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Letter: Writing Again (Again!!!)

I have decided to start writing again!

My last post was in 2014. A few things happened and I lost interest in continuing my hobby. At the time, I was a 3rd year graduate student and had just begun working on my graduate thesis work when I suddenly found myself in a position where I needed to begin afresh in a new lab.

Thankfully, the transition, academically was smooth. There were positive mentors around me who encouraged me and got me right on track. But, as I buried myself in this new found goal of completing my new thesis project, publishing manuscripts, defending my dissertation and graduating "on time", I found myself distant from the small joys of writing and posting a paragraph or two about my life. 

Now, I have my Ph.D. I am a postdoctoral fellow and I am ready to begin a second fellowship in just under two months. Despite life and career being even more challenging than graduate school, I found time management is what allows me to shoulder multiple aspects of life.

Fear of traveling

I am naturally a "risk analytic". I do not take risk unless I know everything I could possibly know about the event and weigh the benefits to be much greater than the risk. Another reason I prefer CDs to stocks, but that's a different story.

Any situation that takes me out of my comfort zone is always riddled with fear. My comfort zone consists of things I've come to expect everyday, i.e. grad school activities, work, church and home. Anything remotely distance to this becomes a risk, traveling is one. My common sense gets clouded with doubts and  in my mind, I quickly think of the zillion things that could go wrong. The what ifs, maybes and the assumptions.

Interestingly, that is also one of the reasons I travel. Not only to learn about places and cultures, but also to understand that different does not mean wrong.

Fear of traveling is like fear of the unknown. We are quick to judge, even hate what we don't know. Traveling has taught me to be patient, less judgment…

Space Center Houston

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To infinity and beyond!

I found myself in San Antonio, Texas several months ago for a conference, and afterwards I decided to take the 4hrs bus ride to Houston to visit my dear brother.

It was fun! We don't see other often so it was a wonderful opportunity to catch up and visit places he enjoy.

One of the places we went to was the Space Center Houston.



We took pictures of ourselves in front of old space shuttles, I believe this particular one is called Explorer.



Then, we took a ride that tours the different facilities within the grounds, including the one housing Saturn V,  and the Mission Control room (the old one).














After the tour, my brother and I went down to the plaza for lunch and goofed around afterwards.

(By the way, if you are going to put on a space helmet (like I did below), sanitize the inside first, everyones face goes inside that thing.)







Despite the blazing heat in the middle of March, it was fun, and educational. Not a lot of things are.

To infinity and beyond!

From Blogger to WordPress!

I have moved! My blog that is. I transferred the content of my blog from Blogger to WordPress a few days ago, after so many days of thinking, reading and deciding if this was indeed the best decision to make.

Things will look a lot different, and the layout of my blog will continue to change (for a while) as I slowly get use to the new system. I am not tech savvy, so I have been going at it pretty slowly.

The Golden Gate Bridge

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Note: I wrote this blog post over a year ago (I know!), but never got around to posting it. So, here it is.



"Pull yourself together, man." Who said this? Anyone? Anyone? No? Well, it was what Argus Filch told Hagrid before Hagrid led the kids into the forbidden forest (in Harry Potter). And it was what I told myself as I hesitated walking the Golden Gate Bridge. Ha ha, I see my "nerdiness" showing.
After walking miles on the Shoreline Park in Mountain View the day before, I readied myself for another test of endurance (or lack thereof) the next day. I wanted to walk the Golden Gate Bridge. If you don't know, the bridge is close to 2 miles in length. You could walk all the length from the Presidio side to the Marina side and then choose to take a boat back (for a nominal fee, I suppose), or walk back if you are up to it, making a total of almost 4 miles forth and back the bridge. I chose to walk forth and back the bridge.
There were people hanging around the va…

Going to a Cenote in Mexico

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Cenotes are beautiful pits or sinkholes that expose groundwater. Close to the end of my trip in Mexico, I had the opportunity to visit a cenote. Coming out of Uxmal with the intention of heading back to Cancun, a tiny village lies outside of Uxmal with a small but beautiful cenote. Well out of the main road, the path to the village is not tarred and jagged, with curves and sharp bends and shrubs brushing the sides of the car, till at last we reached the cenote. Almost cavelike in appearance, the cenote was not visible until I descended down a slippery stair case into the cave below. 

As I stepped down the stairs (that's me in polka dots), I heard flies whizzing past my ear, felt the hot, humid air getting stronger and the splash of water as people jumped into the cool cenote.

Within the cave, there were virtually no instructions about diving into a cenote, just a bright yellow rope to hang onto after the dive. Same rope will provide an anchor to head out of the water. At firs…

How I saved money on international travel in 2013

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Simple, Airbnb!
Airbnb is a platform provided for individuals to rent unoccupied space for a short while. It's secure, safe and cheap. And for a student like me, with minimal funds to live on and even smaller funds to travel with, it's a god-send and an answer to my prayers.
My very first Airbnb in Cancun, Mexico. I had a room and  private bathroom to myself. Roomy and sunny, the house is traditional and warm, just like its hosts. Having travelled around the world, my host were very knowledgeable and adventurous. I learned so much, not just about the vicinity I was staying in, but about Mexico and several other places around the world. They suggested a restaurant on my second day and I had amazing Mexican food there. I saw and chatted with locals in the park few blocks from the house.





Airbnb in Merida, Mexico. Merida is old-new, modern, eclectic and charming in an appealing sorta way. And the place I stayed in reflected that quite well. Very different from my Cancun airbnb, b…