The Fiji Time

Yes, we are still alive. I know it’s been a while since our last update, so it’s time to catch up a bit.

This Chinese New Year I travelled to Fiji with my family. Ever since high school, I’ve known Fiji as the first country that greets the new day or new year because of its geographic location.With that said, it is right next to the International Date Line.

Fiji is also known for its sandy white beaches and turquoise coral reefs. Don’t be surprised to find out that the country is made up of a lot of small islands, that’s why it’s also called the Fiji islands. To be exact, the archipelago consists of more than 322 islands, but only 110 of them are inhabited and 87% of the country’s population lives on the two biggest islands.

Before I landed, I thought Fiji is all about luxury resorts and relaxation. But I was wrong, Fiji is more than that. Indeed the palm-fringed island resorts and lush garden of corals underneath the water are incredibly beautiful. However, what surprised me was its rich island culture Fijian people cultivated.

IMG_3091IMG_3046IMG_3101IMG_2942IMG_3617IMG_3619IMG_3645I guess Fijians are born to be singers, with mere guitars and ukulele they can play beautiful music. On my last night at Matamanoa Island resort, the resort band even sang me Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, that was totally a blast. No matter I was in the resorts or visiting the village, the local people wouldn’t pass by me without saying BULA (a greeting word in Fijian) and wearing a genuine smile. Frankly, their hospitality exudes a warmth that money can’t buy. IMG_3584IMG_3572I’ll definitely come back again when I’m capable of swimming in the ocean without fear. The shark dive in Fiji is on my return trip’s to-do-list :p

Side note: I don’t know what’s wrong with WordPress but I can’t upload any photos after these were uploaded. After a week of attempts it still didn’t work, it says “The file could not be uploaded because an error occurred while uploading”. Can anyone tell me how can I fix it? I’ll appreciate it!


The City of Angels

While the weather in Boston was still freezing in April, I took a weekend off to L.A. with a few friends. Finally I got the chance to put on shorts and summer dresses after suffering from seven months of coldness. The delicious sunshine in L.A. makes everything so enjoyable especially when you are hanging out with friends. Driving on the Melrose Avenue, watching people living their own L.A. stories, life is so heavenly wonderful.

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.” 
― William W. Purkey 

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Especially thanks to my friend Anderson Cheng and his family’s hospitality. Our times in L.A. wouldn’t be so great without you.

Peru, The Inca Wonder [Part 2]

The Amazon rainforest, also known as Amazonia, is the Lungs of our planet. The life source of Amazonia, the Amazon River, begins in the Peruvian Andes and winds its way to the northern South America. Our second stop Puerto Maldonado origins from one of the Amazon River’s  tributaries. The 3 days 2 nights tour allowed us to explore deep into the Tambopata National Park. Staying in the middle of the jungle, we got the opportunity to observe different kinds of wildlife. We never had got so close to wild alligators, nor had we being surrounded by countless monkeys in the undisturbed forest.  The 6am start of the day was soon forgotten as the most dramatic scenes were happening beside us – monkeys swung from trees to trees and a bee was kissing a turtle… We were amazed by the magical scenery that mother nature provide us with. It was definitely an unforgettable experience for us. Enjoy the photos!

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Peru, The Inca Wonder [Part 1]

Peru is known for its mysterious and vibrant culture, we have been yearning to visit this country since freshman year in college. This spring break we finally got a chance. Upon our arrival in Lima, we didn’t stay long and left for Cuzco the next morning. The City of Cuzco, at 3,400m above sea level, was the heart of the once mighty Inca Empire. We were lured by the city’s unique beauty with a tint of colonial yellow at dusk.

Hiking is one of the most popular activities in Peru. So except for wandering around in the city Cuzco, we spent most of our times hiking in mountains and jungles. There are various hiking routes to get to Machu Picchu. Among those the Inca Trail is the most well-known one since there are a lot of Inca historical sites along the way. However, we chose the Salkantay trek because the sceneries along the trail are stunning as we hiking along the snow-covered mountain Salkantay.

This hiking trip is very challenging for us because we have to climb up to 4,600 meters on the second day and then climb all the way down. Since we have neither hiked in the mountains nor slept in a tent before, we were quite excited before took off. On the first day,  we were exhausted after the 15km walking on the highland (we have never walked this much in our lives, not to mention at a 3500km altitude). We camped at an open landscape surrounded by high mountains. Nothing can be seen in the dark because no electricity was available, so we went to bed right after dinner. Out of our expectation, the second day was much tougher. Although we  hired horses to climb uphill, the downhill was still too intense for us. The majority of the roads was extremely steep and rocky. Another problem is that huge rain shower started after lunch on our way to the next camp site. The road got worse, it became a mixture of rocks, mud and water, so it was very slippery and gross. The nonstop walking of more than 20km in such bad weather and the fact that as it was getting dark, in the mountains that we barely saw people really depressed us. There are no words can describe our mood when we made it to the camp site. We almost burst into tears and were so proud of ourselves.

Our legs hurt for days after the intensive hiking, but the views along the way definitely worth the price. You have no idea what you are capable of until you try, so it is always good to try something new. Make your life an adventure, because every task leads you to new discoveries and new experience. One thing that we learned from this trip is to never give up and something wonderful await you.IMG_9192 IMG_9210 IMG_9212 IMG_9254 IMG_9315 IMG_9409 IMG_9416 IMG_9456 IMG_9461 IMG_9465 IMG_9468 IMG_6226 IMG_9493 IMG_6268 IMG_6272 IMG_6285 IMG_6286 IMG_6292 IMG_9546 IMG_6298 IMG_6299 IMG_6325 IMG_9573 IMG_9577 IMG_9578 IMG_9632 IMG_9638 IMG_6375 IMG_6379 IMG_6410 IMG_6416 IMG_6422 IMG_9710 IMG_9779 IMG_9781 IMG_9791 IMG_6588 IMG_9830IMG_6253 IMG_6175 IMG_6181 IMG_6208 IMG_6218 IMG_6235 IMG_6038 IMG_6015 IMG_5938 IMG_5795

San Francisco Freelancers

The endless snow in Boston can be a little frustrating. It is time for us to fly across the country and pay a short visit to Cali.

Just as how different the lyrics of Boston by Augustana and California by Phantom Planet are, Boston and California are two widely different places. Although San Francisco was raining the whole weekend, we were still drenched by its beauty. The rugged seashore at Fisherman Wharf, the winding roads to Golden Gate Bridge, the dots of lights on the hills at down… The artistry side of San Francisco did not fade away in the rain.

I would not say taking photographs in the rain was a pleasant experience. But we still managed to seize some nice moments, especially while having brunch… Two tips for you guys, please make sure you try the French Toast at Olea (30 minutes waiting in the rain was no biggie for food lovers!) and the blue bottled coffee! Another highlight of the trip was our visit to Facebook and Google Headquarters located in Menlo Park. We were fascinated by the ubiquitous creativity, freedom, diversity, boldness of their company culture. After our visit, Facebook became our dream company and we want to be IT geeks!

This trip would not be so awesome without our friends who drove us around and accompanied us throughout the weekend. Special thanks to Tan, Xiaoyu, Jiesi, Yu and Yoyo.

Let us end this trip with California.

“We’ve been on the run

Driving in the sun

Looking out for number one

California here we come

Right back where we started from”
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