02 December 2015


Finally home...this has been the longest time that I've been away from my family and it really is nice to be back. Though it's a subtle kind of nice...the kind that includes sleeping well because the mattress is firm and the bedding cozy, and going through your old stuff feeling all nostalgic.
Wishing I had more vacation time so I can stay longer. It's a struggle to have enough time to meet up with friends and also just stay at home.

Though I wouldn't have cut my time in New York short. The saying that third time is the charm is true in this instance because I finally feel like I've nailed down how to travel to suit myself. My little revelation is that leisure is the difference between "rich" and "poor", and that I want travel in a way to maximize leisure.
I've always loved trip planning, and researching a destination is as fun as actually going there. I make google maps with color coding, and excel sheets to sort out my schedule. It was basically a very open ended problem with lots of constraints and objectives, oh the fun to find an optimized solution :D
Now I've learned to have a very detailed plan...but no pressure to follow it. This trip is a good example of the goods and bads of straying from my plan.  The good included making my first tea friend, following him to another tea shop down the road that specializes in Fujiang tea (including cliff tea!) and enjoying another couple hours of good tea + good company. Also meeting a housemate in my Airbnb and going out for dinners together (Grimaldi's was deliciouuuus). The bad was still alright, I lost track of the days of the week and missed going to the Museum of Food & Drink.


Pivoting, this trip is very much a treat for myself and thus I did not exhibit much constraint when shopping. I didn't plan to buy anything initially, but ended up coming home with these:
Not pictured: C&J boots (a big reason why I went to NYC at all), and Uniqlo sweater + shirt (could not resist dropping by on Black Friday). 

All completely unnecessary, but ahhh such treats.
  • Clover necklace: the last necklace I'll ever buy, with the shaky assumption that I won't break this. Frankly because I'm too lazy to have another element of an outfit to think about. 
  • Tea: 正山小种 and 北斗 from that Fujiang tea shop. The owner is super generous, he made us any tea we wanted continuously as we sat there for 2 hours with no pressure to purchase. Apparently it's because his main business is wholesale so us little fish in the pond is inconsequential. 
  • Greek mountain tea: finally. been too long.
  • Starter pack of nice pencils: why did I ever think I could walk into a stationary shop and not spend money? Not sure how I managed to avoid hauling at Kinokuniya last year. 
I need to be much more strict with myself for next year ah ha...

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