southeast asia

Update. I didn't die in Europe. by Kimm Otto

That awkward moment when you realize it's almost been a full year since my last post. Y'all aren't that invested in my life anyway, right?

*continues to write like people actually give a hoot about my ramblings*

Downtown Vancouver

Anyway, here's a small recap for the people who actually take the time to read this garbage blog of mine. Since the last time I posted: I came home from a year long road trip through Europe and moved to the badass city of Vancouver. The last 8 to 9 months have been spent working, saving, indulging in the mass amount of rad venues and shows, making some new friends and really just getting to know the city I’ve wanted to live in since I was 15. It’s been great!

Canada Place Downtown Vancouver

The first month or so here was definitely a bit of a trip and took some getting used to. I always used to think of Vancouver as this huge metropolis, but after visiting a lot of the major cities in Europe I've come to realize that it's really quite manageable. Public transit is no longer something that is intimidating, especially after navigating the intricate train lines of Berlin. Basically, I’ve become the ultimate master and guru of Google Maps.

Sure, downtown Vancouver is insane with the amount of people that walk Granville street, but still nothing compared to tossing elbows with the locals and tourists of London. I find it slightly entertaining how downtown used to be the only part of the city I would spend time in, and now that I’ve lived here for a bit, I make a note of avoiding it at all costs - unless I’m going to a show or meeting a friend from out of town. I mean, you gotta show them the touristy parts of the city, right? After all, it’s not that bad… just busy.

Downtown Vancouver.jpg

One of my favourite things about avoiding downtown is that there are so many great views of downtown. There’s something about the glass buildings and the density of it all that make me just swoon. Or maybe it’s the reflection of the ocean on all the glass structures, or the towering mountains in the background, or just the fun of exploring the pockets of nature amongst the city? I don’t know, but I’m sure it has everything to do with the nature to city ratio. It’s pretty top notch. Jeff agrees, despite the fact that he looks like he’s about to shank me for taking his photo. ⬇️

Jeff Stanley Park Bike Rides

Well, I think that’s enough fangirling about Vancouver for one blog post. Moral of the story - zero regrets about moving away from Vancouver Island. It’s great branching out and facing the challenges that come along with adapting to a new environment. A seemingly common question people tend to ask me now is, “well, what’s next”?

Short answer: Southeast Asia.

Vietnam Lonely Planet Travel Journal

Long answer:

You may or may not know but I’m actually half Vietnamese, not that you would be able to tell from my ridiculously curly hair or the general lack of knowledge about my Vietnamese roots. That being said, that’s kind of the point of choosing Vietnam as the next point of interest. (And then if there’s time Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.) After watching a soul crushing Ken Burns documentary on the Vietnam war I figure it was time to learn more about my culture and do a bit of soul searching. What that actually entails though is tracking down my dad’s side of the family to find some answers about where in Vietnam they lived before immigrating to Canada, and if I have any living relatives still residing there. To say the least, it’s going to be an awkward situation as I haven’t interacted with that side of my family since I was a wee babes.

Brother. Dad. BB Kimm.

Brother. Dad. BB Kimm.

I assume at this point if you’re still reading, you’re all, “oh shit… what’s she getting into”? So I should probably state that my expectations of the entire situation are incredibly low. I’ve lived my entire life without really knowing anything about these people and my intention of finding them is simply to learn more about where I come from. That’s it, that’s all. I’m not seeking some Hollywood rendition of a long, lost relationship or some strange bonding experience where we all run into each other’s arms and have a giant family reunion. Cause that’s just weird. I’m just curious to learn more about my family tree. I’m also well aware and prepared for the fact that I may not even be able to find them. And that’s cool too - it’s all just part of the adventure.

BB Kimm with her Aunt and Uncle. (I think)

BB Kimm with her Aunt and Uncle. (I think)

So there’s that. I’m sure it will be an interesting journey. Aside from that little tidbit, it’s been fun planning and finding all the other awesome things to do and see in Vietnam and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what that beautiful country has to offer next year.

In the mean time, I’m off to NYC in a few days and I’m pretty pumped. It’ll be great visiting the big apple again plus seeing some things that were missed the last time around.

New York City

I guess it was about four or five years ago that I was in Manhattan last and only really had two days there. Anyone who’s been knows that this is not enough time to explore the entire city. Especially when one of those days was spent just in the Museum of Modern Art… which was totally worth it I might add. Not only do you get to see the works of Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Monet, and Frida Kahlo but you also get some pretty bumpin’ window views of the architecture in the area.

Views from MoMA window

Some things on the agenda for this time around include venturing over to Brooklyn, watching Rupi Kaur perform live readings of her poetry, checking out a comedy club/a few different art galleries/museums, and doing “Top of the Rock” at Rockefeller Center. Woo!

Side note: I recently had the opportunity to see Blood Orange play here in Vancouver and by a total fluke he just so happens to be playing in Central Park a few hours after arriving in the city… so naturally that will be happening. Again.

Blood Orange @ Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver BC.

Blood Orange @ Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver BC.

Well. That’s it for now. It’s been great catching up with you, mysterious internet strangers and the handful of friends and family that actually read this. Hopefully it’s not another year before taking the time to write another post.

If you have any suggestions of places to see or things to do in Vietnam or NYC, drop a comment below or shoot me a message via social media.