For the last few years, I've been a little more open about the mentoring I do with small businesses and young professionals. I've also been very selective with who I work with because it's been entirely free, I feel the service should go to those most in need, and I also have to be protective of my time, as well.
After being asked for such a long time to offer consulting services, I finally found a way to fit them into my schedule that I feel is sustainable. These are not free. They are paid for consultations. I look forward to seeing if I can assist you. If you can't afford this rate, contact me for sliding scale.
Happy Lunar New Year! So happy to come into the new year with greater clarity and so much love.
January 1st is always when I set my yearly intentions but Lunar New Year is when I find out if I am going to hold true. Well, I am. 2023 has already started with a bang and LNY is a reminder to hold true to my goals.
Here's to the year of the rabbit!
Comment some of your goals and intentions for the new year below.
My house is full of local art. It's the main thing I collect while traveling. What is your go-to travel souvenir?
Read more here: https://geekgirltravel.com/2022/07/27/why-i-buy-local-art-everywhere-i-travel/
Amuseparks, theme parks. These are my happy places. And really, they always have been. My love of photography and dressing in costumes are so firmly rooted in my love of these parks.
I put together a little beginner's guide to amusement park travel since I know it can be overwhelming.
Images from: Disneyland, California Adventure, Six Flags, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios.
TW: Suicide, Depression, Sexual Assault
I hope you'll sit down with me a bit because this year is so personal for me. I turn 40 this year. And I'm more excited about this birthday than any birthday before it. You might be wondering why.
Honestly, as a kid and young adult, I never thought I'd make it to 40. I figured I'd be dead before I hit this milestone.
I grew up in a fairly dysfunctional situation. I have a teen mom and am also the product of rape. My mom and her mom, my Nanny, did not get along, which led to me often being a pawn piece in their game of chess and me working hard to be the adult that not only diffused their conflicts (which were, at times, physically violent), but also helped them heal from their abuses.
The cycle of abuse was strong in my family. My Nanny was abused. My mom. Me. I was first sexually abused at the age of 4 or 5. I remember when my mom found me being abused and blamed me for what was happening with a significantly older boy. She shamed me. My Nanny didn't believe me. I was so confused and so upset with myself. It started me down a very long road to recovery because from that point on, my disordered relationship with sex and shame and my self worth would become my Everest.
My mother attempted suicide many times during my life. Her desire to die was so palpable, but so was her guilt over it. As a young person walking into the hospital to visit my mom, who slit her wrists, it didn't even dawn on me that this was not a normal experience. For me, it felt normal. It felt ordinary. Living with a resting heart rate right below panic attack was just my baseline.
By the time my teen years arrived, my desire to stay on this Earth was slim. I didn't understand why I should want to, I had no concept of my own self worth, and I didn't have any people in my life who could model healthy relationships with themselves, with their loved ones. All around me, I saw addicts, people who were deeply depressed, people in abusive and/or dysfunctional marriages. Or worse, people pretending to be happy people. But my empathy was so high so I could always feel through that mask.
[More in comments]
As some of you know, I'm Indonesian and very proud to be an Asian-American. With my Austronesian roots, I've felt such a pull to visit places that are significant to those roots. Being American, Hawaii was high on that list. But it was so important that I visited Hawaii in a way that was respectful to the people, to the islands, to my ancestors.
I talked to friends of mine who are Hawaiian and still live on the islands and asked if there were some big DON'T tips they'd recommend for non-natives and put together a blog. Most importantly, though, just don't be a dick.
Also, check out the last image for my favorite photo I've ever taken while in Kauai.
One of the most common questions I get asked is how I keep my hair vibrant while traveling. There are a number of tips I can share with you, but one of the biggest is having a pigmented conditioner you believe in.
Photos taken in Iceland right before a blizzard started.
Packing for my first safari was daunting. So many blogs and lists telling me everything I needed to pack. And really, a lot of it wasn't exactly true.
Here are 10 items that were must pack for my first safari:
Language: English is the most commonly spoken language in the Texas, but there isn’t an official language. You’ll also find many individuals who speak Spanish as their native language. Additionally, if you are closer to the Texas/Mexico border, more businesses will do business in Spanish. The third most common language spoken in Texas is Vietnamese.
Currency: The currency in Texas is the US Dollar (USD). Additionally, it’s very common to use a debit or credit card for all purchases, so cash won’t be needed for the most part. ATMs are also fairly common and accessible.
Gratuity: In general, tipping is expected in Texas. Most places will not add gratuity to your bill unless you have a larger party. Gratuity percentage or amount depends on the job being done, but 15-25% has become fairly standard.
Travel Plug Adapter: In the USA the power plugs and sockets are of Type A and B. The standard voltage is 120 V, and the standard frequency is 60Hz.
Side of the Road: Right.
Safety: Texas is generally thought of as a safe place to travel, but like any destination in the USA, use caution and always make sure someone knows your travel plans and itinerary. Texas does have higher than average crime based on comparisons with the entirety of the USA, but it is considered one of the safer states to visit in this part of the country.
Texas is where I currently call home and let me tell you, I’ve barely scratched the surface of even Austin, where I live. When they say “Everything is bigger in Texas”, they aren’t kidding. Texas is all about larger than life experiences, personalities, and portion sizes. Texas is also known for extreme weather. You can experience high heats, freezing temps, hurricanes, tornadoes and just about everything in between depending on where you are in Texas. It’s truly a massive state.
From the beautiful hills in the Texas Hill Country to the beaches of Padre Island, Texas is filled with a wide variety of natural beauty, as well as a rich culinary culture with many thanks to the traditions of Mexico combined with inspiration from the many German and Czech immigrants that call Texas home.
Austin, where we live, is all about our motto, “Keep Austin Weird”. If you love music and the arts, you’ll find yourself falling in love with Austin and its charm. We’re also home to world-renowned festivals, such as SXSW and Austin City Limits. And so many delicious food trucks. So many.