My last entry was about a day-trip that happened at the end of 2016. A lot has happened since then: wrapped up my freelance business with a large project, many scattered trips (domestic and international), countless job interviews, celebrations, goodbyes, and a move across the country! Months later, the chaos of this page turn has finally started to settle.
I have so many back-dated stories planned, but I can't promise I'll ever get to them all, so here's my attempt at highlighting a few moments from the past 8 months. I'd love to hear which parts you'd like to hear more on!
The past several months zoomed by because of all the traveling I did. Combined with an insane (and unhealthy) work schedule, it all feels like a blur to me now.
Phuket ⎯ Counting Down to 2017
My family and I took a trip to Phuket, an island in southern Thailand, to ring in the new year. It was all sorts of wonderful. A much needed escape from the city, along with some quality family time.
Mid-March came, the fam had an opportunity for a short reunion in Washington D.C. due to my dad's conference colliding with my brother's spring break. The highlight of this trip was our celebratory dinner (my brother's birthday + early graduation toast) at minibar by José Andrés, to which with shear luck we managed to snag a Friday night reservation only a few days ahead of time. Sneak peak of how much fun we had below.
Michael and I visited one of my best friends from high school in Amsterdam at the end of March. Thanks for giving us beautiful weather, Amsterdam, and thank you a million times for having us, Prim <3
NYC & Syracuse ⎯ Class of 2017!
The parents and I met up in New York City for a few days before joining forces with my cousins to drive over to Syracuse for my brother's graduation. Couldn't be more proud of this kid - congrats Duang!
Paris & Lyon
My parents had a trip to France planned (another conference for dad extended into a mini vacation), so I took this opportunity to tag along since I had a few weeks in-between jobs.
Las Vegas ⎯ MIT'14 Pi Reunion
Did you know MIT has a Pi Reunion in July? This was my first time in Vegas and we had a blast! Can't say I'd want to come back again anytime soon since everything is overpriced there, but we really made the most out of it and I left feeling very satisfied. No beautiful photos from this trip: just a bunch of silly selfies, so those are private ;)
This is a long one, but bear with me as I don't usually talk much about my career publicly.
In March, I wrapped up my last large project as a freelancer (or design consultant, for those who don't take freelancers seriously... but hey, you really should.) By that time, I had been freelancing for about 2 years. I learned a ton through the process and felt satisfied with the things I had set out to learn from this experience back when I quit my full-time job in 2015. My work-life balance line was also getting blurry: I found it hard to stop working, as literally the more I worked, the more I earned. Most importantly though, I had a pretty clear idea of what kind of company, team, and work I wanted in my next gig.
Several phone calls, interviews, design challenges (ugh), and flights/train rides later, I thrilled to share that I accepted Adobe's offer to work as a designer on their design system team!
I knew going into this job search that I wanted to work with a company with a sizable design team, with strong design leadership built in. Not only is this the case with Adobe, but the diversity (not in just race or gender, but age, experiences, upbringing etc.) is what really stood out to me from the rest of my interview experiences. Ultimately, however, what truly solidified my decision was the fact that I really resonate with my manager's outlook on growth, both for individual designers and Adobe Design as a whole. It's hard to believe it's been almost 3 months since I started at Adobe. Although it's been tiring, and at times overwhelming (it's a huge company after all), I couldn't be happier with the trust and support I have from my colleagues.
I am also honored and humbled to be a current Designer Fund Bridge fellow. It's been an incredible experience so far, and I'd love to share more about this special journey in a later post.
Boston → San Francisco
I said farewell to Boston (well, Cambridge to be exact) at the end of May. It was my home for 7 years and, although I am hungry for new adventures, I know I will miss it dearly. It's walkable, relatively safe, has wonderful summers and falls, but is still a city so there's always something to do (except when you're snowed in, but that's another adventure in its self!). I'd still seriously consider coming back to live here again later on in life, if that doesn't happen, I know I'll definitely be visiting again.
My new job is located in San Francisco and, to my surprise (and luck?), I've managed to find reasonable housing with wonderful roommates even before I got here. After a month of corporate housing, some handy work with the help of the little sis, and many many boxes later, I'm finally settling in and feeling at home in my new space. I'll save some SF summer adventures for a later post, but let me know if there's anything you'd recommend me checking out! Whether that's a food place, cafe, neighborhood, or anything pretty, I'm up for exploring them all.
Now that's a wrap and you're basically (almost) caught up with my life. Ask me for a high-five if you've read it all the way here ;) I still haven't quite decided in what order I'm going to upload the next string of photos and stories in. Chronologically? Backwards? Random? I'm leaning toward alternating between current vs. past stories, but you'll just have to stay tuned to see.
As always, thanks for sticking with me!
Photos by the family and me.