Vegging Out

Rewind back to 3 months ago, I was a full-fledged, proper carnivore. It's impossible to count how many times the words, "with bacon," came out of my mouth through my meat-craving lips. Despite the whole bacon craze, I was generally a very healthy eater as I'm obsessed with veggies like kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and eggplant. My affinity for fennel is steadily growing as we speak. But I did love my meats. Lamb kebabs, roasted duck, lechon, pancetta - the whole shebang.

While I was in India though, eating only vegetarian food for almost two months, having lengthy discussions with my teachers and fellow students during satsang and meditating a lot about it, I've become a non-meat eater (I do still eat the occasional seafood). It was neither an overnight decision nor a forced one. It just happened organically and is still evolving day by day. I'm still exploring it and defining it and trying to verbalize why I'm not eating meat anymore. One solid reason is because my body doesn't crave it anymore. Second reason, I feel healthier than ever. Third...that's the one I'm working on; the mental/psychological reason. I still appreciate that meat tastes good. Oh yeah, I remember. And I completely understand the need to take life to survive. 

I guess that's just it. In the current state I am in, eating meat is a luxury, not a necessity. There are alternate ways to nourish myself without having to take a life, so I guess I choose what I'm comfortable with. Geez, I'm realizing what we eat is such a personal thing. And I feel like it's constantly changing; at least for most people. 

Sorry about my rambling. By no means am I trying to impose my beliefs on anyone through this post. Simply sorting out my thoughts and understanding myself better. I, too, am a witness to where my eating habits take my beliefs/thoughts and vice versa. Like I said, I am still eating the occasional seafood. I think it's because I still see it as a necessity.

Interesting, how humans work. 



2012 has been thrillingly eventful, and I am so very thankful for every minute of it. After coming back from India, I thought I'd return back to the usual. In fact, exactly because of this reason, I was actually slightly dreading coming back.

But oh boy, was I wrong. The world continues to surprise me. Los Angeles continues to surprise me. The city, just like people, is such an organic living, breathing thing, that constantly evolves and changes. And once in a while, I get caught off guard by not only how beautiful the city can be but also by how often I catch myself simplifying the city as either good or bad. This city of angels is so complex!

I digress. Back to the topic at hand. Lots of new things going on. And I'd like to share them via photos (btw, apologies in advance as my photos are all from different phones/apps so the quality & size of each really varies)!

2012 is the year of reunions! Got to reunite with one of my bfs from HS. We got to reunite over some legit teppanyaki in Roppongi at a restaurant called Ten (meaning Heaven in English). Love this girl!

You can see downtown from here 
Also, my childhood friend, whom I've known since I was 5, moved to L.A.! Our families used to go to the same church in Stockton (near Sacramento, CA). To welcome her to the city, we caught up over brunch and an afternoon hike at Runyon Canyon.

I also met up with two guys, who I knew from my senior year of HS in Shanghai, over Cambodian food in Snoop Dogg's hood. Didn't get a picture with them though.

They were so awesome!
This past weekend, I taught my first yoga class (the ones during my yoga program don't count!) at the Silverlake Meadows. The weather was on my side - so gorgeous and bright! I was nervous the night before so I arrived early to meditate. Glad I did because meditation and my own quick asana practice before everyone arrived really quelled my nerves. All in all, I think I did well, but I know that I still have much to improve on. One thing's for sure, I LOVED it. :)

Farewell dinner the best way possible - over beer and Korean bar food
I am no longer working at the advertising agency I was with for the past 3 years. I loved my boss and most of my coworkers and I learned more at this agency than I could've ever imagined, but I was given an opportunity that aligned better with my overall life vision.

Coming at LA, FULL FORCE.
Which brings me to my biggest piece of news. I am now the first and newly appointed East LA Community Manager for Gogobot! I am SO excited as I will get to be the ultimate host! I'll be taking care of the entire Gogobot community that resides in Koreatown, Silverlake, Echo Park, Pasadena, Downtown, Alhambra and Glendale! You can follow my adventures on my new handle.

Such a beautiful wedding!
This year has been so exciting and we're not even mid-way! Friends are getting engaged and married left and right, new careers for many, some of them are pregnant or already gave's all quite exhilarating, isn't it?


Black Mamba

Channeling none other than Mr. Bryant, the self-declared Black Mamba. 

This was taken my first night in Delhi. I was getting more stares in Delhi than any other Indian city so I decided to cover up as much as I could. Scarves are one of my essentials when travelling - no matter what kind of weather or terrain.


Developing Healthy Habits Through Travel

Travel can help create healthy habits and break the bad. I say "can," and not "will," because it really depends on what kind of travel you're doing. I'm not sure if going on a party cruise with an open bar and free buffet will really create healthy habits. Unless you're going with the intention to strengthen your discipline and will under the most tempting situations (if you are, you deserve an applause).

Travel presents an opportunity to get into the mindset of starting anew. New start in a new place with a new schedule is an optimal situation to start new habits. 

Here are some of the healthy habits I picked up in India: 

1) Becoming a smile initiator toward strangers. While in India, I became aware that I was a reactionary smiler. I only smiled when the other person smiled first as we crossed paths. I don't know why I became this way or if I had always been that way. I thought about this a lot and I think it has to do with vulnerability. The fear that your smile won't be returned, that it'd be rejected. But why waste time being fearful of stupid sh*t like that? Now, I smile. And I smile big. At anyone who walks by. And EVERY TIME it's worth it. 

2) Not buying anything unless it is to replace something. When traveling, you carry what you own - the more you have, the heavier and burdensome your load. And once you start living out of a suitcase, you realize you're still happy (if not more happy) living on very little. Simple as that.

3) Only getting online when necessary. During travels, you're so busy being bug-eyed curious and child-like  excited about experiencing everything around you that the internet becomes just plain grey. In fact, it simply doesn't cross your mind. And when you do use the internet, you really use it as a tool, not a way to pass the time or for entertainment. Bringing this way of thinking about the internet back home with me has made me a much more happy person. 


Life in India, according to my camera

When everything gets calm, when you remove all your distractions, and when the buzz in your ears and the haze over your eyes dissipate...

You end up seeing more and hearing more than you ever have. 

During my yoga course, we practiced a vow of silence until mid-day, every day. We also designated one day out of the week where we would remain silent the entire day. 

As soon as you close your mouth, everything else gets more vivid. What you hear, what you see, what you taste, what you think. And once you do get to speak, you end up speaking more truth as you had that time to filter out the rubbish things you would've said and save the awesome thoughts you did want to share.

If you ever get the chance to do this, do it. And go outdoors and be a witness. It's amazing, the depth of life that you will see and enjoy. 


I didn't get to capture all the creatures that I saw (trust me, there are A LOT), but here's a few I'd like to share with you.

I could watch these guys dig themselves into sand for hours; there were a few times when I actually did.

Contrary to popular belief, roosters start crowing at THREE AM IN THE MORNING. Trust me, I know.

What these are, I do not know. But they are beautiful, aren't they?

A teeny calf. Awwww

I got to witness star fish season. The sand was studded with a load of these! I wish I would've taken more pictures. I went back to the beach the next day to do so but was too late. 

Peas, growing on the dirt path that leads to the yoga hall; There were also plants that would close it's leaves whenever you touched them. The resident bugs of these plants were dragonflies and lady bugs. 

There were also several monkeys here and there. I had a yellow frog who lived in my bathroom for a couple days. Had 4-5 gecko sightings a day. Oh! We saw a  mongoose! I saw a king cobra, too. 



Do you ever just have those moments where you're just so excited about life?? Not about what's happened in the past or what will happen in the future. Just excited for what life is to you in the now.Yeah, I'm experiencing one of those times, right now. LIFE IS AWESOME and I LOVE IT. 

No, I am not on drugs. Unless tea counts. 


Favorite photo on this mountain,
in my favorite city in India, 
with my favorite person.


My Letter To New York

NY '09, I was so excited, I couldn't hide it.

I found something scribbled onto the back of a printed flight itinerary in my desk today (spring cleaning! yay!).

It says:

Dear New York,
Every night  
I arrive on my flight 
On my return flight back
You are always a dream
I wake up from
on my return flight home.
I want to hold onto
that feeling.
Make dream into reality.
But I know
my visits to you won't be as magical 
Circa 2009 


The People I've Met

Every sunset, the beat of the drums gather all sorts of travelers and locals to join in dance and performance
One of the best things, if not the best thing, about traveling is the people you see and meet. On my trip, I met plenty of inspiring people, most of who were far more brave and courageous than I, and I found myself as a perpetual student, constantly learning about and soaking in the complexities/simplicities and the never ending possibilities of life.

Fellow travelers we bumped into during Holi, the Festival of Colors
There were indeed a lot of philosophical discussions had on life, death and spirituality. However, just like the variety of people you meet during travels, the discussions, too, vary and there were a lot highly entertaining talks about music festivals, UK/US celebrities, sex, food, drugs and day-to-day life.

Graduation day with Natalie, Heather and Marcia
Speaking of sex, food and drugs (j/k!), in the span of 5+ weeks, I got to know three really badass girls. We are bound for life through our love for yoga (especially our vrksasana) and all the experiences we shared in India. They definitely kept me sane and quelled any sense of loneliness during my travels.

Most of my yoga family
As always, my travels only intensifies my hunger for more travel. Meeting fellow travelers and hearing their stories of home and the places they've find that there are SO MANY places you want to go to that you never considered or wanted to visit (for me, two new places are Nottingham and Rishikesh).

Seti and Chan, also part of our yoga family
I look forward to seeing the new friends I've made in my future travels. Til we meet again!