After Cross Country Trip 2017

After driving nearly 4500 mile in 2 weeks from ny to san francisco, here’s some thoughts during and after cross country trip. I like to ask questions to myself ‘what is life?’ and I guess whenever I traveled or meet people or read books, I always go back to my main question. What is life?

  1. Life is like road trip

Road trip, we make destinations and routes we want to take although it changes at times. From point A to B, sometimes there’s nothing to see but keep driving for 10 hours because we didn’t want to waste time in some places just for sleeping. Sometimes driving at midnight can be tiring but we kept pushing and driving. When we get to the next destination, we feel relieved that we arrived safely and being on schedule. Then, we feel good for a few days and be ready to drive to the next destination and have another a long drive.

I was thinking it was like life we have. We work hard to reach a goal. Not after too long we reached the goal, we create another goal to achieve. We push ourselves to get to the next destination as soon as possible and if we are not on schedule, we would be worried and stressed out.

Is it worth the push and the stress? Was it worth to get to each destinations a few days early? maybe? Or maybe not. it’s better to take a little more time and find ways to enjoy what we are doing now and can be late a little for next destination. Like road trip, I feel like it is not all about each destinations but driving was part of the important journey and we take most of our time into this. The road trip made me think of this part.

2. Dreams and Reality


I dreamed about this cross country trip for a long time. i was thinking about I would feel totally free in beautiful nature and places and everything will be great.

When I actually did it, I saw and experience more than the abstract dream and images I had. Everything was real – every states, food, streets, building, landscape, atmosphere and people. and not everything was what I imagined like what a long driving would be like, and what things I can expect.

I felt like this also happens to us many times in life. Gap between dreams and reality. We feel like everything will be great if we have this, or that. But is this true? When you make the dream come true, would everything would be fine?

3. Different people and life


Coming from city life as a foreigner, it was interesting to see different lifestyles in America. Big houses, driving cars, surrounding nature, shops, and lifestyle in suburb/small towns. I feel like I’m looking at different part of life there. In order to get to restaurants, you need to get into a car and drives miles away. Well, it did feel nice to have some space but felt a little weird at first. Almost too quiet and less people. Where’s everyone in this town!

Every towns, people have different attitude too. I felt like southern part, people were very kind and more friendly. Overall, in this one country, looking at different people and lifestyle made me think again about what is america made of? where’s all the culture coming from? how the history has infused in the country and people’s mind in different states?

I don’t think there would be any right answer for the question ‘what is life?’ but the road trip made me think about the question again and see different America with wider views. I might want do cross country trip again in the future. ūüėČ (but definitely not in summer)


New York

Fun lazy things to do in NYC

When you live in ny for a while, you probably cover main attractions like museums, theaters, concerts, famous restaurants and others. and one day you don’t feel like doing any of cultural stuffs, major activities but still find a way to enjoy yourself.

What can we do? Here’s a few ideas, fun things to do in nyc!

  1. One night, go to china town. Go get some dim sum ( I like nom wah tea parlor) and get foot massage nearby. If you have more energy left, there are some fun bars and easy clubs nearby. So, explore freely with well massaged foot and happy belly.
  2. I like late night out¬†sometimes. It’s just fun sometimes to dine out late and the atmosphere of late night out. We have this oven brick pizza shop that opens late and the pizza is amazing! (Paulie Gee’s – one of the best in nyc) Get the spicy honey pepperoni pizza and beers. Enjoy the late night out and the delicious food.
  3. Donut tasting. One of the great things about nyc is that there are so many good sweets and food. Can’t resist!! I’m getting into donuts. The delicious fry bread with glazed top. yum yum. My favorites are doughnut plant, peter pan, dough, etc. Just go and get a few donuts that looks good and eat with tea or coffee. It’s so satisfying!!!
  4. or desserts out! So many good bakeries but I should say my favorite choices are rice to riches (the delicious rice puddings!) or dominique ansel bakery (everything there are so good!!) or if those options are a little far, maybe kayser. (their pain au chocolate and cream bowl dessert (can’t think of name) are very good)
  5. check out local bands. I was not interested in local musics until I saw El ten eleven from williamsburg music hall. They are not local band but I just loved their music. I didn’t know them until I got there. Usually many music venues accommodate interesting bands. It’s so easy, nth overwhelming experience. Also, if you find bands you like, it’s really satisfying and fun experience.
  6. cooking something new.¬†Even though you are not super into cooking, if you can actually make quality, delicious food with fresh, unique ingredients, it’s worth trying. and it’s fun! NYC has many specialty super market from fresh italian pasta to the best quality meat-butcher shops. Choose a recipe and get unique ingredients that you haven’t tried!
  7. cocktail tasting.¬†When I moved here a few years ago, I feel like I should try all the best restaurants and bars. When I have the mindset, it’s hard to enjoy the whole experiences. First time is to check off the list, second we go back to check if it’s still good. Third time and more, we actually can enjoy the place and drink the drink.
  8. Jazz night.¬†If you enjoy jazz, there are many charming small jazz venues in nyc. I prefer to go weekdays than weekends since weekends get more crowded. When it’s not too crowded and pushed, the experience seems more enjoyable but of course the band matters too.
  9. Walking the city.¬†If you like walking like me, there are many places to walk and have fun. I like walking brooklyn bridge around sunset time, high line in chelsea and get dessert in chelsea market (although it’s a little crowded), central park and stop at museums for special exhibition if you feel like.

Now I see, half of the list are food related. ūüėÄ



Learn to Be Kind

My husband and I did cross country from new york to san francisco in July 2017. It was one of our bucket list for a long time and it was finally time to check off that list. We saw many things Рdifferent states, landscape, food, culture and people. But more than anything, one of the highlights we had was people we met during the trip. We were lucky to meet some interesting kind people during the road trip but Bill from Nashville inspired me the most and think about how I can be a better person.

So, we were driving into Nashville from Columbus, Ohio around lunch time and excited for the famous hot chicken in the town. It was a popular chicken place so the seats were limited at that time. We ended up sharing a table with this normal men who had sculpted beard with bald head. We started to chat about our road trip so far and he was sharing about his story. He said he travels quite a lot too and doing cool stuffs like designing motorcycles and fun things. Among many stroies , his success story, his philosophy in his life were very interesting.

He started his business with $250 and built a successful business pretty quick within¬†2-3 years.As a struggling entrepreneur, of course I want to find out more about him. and he was kindly sharing his story. First he said “building a business and running a successful company is easy.” I told him “really? I don’t think so.” and he said “it’s easy as long as you really have fun and want it badly” and I said “but still it’s not easy. Given my situation, I’m struggling to make every steps every day” Easy words sounded too easy to say than it done. But he said sth like “do it when you mean it and do it really well”¬†¬†and also once you do it, do whatever it takes and Hustle. Meeting him in person who really did it was inspiring to me. It’s very easy to say but in real life, we got caught up with details in life and don’t end up doing or giving up. But I think the strong, genuine drive makes nothing impossible. Later he said it’s not easy but it’s easy when you are having fun with it.

One another thing he showed us was kindness to strangers. He asked us where we stay in nashville and we told him the hotel name we would stay. and He said the hotel doesn’t have good reputation and immediately called his assistant to arrange a room in his boutique hotel. We just met him in this restaurant¬†sharing a table and he just offered us to a place to stay in for free..We didn’t know how to respond and whether we should accept it or not,, and the place was ended up 3 bedroom beautiful loft apt located in the heart of nashville. We were amazed at that time what’s happening to us and, why he would do this kind thing for us.. We are just strangers to him. we have nothing to give. We ended up finding out later he sends 20,000 small motor bicycles to kids every christmas and doing a lot of good things around him. Receiving this big kindness was weird but grateful and inspiring experience. Just being kind and generous to strangers sound weird at first but after this experience, this inspired us to give this kindness someone else, spread it out more..

We talk about ‘be kind’ a lot but how often we be really, authentically, genuinely kind without any returns to people around us and strangers who we barely know? Receiving kindness from Bill inspired us to give this inspiration to someone else. Let others know what’s like to receive kindness¬†and inspire others to do the same thing to other strangers wherever, whoever they are.