Found in Paradise

 

then, she began to breathe, and live, and every moment took her to a place where goodbyes were hard to come by. she was in love, but not in love with someone or something, she was in love with her life. and for the first time, in a long time, everything was inspiring.

– .r.m. drak

What to wear when you’re reflecting by the ocean? (Anything, honestly, but let’s play along with this question.)

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I haven’t bought or worn anything close to overalls since I was a toddler. #90sfashion

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But the inner child is still there.

But I am bringing back the old trend with the new: crop tops. I think that overall rompers are perfect to wear if you are just starting out with crop tops, especially if you are someone who does not show her midriff often, like me…

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The flowy crop top with the laced cut-outs gives off a feminine, bohoish feel, but the washed down fabric of the denim overalls “casualed” it down.

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To pull off a summery tomboyish look, I borrowed my friend’s hat and my go-to pair of shades that you see photo shoot after photo shoot.

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Fun fact: Since I was going to the beach, I wore a swimsuit under my clothes. You can’t see the monokini because it has been strategically hidden by my outfit. The crop top was used to cover whatever fabric still present on the sides of the monokini, and like every other monokini, mine shows skin on the love handles.

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In Sanya, the average temperature typically ranges between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is not at all like where many of my family and friends were (he-he)…

So, we spent most of the time in this perfect beach weather doing whatever we wanted, getting lost in paradise.

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Sometimes, unintentional shots are the best.

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I have to say, Sanya has treated me really well. Having so much time has allowed me to reflect all of the travels that I have been on lately. And if I am somewhere like on the beaches in Sanya, you can bet that I will be taking my time thinking about what’s there ahead of me.

At first, I didn’t know what I really wanted from studying abroad, except for the fact that I needed to take a break from the usual schoolwork routine (not that my study abroad program’s curriculum wasn’t academically intensive since I don’t really sleep much here in China either). But being able to escape reality through my travels has made me realize something very important.
So, why did I study abroad?Β 

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To me, studying abroad became not just about improving my own Chinese and learning about the culture… it became more about doing whatever I wanted to do without letting anyone or anything holding me back.

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It’s true, though. I am here to pursue MY OWN happiness. That means that wherever I want to go, whatever I want to do, I am going to go and do it – whether it’s with my friends or on my own. I want to feel comfortable and confident with my decisions regardless of what others think about me when I make them. Heck, I am not going to depend on others for my happiness.

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Confession: There were people in the background (in fact, a friend of mine was blocking some of the background, so I edited him out as well as everybody else out with iPhoto).

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Recently, I have discovered that I am happy, if not happier, seeing the world on my own sometimes. If you know me, I am not one to invest energy in everyone I meet so when I do, you better believe I will invest in you until the end. But I realized that no matter how much I love spending time with my friends, I will always need to find some time and place for myself – and I see no problem with that.

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I think that we spend too much time of our lives, going in circles, constantly pursuing the things that we feel like we should be doing when in reality we should be sticking up for ourselves. We let our feelings of fears and self-consciousness get in the way of our wants. But why care about what others have to say? Why care at all? We are so capable to do so much more. As common as this message arises in conversations, I think that internalizing it is easier said than done. That’s why I realize that it’s the utmost importance always to be fearless and independent, to develop self-love, and to be able to create your own mental escape from the world.Β And ironically, that is why I travel.

To paradise.
Peace,
Jess

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRISTINA BAI (thank you, girl!)

 

THE LOOK: T-HoΒ // Hat | T.J. Maxx // Crop Top // Forever 21 // Overall Rompers | H&M // Sunglasses | H&M // Canvas Shoes

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23 thoughts on “Found in Paradise

  1. Dave Goodlove says:

    Nice post, Jess! I find overalls very cute, especially when worn like that on the beach. Looks like you had a great time. πŸ™‚

    • Jess Nguyen says:

      Aww, thank you! Didn’t know that wearing overalls to the beach was a thing! I thought I was the first, ha-ha. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  2. gwenstella6373 says:

    I hear you Jess! Studying abroad is the best decision I have ever made in my life. I’m sure you’ll have heaps of fun, go on great adventures and enjoy the whole journey of self-discover. x

  3. Karen says:

    Shortalls are my absolute fave, you are such a cutie! And I love the beach backdrop, always makes everything a ton nicer don’t you reckon?!

    • Jessica Nguyen says:

      OH! So that’s what they’re called? Shortalls? I’ve never heard of that word before until now! If it’s another name for short overalls, that would make perfect sense! YES. I always love going to the beach for pictures. Being with the elements – in this case, sun and water – just puts people in a special mood. πŸ™‚

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