explore. dream. discover.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." This site will take over from my previous blog: http://dayumnicebridge.tumblr.com

Month: January, 2014

Where is my snow?

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It appears that almost everyone I am friends with on Facebook has decided to head off to the snow. In theory, this sounds pretty ok to me since I don’t see any of them that often anyways. The real problem started when they started posting pictures of the snow-capped mountains, outdoor spas and ski gear all over Instagram.

I was sitting at my desk, looking at these phenomenal pictures thinking “well you may be in (aspen, france, japan) but I have a pretty tasty-looking turkey and lettuce sandwich on my desk…so take that”

how. freaking. depressing.

It has come to my attention now that I would like to go on a skiing holiday. It’s been a good two years since I was shredding the powder on Aspen mountain and it feels a lot like a great injustice. I felt bad for myself for a few minutes until I realised that yes, all these friends of mine are falling on their asses into metres of snow, but I on the other hand, have my turkey sandwich and nothing can beat that…except that the turkey sandwich ended up being bad so I had to buy some sushi which was equally as terrible.

Luckily my parents bought us a snowcone maker a few christmases ago. I hope they won’t get mad if I turn the house into an indoor ski field. visitors welcome, bring your own hand warmers.

Until next time,

Jess x

 

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Photoshop

Everyone needs to get over the fact that magazines use photoshop. The latest mag to cop the heat has been Vogue for their (amazing) Lena Dunham shoot and cover. The photos are seriously incredible shot by the undoubtedly talented Annie Liebovitz, and all most people are talking about it whether or not they’re photoshopped.

Are you kidding me?? Of course they are! They always have been and probably always will be. People need to get it through their thick heads, magazines are photoshopped, so are movies and most of the ads you see everywhere. I’m not saying Lena is not beautiful without it, I’m just saying it’s expected and if you’re silly enough to think what you see in magazines is real, that’s your bad luck. Have some common sense people.

To be honest, I do think people are beautiful just as they are, but the more attention we give the photoshopping the more it affects us. Just accept that images are made to look like an unrealistic ideal and get over it, I’m sure you’ll all be a lot happier.

Well, that’s my rant finished.

Until next time,
Jess x

Outsiders: The view from the minivan

In Lang Co for every luxury resort, there are at least four or five derelict houses and shacks made from sheet metal. On the few journeys where we left the hotel to go to Hoi An or Hue, we would have a clean, private, air-conditioned bus. Between the resort and the cities themselves we would pass locals scattered along the roadside for the entire hour long drives. 

One morning, as we were being driven to Hue “the old capital”, we noticed that money littered the streets as if it were invaluable. We asked our tour guide why, when people were so poor, did they leave the money there. She told us that people threw money to bring them good luck and if you pick it up off the ground it is believed to give you bad luck.

All the while I’m sitting in the car thinking…”but it’s money???”

From the outside looking in, I knew these people were a lot poorer than me, living in the make-do houses along the main road. It was fascinating, like I was staring through a keyhole into another universe. I would have loved to have spent a day with some of them, in their ordinary lives, knowing what it is that makes them tick and seeing how they go about everyday life.

Until next time,

Jess x

 

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A random collection of my travels in photos.

Hoi An, Vietnam

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Hoi An, Vietnam

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Mekong Delta, Vietnam

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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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New York City, USA

ImageHue, Vietnam

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Mekong Delta, Vietnam

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Riva Del Guarda, Italy

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Paris, France

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London, England

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New York City, USA

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New York City, USA

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The Vatican City

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Farewell Angsana

To compare Angana resort to a slice of heaven would be too easy. A sheltered part of paradise hides on the beaches of Langco, where the locals are some of the gentlest creatures I’ve ever met, and the happiest. As we leave the resort headed to the airport, we drive past the shadows of the mountains on one side and the rice and fish farms on the other.

Yesterday, our tour guide Djong, told us that electricity had only come to Langco six years ago and that some of the farmers couldn’t afford the new equipment and so farmed with buffalo instead. In a world where my birthday presents cost more than the average Vietnamese citizen earns in two months, you could say the experience has humbled me and planted a new seed in my heart.

I have made friends among the staff at Angsana resort. The wonderfully attentive and slightly mischievous Nhen was our waitress at dinner on New Years Eve. She taught me the true value of laughter, language and how telling the bartender “En yu ahn” or “I love you” can brighten up the otherwise boring dinner shift. She taught me a few words and organised a cooking class, where she joined the chef and myself, talking my ear off about my travels, friends and asking me why I didn’t have a boyfriend. I won’t ever forget her or the playful spirit she was.

Unexpectedly Vietnam has been one of my favourite holidays. The only shopping I did was for a book and a small collection of souvenirs and I’m happy about that. It’s been a holiday for my mind. There are people I would love to bring back here and today I am leaving with the feeling that there is so much more to see, touch, hear, smell and taste…especially taste.

Next I will write all about the food that I have tasted, from the food I would live off to the dish that could only be described as warm tinned tuna that might have actually been salmon.

Until next time,
Jess x

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The backseat roller coaster.

I’m currently sitting at the back of the shuttle bus on the way home from the ancient city of Hoi An. I chose this seat for the single reason of enjoying more leg room for the 2 hour drive. Whilst I have more leg room, and am completely satisfied, I feel as though I should have worn a sports bra today. The amount of involuntary bouncing around that I’m doing back here is kind of ridiculous. I feel worse for Dad though as he’s sitting next to me with his arms crossed – probably to minimise the bouncing around of his own boobs without having to admit he actually has…well you know.

Hoi An is an ancient city 2 hours from our resort in Langco. Filled with markets and little women offering $2 pedicures…or was it foot fungus? I can’t remember. There are a few art galleries scattered around with some stunning paintings that I was coveting until I saw them in the form of bookmarks in about 15 other places. Everyone wants to know where you’re from and if you’ll come to look at their shop. I can’t help but feel guilty as I’m usually the type of shopper who wears earphones to avoid sales people, so I smile awkwardly at them and hope they’ll ask someone else. It’s a bit like when guys hit on you in a bar so you just tell them you have a boyfriend except unfortunately I don’t think these women would care about my dating life…or lack there of.

Foodwise Hoi An has a lot to offer. We choose Miss Lys and her wontons for lunch, because I have a soft spot for wontons and the people who enjoy them. What I expect is not actually what we receive though the result is quite delicious and let’s face it, I probably wouldn’t turn down free food unless it had an unnatural amount of legs. So I was brave and tasted the strange wontons and I was rewarded for my troubles with a tasty meal. Asia is full of goodies so if you come here be prepared to eat… a lot… Don’t worry about gaining weight though, the food is very healthy and with some luck you’ll get gastro and it’ll come straight out anyway (too much information?)

Before I leave you I must tell you about Randy’s book shop. As most of you know I adore reading and often prefer the company of a book rather than a person. Randy’s is owned by an American man who sounds alarmingly like Philip Seymour Hoffman. In fact he spoke to us from his office before he appeared and I was convinced Philip was about to come out to greet us. Unfortunately it wasn’t him, but Randy was quite pleasant anyway and I enjoyed his American accent as I mostly enjoy them all. His bookstore is filled with second hand books in all different languages, I could have spent an entire day and a lot of money in there but the parentals pulled me out…after buying me a lovely book. I chose “On the road” by Jack Kerouac.

Alright kids, I’m going to continue to enjoy my roller coaster bus ride now, the entire 90 minutes that I have left. Enjoy your evening, morning, night or afternoon! Oh and Happy New Year!

Until next time,
Jess x

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