Wanderlust Wendy

Simple Living

Give the Gift of Experience, or Cash

Last week, I published our approach to unique and affordable wedding planning. Unexpectedly, readers seemed very interested in the Chinese hong-bao tradition – giving cash in a red envelope. Hong-Bao literally means red (hong 紅) – bag (bao 包). It’s used not only for weddings but also for birthdays, Chinese New Year (our Christmas equivalent), graduations, etc. Unlike in the West, where giving cash as gifts can still be perceived … Read more

Four-Part International Wedding Under $8k USD

Today marks one year since Xav and I concluded our around-the-world wedding celebrations. Recently, I’ve heard and read various reports on the ever-growing wedding cost, and the trend of newlyweds going into debt from weddings. This motivated me to share our approach of planning a unique four-part wedding celebration for under $8k.  Disclaimer: This post aims to share what we had done, and it certainly wouldn’t make sense for everyone. Please … Read more

Float Spa: Weightless Body and Restless Mind

A friend recently gifted us certificates to a float spa here in St. Louis, at Float STL. I adore the gift of an experience, and float spa has been on my list of things to try. In accordance with my 2019 theme to step out of comfort zone, I went for it despite not knowing what to expect.  Float STL The minute we stepped into the spa, we were transformed … Read more

From Nomad Living to Ho Chi Minh City

We can read all about an experience, but until we’ve lived it ourselves, it’s just a story.  Nomad Envy I have wanted to travel full-time for years. I read blogs and watched vlogs of people who trot around with their life’s possessions in a backpack (or a suitcase), and call the world home. When I was trapped in the corporate grind, these stories served as an important mental escape. I … Read more

Redefine What It Means to Work

My parents grew up in Taiwan in the 1950s, the country was poor, and stories of their childhood without shoes or other basic necessities juxtaposed with my fortunate upbringing. In our household, education was the key to success, and success was defined solely by work that brings in money. This traditional belief had governed my path, but it’s time to redefine work in the changing world. Chasing Money I began … Read more

My Version of Financial Freedom

financial freedom

When I decided to get serious with this blog, I got back on Twitter, and tapped into the personal finance community. Boy, what a world. The conversations are equal parts entertaining and thought-provoking. The most popular topic is the quest for financial independence and financial freedom. Some people look at these two terms as one and the same, but to me, they are vastly different. I define financial independence as: … Read more

Why I Don’t Budget

anti budget life

Budgeting, does this word make you cringe when you hear it? I definitely cringe. I get an image of envelopes labelled “grocery”, “gas”, “fun fund”, etc., and comes with them a sleuth of restrictions. I hate budgeting. I’ve told myself I should budget so I know how much money I spend on coffee every month. That has yet to happen, and it probably never will.  Expense Tracking Surely, there has … Read more

What I Learned One Year After Corporate Grind

As we grow older, the phrase, “time flies” is uttered often. For me, however, this past year did not fly by; the year progressed seemingly slowly in the best possible way. While only 365 days have lapsed, I feel as though 5 years worth of experiences had taken place since I unchained from the golden handcuff.  Did I figure out what I want to do with my life yet? Not … Read more

Minimalism Journey

Minimalist Game, Minimalist Life

8 months ago, Xav and I got serious about becoming more minimalistic in our lives. We were very far from it. Every drawer and shelf of our 110 squared-foot apartment was filled with stuff. We were organized hoarders. As such, discipline was necessary. I had read the Marie Kondo book and had been listening to The Minimalist podcast. The Konmari method was a good starting point, but it didn’t feel … Read more

1000 Days to Freedom

I’ve been chasing the dream of living a location independent life since my days in the Peace Corps. I’ve wanted the freedom to live and work in parts of the world where people wouldn’t even bother to go for vacation. I’ve dreamt of the freedom to do anything I want, and not have to worry about how much money it yields. In fact, people toss around the word PASSION all … Read more