Wanderlust Wendy

Simple Living

Rest Better on Airplane Mode

Live slower on airplane mode

Life in Saigon has resumed to normal from COVID-19 for several weeks now, and so has the city’s infamous hustle and bustle. This lively city felt suffocating after a month of calm. The Vietnamese government successfully kept the COVID-19 pandemic under control, in what felt like a flip of a switch. Just as suddenly as the city went quiet, it came back alive with compounded energy akin to millions of … Read more

Practice Cooking Meditation to Live Slower

cooking meditation, mindful cooking

Like many, I’ve been cooking and baking up the storm. But for me, this has been going on well before the global pandemic began. I’ve had some time to reflect on why cooking brings me so much joy, and why you, too, should practice cooking meditation. An Incapable Cook in College In college, I was a terrible cook. I often made food that was so bad that I would end … Read more

A Toddler Taught Me How to Live More Intentionally

Live Intentionally with a Toddler

For 2020, I had set the year’s theme to “Live More Intentionally.” I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve this other than being slightly more aware of my daily activities. Before getting a new job, I had booked a three-week trip to St. Louis to spend time with my nephew. I was looking forward to some quality family time. I even had lofty ideas of getting some blogging … Read more

Should I Have Stayed in the Corporate Grind?

Leaving Corporate Grind to Travel

January 1, 2020. This date is fast approaching. In fact, only 55 days remain according to my countdown app. Oh, how I used to obsessively check this countdown clock to our original “Freedom Day.”  If all went according to plan, on this date, our investments, applying the 4% withdrawal rate, would have yielded enough income to cover our basic living expenses. Not all, but enough to not need full-time work. … Read more

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 international 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 around-the-world wedding celebration for under $8k.  Disclaimer: This post aims to share what we had done, and it certainly wouldn’t make sense for everyone. … 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

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