About Me

I’m a thirty-something Oregonian writing about my journey through life.  I started writing in a diary at a young age, but as I grew older, I shifted away from only the written word.  In addition to blogging, I like to express myself through other creative means, like photography or the arts.

A couple years after graduating from university, I went to teach English in South Korea.  I was young, curious to see the world, and didn’t want to regret missing out on adventures before settling down.  From 2001-2008, I taught English in Korea.  I spent three years in Gangneung, one in Gunsan, and two in Gunpo.  As you can see, I have an affinity for cities with G’s.  On February 5th, 2009, I returned to Oregon and enrolled full-time in a Masters in Teaching degree.  I graduated in May 2010 and was offered two teaching jobs in the school district I student taught in!  I’m in my second year teaching first-grade at a Title 1 school.  The itch to travel is always there, but for now, I’ll be traveling mostly within the U.S. border.

Places I’ve been so far:

  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • China
  • Japan
  • Indonesia
  • Philippines
  • Laos
  • Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Costa Rica
  • Panama
  • Malaysia
  • Hong Kong

Other random details…
It’s safe to say we’d probably get along if you appreciate: the beauty of positive thinking, nice manners, the feel of letterpress, finding that perfect pen, Scrabble, recycling, melodic music, being alone, good food, the power of pictures, the warm sun on your face, or jumping on a bus just to see where it takes you.

On the other hand, I will secretly judge you if you love: NASCAR, “Jersey Shore,” wRiTiNg LiKe tHiS, OR LIKE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!, smoking, shrill laughs, or talking while you chew.  Bad grammar also annoys me.  There’s no reason you shouldn’t know the difference between “they’re,” “there,” and “their.”

On a more personal note…
I was born in Vientiane, Laos in my grandmother’s house.  Our family fled Communism and our country in the late seventies.  My grandfather was part of the Royal Lao Government, but the Communist Pathet Lao were taking over and we made the decision to leave.  I was carried on my mother’s back as we crossed the Mekong River in the middle of the night.  I don’t remember my life in Laos, but my earliest childhood memory was my first airplane ride as we flew out of the refugee camp in Thailand.  I distinctly remember throwing up during my first airplane ride.  Our family got sponsored by a nice Christian family in Cave Junction, Oregon.  My father used the only money he had ($10) and slowly built a life for us in America.  I don’t bring these details up for anyone’s pity, but more as a reminder for myself.  My life could have been so vastly different, but I was one of the lucky few, and I never take that for granted.  I’m tremendously grateful to the United States, the men and women who fought for my freedom in the Vietnam War, and the international aid workers that helped us find new homes.  Laos is my motherland, and the U.S. is my homeland.  They both have very special places in my heart.

Some favorite quotes:

“Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others.”  ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“Travel has a way of stretching the mind. The stretch comes not from travel’s immediate rewards, the inevitable myriad of new sights, smells and sounds, but with experiencing firsthand how others do differently what we believed to be the right and only way.”

We learn…
10% of what we read
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
50% of what we both hear and see
70% of what is discussed with others
80% of what we experience personally
95% of what we teacher someone else
~ William Glasser

What keeps this blog running smoothly:

  • WordPress
  • Bluehost
  • iMac 27-inch
  • Flickr Pro account
  • iPhoto
  • Photoshop CS3
  • Lightroom 3

Cameras I use:

  • Canon 5D
  • Canon PowerShot S90 (point and shoot)
  • iPhone camera with Instagram
  • Fujifilm Instax Mini 7 (Polaroid-type fun camera)
  • Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim (film camera)
  • Praktica CX-2 (Lomo-type film camera)

Lenses:

  • 50mm f/1.8
  • 24-105mm f/4