Hi! I’m Traveling Thy (“tee“).
I grew up a conformist. I grew up doing what I was told. I followed rules. I obeyed authority. Whatever the masses were doing was what I was doing too.
I didn’t grow up nurturing a single iota of independent thought. I’m not sure I ever even had independent thought. I spent most of my life believing everybody around me was right about everything, so I just followed.
Why was this? Was it my immigrant upbringing as a second-generation Vietnamese-American? Was it that I was born in the Chinese zodiac’s Year of the Sheep? Was it that I grew up in the Catholic Church? Was I just weak?
I honestly don’t know.
What I do know is I’m not that person anymore.
I started traveling…
…I saw the world. Since 2009, I’ve traveled 35 countries on my own.
I’ve struggled, I’ve suffered, I’ve learned and I’ve grown. I’ve done all of this stripped of societal and familial influences, leaving only myself to wholly experience other cultures, to understand the human experience, to understand the human experience in the context of those various cultures, to understand myself and where I fit in in this world.
These travel experiences popped gaping holes into the American bubble I’d grown up in, until eventually I was freed from the bubble completely.
Conformity no more.
Traveling changed my life profoundly…
…and in ways I haven’t even yet realized. But I wouldn’t say I’ve “found myself” or reached this almighty pie-in-the-sky actualization of self. Far from it, truth be told. I learn something new about myself every day.
I’ve realized there is no end-all, be-all finding of one’s self. It’s a lifelong journey. And I treat that journey with the enthusiasm and wide-eyed curiosity of a traveler. I’m curious about everything, and that makes my journey an enriching and beautiful one – no matter where I am.
Which brings me to this website…
I started the Traveling Thy blog in 2010 when I was 10 countries and nine months into a round-the-world adventure. I’d quit my job, given away most of my belongings and was traveling the world indefinitely. I was thrilled to share my experiences with friends and family on this blog, but I found myself more interested in experiencing the experiences than I was in sharing them. The result? A very sparsely, inconsistently updated blog.
Today, the Traveling Thy blog is still a place where I try to share my travel stories and photos when I feel inspired. But it’s also a place where I share day-to-day musings of the life I lead even when I’m not physically traveling.
Because mentally, psychologically, emotionally…
I am always traveling…
No matter where I am, I am fearlessly indulging my curiosities. I might be wandering the slums of Mumbai or sneaking into the Prague Castle or eating a fried tarantula in Cambodia or walking into a weird Vietnamese pee party or re-discovering my own city. Whatever it is, I am doing it with the wide-eyed wonderment of a traveler.
I’m an explorer. I’m in awe of everything. I’m meeting new people, I’m observing human behaviors, I’m constantly learning, and trying to understand the things that people do and why they do them. And equipped with that curiosity and the experiences that feed it, I’m always trying to be a better version of myself.
I am PRESENT.
That, to me, is traveling.
And I’m doing it all the time.
As for the beautiful beaches, the mountain hikes, the jumping out of airplanes and the scuba diving, the historical landmarks, the exotic animal encounters, the cultural and religious festivals, the unique culinary adventures…those are just some of the great little things that I get to experience along the way too.
That said, you’ll also find me reminiscing on travels past – those that didn’t made it onto my blog because I was too in-the-moment to sit down at a computer and write about them at the time. I have, literally, tens of thousands of photos and countless memories I’ve yet to share on here. Or ANYwhere or with anyONE, for that matter. It excites me to share them with you on the Traveling Thy blog in the months and years to come.
So I hope you enjoy my journey, and that it inspires you to enjoy your own.
We are all travelers.
I give travel advice too!
While my blog is heavy on the story-telling side, I do have a lot of useful knowledge and experience that I’m hoarding in my head, eagerly waiting for some pointed ways to share it.
- Do you have a trip coming up?
- Are you considering long-term travel?
- Got questions about visas, border crossings, local currencies or any of the places I’ve been?
- Looking for a hostel or Couchsurfing recommendation?
I’d love to help! Email me or ask away in the form below. I reply to 100% of my reader emails.
Thanks for visiting my site!