Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A quote

Travel is good for the troubled spirit.
Splendid vision of the Earth,

Passing, changing as we travel by...

How appropriate this quote is, for me at least. I've used travel as a way of consoling myself when my soul is broken and have returned renewed if only for the promise that the world is a beautiful and wondrous place.

Quote from the movie, "Love in the Time of Cholera."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Where the Hell is Matt?

When I spoke with Mike the other day, he must've sensed that I was a bit stressed, so he sent me an email with the subject heading, "take a break" and with a link to the following video.

Enjoy it. I did. Thanks, Mike for the link and thanks, Matt for the laughs and travel inspiration.

You can see an HD version of this video on Vimeo.


Yes, I've been restless lately, and I need to go somewhere – somewhere I've never been before, without the comforts of the familiar, to awaken my sense of adventure...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cozumel Diving

These are some diving pics of me and my sister in Cozumel. We were in a group of seven including our dive master, Julio. Visibility for both dives was about 100 feet and water temp was around 80deg F.

The first dive was as deep as 100 feet along one of the walls. My guess is that it was the Palancar Wall. This was only my fifth dive, and my first since I got my OW certification two years ago so I was a bit anxious. The current was pretty strong, and we were instructed to stay close to the wall where the current was a lot more forgiving. It was a surreal world floating and seeing nothing but the deep blue abyss. Bottom time was 28 minutes.

The second dive was at Paradise Reef at a depth of 40 feet. There was no current and we were a lot more relaxed with this dive. My bottom time was about 53 minutes.

See the complete album here.

Photos are courtesy of our dive master, Julio.
June 17, 2008

Friday, February 08, 2008

Hacienda Imaculada in TJ

(also posted on this blog)

It had been over a year now since I'd gone down to Mexico to visit one of the homes that Corazon De Vida supports, so it was with a bit of welled-up anticipation that I joined about 40 or so other early risers on Saturday morning to head down past the US-Mexico border. Our destination was Hacienda Imaculada, just outside of Tijuana.

Corazon De Vida (Heart of Life) is an Irvine-based not-for-profit organization that clothe, feed, shelter, and educate the children living in the orphanages in Baja, Mexico. Currently, out of the 50 Baja shelters, CDV is supporting 14. Many of the kids living in these orphanages were mostly found living on the streets. Some were brought by their parents who do not have the resources to care for them. While others are abandoned and orphaned.

As soon as I walked into the orphanage, outstretched arms beckoned me to pick up the owners of those limbs. A five-year old boy (I think his name is Luis) immediately "adopted" me and played with me. With only a handful of adults supervising over a hundred kids, it's not surprising that Luis, like all the others, crave for some attention. While we were there, we cooked up a birthday lunch for the February birthdays, played soccer, pushed the kids on the swings, did face paintings, put together some jigsaw puzzles, and basically, just hung out with the children for a few hours.

Upon our departure, the children gathered at the front of the home and waved an enthusiastic good-bye.

Click here to find out more about CDV, the work that they do, and information on sponsoring a child.

More pics here.

Monday, July 09, 2007

University of Toronto

Here's my random travel picture for the day. This was taken on a cold autumn day on the campus of the University of Toronto. Sorry, I don't know the name of the building. My cousin who was a grad student at the time, met me and she gave me a little tour of the campus. There was a small exhibit of Picasso ceramics in one of the galleries so we were fortunate enough to get to see it.

November 2004, Toronto, Canada

Friday, July 06, 2007

Matsumoto Castle

This castle sits in the middle of Matsumoto, a small city that lies in the shadows of the mountains of Nagano. Surrounded by a moat, the castle was also used as a defense against hostile invaders. I believe it was built sometime in the 1500s.

Here's the Wiki entry for Matsumoto Castle.

When entering the castle, we were given plastic bags in which to put our shoes since they were not allowed inside. Much of the interior flooring were made of wood so my guess is that we had to remove our shoes so we don't damage the floors.

August 5, 2004, Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.