Rise and set.

“Sunrises are my favorite,” she said, the wind whipping our hair as we shot down the highway in an open-back truck with eight other people (and twice as much baggage). “I like them better than sunsets.”

How could anyone like anything better than a sunset, God’s ravishing display of His love for us in brilliant reds, purples, and pinks?

And yet…
This sunrise lit up the land of smiles. The marks of a new beginning in a series of many.
Three stops, two countries, six weeks, and too many bus, plane, and car rides to count were behind us; a whole new city of surprises before us.
The sun was rising on a new page in the most thrilling chapter of my life thus far—and I’m not sure I ever want it to end.

Written upon arrival in Bangkok after our 13-hour bus ride from Chiang Rai, May 15, 2016

Coffeeshops and Countrysides

Our truck whizzed down the highway, scattered car lights piercing through the night. We had packed, luggage and new Thai friends and all, into the back.

Just seven months earlier I lay wrapped in my comforter, grieving the future I so desired but never pursued. I had given up a one-way ticket to “find myself” on a solo backpacking trip through Asia—the journey I had left everything for. And now here I sat, far from lonely, blanketed with seven other soul-seekers in that Thai summer heat.

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Chasing Forever

I braced myself, one hand clutching the bar to my side, another around the luggage in my lap. Our driver eased up on the gas, slowing over the bumps in the dirt path, headlamps beaming ten feet in the dark. The only audible sound that early in the morning: our minivan wheezing over those dirt piles, raring to beat sunrise and reach the Bangalore airport after three weeks in India—three short weeks of music, revelation, healing, and friendships built to outlast a lifetime.

I flashed back to my home state, California, and the “Happiest Place on Earth”: Disneyland. More specifically, to a ride modeled after an Indiana Jones movie which takes you and 11 other thrill seekers on a jerky, wild ride to achieve immortality.

Except, this was real life. And the only forever my seven teammates and I were after, we already had.

written for our departure from India, Apr. 28, 2016

Hello Goodbye.

Tonight the rest of the teams will leave to their destinations and my heart is clenching up just thinking about it. I hate goodbyes.

Unlike my Asian-American upbringing which taught me to be strong, independent, and courageous all on my own, I’ve spent the last ninety days in close quarters with 40 individuals—learning to trust and rely on others; baring my insecurities and pains; crying my heart out when I was hurting; celebrating others’ joyful moments and crying with them in their dark ones; sharing my deepest fears, and asking for forgiveness when I was in the wrong…

Yeah, all that comfortable stuff.

Not.

Continue reading “Hello Goodbye.”

Halfway Through Hawaii: An Update! 

Can you believe March is already here?

I’ve been in Hawaii as part of the Restorers Discipleship Training Program with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Kona for nearly 8 weeks now, and man has a lot happened. Lives have changed, healing has taken place, and hearts and souls have been restored both here in Kona and with friends and families back home.

This post is my attempt to catch you—my friends, family, and amazing supporters—up to speed.

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Kona: Into the Deep 

Aloooha!

Thank you for all your support and encouragement. When I’ve been weak, so many of you have led me to the source of strength.

It’s been 17 days since I touched down in Kona and 16 days since I wanted to turn around and go back home. True story.

Social media welcomes the blue waters and white sand beaches; well, this is a post about the personal journey I’ve walked these past two weeks that seems to have lasted months 🙂

I’ll start with my main challenges first.

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No, I’m Not In Asia | 2

Catch-up (ketchup!) from Part One:

Here’s how my current life stage is looking. I’m an ex-advertiser who left the game at the top of her game to traverse Asia, then canceled that one-way ticket and said no to an offer in the Big Apple so she could marinate in silence as a boomerang kid with two 60-year-old-plus roommates. But hey, at least rent is free, amiright?

The first month was the worst. I paced a beat-down path around my brain and resigned to sleeping away this sense that I was lost.

And then, I saw it.


June 1, 2015
I hate myself. I hate where and who I am, today. I hate the anxiety, (or is it coffee??), settling in the caverns of my stomach. These days I feel more at home with unease than anything else, and not in the way that stretches you. It’s that vast nothingness gnawing at your consciousness as you lay in the dark. Another sleepless night, another few hours scrolling through news feeds more than through my own thoughts. What’s the point of “social” media when it make us feel less connected than ever?

Continue reading “No, I’m Not In Asia | 2”