Heavy heart. And mind. And trying not to complain.

1. I remember the excitement, the hope, the ambition, the “plan” at one point in life. Couple weeks back, for instance, I remember the determination to conquer 5K running, which I still am on my way there. Couple weeks further back, I remember the goal I set for myself. Today, I’m here hoping that time would turn back a month and half ago. There are many things I’d like to change. This is what my life looks like. It’s filled with motivation from time to time, then it’s filled with regrets from time to time. The modes keep switching back and forth with promises in between. That’s why I’m nowhere near the place I want to be. Arg! Such a loser!

I hate it when people say it’s a human thing. I know mistakes make me human and they (supposedly) are necessary for my 20s. I need to make mistakes to learn, and it’s better to make mistakes when I’m young. But the thing is… I rarely learn. There are countless time in my life when I just sit there, look back to the last couple weeks/ years and hope things could be changed. It sucks, I know. And I also know that I’ve gone a long way to be here but it’s not enough. Every effort is not enough. Not yet.

Trust me, I’m not even asking too much of myself. You’ll agree if you know me.

2. Sometimes I (sort of) want to run away. On the train ride to work, I often wish it would change the direction and lead us all to the wilderness. I often think of Norway and Ireland and Greece, just anywhere in Europe. I often think of leaving everything I’ve built behind and become a true nomad. I often ask myself: “What if I really leave everything and go?” Then I thought of my favorite article about traveling when you’re young. Maybe I have too many excuses. But it’s not time yet… I have people I treasure here. I still have things (I don’t like to do) to take care of.

But I’ll keep this flame alive. One day. One day, I’ll wander to unfamiliar places and explore this world.

3. South Korea and Winter Trip were the best time of my youth thus far. There were nothing to worry about. The absolute freedom. The dear friends. Night on the rooftop watching Seoul fell asleep. Living life. Crossing borders.


Về chuyện nhật ký du lịch…

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Dạo này mình chăm đọc cuốn “Những Chuyển Điệu” của chị Nguyễn Thiên Ngân. Đây có lẽ là cuốn sách Tiếng Việt duy nhất mà mình đọc mấy năm gần đây… Nhớ ngày xưa anh trai mình nói đại khái là nếu muốn du lịch này kia, giỏi thì làm được như Thiên Ngân đi! Rồi cũng nghe cả chuyện chị bỏ làm đi du lịch. Nghe chuyện rõ là một đằng, đọc sách lại là một nẻo. Bỗng nhiên thấy connected với cái chị Ngân này. Mình thích cách chị nghĩ (nhiều phần giống mình..) và viết–dí dỏm, nhẹ nhàng, nhiều cách so sánh hay hay. Đọc cuốn này thấy mình vừa như trở về những ngày cấp ba dễ thương, đầy kí ức ngọt ngào (đây chỉ là cảm xúc về nửa đầu cuốn sách…), vừa thèm chạy thẳng quách lên White Mountain hay gì, hít thở không khí núi non một tí. Nhưng hơn hết, tự nhiên mình (lại) muốn viết nhật ký du lịch của mình bằng tiếng Việt.

Viết nhật ký du lịch để làm gì? Chẳng để làm gì. Mình luôn muốn lưu lại cảm xúc của , lưu lại những gì mình suy nghĩ về cái cuộc đời của mình và mọi người trong hiện tại, lưu lại những lần vui buồn không lý do, chỉ để sau này đọc lại xem mình đã đi từ nơi nào đến nơi nào và đã thay đổi ra sao. Những tấm hình mình chụp có thể lưu lại khoảnh khắc trong đời–như níu giữ lại cho chúng không trôi vào khoảng mang tên “dĩ vãng”–nhưng không cho mình biết trong đêm sao hôm ấy ở Marfa, mình đã nghĩ gì về cuộc đời… Rồi thì mình chỉ muốn qua những dòng viết linh tinh mà thật lòng ấy hay những tấm hình mình chụp bằng cả con tim, mình sẽ truyền cảm hứng cho ai đó. Mong là chữ “duyên” sẽ đưa mình đến gặp thêm nhiều người bạn đáng mến.

.. Và thực tình mà nói thì mình cần tập viết cho đúng chính tả.

Nói chung là từ nay, mình sẽ cố gắng viết blog này bằng tiếng Việt để lưu lại & chia sẻ những ngày mình lên đường khám phá thế giới. Hy vọng mười năm nữa ngồi đọc lại sẽ được trận cười ngặt ngẽo, tự hỏi ngày xưa mình nghĩ cái gì vậy. Thấy mà vui.



A few weeks ago, I made friends with some kind people from Boston and London. We got together for a photo shoot shortly before Trang, my model in here, flew back to Saigon. It is wonderful to meet someone who would go on trips with you for a shoot here in Beantown. I miss that. I also want to thank Floral Punk for the beautiful earrings they sent me all the way from Germany! This is more like a fun shoot, but I’m also shooting something editorial for Floral Punk either this weekend or next weekend.


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Found on: quotes-lover.com/

Do what you love.

Do you ever wonder what would happen if you made different choices in the past? Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if things happened differently? Do you ever wonder where you would be now instead of where you are at this moment?
I do. And I do that very often.

I bought my first DSLR camera in April 16, 2009—more than five years ago. At the time, everyone thought it was just another hobby of mine, and it wouldn’t go anywhere far. Obviously, I didn’t expect it to go anywhere far or just anywhere at all. The only thing I knew at the time was that I loved it, and I would like to take pictures more often. I remember spending 4-5 hours each day in downtown Seattle, photographing strangers and bustling city life. I would go home at night, look at thousand of photos and start deleting hundred of them. That was how I taught myself photography.

When it became a little more serious, many people started to make comments on what I did—that it was just a silly hobby, that I would be sick of it soon, that it was a waste of time, and that I wouldn’t go anywhere with it. At the time, those words only hurt me from day to day, yet couldn’t make me stop. 

On a cloudy day of April, I made a choice to follow what my heart told me. And on many days after that, I’ve made choices to do what I know is right. I have found what matters to me, and I wouldn’t give up on it just because some people, who have no control over my life, tell me to stop.

Two and a half years later, I began shooting for many agencies in Dallas, then California, Boston, and New York. I’ve had my work published in a few magazines, and I’ve established a name for myself. Until today, I’m still no one in the industry; yet, I’ve come a long way to be where I am today. I’ve lived the past 5 years choosing to do what I truly love, and I think that’s what matters the most.

Do what you wholeheartedly love. And don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something just because they are not as brave as you.


Some things you can feel free to stop caring about

Stumbled upon a great read on LifeHack. We’ve got to stop worrying about things that aren’t worth our time– now.

Other people’s expectations for your life

This is your life. You are the one who has to live it. You have to live with the consequences of the decisions you make and the actions you take, so you should make them according to what you want for and from your life, not what someone else thinks you “should” do with your life. We care way too much about what other people think about us and far too little about what we think about ourselves. Continue reading


Soaked Celebration

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I want to write something for last night, for maybe one day I will miss it dearly.

Boston hosted an early celebration for Independence Day due to hurricane Arthur, so we joined thousands of people along Charles River on the 3rd instead of the 4th. It was just a typical American holiday with an enormous crowd filled with energy and somewhat an exhaustion to get in long lines and fight for a spot to sit. We spent nearly 2-3 hours to move from one area to another for a better sight of the fireworks and still ended up being blocked by huge trees along the rivers.

As the fireworks ended, we followed group of thousands ants (people) to get back to the streets, and as soon as we were at the gate, the hurricane just came out of nowhere! Heavy winds and rains swung by uninvitedly, and soon enough, every one of us was soaked. For hurricanes are always bad, I was scared to imagine where we would end up. I seriously thought it could be the end of my very life. Silly, but duh? It could totally be. Then we continued to run fast toward our car, which was blocks away. I was holding onto my bag with a camera and a phone in it, only hoping that they survived.

When we were almost at our car, the rains suddenly stopped the way it came. People no longer panicked, and they started to dance on the streets in their soaked clothes. It was so much fun. It was just amazing. I was not the only one who had a moment returning to my childhood–playing and running crazily under the rain. I was not alone. Every single person we walked by on the street was bloody wet. You could hear someone laughing and singing on the other sides of the street. I couldn’t help feeling so lightened–perfectly happy under my own water-dripping dress.

It was the first Fourth of July under the rain, and it was totally so much fun.



“We cannot approach the world with a completely open mind, because we weren’t born yesterday. And a completely open mind would in any event be completely empty mind, which can learn nothing at all. We cannot begin everywhere or with everything. We must begin somewhere with something. We proceed from where we find ourselves and on the basis of what we believe to be true, important, useful, or enlightening.” – Paul Heynes