What’s Home?

I’ve spent the last 27 years living in the same place called Austin, Texas. In May of this year, my family sold my big 3500 sq. foot home and 30 acres of land to the City of Austin. Since, May I have been struggling to identify my definition of home. My father’s new place is not home to me. It’s a strange new place that’s surrounded by odd neighbors. Plus, I will note it’s an RV and not idealistic  for my lifestyle. I understand why my father bought the RV, so he can uproot out of Austin and move to Montana after he retires. The RV is ideal for him and his needs. I knew back in May I was going to be leaving the U.S. for Europe. At that time, I viewed my father’s place as a crashing pad to stay and keep my belongings. 

This summer I’ve been lucky because one of my friends has allowed me to care for her pets and stay at her place free of charge. I love spending time down at the pool late at night swimming with friends and not worrying about getting a sunburn.  I have enjoyed my temporary home. I can say that I lived in the South Congress  (SOCO) Area now. SOCO is a cute trendy neighborhood around South Austin. There’s coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and more within walking distance from the condo. I’ve loved being able to walk around this popular neighborhood people watching and enjoying the environment around me. I love the charm and the closeness to downtown. SOCO can be expensive and is a tourist trap. I would not want to roam around SOCO during the weekend. There’s too many people out and about. I will miss my condo.      

In less than a month and half, I will be leaving for Spain. I have all kinds of anxieties built up within me. I worry about losing friends and staying in touch with people in the U.S. Plus, adjusting to a new life and having to communicate in Spanish in Madrid.  I grew up in Texas there’s a lot of Spanish speakers and I have taken Spanish in high school and college. There’s hope I will survive. I am excited to travel and live in Europe, see things I’ve always wanted to see, experience new cultures and learn new stuff. This will be my 1st time on my own too. I am worried about failing and having to return to the U.S. I don’t want to fail and I will fight to stay and be on my own. 

 If you would have asked me ten years ago, will you stay in Austin forever I would have said yes. Now that view has chanced. I have outgrown Austin and this city has changed too much for me. There’s too many people here. The traffic is awful and is going to get 50x worse over the next few years. Cost of living has gotten too expensive and outrageous. To make it in Austin, Texas, you need lots of money. I don’t want to work 2-3 jobs to live in a trendy city.   I am ready to move on with my life and find a new place to call home.  Austin, Texas, is no longer my home. I will leave this place with all the wonderful memories I have and come back to visit. Where’s my future home? I for see myself being a wanderlust soul till I find my new home. =) Traveling the world the next 5-7 years will answer questions and solve my mystery of my home. 

 

Have you ever experienced trouble identifying what’s home to you or where your home is? 

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Define: Termite Mound |ˈtəːmʌɪt maʊnd|

BeFunky_null_6.jpg

Proof the illuminati exist. There is no way an animal the size of a pin head has enough strength to build a giant boob-shaped house out of dirt. But then again, why would the illuminati have any interest in constructing giant skin tags in the Australian outback? The only conclusion  is that termites experience a worse mid life crisis than any ferrari customer in history. This whole mound building business is just a flex of the termites dirt, moving muscles. Because when you can build a giant scrotum that is one million times the size of your own, you know you have made it in life. It’s time to sit back and let the ladies come.

Some good photo opportunities when visiting the termite mound include:

  • I’m holding the termite mound in my hand
  • Oh No! The termite mound is on my head
  • Im standing behind the termite mound
  • I am being a termite mound next to the termite mound
  • I’m on the termite mound and I don’t know how to get down
  • I’m carrying the termite mound under my arm like a much smaller termite mound
  • My head has become a termite mound
  • The weird growth on my neck turned out to be a termite mound
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Green Drinks and Fried Things

I’ve been pretty awful at posting since arriving in Singapore… reading this post might explain why. Week days are taken up by work (8-6) and some attempts to go to the gym, get readings done, etcetera. Routine is quite regular, but the breaks that we have had have been absolute joys!
This past weekend was Hari Raya Puasa, a religious holiday (marking the end of Ramadan fasting) especially important for Malaysian Muslims. Being a food-related holiday, Lee and I couldn’t resist a visit to the famous market that pops up for the entire month. Talk about overwhelming amounts of people, options of food to eat (“meat on a stick”, fried everything, noodles and more!), new smells and gorgeous colors.

Lee and I at the market! Three streets were decorated with huge lighted signs for about 7 blocks... it was quite impressive

Lee and I at the market! Three streets were decorated with huge lighted signs for about 7 blocks… it was quite impressive

Just one of the plethora of stands where one can buy any combination of fried food and noodles, aka heaven

Just one of the plethora of stands where one can buy any combination of fried food and noodles, aka heaven

I also went to the NUS Museum one day, frankly not expecting anything out of the “ordinary” (I say “ordinary” because ancient Chinese and Indian art is actually quite special, in my opinion)… but I was surprised by a beautifully-curated exhibit about the “migratory ecology” of a wooden bed frame. Sounds vague, but it was actually the most interesting idea. Essentially, the DNA of the wood from the bed frame was sequenced and used to determine the geographical (and genetic) origin of the strain of teak wood that was used to make the frame. Then, the location was extensively researched though an anthropological lens. The ecology of the region of origin, South-east Asian economics of the 20th century, regional culture, history and the artistry of creating wooden bedframes were all touched on throughout the various rooms. Most of the information was copies of newsprint on parchment paper or gorgeous canvasses with charcoal sketches and writing, but there was a lovely collection of photographs as well. Check out this link or this website for more details – its worth a look!

Stories of Wood by the Migrant Ecology project - two of the exhibit rooms

Stories of Wood by the Migrant Ecology project – two of the exhibit rooms

The last thing I’ll touch on in today’s post is this awesome movement called GreenDrinks. This is a self-organizing network of people working in anything relating to the environment – NGOs, government, businesses etc. You can find a GreenDrinks event in a huge range of cities around the world. Lee suggested we go to the GreenDrinks Singapore networking event, and it did not disappoint! Basically a ton of people of ages ranging from 19 (me) to probably 50s just get together to talk, debate, exchange business cards (which I received many of but did not go equipped with), drink, and laugh. We did meet a handful other interns – though they were still much older than me – working with an architecture and design firm that centers its ideas around sustainability. They are currently working on a huge event promoting rooftop and vertical gardens and green corridors (like the NYC HighLine park). One of the coolest parts about the events was the fact that there were people from all over the world (maybe more Europeans than anything) all with similar interests, and despite not having met any of each other before, were able to hold lengthy and intellectual conversations about things that were genuinely exciting – not just small talk.

Artistry, the awesome venue for the Singapore GreenDrinks networking session this past week. Such a cool atmosphere!

Artistry, the awesome venue for the Singapore GreenDrinks networking session this past week. Such a cool atmosphere!

Turkish food on Arab Street with new friends! Delicious.

Turkish food on Arab Street with new friends from GreenDrinks!

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