Travel More

Travel more was and is my 2014 New Year’s Resolution.

The definition of Travel is as follows:

trav·el
verb 
make a journey, typically of some length or abroad

I know that everyone says they want to travel more, but this year, I meant it. For many of you who know me, knew me, hardly know a single thing about me…here is the truth. I hardly traveled before the year 2014. And to prove this, here’s the breakdown with NUMBERS! Numbers always help, right? Oh, and I’ll throw in a map a little later on.

Prior to 2014, I had only been to two of seven continents: North America and Asia — and I really shouldn’t even count my birth country as a country I’ve been to in the world because I’ve lived here all my life. Within those continents, I’ve only been to three countries: The United States (where I was born), Taiwan (where my family is from), and Canada (the closest country I could easily cross a border and visit).

How many countries are in the world, you ask? 196. (Well— sort of.)

When I typed into the search engine, “how many countries are in the world?” Google gave me an extended explanation, and said:

There are 196 countries in the world today. Taiwan is not considered an official country by many, which would bring the count down to 195 countries. Although Taiwan operates as an independent country, many countries (including the U.S.) do not officially recognize it as one.

Yes, I googled that number. (hover over the “googled that number”)

Here. Let me show you a map of the world! Click to enlarge and see if you can spot Taiwan!



HINT: THE MAP DOES NOT LIST TAIWAN NEXT TO THE ISLAND.

Well, clearly I am a little biased. So, 196 countries in this world it is— Taiwan included. And that means THREE countries is how many I’ve been to…that is until this year.

Since January, I’ve been to 6 cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

Two of those cities were in states that I have never been to: Georgia and Illinois.

In May, I visited one country outside the United States: Colombia
Which, by the way, is a brand new country that I added on to my traveled list, but also happens to be a country in South America, making this year the first time I visited a new continent, too!  

To take this a little further, and since the year is not over yet, I’ll be in the continent of Asia in ONE day! I will be in Taiwan, which IS A COUNTRY, for a little under a week and then flying to the Philippines for the first time, which I am absolutely excited to visit.

So, you see, I was not a well traveled person before the year 2014. I felt the need to explore a little more of what my country had to offer before I jumped overseas. I took a quick trip to Atlanta, Georgia in Januaray, starting the new year right with my resolution.  Then, the rest was history and just flowed easily! I was booking weekend trips to major cities like Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia. I basically squeezed a trip in to whatever long weekend I could take with company holidays. Work also allowed me to travel to Orlando, FL and Berkeley, CA. In May, I got to visit Cartagena, Colombia in South America for just a quick 5-day trip. And if we’re looking into the future, tomorrow, I’ll be in Asia visiting Taiwan and then off to the Philippines, a new country I am visiting for the first time.




In all my life— before I decided to make traveling happen— I followed the rules of my parents, the rules of my teachers, and the rules of my work environment. But, when I stepped away from all of that on my personal time, I realized that there was (and is) a heck lot more room for me to humanize myself. We live our lives day to day, following a routine and a work flow. But, having a hobby, surrounding yourself with people and things your love, and loving yourself, is just as important— for sanity sake. For me, ever since I expanded my vision and used my camera as a third set of eyes, I also expanded my vision of the world. Photography has led me to more places than I have ever been to in the past decade of my life. Photography has inspired me to travel more.

Yes, the world out there can seem big and scary, but beyond the bad, there is also good. There are good people and there is goodness in this world. Outside of the bustling city that is New York City, there is more that can be found. I’m not saying that I want to leave my life and live a completely new one. I just want to temporarily get away from my sheltered surroundings and make a journey, for some length, abroad.

I’m simply just saying that I want to travel more.

Love,
Laura Chang

La Vida Glamour

My favorite subject to photograph is color, especially when they stand out brightly. I’ve also always been fascinated by people and their various styles, especially how individuals can wear the same outfit in multiple ways and differently. Every person has their unique accent and what better way to capture the details in a person’s style than with a different camera angle— a different vision— of the same subject. Exploring my visions with Fashion blogger, Vanessa Santos, has been new and very exciting for me. 

Vanessa from the Bronx has her own style blend of city-chic and edgy street-wear. And, there’s no doubt that she adores the original “Jenny from the block.” Vanessa can trade in sneakers for stilettos, and still pull off the wardrobe from day to night,  blurring the line between traditional work-casual and the classic “girly” looks. We have been shooting in the Bronx for the past 8 looks, and what I love most is finding an apartment alleyway, corner garden, exposed brick wall, or public space, and creating what Vanessa likes to call, “a luxe environment where you least expect it.” The best part? Her website is also bilingual: English and Spanish. 

You can check out my photographs of Vanessa in her V-styled outfits featured on her newly launched website, La Vida Glamour.

Here are some of my favorite looks so far, but stay tuned for plenty more looks to come!


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Want to know more? Here’s some Vanessa Santos trivia. 

Style Icons: Jennifer Lopez, Blake Lively, Olivia Palermo

Superpower: I wish I had the power to heal diseases 

Favorite Color: Green 

Worst Nickname: Venis the penis :/

One Beauty Product I Can’t Live Without: Maybelline BB Cream 

Last thing you searched on Google: NY Giants Pre Season Schedule 

Last song you listened to: Best Mistake by Ariana Grande

Guilty pleasure: Shoes and Savory Food (Mac & Cheese!)

Biggest Pet Peeve: People who are unorganized, late and have lack of consideration 

Word you use too often: Fu$k

My “Dirty” Secret: it won’t be a secret if I tell you :p

View Vanessa’s full gallery below and under  ”People.” 

What Happiness is to You.

It took me awhile to understand what happiness is and was throughout my life. There is still a lot I don’t understand about it, but today I bring some clarity. I’ve had happy moments, and after I step back and observe it broadly, I am living a very happy life. But I am not happy every second, every minute, every hour of every day.

Happiness is a short-lived moment that you must enjoy whilst. The best part is that joy is unforeseen and in a moment of unexpected bliss, you are content to the core. It cannot linger and it cannot extend. But you need a little crazy in your life to live and that is why fleeting moments spark insanity that feeds the soul. 

I have to admit that since the moment I jumped out of a plane, something inside me changed—and it wasn’t just a brief adrenaline rush. I realized the many years I’ve let fear hold me back from a lot of living. That’s a lot of short-lived happiness missed. It’s a battle to be happy everyday, but it gets a little easier to fight every day when you learn to love yourself.

My cheerfulness is real and it will always be my front. Am I like that all day long? NO, are you insane? It was actually tough growing up a cheerful kid when I stepped outside my home. It’s been such a mixed reaction. Some people love it, some people HATE it. Some people judge it and find it a sham. Others believe it’s the sweetest quality anyone can hold. But the me today noted that the common denominator in the past few sentences is PEOPLE and what others think.  

Look, at some point you and I will snap. How could one be happy if all they want is to please others? A huge part of not being truly content inside has to do with caring about what other people think of you. It is never going to end and your life is not going to pause on the living and the breathing. So seize the day whenever, wherever you can. Forget what your consorts think.

There is truly no other more important person to please than your self.

 Thanks, Pharrell Williams! I’ll clap along now that I know what happiness is to me.

Love,
Me

PS: No, Krewella! Let’s not take this fleeting moment and make it last forever.

DISCLAIMER: I am not telling you to rebel, quit your job and regret those 5 tequila shots you take after reading this. Don’t be an idiot. Just find some happiness outside the uncontrollable things in life.  Decompress. :)

 

Art is subjective.
A self-portrait.

Art is subjective.

A self-portrait.

Yayoi Kusama’s “I Who Have Arrived in Heaven”

Yayoi Kusama’s “I Who Have Arrived in Heaven” was beyond belief, an experience I’ll probably never have again. The line into the Infinity Room moved slowly, but it was worth it. My one wish is that I could spend more than 45 seconds in that Infinity Room.

  • Infinity Mirrored Room - The souls of millions of light years away

It took 4 hours to spend 45 seconds in here.

The room is small so go in by yourself so you can properly use all of your 45 seconds to take your selfies for Instagram. I admire the people who walk in and take ZERO photos…the ones that just lie on the floor and soak in every precious second. (I was clearly not one of those people)

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/inmyvisions/

  • Love is Calling

There are 3 buildings attached to her one exhibit and the line of “Love is Calling” was a lot shorter and much quicker! I recommend that you make buddies with the person standing in front of the line and have them hold your spot. Then walk a few feet over to the entrance for this exhibit. It felt like I got at least a whole minute in this one.

image http://www.flickr.com/photos/inmyvisions/

The David Zwirner Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10AM to 6PM, located on 19th Street in Chelsea (519, 525 and 533 West 19th Street). 

It is on view from November 8-December 21, 2013.

I highly recommend you go there when it opens in the morning because they stop letting people line up at 4PM even though the gallery closes at 6. 

Leaves change quickly.

Fall Foilage at Forest Park in Queens, NY
November 2013

Laura Chang

http://www.flickr.com/photos/inmyvisions

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.

Old Montreal #Canada #Canon60D #BlakelyFest #Montreal #latergram #LCphotog

Old Montreal #Canada #Canon60D #BlakelyFest #Montreal #latergram #LCphotog

Supporting my favorite Beauty #YouTube blogger, who now has her own line of make-up, @Michellefawn! Crazy as it sounds…my first red lipstick is in shade #loveme by #emcosmetics

Supporting my favorite Beauty #YouTube blogger, who now has her own line of make-up, @Michellefawn! Crazy as it sounds…my first red lipstick is in shade #loveme by #emcosmetics

My latest @JewelMint purchase has arrived!! #obsessed #gildedpointsnecklace + free weekend gift #sunglasses

My latest @JewelMint purchase has arrived!! #obsessed #gildedpointsnecklace + free weekend gift #sunglasses