home took us probably close to an hour but it was a fun adventure. Walking around and trying to figure out our way home was a fun way to get to know the city!

Food delivery in New York is great; it seemed like lots of places were opened late so of course, we opted for pizza, Korean fried chicken and boba. Talk about being fatasses, amirite.





Day 2: Saturday, 11/11

On our second day, we visited the 9/11 memorial in honor of Veteran’s day and also checked out the 9/11 Tribute Center. When 9/11 happened, I was still very young and so I never fully understood it but seeing everything at the Tribute Center gave me a better perspective and really opened my eyes. For me, it was very informative and emotional – I  definitely recommend it.

Afterwards, we headed to the famous Bull and the New York Stock Exchange/Wall St. In high school, I had this notion that I wanted to work in Wall St. but that was short lived after taking college econ, haha! Seeing Wall St. in person was pretty cool; the place is HUGE and I was just so amazed by the grand front entrance outdoor. The pillars were so big and I felt so tiny standing next to it.

Next, we decided to head to Times Square to check it out and to grab dinner. We didn’t know where to go when we first arrived so we stopped by this hotel and just hung out in their bar for a bit and at ate pizza in their lobby, it was awesome! The pizza was so good, I want some now, haha. After this, we walked around Times Square a little and decided to order dinner to-go to eat back at our Airbnb. For dinner, we tried Carmine’s – a few of my friends had recommended it but my experience was not that great since we ordered it to-go and ate it 2 hours after. Next time, I’m definitely gonna make sure I dine in to get the full experience.

Later that night, a few of us went out to go explore Times Square again but this time, it was midnight and the streets were deserted. It was such a different experience to see the streets of New York NOT packed and filled with people. It was so peaceful and quiet and really made me see New York as the beautiful city it is.















Day 3: 11/12

On our last day in New York, we finally made our way to the Empire State Building. I feel like every city I visit, I always find myself at one of the city’s taller towers/buildings and making my way to the top to just take in the entire city all around me. I felt like Blair and Chuck from Gossip Girl, haha is that just me or..? We spent a good hour or so there and then made our way over to the shopping area on 5th Ave and while on the way, we stopped and bought some peanuts from the vendors. I felt like a real New Yorker, haha. We stopped by a few stores and ended our trip with lunch at a small, local deli. IMG_2990





I barely had a taste of New York but it was a good enough introduction. I will be back very soon, in about 2 weeks. This time, it will be in the dead of winter and to be honest, I am scared.

3 days in New York is honestly enough to do a decent amount, but of course, the city is so big that 3 days is not enough to do everything! Hopefully this helps you plan your next trip to New York.






Calgary, Alberta

So I haven’t quite finished editing my photos from Canada but I wanted to share a bit of what I already have and also tell you guys what I did. I spent a total of 5 days in Calgary, and about 4 of those days in Canmore, which is about an hour drive west of Calgary.

Day 1: We landed in Calgary around 12 noon but we didn’t set out for Canmore until about 4pm because of our rental car situation. Tip: consider renting OUTSIDE of the airport especially during the summer because it is extremely busy and a lot of the cars weren’t ready for pick up yet. After we picked up our rental, we got dinner in Calgary and also stopped by a grocery store to pick up some supplies such as water.

Day 2: We set out for Banff National Park and for our first destination: Lake Louise. We had planned to do the Lake Agnes Tea House hike. We had alotted maybe about 3 hours for the hike but it took much longer than that; an additional 2 hours or so because we wanted to eat at the tea house and there was a wait. The hike is very much recommended though, the views are breathtaking.


After Lake Louise and Lake Agnes, we set out for our last destination: Moraine Lake. This is a very popular spot so be ready to wait in lines and fight for parking as this lake is SO WORTH SEEING. Make sure you do the short hike up to the top (it’s really just a bunch of steep stairs).


After Moraine Lake, we headed into downtown Banff for dinner. Drive into downtown and you’ll be able to find parking lots for free but keep in mind there are a lot of people around so drive carefully!

Day 3: We planned to do Johnston Canyon upper and lower falls hike and if you’ve seen the many many photos on social media of the lower falls hike, then you’ll definitely want to go. The hikes at Johnston Canyon were much easier than Lake Agnes Tea house. It’s not as steep but it is across a steel bridge which sits on top of the stream so if you’re scared of heights, don’t look down. The hike was pretty fun and was covered for the most part and since you’re by the stream, there was a nice, cool breeze to help you stay cool.




**Note: unfinished/unedited draft.

I will continue editing photos and will continue sharing when I can! Hope you guys enjoy these photos 🙂 Feel free to drop some suggestions on more places to see in Canada for my next trip!




Recommendations and Updates

You know what I miss? Reading a good book.

I’ve read several books this year so far (I think.. I know I’ve read at least 2-3) but really, I need some recommendations.

I recently finished an oldie: A Wrinkle In Time and I’m currently re-reading The Phantom Tollbooth.

But I want to get my next book ready so please, if you have any recommendations, leave a comment!

If you guys need some recommendations, I definitely recommend Mitch Albom books, a few of them really helped changed my perspective of things; kind of allowed me to see the world just slightly differently and in a more positive manner and that’s what we all need right?

Anyways, happy Monday, the week is ALMOST over, haha!



P.S. If anyone cares, I’m currently in the process of editing my Canada and Utah/Wyoming photos so hopefully I’ll be able to share them with you soon!

4th of July Weekend

Happy birthday, America!

I’m so excited that I will be heading off to Canada for the first time this next week. I’m even more excited to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and to visit their national parks (yay for free entrance during their 150th year)!

I’m also excited to get to shoot again; my camera has just been sitting in my room every time I’m home and not on a trip. Definitely looking forward to capturing some beautiful shots of Canada.

Can’t wait to share with you all! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend! Stay hydrated (insert water emoji here).



Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park

Finally went camping for the first time this year during Memorial Day Weekend (yay for camping for the 4th time ever too!) and we decided to camp at Sequoia National Park. We went up Sunday morning and we were afraid that we would have a hard time looking for a campsite, but luckily, we didn’t! There were actually a lot of sites open so in case any of you ever want to go camping last minute in Sequoia, just know that there will be slots available.

It was my first time at Sequoia and it is absolutely beautiful. We did Moro Rock, a very intense, steep incline, stair-master type of hike but trust me, the view at the top is so worth it. We also visited the General Sherman Tree, the tallest single stem tree in the world.

For sunset, we went to Beetle Rock. We originally wanted to visit Sunset Rock (obviously for the name and the purpose it’s supposed to serve) but we couldn’t find it. The sunset from Beetle Rock was absolutely breathtaking, hands down, the best sunset I’ve seen so far. My photos do not do it justice.

There is still snow on some of the mountains so nighttime was still quite cold so be sure to bring down jackets and warm clothing. I had such a wonderful time making burgers around the fire and just being one with nature again.

On Monday, we decided to do a day trip up to Yosemite. We figured it would only be a 2-hour drive–boy were we wrong. It was definitely a 4-hour drive but it was so worth it. (Yosemite was much busier than Sequoia so keep that in mind if you’re planning on doing a day trip during Memorial Day Weekend.) We stopped by Tunnel View and got to see El Capitan, Half Dome and other waterfalls all in one frame. We also did the short hike/walk to see the Lower Yosemite Falls and we all got soaked but we all had a great time. I cannot wait to go back to Yosemite and camp and hike. It’s a must-visit for anyone who loves the outdoors.

Here are some photos from the trip! Enjoy : )



Colorado Street Bridge (Suicide Bridge)

I’ve seen so many photos of the infamous Pasadena Suicide Bridge and have driven over it ONCE in my life (even though I live like minutes away) and I have always wanted to take photos on the bridge itself but never knew how to find it until one night recently, I decided to make it a mission to find it. My friend Aaron and I set out around 10:00 PM to find the bridge and practice shooting and we got lost a few times. The first time, we ended up UNDER the freeway next to the bridge and the second try, we ended up being really far on the other side of it. Finally, I was able to find a blog that gave me more clear instructions on how to find the bridge.

If you’re going North on Orange Grove, you’ll want to turn LEFT onto Green St. (I know Green St. normally only goes one way East, but on this side of Pasadena, it will allow you to make a LEFT. This is right next to the freeway entrances.

After you make a LEFT onto Green St. you’ll want to turn RIGHT (dead end street), and just park anywhere. This should be in front of the Maxwell House. The walkway to the bridge will be right behind you, very accessible and easy to find!

I’m so glad I was able to finally find the bridge and walk on it. This bridge is beautiful in person; just the history behind it is a bit saddening. Anyway, here’s a few shots from that night. I can’t wait to go back and practice shooting more.



Oh Wonder

I started listening to Oh Wonder early last year and I fell in love with Technicolour Beat. I would put the song on repeat for an hour and just listen to it over and over. When they had their concert in Los Angeles last year, I could not attend for whatever reason I can’t remember right now but I remember hella regretting it, so this year, when I saw that they were touring in LA again, I made sure I got tickets.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Their show was amazing; their voices were so beautiful and angelic and I enjoyed the concert so much!! I can’t wait for them to come to LA again next year. If you haven’t listened to them before, I definitely recommend them. Some of my favorites are:

Technicolour Beat
Without You
My Friends

Anyway, hope you enjoy my photos from the concert!



3 days in Chicago

I haven’t visited Chicago since I was in the 5th grade and at that age, I was honestly too young to understand anything so to be able to visit Chicago again now that I’m older and more appreciative was a good experience.

Back in March, my friends and I went to Chicago for a weekend to celebrate our friend’s birthday and it was lots of fun! Chicago is known for their deep dish pizza (and for being the windy city) so I was very excited to try it again. Before going, I kept trying to remember the taste of deep dish pizza from back in 5th grade haha talk about being nostalgic. Anyways, so here’s what we did that weekend!

Friday, March 3

We arrived really late at night, around 1:50 AM so we didn’t get to do much. We checked in our hotel and got ready for bed.

Saturday, March 4

We spent our first official day with a lazy morning. We were so exhausted from getting in so late that we didn’t really get up til close to 10:00 AM. After breakfast, we headed to Chinatown. We walked around a bit and settled on getting dim sum for lunch. After lunch, we walked around some more, checked out the little gift shops they had and then headed to downtown! We had planned to check out the 360 degree Observation Deck and the new Tilt! ride (Read about Tilt! here) Tilt! was a lot of fun and very affordable for only $7 USD; 10/10 would do it again! A few of my friends were scared of heights and they were screaming while we were tilted but the experience overall was fun! (P.S. They don’t allow you to take photos. The workers there will take photos for you and they’ll be available for purchase)

After the observation deck, we headed over to the popular Lou Malnati’s for some deep dish pizza. I wasn’t too impressed with their pizza even though many other people were. It just didn’t make me think about when I was in the 5th grade and eating deep dish pizza. Anyways, we also met up with our friend Stephen who had moved from LA to Chicago two years ago and got to catch up with him for a bit. After dinner, half of the group headed back to the hotel to rest and the other half went out for desserts.


Sunday, March 5

Happy birthday to our birthday girl!! Haha, anyways, so we woke up slightly earlier and headed to museum campus to visit The Adler Planetarium and the John. G. Shedd Aquarium. We spent all afternoon there basically and then headed to Crsip for some Korean fried chicken, YUM! Our group of 6 girls has a tendency to over order so we ended up ordering about 40 wings (these aren’t your tiny BBW wings) without even consulting each other, 3 orders of bibimbap, 2 orders of fries and 2 orders of fried mushrooms. We ended up finishing everything but man, were we full. After dinner, we got some ice cream and wanted to check out the famous Bean! Unfortunately, some shady stuff happened so we ended up going back to our hotel early and we just played some games and hung out.


Monday, March 6

Our last day in Chicago was the one and only day we all made it to breakfast together haha. Today, we visited the famous Chicago Skydeck and I loved it. It was so cool (definitely recommend it, even if you’re scared of heights!) We spent a good hour just taking photos for each other on the deck and then we left to go visit one more museum; The Museum of Science+Industry!!! This museum is A MUST VISIT! There were so many cool exhibits and was so much fun! After the museum, we went to our last pizza spot: Giordano’s! Now this pizza made me think of my 5th grade self. We ended up each buying a few frozen pizzas to bring home to LA! After dinner, we finally got to visit The Bean without any disturbances. It was definitely a sight to behold, to be able to see the skyline right behind it and then reflecting against it if you’re viewing it from the side that reflects it (did that make sense haha) We spent a good half hour or so taking photos and then we picked up our stuff at the hotel and headed home!


3 days in Chicago allows you plenty of time to do lots of things! It’s not really a city that requires an extensive amount of time, it’s more of a weekend city, much like LA so if you’re ever looking for a weekend getaway, Chicago is perfect! Just make sure to pack warm clothing because it was extremely windy when we were there. There were several times we almost got blown away (haha half kidding). The public transportation there is also very easy to understand and very convenient! Anyways, if you have any comments or suggestions, let me know!