Draft Box: No Fuss, Wanderlust.

One of my good friends is on a plane bound for New York City. I had spent the day giving her a mental list of places to see and eat, but I think her man friend had the sights & sounds down, Katz’s Deli included. The travel envy is real.

I’ve been living vicariously through my friends’ travels on Instagram & the wanderlust has never been so strong.

Because I want the sunset vistas of African savannas. I want the rolling green hills and pastures of New Zealand and spider-free adventures in the Australian Outback. I want to stand on the top of skyscrapers, cliffs, mountains, and landmarks with arms wide open(F You, Creed). I want the cityscape beneath my feet from the sky deck at Willis Tower.

I want to swim with marine life through a tropical paradise under the sea. I want the scenic hikes and beaches. I want to trek through natural/man-made tunnels, coves and caves. I want the coastline journeys and city strolls. I want to chase more waterfalls. I want the popular tourist destinations, tv/film locations, and local/obscure spots.

I want the independent bookstores, book bars, libraries and cafés. I want the historical and themed bars and lounges. I want the diversity of modern and quirky architectural styles. I want the collection of museums, festivals, and fairs. I want the man-made structures and natural wonders. My camera stays hungry for more adventures.

I want all the food, from locally-known to internationally grown. Food stands, trucks, hole-in-the-walls, restaurants, diners, drive-ins, and dives(no guy fieri). All the places featured on Travel Channel & The Food Network. I want to capture different cultures and adapt to new, ensuring that I will stay thirsty for knowledge and diversify my palate. And this list will remain continuous. Though I’ve seen more than I thought I would in the past 26 years, I’m still not satiated. My mind is an absolute clusterfcuk right now because I know there are so many things I probably missed. My goal is not to be a tourist, but an explorer of the world.

Because once you’re bitten by the travel bug, you’re infected for life. Never stop exploring.

Draft Box: Live From Couchella.

April 11-13, 2014 was the perfect weekend to be an arts/music lover at Coachella, one of America’s premier arts and music festivals. 

That i’ve sadly never been to.

Fortunately, i was able to catch the live-stream this year for the entire weekend (okay, I felt a little guilty about not going to this party, but i was feeling too tired to go back out!), and witnessed history and pivotal moments in the comforts of home and my sister’s sandstorm-free living room(trying to make myself feel better). 

I missed Broken Bells but managed to catch Haim on Friday. Afterwards, I was just waiting for the highly anticipated return of Big Boi and Andre 3000. Now I’m far from being a hip hop enthusiast, nor am I a die-hard fan but despite the kinks & some technical issues that plagued one too many negative reviews, I actually enjoyed Outkast’s set. Of course, with this being the duo’s first reunion after a 10-year hiatus, expectations were the highest of the high for a momentous, knock-out performance by the two. And with this being their first show in front of a crowd(whom a majority were probably only super stoked for ‘Hey Ya’), things were bound to get slightly awkward and a little rusty. Nevertheless, just seeing the two perform together again brought so much joy in re-living my youth and pre-adolescent years. I was jammin’. The Aquemini sequence alone got me lost in music for a bit.

I’m getting pretty sleepy now, but Day 2 was amazing. Caught CHVRCHES, my dear Dallas Green(City And Colour), The Head And The Heart, Lorde, MGMT, Empire Of The Sun, Pixies, missed Sleigh Bells but the last two performers, were the icing on the sweet pop indie cake. The crowd(whom a majority probably recently discovered Pharrell), didn’t seem as hyped as I was; most likely associating the love of my life with the songs Happy & Get Lucky, as well as acknowledging him as “dude with the Arby’s hat.” But no, the once trucker-hat clad Skateboard P fought the sandstorm and touched on everything from his NERD days, numerous collaborations(with awesome special guest appearances from Uncle Snoop, Gwen Stefani, Nelly, Puff Daddy, Busta, Diplo, [among others who went up to dance for Happy]), to his GIRL album. Nothing from In My Mind though, I wanted him to perform Angel, he could’ve done Can I Have It Like That with Gwen, That Girl with Uncle Snoop, and even Baby with Nelly, but nah, Bae being the cool guy he is, let them shine, he’s so cot damn fine. Man, I could just write a whole post about him and his set alone. His poor falsetto was getting tarnished by the storm, and the disappointment was evident in his eyes because he wanted to give the crowd his all and pull off one hell of a show and repetitively stated this throughout his set. Did I mention that he’s so cool?

Finally, there’s Nas. The first person we thought of throughout his set was Ryan, and though I didn’t fan-girl as hard as he probably did(fainting included?) I was surprised and excited to see Jay show up. I’ve always been a fan of his. I even looked back at my sister like “is that…JAY?? Omg I know his voice, that’s him!!!” The undisputed kings of NY(Queens x Brooklyn! I know that much lol) and former rivals were performing on stage together and it was hip-hop magic.

This all takes me back to a convo I had with Lu, a couple of days ago. Sidenote: the last two sets made me miss her, she was the Jay Z to my Pharrell, Rocawear attire & trucker hats included (Change clooothes & gooo). We were talking about tattoos and she emphasized that my ink made sense: “you loooove music.” And I can’t help but feel a little narcissistic about it, like “dang, I do and I love my taste in music too.” Because Working My Way Back To You by the Spinners could give me the same feels as a DJ set by Cashmere Cat. Colbie Calliat’s Midnight Bottle could put me in the right vibe as Nas’ N.Y. State Of Mind. Nirvana’s Lithium could equate to Don’t Worry Baby by The Beach Boys. Slightly Stoopid’s Collie Man to The Eagles Tequila Sunrise. Bob Marley’s Roots Rock Reggae To Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall. Earth Wind & Fire’s Reasons to Incubus’ Talk Shows On Mute. Soulection radio and mixes to Jason Mraz’s A Beautiful Mess. And the list goes on and on and on and on. No, I don’t know entire discographies nor is my musical knowledge as expansive as Jim Ryan’s probably is, but to immerse yourself in the culture and to be a fan of a multitude of brilliant sounds and diversified artists is enough for me. This would probably take up another post too, haha but I just love music, man.

Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.