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The Adventurist: One Happy Island

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As I write this, I am sitting on a beach chair under a palapa with sugary white sand beneath me and crystal turquoise water in front of me. It’s my last day in Aruba. If my friends never see me again, it’s because I didn’t get on my plane to come home.

Every summer, I look for a new tropical location to test out. Aruba first came up in conversation last year as we discussed potential destinations, but we settled on Dominican Republic (pre-Delta Diaries). This year, after being slightly disappointed with the beach/water/sand in the DR, Aruba was once again an option. I had read great things about the little island, so I began looking for accommodations and flights. Continue reading “The Adventurist: One Happy Island”

Even if You Hate It

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Most people will tell you that they hate the airport. The whole process – checking a bag, going through security, finding your gate, boarding – is stressful. I won’t sit here and tell you that I don’t get anxious before I leave for a trip and that my nerves have not caused me to snap at a TSA agent or five when they tell me I have to put my watch, cell phone, iPad, MacBook, camera body, long lens, and short lens in SEPARATE BINS. To be honest, the actual time I spend on a plane between 10 minutes after takeoff and 10 minutes before landing makes my list of top three least favorite activities.

But have you seen the places you can go?! Despite a few traumatic experiences that led to my airplane PTSD, my serious case of wanderlust has driven me to push past the anxiety and just go. Continue reading “Even if You Hate It”

The Adventurist: Pacific Northwest Edition

One day I decided I wanted to go to Oregon. This was probably a byproduct of scrolling through Pinterest seeing images of Crater Lake and beautiful rivers, but I like to think my wanderlust radar just thought of it on its own. Naturally, I also became intrigued by Washington, and then British Columbia is just SO CLOSE to Washington, so obviously, I wanted to go there too. Regardless of how the Pacific Northwest piqued my interest, once I decided I wanted to go, I had to go.

And so I did.

For eight days my mom and I drove across Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, staying in a different hotel in a different city every single night. We put 2,300 miles on our Subaru Forrester, which we named Amelia, and made thousands of memories while exploring the greenest and most diverse landscape I’ve ever witnessed.

If I were to document every moment of every day of the trip, we would be here all night. Instead, I’ll give you the TL;DR version in the form of a list of the highest (and lowest) points of the trip. Continue reading “The Adventurist: Pacific Northwest Edition”

“I don’t know.”

Almost dying changes you.

I’m not talking about seeing your life flash before your eyes in a car accident or having a gun held to your head. I mean where you’re lying in a hospital bed with all sorts of wires hooked to you, not knowing whether you’ll wake back up if you doze off to sleep. Factor in that no one truly knows what’s wrong with you and your outlook on life will change really fast.

The good news is, I didn’t die. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this. But nearly four weeks of uncertainty will wear you down.

The date was May 5, 2017. Cinco de Mayo. It was also my last day at my job with the magazine. I had spent most of the day packing up my cubicle and saying goodbye to all of the friends I had made throughout my 18 months at the office. I felt very tired. Like so tired that I could have laid down on the floor and fallen asleep. An exhaustion that was bordering on passing out. I chalked it up to being stressed about my upcoming endeavors as a graduate student, my lack of financial plan once I left a very secure job and the sadness I felt about leaving my friends. Continue reading ““I don’t know.””

Triangles

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Delta. The universal sign of change. The difference between something old and something new.

I have gone through a lot of changes in my life that have made me a different person than I was 20 years ago, 20 months ago or even 20 minutes ago. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a haircut or buying a new dress. Other times it is as drastic – even tragic – as losing a loved one. All of these changes, whether they bring joy or sadness, have shaped me. So much so that I’ve decided to share these changes with you in the form of adventures.

I used to think that going on an adventure meant getting in a car or on a plane. But then I realized that an adventure is not all about where you go; it’s about what you do along the way. In theory, every day is an adventure. We wake up, we get ready, we go to work, we eat lunch, we run errands, we see friends and so on and so forth until we go home and go to bed at night in preparation for following the same routine the next day. So how is that an adventure? you might ask.

Because the end is unknown. There’s no way to truly know how your day will go. Unless you’re God. He knows. This desire to finish the story (or in this case, the day) is what makes us feel giddy. Or fearful. Or anxious. Or annoyed. Or whatever emotion you get when you aren’t really sure how things are going to turn out.

The one thing we are guaranteed is that change will happen. We won’t always be in school. We won’t always have the same job. We won’t always have the same friends. We will grow.

This blog started out as an idea for a book (more on this later when I figure out how to put the concept into words), but then I realized a set number of pages was not sufficient when trying to relay to you what I’ve learned from change throughout my life. So here we are. The internet doesn’t limit pages!

The best part about The Delta Diaries is that I get to share with you all my adventures. The physical ones, the emotional ones, and the spiritual ones. So that’s what we’ll do!

 

xoxo,

Han