December 21, 2016 marks the fifteenth year I have lived in the United States. It is hard to imagine I landed at LAX fifteen years ago with little knowledge of the language and the culture. Now, not only am I sharing my story with the world but I’m preparing to once again return to my hometown. To celebrate this day, I have compiled a list of all the places I’ve traveled to over the years.
Let’s get started…
2001: I arrived at LAX on December 21, 2001 and the very next day, before my brain could even register where exactly I was, my parents placed me in a car and traveled halfway across the country to Austin, Texas. The purpose? To visit my step-father’s parents. During the trip, we visited San Antonio and the Alamo along with the cave in Georgetown. I even got to ride a pony! I was barely literate at the time but I somehow managed to remember everything.
2002 – 2005: Between these years, while resided in So. Cal, I went to many places in California like Disneyland to Knott’s Berry Farm. I even went camping during the summer between 6th and 7th grade. I enjoyed the camping, just not the teasing and the bullying.
While living in So Cal, I also managed to visit many other interesting places like the Nixon Library, Huntington Library, and the science museum.
2005: We visited China before we moved to Texas. During the trip, we went to Hong Kong, Hangzhou, climbed the Great Wall, and many other historical places that I can’t even remember the name. The only disappointment was we didn’t go to Shanghai due to my step-grandmother’s bad legs.
2006: We arrived in Austin, Texas on New Year Day. That summer, my mother’s friend came for a visit and my mother got to play tour guide. We revisited Austin State Capitol and Houston. It was my second time to visit the Texas State Capitol but unlike my first visit, I was English-literate on this visit. Houston was okay, I wasn’t a fan of humidity though.
2007: Early 2007, my step-father and I took a trip on his motorcycle to Travis Lake. There was no shortage of frustrations along the way due to us getting lost and my step-father’s stubborn personality to ask for directions. Fortunately, we made it but didn’t catch any fish.
That summer, my mother and I moved to Utah and I got to experience a whole new environment with freezing cold winters. Best of all, I saw snow. We met a friend while shopping at Dollar Tree and coincidentally, we have the same hometown. That Christmas, they invited us to spend Christmas with them in Las Vegas. My first time in Vegas. Too bad I couldn’t gamble.
Aside from Vegas, I went to Idaho, the Union Station, aerospace museum, and Antelope Island where I experienced the salty air and water of the Great Salt Lake.
2008: My mother enlisted herself in the Guard early 2008. I spent the first half of 2008 alone, unable to go anywhere because I didn’t know how to drive yet. Soon after she returned from Basic Training, she had to go to Washington D.C. for a mission. That Thanksgiving, I boarded a plane to D.C. While in D.C., we visited many fascinating places. It was definitely one of the best Thanksgiving.
2009: On New Year’s Day, we along with our friends visited Park City, Utah. The place where the Sundance Festival was held each year. In my opinion, Park City, Utah looks a lot like San Francisco. During summer of ’09 before we moved into our current home, I compiled this photo slideshow.
2010: Early that summer, we took a 15-hour train ride to Sacramento, CA. I spent most of the way occupied with taking pictures and videos. While in Nor. Cal, We sailed around the lagoon behind a friend’s house.
2011: Spring break in Moab! We visited Canyonland and Arches National Park. One of my all time favorite Spring Break.
2012: My aunt visited for the first time. Coincidentally, we chose to visit Temple Square, City Creek Mall, and the State Capitol on the day of the SLC marathon. Downtown was incredibly crowded with all the roads blocked off. The only traffic allowed was foot traffic. My mom’s other family also visited that year. I don’t like to remember those 10 days.
2013: My aunt visited again. This time was on Chinese New Year. We all went to Farmington Bay to watch Bald Eagles and my mom made jiao zi for the first time. It was this event that got me started blogging. We even went up the mountain for some skiing and tram riding as well as reach some pretty high peaks.
2014: My aunt, cousin, and I took the train downtown to see Christmas decorations. The sky was cloudy and grey and there wasn’t much to see in the day. We visited the North Entrance Visitor Center and across the road to City Creek Mall. On the way back, we even ran into quite a hail storm and that’s when our trip was cut short.
2015: 2015 was the first year I committed to blogging daily. Through blogging, I became able to not only share my imagination with bloggers around the world but I also got to share my real world too. I took a lot of pictures that year of landscapes, flowers, and plenty of odd things. The only places I visited in 2015 were Idaho, Las Vegas, and Chicago and of course, you can read all about them.
2016: Where do I even begin? 2016 has been both great and rough. I will cover that in a later post. I haven’t traveled out of state this year. The new places I went in 2016 were Unita National Forest, Golden Spike National Park, and two hiking trails.
To celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of my residency in the United States, I am going to try to make my very own Baked Mac n’ Cheese. I am going to surprise my mom and aunt since I doubt anyone but me remember such a big day. Hope I succeed.
Happy Holidays to all!
Last Posted: December 24, 2014
Updated and Revived: December 21, 2016