I’ve never been the type of traveler who enjoys going to a resort and laying out under a linen cabana for a week’s time. Since I’ve been the trip planner for my friends and family for as long as I can remember, this is rarely what our travel itineraries look like and I’m happy when everyone leaves with incredible stories from the very private, unique, and off the beaten path experiences that I’m fond of.
A few months back, I DM’d Michelle Lee, Editor-in-Chief at Allure, through Instagram and invited her for a fireside chat at Talks@Google (the internal Google version of a TED Talks). We had a fabulous time discussing diversity in the beauty industry, the must-try beauty treatments in Manhattan and what it is like to have Anna Wintour as a boss.
I am the proud daughter of two resilient Vietnamese boat refugees, one generation removed from Uncles missing in action, Aunts who lost love and opportunity, and parents who left their dreams by the wayside to simply survive. My Daddy – the one sporting the dashing smile on the far right – was a handsome devil in his youth. My Aunts would always tell me stories about how, as a young man, he was up to all sorts of mischief.
Being Vietnamese, France has always played a role in my life. During my grandparents’ generation, you received your education through a French lycée. My Mother attended Marie Curie High School, a school established in 1918 by the French colonial government. My Aunts can still sing French songs when the family gathers around for karaoke. My family celebrated this past Christmas in New York with a delicious Bûche de Noël. We eat baguettes that have evolved to the mouth-watering flavorbomb of julienned carrots, stemmy cilantro, homemade pâte and cold cuts known as banh mi.
In an effort to remember all the exciting things that are happening this year, here’s a round up of new things that I tried in February. I visited the nation’s capital, D.C., for a client meeting. I joined the Associate Board for Hearts of Gold. I went back to California for the first time since moving away.