May in Review
CAPTURING MOMENTS || MAY 2016
- Started working at AnyArena, a digital pop culture magazine, as their new editor #blessed
- Spent a long weekend in the Mekong Delta touring Can Tho and My Tho.
- Ran my first interview/photoshoot with HCMC-based graffiti kings Dan Nguyen and Kris Kotcher at Saigon’s own street art district, Station 3A.
- Sat front row at my very first fashion show for popular Vietnamese designer Li Lam’s SS16 collection, Sands of the East. Blown away by the production quality featuring a belly dancer and a carpet lined walkway.
- First weekend off in 2 and half months was celebrated by a free stay at Villa Song in Thao Dien, probably the nicest place I’ve ever stayed at in my life!
THE RICE QUEEN, Phuong An Binh, Vietnam @ 1:54 pm
INTO THE WILD by Jon Krakauer
I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.
Sypnosis: The nonlinear narrative written by celebrated American adventure writer, Jon Krakauer, centers around the enigma of Christopher McCandless and his travels around North America in the early nineties. The body of the young man was discovered in an abandoned city bus in September of 1992 just north of Alaska’s Denali National Park. A year later, Krakauer’s obsession with the mystery behind McCandless’ tragic fate inspired this hunt for answers. He retraces McCandless’ steps during the two years between his college graduation and his untimely end in Alaska, where throughout that period, McCandless went by the name of ‘Alexander Supertramp.’ The novel ties in literary references from Jack London and Henry David Thoreau, naturists who influenced McCandless’ ideology to separate himself from the hedonism of mankind. Eventually, one is left pondering the tragedy — was this the fault of egoism or of ignorance? Was McCandless’ lifestyle something worth pitying or something worth admiring?
I have been putting this book off for about nine years now when my high school boyfriend insisted I read it. Through out the years, I came to realize this title is one of the pinnacle travel reads. Reference after reference to Alexander Supertramp made me feel like I was missing out on something. Luckily when the movie came out, I had something to help me understand the story better. But the pressing need to read it for the sake of understanding overcame me and I finally accomplished it. Non-fiction books are off-putting because they require patience on the part of the reader to grasp such niche ideas. But even with the difficult content at times, this book is an impressive display of intellect and ambition. You can see a parallel between the author, Krakaeur, and his subject, McCandless — two kindred spirits who embarked on almost the same journey just at different expanses of time. The amount of research that went into tracking down all the personalities McCandless encountered during his drifting and the level of probing it must have taken is absolutely remarkable. I was personally so riveted by his commitment to uncovering the exact cause of McCandless’ death.I really admire Krakaeur’s writing style, along with is commitment to his storytelling, and I can’t wait to read ‘Into Thin Air,’ his account on the devastating 1996 Everest climb that he also participated in.
ON THE INTERNET
- Kim Leuenberger’s collection of tiny car replicas shot out-of-focus in breathtaking landscapes give us a serious case of wanderlust.
- Ever wanted to learn a new craft but didn’t have the time? The new program, Vacation With An Artist, pairs you with a local artisan whether its batik printing in the rice paddies of Ubud or learn how to screen-print in Prague.
- Fashion house Louis Vuitton tapped Chinese painter Liu Xiandong to illustrate South Africa’s guide for their “Travel Book” series that showcases global artists and promotes cross culture exchange by assigning an artist to explore (through art), a country previously unbeknownst to them.
- Matador Network’s essay analyzing the negative opinion most Americans have on taking gap years (surprise surprise, it boils down to fear) is something that touches close to home as all of my siblings and I went on gap years prior to starting college.
- There is nothing I love more than doors and the world over has tons of exciting, unusual, inviting doorways waiting to be opened at 1001 Doors.
UP NEXT MONTH: Enjoying the perks of my editor gig! xoxo Izzy