1.5 months in Yangon, Myanmar

It was sitting by the lakeside pier of Bogyoke Park when I finally pull my phone from my lap to draft this. The water was flowing in smooth curtains under the rise and fall of the densely green waves adorned with lily pads and the occasional birds flying by to touch the water; their long beaks diving over hoping to pull up food.

The trees lining the park are so richly green and dense – something my eyes have never seen outside of Yangon. Green and yellow hues as far as one can see. The humidity presses skin deep, with droplets of water forming on my skin. The sky is a rich grey, clouds moving to signify the impending storm. I feel the weight of the past 2 days breaking me silently inside, a deep rooted fear that’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The heaviness feels exactly the way the sky looks, and the weight feels heavier the further I carry it. My heart has stopped looking for him, or expecting him to come around a corner laughing or explaining something in his careful, ardent way. It’s an ache that slips to the surface whenever I look through our photos of happier times.

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In between Thoughts

Jennifer ngan photography
In just a short couple of weeks, I will be making my way to Alaska to explore the vast, and open land of rugged terrain, snow globe landscapes and wide expanses of space. Ominous, quiet tension of cold will be in the air, lurking about. Something about that cold will be different than anything I’ve ever experienced.

Mystery is enchanting. 

The grey skies, the gaseous rays of dancing lights, the sheets of stars that will be painted in the sky – a mystery in and of itself. I have always been moved by the unknown.

I’ve always been interested in cultures and communities, the human spirit. My desire to travel here was inspired by my curiosity to see a place in the most desolate of times. Trading comfort for less greener pastures, if only to see with my own eyes how small we are in this vast universe. 

I sat still in my own emptiness, letting it wash over so that I, too, can begin again. 

When I was in China, I visited a temple on a rainy day.

I was there to admire the beautiful architecture and the peaceful surroundings in an otherwise too-populated city.

Little did I know, I was observing the daily comings and goings of a regular day, with people making a stop to and from their daily lives to meditate, pray and gather. The monks who lived there worked as any worker would, saying hello to people, fixing the lights, sweeping, cooking. This was their home. I felt oddly out of place, yet strangely okay.

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Little Slice of California Dreamin’

If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Want to change the world?
There’s nothing to it
There is no
Life I know
To compare with pure imagination
Living there
You’ll be free
If you truly wish to be
When I read that Gene Wilder passed away, a part of my childhood died a little.
Every time I hear Pure Imagination, i always picture simplicity. Blowing a birthday candle, making a wish.
As a strong introvert, most of my peaceful and serene times are spent alone. The draw of having a ton of family around at all times isn’t very intuitive for me, though I sometimes wish it were. When I watched Willy Wonka as a child, I rooted for Charlie always. I saw a part of me in him, alone but curious. Happy with the little things. What I envied was the strong family connection he had – a grandfather with childlike enthusiasm and king of the odd joke.

The following photographs are pictures of a simple narrative – a wondrous little slice of California, a weekend away.

California, as it should be. One of pure imagination, and peace.

Jennifer Ngan Photography

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Falling From the Penthouse: Working, but Traveling for Leisure

There is something so flawless about friendships and making friends isn't there? The human emotion + the need to connect. Not too long ago I stood in the elevator of a hotel feeling like a rejected girl because I wanted to be friends with someone who just didn't reciprocate. I felt strangely out of place and sad because I tried and tried and maybe my heart was in the right place but somewhere there was a disconnect. It was not mutual despite our conversations and seemingly good place. I ended the night by humming to Hey Jude while accepting the fact that not everyone will want friendship. Sometimes it just is. And you must let it go. Let it be. I still learn those lessons today, and probably will for many years. We often create our own heartbreaks through expectation. And what else is there to do after letting go seems to fail us? Hopefully we become better humans for it, and hold onto what's left of our hearts. --- Part 2/3 creative writing project

It’s no secret I enjoy traveling, and stay-cationing and planning my next little getaway. Because I work full time in a career that isn’t travel related, and doesn’t require much, if any, traveling, a lot of people often ask how i get to travel as much as i do while holding down a corporate job and having to be in the office during the weekdays.

Getting out there has always been a priority for me. Whether it is visiting another state, spending time in the next big city or slipping away into the woods, travel opportunities do not end when you choose to have a career. I get that there are people who quit their jobs and become nomads from country to country, washing dishes for a couch, backpacking their way through the world, but it is not a reality for everyone and there are people like you and I who want to sustain our professional careers without sacrificing our love to travel.

Here are some pointers that have worked for me in the past.

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Roadtrip Series: Utah, AZ, NV

antelope canyon
antelope canyon

Travel Dates: 

Dec 28 2015 – Jan 2016

(reblogged from my other blog)

Did you all have a fantastic 2015? I remember around this time last year I made a few goals. They were to travel more, live with a spontaneous spirit , live and see the world as I am able.

I think I am quite happy of the fact that i did indeed do those things, whether planned or sporadic, i got outside and saw as much of the world as I could while balancing a full time job and other responsibilities. There was a getaway at least once a month, whether to staycation in a beach town in Monterey or a planned getaway to Canada, something always in the works. I am so glad to have had that experience, and I feel even more grateful than I did a year ago.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.”

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Winter Wonderlust at Yosemite National Park

Travel Date: January 2016

Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Falls

Over the long weekend in January (MLK), a few of us visited Yosemite Nat’l Park. I’ve always wanted to go there but it was always so far when I lived elsewhere, but now that I’m in the Bay Area it’s SO much closer. In fact, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to even think about going. What was I thinking? Photography may have motivated me just a tad. You can’t deny you can get effortlessly gorgeous shots in one go.

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