BootsnAll Travel Network

Japan in photos

January 12th, 2011

Two weeks of Japan awesomeness with the fambam.

I love Japan like I love California burritos.

Amazing country.

I’m not a city gal, but I’m pretty sure I can live in Tokyo! 🙂

Tags: ,

it’s time…

October 1st, 2010

Dad: “So when are you going back to California?”

Me: “Uh, Dad I’m not sure, sometime this year, maybe Dec”

Dad: “Maybe? It’s been how long now…? When are you gonna stop gallivanting around?”

Me: (long pause) I don’t know, Dad…..Uh, I gotta run. Love you, bye!”

Gotta love my conversations with my Dad. Every single one this year always ended with him asking me when I was coming home…and it always ended with me hanging up with a ‘gotta-run-i-love-you-bye’

Well, today, I’m about to make his day.

I just booked my one-way flight out of China. I’ll be flying to Guam to spend the holidays with my family before I head back home to San Diego. Woo hoo!

Home… to stay? Am I ready to give up my travel boots? I don’t think so. 🙂

D-day is the 19th of December. OMG.

Tags: , ,

Vietnam in photos

September 15th, 2010

Two weeks in this beautiful country.


I left wanting more.

See you again soon, Vietnam.

Tags: ,

Hello from Hanoi!

August 26th, 2010

Wow. I’m in Vietnam…

after a year of talking about this country – I’m finally here. Despite being up for 24 hrs the night before, I couldn’t sleep last night. I was restless. I had the “im-too-excited-to-sleep-cause-i’m-going-to-disneyland” feeling. I get this feeling every time I’m in a new country. I love it.

I got in late last night. The Hanoi airport is about a 45 min ride to the Old Quarter (downtown); For 30,000 Dong ($1.50), you can take the airport bus to get there. The bus was packed, so I scurried down the aisle (which i’m sure my backpack smacked a few people in the process) and found a seat at the back. Since my Chinese friends and I pulled an all-nighter the night before playing mahjong. I doozed off during the bus ride. I was awoken by the bus driver who was kind enough to shout for me when it was time for me to get off. I got to the Old Quarter around 11ish and it was surprisingly bumpin’, being that it was only a Wednesday. With no map in hand, and a crappy guide book that only gave me so much info on Hanoi. I expected to get lost, which of course happened. typical. After some walking, a bowl of pho (rice-noodle) and two steam buns later – I finally found a decent hostel and called it a night.

Unfortunately, I only have two weeks to take in as much as I can…so my tentative plan is to spend a few days here in Hanoi, see Halong Bay, and then catch the train up to Sapa to spend a few days hiking in the mtns. Then comes the hard part of deciding where to spend my last few days – Central Vietnam or southern Vietnam…man, i wish i had more time..


Mount Huangshan

May 20th, 2010

Of all the prominent mountains in China, Mt. Huangshan (Yellow Mtn), found in the south of Anhui province, is probably the most famous.


Huangshan consists of 80+ peaks, with a few over 1600 meters! It’s famed for its stunning sunrise and “sea of clouds”, so an overnight on the mountain is a must. There are loads of hotels at the top, so lodging shouldn’t be a problem. You can also camp out if you wanted to. I booked a hostel bed w/ no shower for 50RMB ($7)


It takes about 6.5 hrs to make it up to the top of the mountain. My friend and I were pretty determined to catch the sunset from up top, and with our late start in the day, we needed to hustle! Mind you, just like most mountains in China, if not all, you have to trek up steep concrete stairs! I can’t stand concrete steps on a mountain. I find it annoying. Just saying. Though, i have to say the vast view of the scenery while trekking up makes up for it!

What i do find amazing is the construction of these steps. With Huangshan, being one of their largest mtn ranges, (check out the pic below) these concrete staircases/walkways are built attached to the cliff-sides. crazy! Anyway, we made it to the top in record time! We did it in 5 hrs! Yes, 5! My legs were just about ready to fall off! (oh the crazy things i do for a sunset/sunrise).


Unfortunately, we weren’t able to witness the “sea of clouds” rolling in. They say Its best to go during the winter if you want to catch em’. Nonetheless, the sunrise was spectacular.


Tags: ,

Palawan Island photos

March 25th, 2010


Sabang Beach




Sabang Sunset


El Nido beach


El Nido


El Nido Sunrise


Island hopping in El Nido w/ Jay and Freddie


Snorkeling w/ jellyfish in El Nido


riding high on a jeepney!

March 8th, 2010

Jeepneys. These decorated, peerless things are everywhere! I wish I had a picture of a really decked out one.; chrome wheels, a colorful mural tagged around the entire jeep! I’ve never seen anything like it. Jeepneys offer one of the cheapest ways of getting around in the Philippines. Majority of them, if not all, have zero a/c and are constantly packed with passengers, especially in big cities like Manila. And when night hits, some Jeepneys crank up their music and break out in colorful neon lights!

This “overloaded” jeepney picture was taken in Puerto Princesa, Palawan (an island south of Manila). Usually, in the countryside or islands, jeepneys are packed with all kinds of stuff: leaves, food, gasoline, textiles, live chickens!! Basically anything they can pack in they’ll take, which are all eventually delivered while en-route.


As soon as all the stuff was unloaded, the guys and I jumped up top and rode the rest of the way on the roof of the jeepney. (Puerto Princesa to Sabang, 3 hrs, of course depending on the amount of loading and unloading happening along the way). A great way to see the island, that’s for sure!! Just remember to hold on tight and watch out for those overhanging tree limbs.


Riding high in Manila? You can forget about it.

Tags: ,

I’m in Manila!

March 1st, 2010


Wow. I’ve finally made it back to the motherland. My first and last time here was with my family when I was 10 yrs old. (yep, its really been that long). It feels great. Super uber stoked that I’m here. I guess it’s time to brush up on my Tagalog 🙂

Ivan, a friend from home is in Manila for business, so he’ll be showing me around. Meeting up with Jay and Freddie in the next few days who will be joining me in Palawan. Beaches here I come!

Not missing cold, snowy Dalian at all.


One year mark in China

February 13th, 2010

Since it’s been a year, I’d like to point out that I’m no longer just an English teacher… I’m now a chopsticks master, pro dumpling-maker, street-chaur lover, forever bijou loather, transit crowd-pusher (though not all the time), mooncake admirer, and tea expert. Oh yea.

Gosh, so many 09′ memories running around in my head. I have so much to write about; things i’ve seen, tasted, felt, experienced, but my fingers can’t seem to type fast enough. I think it’s the Dalian winter. It’s been too cold to type and my fingers are frozen 🙂 Though I promised a few 09 highlights, so here they are…

Traveling. Guam, Korea, and parts of China. Guam being the pinnacle of them all. After nearly 10 years of being away I’ve finally made that trip home. I couldn’t have guessed the intensity of my feelings; being back on the island, reuniting with friends I grew up with – it was heart-warming and fulfilling. As that one song went, “Reunited and it feels so good…”

Turning 26 in China. Dumplings, long-life noodles and cake fights with friends. A birthday to remember that’s for sure.

Thanksgiving turkey. I’m not sure how it happened but somehow I was appointed to make the turkey and I accepted. Surprisingly, “Bob” the turkey (yes, i named my turkey) turned out well. No joke. Mind you, I’ve never cooked a turkey in my life! So this was big, for me atleast. Mom you’d be proud.

Water shut-off on Christmas Eve (right before dinner) No joke. Lets just say we all cut down on our liquid intake just so we wouldn’t have a reeking toilet. A memorable, awesome night it was. Good friends. Good laughs. Good times. Good eggnog!! (Thanks Meg) What made the night even awesomer was our random xmas wrapping paper fight. WTF? Yes, I know we’re total dorks. But oh, was it fun.

Random Caroling. In attempt to spread the joy of Christmas, a bunch of us got together on Christmas day and randomly sang carols at random places: on sidewalks, inside malls, even the train station! Onlookers stared and didn’t react really. I’m sure they were thinking that we were crazy. Maybe we should have sang in Chinese.

Christmas miracle? For two months, my roomie Jaz constantly nagged about how “Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without snow” and we joked on Christmas Eve how there was still a day left and just maybe, just maybe it’ll come on Christmas Day. Lo and behold, I woke up on Christmas Day looked out my window, and everything was covered in white. It was snowing! Of course, my first reaction — run, scream and bang on Jaz’s door until she woke up.

Bringing in 2010. Never thought I’d be a million miles away from home celebrating the New Year in China! Two words: Whiskey and FIREWORKS!!

Thanks to all who have made 2009 a great year.



Happy 2010 from China!

January 1st, 2010

Wow it’s amazing how time flies. I left home 10 months ago but honestly it feels like I’ve only been gone for a month. This year in particular went by quickly. I don’t’ know what it is. I’m convinced that being on the road or just being away from “home” changes your outlook on time. Really. Traveling last year, rarely did I check the time. I don’t think I even wore a watch. Thinking about it there were days where I completely lost track of time, and didn’t even know what day it was. But its big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, especially being at the end of the year, that reminds us of “time”. Reality suddenly kicks in, things start to sort out in your mind, and you realize that the year is coming to a close.

Oh what a year….. 2009 musings and photos soon. I promise.

Cheers to 2010! Year of the tiger!

Love from China, Sophia