graffiti wall houston texashouston downtown thu texas

Houston, TX. It’s where I currently reside, and at least for a little bit. But everyone here knows how I feel about Houston, but it’s possible that it’s making its way into my heart. Maybe.

My birth certificate says that I was born in this city, but if you asked me about it- I wouldn’t know much. I don’t know what 59 or 288 leads to, where you can get good breakfast tacos, or what East Downtown is. But slowly and surely, I’m learning these things. And I guess it’s part of this whole process of transition and finding community around where you live. Right? I’ve been toying around with this blog post for a couple of months, because I felt like I was going through some sort of identity crisis. Where am I from? Where do I call home? Am I a Houstonian now? How long does it take for a person to feel comfortable in their city? And what do you do if you don’t feel community and find your place?

Nonetheless, however long I’m here, I’ll be searching my way into good, local coffee shops, stores with cool things, places to share a craft beer with friends*, and places that can match Pieous or Counter Cafe. We’ll see. It’s a new adventure (of sorts). Give me your recommendations!

*Fortunately, I’ve found that this is not hard. #bless Recently visited and recommend: 8th Wonder Brewery, Karbach Brewing Co., Hay Merchant, Cottonwood, and Petrol Station. If there’s something that Houston is doing right I’ve learned, it’s probably providing craft beer. Probably. But can you get some Austin Beerworks and Live Oak?

cottonwood houston texas

The food here is delicious /// Cottonwood

tout suite houston texas

I sit here tapping on my phone screen as my friends wade in the pool in front of me. We have a few more hours until it’s time to hop onto another plane and travel back to BKK.

Yep, I’m in Thailand and I have some idea of how I got here. Mostly whimsy, and some of “I’ll-never-get-this-chance-again.” What I’ve learned is that you learn along the way, and how you spend your money is really up to you (more on that later when I have a proper computer). I wanted to write a bit to check in with you guys…so that you guys know that I’m alive and getting by, ha! Thailand has been beyond what I’ve expected, and I have so much to say about it. It’s a big* country. I will always remember Anthony Bourdain saying that travel changes you, and international travel changes you in a big way. Maybe I’m taking too much in, maybe I’m not taking in enough. Regardless, there is a missing for home and a hunger for more. What I realize is that it never ends. My thirst for travel grows more, my nostalgia for home and friends is never-ending, and my budget gets smaller and smaller. Luckily in Thailand, if you know the right places, you ask the right questions- you’ll be okay. I think. This is more than I planned on writing, but I’m a writer by nature.

Here’s the baseline of it all: Thailand, same same, but different.

Until next time when wi-fi is free,


thugoeswest profile

Hi. Today is America’s birthday and I wore this.

Also, today is day 50. I’m starting the title of this post just like I did for day 1: wait, what?

Because WAIT, WHAT?

Fifty days didn’t really breeze by, but it floated by at a quicker pace. You blink and it all happens.
It = Fifty-days of post grad. Not that this is the end, not that I’m employed, but it’s the end of this challenge. Woof.
(If you want to read all of my posts, I put it all on this page. You’re welcome.)

Tomorrow, I get on a plane and by the evening, I will be home. Or at least, my parent’s house.

What’s next? I have no idea. Society (and my parents) say it’s time to get down to business and find a job. Probs.
How do I feel? Different. Some of the different I feel is unexplainable. Some of the different…I want to blog about later because it’s kind of late. But the travel jitters…I know I won’t get as much sleep as I want.
I also feel very thankful and grateful. My experience has been unlike any other. It would have been completely different had I went with someone, stayed with someone [else], stayed in a hotel, went to the east coast, etc etc etc. I’m very lucky to have had the opportunity to go on this trip. I’m pretty brave, I think, to go on this trip by myself. I learned a lot. Every place I visited was unlike each other, even down to the sidewalks (I’m speaking metaphorically).

Mom and Dad & Baby Jesus
Shae, Lamar & Co.
My Aunt/Godmom
Kristy and Jeff
My brother and  cousins
Lindy, my virtual West Coast tour guide
Meagan and Bethany
Anh Vinh
Public transit, TSA, the multiple Union Stations, and multiple airports
And the West Coast for being welcoming (I GUESS)
Also, Google Maps
Also also, coffee

But seriously, I owe these people. I would have been homeless, culture-less, and hungry otherwise.

Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life -and travel- leaves marks on you. Most of the time, these marks -on your body or on your heart- are beautiful. Often, they hurt.

Anthony Bourdain really says it best.

Tomorrow #thugoeshome.


Did you know that there are hills in San Francisco? Today I biked some of them.

Now, they weren’t the massive ones you hear about with the 90-degree incline…but they took some work. It really made me miss my bike (mostly bc I could have dodged pedestrians more easily with my bike). It also made me more appreciative of my bike, even though I know the second I come up a hill with Newman, I’ll start screaming profanities.

thugoeswest bike

Instagram (@thutexas)

We rented bikes from Sports Basement (which is a massive store with some pretty cool camping gear).
Biked to the Golden Gate Bridge (there’s a hill on the bike route…more than one actually).
Biked across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Biked a portion of downhill that felt very roller-coaster-esque (it was scary as F).
Biked through Sausalito (that place is beautiful!).
Biked to a sammie shop and ate in the grass.
Biked back (after we took the ferry).
We biked along the with water on one side, wind in the hair, helmets on, and optimism.

That optimism seem to go missing the more we biked. NO ONE TOLD ME WE WERE BIKING THIS MUCH, with the amount of hills. But then again, if I was told…I might have opted out. So no regrets! You only live once or something…
Distance: ~10 miles. Had lunch somewhere in between there. Took a ferry somewhere in between there.

Since the  Palace of Fine Arts was close by, we made a stop. Did you know people take wedding photos here? (Go look at my thumbnail). I would take all of the photos here. It was beautiful and reminded me a lot of Balboa Park in San Diego.

I’m actually exhausted and I don’t know how I’m still typing, it’s shocking really. Tomorrow is day 50. WHAT. Tomorrow is also America’s birthday. Red, white, blue, zzzzzzzzzzz (that’s me sleeping because did I tell you I’m exhausted?) Tomorrow is my last full day here in the Bay and I’m just wiped. Maybe I just need a good sleep.


She’s finally taller than me!

So I arrived in Oakland//San Fran// Hayward//Bay-area last night at around 11:30PM-ish?
I waved to the wrong car, it’s totally cool.

Today was TOURIST DAY. Lots of walking, lots of talking. Lunching, catching up, and introducing.

kristy thugoeswest

Haven’t seen this girl in 1yr? or more?! Crazy how we’ve kept in touch.

Today was the transitional day. You know, when you get oriented with where you are, who you’re with, what you’re doing. I think I’m still orienting myself. I didn’t have to do much in terms of “figuring it out,” so I’m still a bit of a lost puppy. Tomorrow will sort of be the same way, I didn’t realize how many people I actually know who are in this area/coming to this area. It also didn’t come to my attention [until now] that I don’t have much time here either. Time is slut, and on a slightly lighter note, you’re not guaranteed tomorrow…so you know, make the best etc etc etc.

galette 88 thugoeswest

Galette 88. Isn’t that welcoming? I love it.

OH, I have some notes. Let me get my notes *runs to get notes across the room*

  1. We ate lunch at Galette 88. It’s in an alley, but it’s hella nice. They serve crepes.
    PS: There’s woodgrain, white walls, and a chalkboard menu. I felt VERY LOCAL.
  2. I waved to A LOT of Segway Tour people…they didn’t wave back to me.
  3. People queue to get on the BART when it’s time to go home. Civil, much?
  4. I love [good] public transportation. I only hope that one day, Austin will be like that. Dream big.
  5. On the note of public transportation: what would people do without phones? Everyone was glued. I took notes on those people so….
  6. I saw Alcatraz [from afar] today. Also, Fisherman’s Wharf. Also, Boudin. Also, the whole waterfront. Also, the Explorium (Note to self: go there next time). Also, Pier 39. Also, lots of things. Do you get the picture?

Feeling #blessed, and well regular blessed because yeah, I’m very, very lucky. Shit.

P.S. How do y’all like my hair? I want to grow it out, but also short hair is cool. Should it be shorter? I don’t know, travel changes you.

Because I will be boarding a plane soon and won’t reach my next destination until the “next day,” I wanted to post this blog early. How responsible of me, right?

It’s really because I have the time sitting in this airport before I board, I thought I would be efficient. Being efficient is actually something I wanted to touch on for a hot second. Since my first plane ride, I’ve become more efficient. I’m not flustered when I go through TSA, and I’m also not as stressed. Maybe it’s because there weren’t that many people behind me, or maybe it’s because the girl in front of me took far longer, or maybe I’m just getting more efficient. Maybe it’s a combination of them all? Probably.

Today I basically sat in the hotel lobby and watched the World Cup. I became the “girl who watches the World Cup in the lobby” to the hotel staff. Travel has changed me (more on this post-travel). It was really fun, I only forgot to eat lunch #becausefutbol. I had time to go get lunch between the games, but I decided to use that time to be efficient and send e-mails.

world cup thutexas

I’m holding an imaginary drink.

My time in Seattle was kind of sleepless (ha!). I had to make that pun, unlike my hero-writer Anthony Bourdain; I will absolutely say dumb stuff like being sleepless in Seattle. Or does he say that? Have I read enough to know? Probably not.
Note to self: read more Anthony Bourdain/finish the books you have. Dinners with my aunt brought me some perspective. I learned more about her, my mom, and myself. It’s all about that perspective.

A sidebar about this aunt: She’s actually my godmom. You know, she held me as a baby as the priest washed holy water over me, promising to guide me in life and in faith. She did that this week. She’s very resilient, sassy, and clever- I’ve always admired these attributes about her. Seeing these attributes as an adult has made me appreciate and embrace her more. PERSPECTIVE. I’m sorry this has gotten lengthier than I thought I had originally planned (mostly apologizing to H.K. if she ever reads this).

Okay, I need to shake these introspective thoughts and mentally prepare myself for my flight. This includes watching a lot of YouTube.

Today was another travel day, another day in movement, in transit. I rode the train, the rail, the bus, and the car. The Wi-Fi didn’t work in the train, the rail stopped working right before my stop, and sometimes I feel like barfing in the car. It’s totally fine. I’m young, I’ll bounce back after a good night sleep. Fingers crossed, because I had a restless night and I am not about that life…I have to get on a plane tomorrow.

Am I crazy for all of this traveling? Maybe. I definitely didn’t know what I got myself into when I bought [what feels like] a zillion plane and train tickets. And I thought it would get better, but it feels new every time. I guess each ride isn’t necessarily new because I know all of the motions. What I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t make it easier despite the number of experiences. How do people like flying/training/busing/etc? Maybe like most things…maybe it’s a mental thing.

ANYWAY, I really had a splendid time in Portland. I miss it [and Jaime] already. Woof. At the end of this week, I will be back home. Double woof. Bah, erase that. Think about now, think about today, self!

On the train, I listened to Bon Iver (sorry not sorry bc I’m in the PNW and the forests and trees). Bon Iver wrote a new song for Zach Braff’s upcoming film, have you heard it? It’s called “Heavenly Father.” I think I love it.

Today’s light-bulb thought: HOLY SHIT, that’s a mountain. It’s a snow-capped mountain. Just look:

mountain thutexas

My friend told me it’s a volcano? I don’t know, I’m too lazy to look at my text messages. She knows about rocks and things.

Last Notes About Amtrak Cascades:

  • There are water stations down at the Bistro.
  • Sometimes Wi-Fi doesn’t work.
  • Don’t forget to look out the window, there are lakes and mountains and trees.
  • As the cars clear out, you can probably sneak in and have a row to yourself for sleep.
  • They recycle on Amtrak Cascades!

I’m tired and I napped twice on the train. The act of travel really sucks up your energy. I understand why people say travel while you’re young, but I see tons of old people traveling! Please, tell me your secrets.

P.S. I wish they had travel punch cards. Today was train #4.