This year marks my 3 year anniversary living in Los Angeles. I moved to LA back in 2017.

To celebrate this awesome milestone I wanted to share with you my experience living here in LA. This is going to be a very honest review from a person who is not from America, but from abroad.

I am from Vietnam. I went to ISHCMC and graduated class of 2013. Afterwards, I left Ho Chi Minh City and studied in New York. I was accepted to Sarah Lawrence College and dropped out after one semester. Sadly, the school was not a right fit for me and my dream of studying and working in New York completely derailed.

I then ended up moving back to Vietnam and attended a local university there which I felt even more depressed. I decided to return to America but this time not the East Coast but to San Jose, California. Living in the West Coast compared to the East coast, made me realize how much I love the sun. Having sunny weather not only improved my overall mood but made me very productive.

I lived in San Jose for 4 years while studying at De Anza college. When I was done with community college I got accepted to LMU. And now I am here! I did not get into USC which made me sad so it was between LMU or Santa Clara university. I wanted a change of scenery and so I made the decision to move to LA.

So far I love it. But, there are days where I absolutely hate it and dream of moving to somewhere more quiet and less crowded. It is a love hate relationship.

The good:

There is something for everyone: There is K-town, Manhattan Beach, Downtown LA, Pacific Palisades…and more. That is what I love about LA. There is always something for you. If you’re into fashion, DTLA, Rodeo Drive, Melrose is for you. If you’re into fitness, Venice the bodybuilding mecca is for you. If you’re into real estate, Malibu, Beverly Hills is for you. You like dancing? Drive to Studio city and enroll yourself at Dance Millenium complex. All I am saying is that there are so many opportunities here compared to when I was living in San Jose. San Jose was predominantly tech related because it was silicon valley. Nearly everyone I knew there was a software engineer or worked at Google. :p

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I never thought I would live to the day where I would be experiencing a lockdown. I thought these things were of the past, during my grandparents time. My school is closed for the rest of the semester. All my friends returned back home and it feels like the world suddenly stopped and I am left alone in the dark. I feel so angry. For the first time in my life everything is out of my control and all I can do is sit back, and watch by the sideline and feel helpless. I feel scared and very alone.

Luckily, I have my younger sister who lives with me so it makes time go faster. But still, the fact that we are living in such an uncertain time gives me so much stress and anxiety.

Right now the last thing, I want to feel is “positive.” If anything I feel the complete opposite. There are days where I feel so sad and not motivated to do anything. Some days are good and some days are bad. But when I feel like that and feel down, I just remind myself that I am not alone. We all are grieving and frustrated with the unknown. It’s just a matter of time when things will reopen. I just tell myself  that this pain is temporary and I’ve got this. And I have more control, than I think I do.

Keep saying this to yourself every time your inner demons want you to feel sad and depressed. I know how many of us were on a roll, doing well before the pandemic hit. But just because we are now stuck at home, do not let that make you feel any different.

This is not the time to lose yourself.

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I’ll admit to you right now. Believing in yourself is tough. It really is hard. Because for once you are not asking anyone for validation. You’re not asking anyone if your decision is right or wrong, or if you should do this or that and etc..

You’re not asking your friend, your mom, your therapist, your psychic for advice. You just do it because you know deep down inside of you, you’re right. And I truly believe this is what matters most at the end of the day.

We are all born with intuition and natural confidence. Over time as we grow up, we become reluctant to listen to our inner voice, our needs, what we truly want because:

  • We feel scared that we might look bad and “not right” to others,
  • We feel bad because we think we owe people something therefore neglecting our needs
  • We feel afraid that we might be judged because we think differently then following the crowd
  • We don’t want to end up alone
  • We want to conform with others and please people to make them think highly of us

But you need to believe in yourself in order to grow. That really is what becoming an adult is all about. And this is a lesson I am still learning in my 20s.

When you start to believe in yourself  and act accordingly to your highest good. You demonstrate to people that your values, opinions matter as well. That you are on the same level of the playing field. But most importantly you teach people how to treat you.

If you fast forward to 20 years from now and look back at your life. I am sure you would agree that you would have wanted to believe in yourself more. Because believing in yourself far outweighs the opinions and critics of others.

Even during the most difficult times, when things aren’t going so well and you’ve got no one but yourself to depend on. Have faith and listen to your intuition. What is that voice saying? What is it that you really want? Listen to that voice that’s responding back to you.

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Happy 25 year anniversary to my beloved parents. My everything. My entire world.

The next few months I want you to start to get to know me and my family. I’m shocked and ashamed I haven’t talked much about them on my blog. I have shown pictures of them on Instagram but I think it’s time you really get to know where I’m from and who I am. 

When I see photos of them I can’t help it but think of home. My beautiful country, Vietnam.

The place where I was born, went to school and grew up my entire life. It’s so important for me to keep the traditions that I learned back home, but at the same time remain modern and progressive.

I can’t wait for you to get to know the real me. Not the version you’ve been reading back home in Vietnam on the news. All of it does not accurately resemble who I am as a person. That’s why I’m so incredibly grateful that I have my blog, my Youtube and Instagram. All these platforms where I can showcase who I am and voice my opinion.

I’m not sure what time it is where you’re from, while reading this post ,but it is 9:09pm in Los Angeles. I just finished a long day of class. I am studying philosophy and law this semester. I’m having a great time so far and look forward to Christmas break so I can be reunited with my loved ones in Vietnam.

I hope you enjoy the photo. Here’s another photo of them on their wedding day.

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I want to share with you one photo I found on Ralph Lauren Home. I love everything about this photo. It makes me smile.

I love animals: dogs, parrots, apes, gorillas, dolphins you name it! Oh and guinea pigs and cats too 😛 I especially love horses because of how majestic and beautiful they are.

I find equestrian to be such a beautiful sport. The bond that you have with your horse is such a beautiful thing to witness. I highly recommend horse riding if you have a chance.  You will feel so empowered afterwards. That’s really the reason why I started horse riding, to help me heal emotionally and become mentally and physically strong.

I moved into a new place so I’m very inspired to make it very equestrian chic but most importantly create a feeling of home.

If you are new reading to this blog, I am originally from Vietnam and settling in America has been a difficult transition. I know first hand what it feels like to move abroad and not ever feel like you’re 100% ready and settled. I want to let you know if you’re reading this that you are not alone and there are so many people in your shoes who come to America and feel lonely. I myself included. Things will get better and I know that because I have gone through a lot of dark and lonely times to be where I am now. I love the woman I’m becoming into and will continue to better myself.

Please don’t give up and never let a person or situation define you.

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It was nice to take a break from school, blogging and social media in general. I became frustrated that I was stuck in the same routine, let alone be in America for so long. I needed to go somewhere new and inspiring to feel young again. I felt like being LA too long made me lose my interest in things that I used to love like: photography, reading and making collages. While, I love Los Angeles for school/work and opportunities related to my field, there is no charm here unfortunately. Sometimes, I even begin questioning if I should move back to New York but I haven’t given LA a chance yet so it’s not fair for me to assume that the grass is greener on the other side 😉

I went to France a few months ago with my sister and we had so much fun. It was definitely worth it. I came back feeling more refreshed and ready to create more content. Did you guys like the photos we took in France? I hired a photographer and we had a blast making memories together. So how do I even begin, with summing up how much change has happened over the last few months?

I think that’s how we all feel when change is overwhelming. There are no words to describe it.

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