TRIP PLANNING: RELIVING MY DAYS IN PARIS

It’s happening guys! This is going to be the ULTIMATE TRIP for Retracing My Stamps.

I’M GOING BACK TO PARIS!

My Paris roommate/best friend, Stacey, and I are planning a trip to Paris with the aim to relive the days we spent in this beautiful city we once called home. Exactly 10 years ago, I was planning my move to Paris for a semester abroad. And today, I am making plans to relive those unforgettable moments.

Reliving-our-paris-days

CONFIRMING OUR ACCOMMODATION

I actually tried to contact my landlord in Paris to see if we can rent the same flat we lived in. Unfortunately she sold the flat a few years back. So we ended up booking a flat through Airbnb that is just a few minutes walk away from where we were. I can’t wait to see how Rue de Sevres looks like now! The cafe we spent most of our mornings at before school, the grocery store, the butcher shop, the bakery….OH MY GOD!!!

At the courtyard of our home in 2006 on Rue de Sevres, Paris.

At the courtyard of our home in 2006 on Rue de Sevres, Paris.

We had to climb 7 flights every day to go home, but the view was way worth it.

We had to climb 7 flights every day to go home, but the view was way worth it.

LISTING OUT THE PLACES WE MUST SEE

Stacey and I are both SUPER type A and created a Google Spreadsheet with a list of all the places we must visit. Here’s what we have so far:

OUR HOME: Rue de Sevres
OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS: La Marquis, this Chinese Place near Montparnasse, the crepe place by our school, the Greek place by our school, McDonald’s (Yes, I miss that curry sauce. Don’t Judge), and this Fondue place in St. Michel.

This is our favorite Chinese restaurant by Montparnasse but we don't remember the name!

This is our favorite Chinese restaurant by Montparnasse but we don’t remember the name!

THE CLUBS/BARS WE FREQUENTED: The Oz in St. Michel, this Irish Bar in Bastille, Duplex

The squad at Duplex plus some random couple making out. haha

The squad at Duplex plus some random couple making out. haha

PLACES IN PARIS CREATED UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS: Pont Neuf, Jardin Luxembourg, Champ des Mars, Pont de Bir-Hakeim, Passage Jouffroy, Port de Clignancourt

Not bad for a flip phone camera in 2006.

Not bad for a flip phone camera in 2006.

These are places that managed to remain in our memories even after 10 years. So we can’t wait to see what they are now!

This is what we did every morning. We chill at Cafe Jav down the street.

This is what we did every morning. We chilled at Cafe Jav down the street.

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PLANNING A DAY TRIP TO REIMS

No trip to Paris is complete without a day trip to a nearby city. There are so many beautiful places to see within an hour or two train ride away. Instead of going somewhere we’ve been to, we decided to take a trip to Reims. Yes, we love the bubblies, but we chose Reims because it played such a significant part of French history. And of course, we can’t wait to soak up every drip of what Champagne has to offer, literally.

PLANNING A SHORT TRIP TO NICE

One regret that Stacey and I have, besides not moving to Paris completely, is not taking a trip to the South of France. We were so in love with Paris that we were reluctant to travel outside of it. This time we decided to spend a few days in Nice. We booked a beautiful ocean view room at Le Meridien on the beach (EEEK!!!!) and are super excited as we would’ve never been able to afford it as college students way back when.

Although we’re planning to relive our days in Paris but we’re also looking forward to explore some new areas of the city. So if you have any recommendations for us, please leave a comment!

Can't wait to go back!

Can’t wait to go back!

So far the planning process has been amazing. I can’t think of a better way to honor this experience and to celebrate my friendship with Stacey than to go back to Paris. Although, this time I’m not going to be charged for over packing as I have become addicted to packing light in the past decade. 

Stay tuned as I will be giving updates here so you can join me every step of the way.


Have you ever tried to relive a memory?
What did you do? Where did you go? How did it feel?
Share your experience here because I’d love to hear your story!

THE MASTER PLAN: MONTHLY REPORT | APRIL 2016

FP-ProgressReport_Apr2016

I can’t believe it’s already been 5 weeks since I launched my blog!

April was a very intense month. Something happened that made me reevaluate everything in my life. Whilst doing so, I realized how important this project is because I’m doing something I’m passionate about and sharing with people (YOU!) who enjoy doing the same things.

TASKS ACCOMPLISHED

Learned how to use Twitter and made some friends through the process.
Got 100+ followers on Twitter!! WOOT WOOT
Bought a new camera so I can take pretty photos.
Began planning my ultimate “stamp retrieving” project : “Reliving my Days in Paris”

CHALLENGES

When I first started this blog, I was told that it is a very time consuming hobby. And it really is. Trying to find time to produce quality posts while juggling a full-time job is definitely the biggest challenge I’ve had the past month. I’m learning to carve out time blocks in my weekly schedule just for the blog.

TRAVEL MEMORIES RETRIEVED

My first trip to Elephant Trunk Hill

My first trip to Elephant Trunk Hill

My first ever international flight!
This was an amazing experience because I got to interview my parents about what went down. Definitely learned a lot more than just the flight. My mom told me about the fears and struggles she had during our move to U.S., which is a story I’ve never heard of. Knowing what my parents had to sacrifice to move here with the hopes to give me a better life is something I’ll forever be grateful for.

My first trip ever!
This was definitely a mind blowing moment! And this is why I started this blog. I’ve always wanted to go to Elephant Trunk Hill in Guilin, China and finding out that I’ve already been there is surreal! When I was looking through old pics with my dad and saw that picture, I had chills!

STAMPS BEING TRACED

This is MOI in the court yard of my home in Paris in 2006.

This is MOI in the court yard of my home in Paris in 2006.

Paris! 10 years ago I went to Paris for a study abroad program. The months I spent there is definitely one of the best times of my life. I’m currently planning a trip back to relive my days in Paris with my roommate in Paris. We spent a Friday night going through all these photos and videos we took. We wrote down the places that we must revisit. In 2 months, we’ll be there! Can’t wait to share it with everyone.

TRAVEL MEMORIES LOST

This is the category that I LOATHE. Someday…. I’ll go back to these places and RECREATE a memory.
Indonesia
Malaysia
Vancouver, Canada

See you next month!


Have you lost any travel memories? How did you track it if you don’t have photos or journals? Do you have somewhere you want help tracking? Let’s chat!

MY VERY FIRST TRAVEL DESTINATION – GUILIN, CHINA

My love for travel did not develop as an adult. For as long as I can remember, going to a foreign country has always been a norm. It’s part of my childhood. It’s part of ME!  I just didn’t know life another way. This is why I started my project to retrace my travel memories. Some of them happened when I was so young that I don’t remember the details. I just knew that it started when I was 1 year old.

Or so I thought….

Isn't this the cutest picture ever?!

Isn’t this the cutest picture ever?! You see that camel in the back!? 

Today I was going through some old pictures for my post about my horrific cruise down the Yangtze River and saw a picture that blew my mind!

It was a picture of my parents and I standing on the beach in front of Elephant Trunk Hill in Guilin, China! I was about 8-10 months old.

Date of Stamp/Travel: Beginning of 1985
Destination: Guilin, China
Trip Purpose: My first family trip ever

Guilin has always been on my bucket list! One of the main reasons is because I WANT TO SEE ELEPHANT TRUNK HILL!

I remember seeing a picture of it in my Geography book in primary school and instantly felt my heart skip a beat. It was gorgeous! Even after 20+ years, I still remember that grainy photo in my textbook.

Guilin is a city in Southern China that’s notorious for its heavenly scenery. People in China say “Guilin is where the mountains and water, the heaven and earth connect”. The stillness of the water creates a perfect reflection of the mountain and sky. Guilin is like a dramatically beautiful painting of nature that punches you right in the face. And Elephant Trunk Hill is its most powerful fighter.

SO I’VE BEEN THERE ALREADY? WHAT?!?!?!

I feel both accomplished and defeated at the same time! So I’ve BEEN to the place I’ve always wanted to visit, but I have no recollection of it.

Alright, I’m rambling on because I’m obviously still in shock. But I’m so grateful for retracing this travel memory of mine. I cannot wait until I have the opportunity to go back and experience the beauty of Elephant Trunk Hill all over again. When that happens, I’ll make sure I soak it all in so I won’t ever forget again.


Have you ever been somewhere but have no recollection of it? Have you taken a trip back? Did it look familiar? Where is this place? Share it with me!!

MY VERY FIRST INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT

When I first started this project, I had all these different trips in mind that I wanted to talk about. But what kind of project is Retracing My Stamps if I don’t start with my FIRST international trip ever? The first time my passport was stamped! The first time I crossed the ocean to travel to foreign country!

Well guys, I hate to break this to you, but I do not remember ANY OF IT.

MY VERY FIRST INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT

 Date of Stamp/Travel: June 16, 1985
 Departure City: Hong Kong
 Arrival City: San Francisco, USA
 Trip Purpose: Moving to USA with my parents

The first time I hopped on was carried onto a plane was when I was 13 months old. My parents had decided to move to the United States from Hong Kong. Since I barely knew how to speak, I would be lying if I told you I had any memory of it. So I decided to ask my mother.

Apparently I took my first flight like a pro!

I pretty much slept through most of the trip. Didn’t fuss. Didn’t cry. I made my mother the target of envy from all mothers on the plane. My mother said she was definitely worried but I guess I’m born with long-haul flight survival skills.

Through the conversation, I learned a little bit more about this trip and my parents. My mother told me that she was nervous and extremely emotional during that flight. She had just said goodbye to her family, her friends, and the city she grew up in. The ONLY city that she ever knew. She was on her way to a country that she knows nothing about, with no friends, and no job. She didn’t even speak English all that well. She said it’s like I knew she was struggling and decided to be on my best behavior for her.

By the end of the conversation, I was crying. I thanked my mother for being my rock throughout the past 3 decades and that I’m glad I was able to rock that international flight for her.

There you go, I was a bad ass 13 month old that took a long international flight on a one way ticket from Hong Kong to San Francisco.


Do you remember your first flight? Where were you going? How did you feel?

THE MASTER PLAN: MONTHLY REPORT | MARCH 2016

FP-ProgressReport_mar2016Every complex project should have a scheduled report. This is either to hold ME accountable or to keep you updated with my progress.

It has been only 7 days since I created Retracing My Stamps and OH WOW! What an experience it’s already been. There was a day that I woke up motivated with all sorts of ideas but by lunch, I felt so defeated that I had to take a walk to calm myself down. But you know what? I am enjoying every moment of this.

I want to start off with a solid foundation. So I understand that I have to be patient because I must go through all my stamps, souvenirs, pictures, and postcards and think of a good way to organize them. Creating a blog also isn’t as simple as one may think it is. I’m learning a lot and I’m glad that I can share it with you all.

Working at my favorite cafe in Lower Haight - Cafe International

Working at my favorite cafe in Lower Haight – Cafe International

TASKS ACCOMPLISHED

CHALLENGES

Once a memory is lost, it’s never coming back. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to recall the details from certain trips.

Finding the right design for RMS took a long time. Learning how to format it to look the way I want it to took even longer. I’m still spending hours researching on codes. Some days I feel like I’m just shooting blind but that’s what I get for not paying attention in my Computer Science class in college.

I did get to relax and spent a beautiful Sunday on Treasure Island with my friends.

I did get to relax and spent a beautiful Sunday on Treasure Island with my friends.

TRAVEL MEMORIES RETRIEVED

So far…. Nothing. 🙁

STAMPS BEING TRACED

I decided to start with the ones that are fresh in my head. Most likely my recent trips to Singapore, Hong Kong, and Hawaii. STAY TUNED!

TRAVEL MEMORIES LOST

This is the category that I LOATHE. Someday…. I’ll go back to these places and RECREATE a memory.

  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Vancouver, Canada

 

Have you lost any travel memories? How did you track it if you don’t have photos or journals? Do you have somewhere you want help tracking? Let’s chat!