I’m going to start this post just like I did last year. Where do I even begin? My first yearly recap post was for 2015, so this will only be my second. 2015 was a great year, but 2016 completely exceeded my expectations. I finally let go of my attachment to pink hair, I officially moved out and in with my boyfriend, and I traveled to 10 different countries. Although, the beginning of the year was a little rough for me to be honest. I was feeling down and discouraged from my Instagram getting hacked that previous November. All my photos got deleted and I felt like a huge chunk of my work was just thrown in the shredder. I tried my best to push those worries aside, focus on doing me and just let the rest take course.
2016 was the year of travel. After I visited Tokyo in October of 2015, it really changed my mindset. 2015 was full of monthly Vegas trips, partying and a DGAF attitude. It was fun while it lasted, but it got old real quick. That trip to Japan was my first time out of the country in over 10 years, and it really opened my eyes. I decided then that I would make it my goal to see more of the world, and that’s what I did in 2016.
The year started off a little slow. I don’t remember getting much work immediately after the new year, so my schedule was completely open. I got a random phone call from my uncle, Johnny. He told me that my aunts would be visiting Vietnam and he offered to take care of my flight to go with them. He knew I’ve always wanted to go. Both of my parents’ families are from Vietnam, and they all escaped from the war in their early teens to make their way to America. I knew little about their history and how they got here, but I was dying to see their home country and learn more. I spent about a week there with my sister, two of my aunts and my grandmother. It was such an amazing time. Vietnamese cuisine is one of my favorites, so you can imagine I was in street food heaven. My heart was so full by the end of it all and I’m so glad I was able to go.
After Vietnam, I extended my trip to Asia and decided to go to Taiwan. I hadn’t been since I was 12, and one of my childhood friends, Tina, had been living there for the past few years. She would always ask me to come visit her, and I finally took the plunge went! Tina and I have known each other since we were 10 years old. We had the same classes together, did dance together in high school, and had SAT tutoring together. Hanging out with her in another country was fun AF. She took me to eat at all the best spots, introduced me to new friends, and partied with me till sun rise. It was the best time.
After Taiwan, I hopped on another plane and met my Vampped family in Thailand. Vampped is the agency I used to be signed to. They curated a sick group of influencers for this trip to Phuket, and it was such a fun bonding experience. Not to mention the amazing content everyone captured. I spent a few days there with them and got to see Phi Phi island. Such a beautiful place. Ellen was even there with me!
In April, I got the biggest surprise of my life. I was approached by L’Oreal to work on an amazing project. I was sent to Paris to get my hair dyed and shoot photos for the cover image of a box of dye. It was my first time in Paris, and I lived for every second of it. It was probably the coolest project I’ve worked on so far, and it felt so surreal. I mean, how often do you get your hair dyed by the L’Oreal team? I spent two short days in Paris and worked with the dream team to produce these images. Colorista is now available in select CVS, Walgreens and Walmart stores. My shade is Colorista in Lilac!
After I got back from Paris, I prepped for Coachella. It all happened the same week, so I had little time to prepare. It was only my second time at Coachella, but I was so stoked. I think it’s the best music festival out there, and almost everyone I know goes. I did two Instagram takeovers, one for Skinny Dip London and another for ZeroUV. It was hectic working two takeovers, but it also the time of my life. Can’t wait for Coachella this year.
My next trip out of town wouldn’t be until September. Summer was chill AF, though. Spent a lot of time with friends, went to Hard Summer, and learned how to cook new things. Learning to cook was a big accomplishment for me. I didn’t think I would be the type to be in the kitchen, but I learned a few things via the internet and have been cooking up a storm ever since. If you follow me on Snapchat, you’d know that my all time favorite thing to prepare at home is shabu-shabu. Hopefully I can get a preparation video up on my channel some time soon. A lot of you have been asking for one, and I think I should try to have that up soon.
In June, Josh and I threw the sickest birthday party. Our birthdays are two weeks apart, so we decided to throw one joint party so that all of our friends would be there. It was a “music festival” style party called FranJoshapalooza and it turned out to be such a success. Nearly every single one of our friends made it. We also got sponsored by Halal Guys, Milk Box & Afters Ice Cream. Two of our friends CJ & Haruna even took over the turntables for us. It was the perfect party, and I really don’t know how we’re going to top it this year. Check out the video I made from the party below.
Next trip out of town was Austin, Texas. I’ve never been to the south and I’ve always wanted to go. I’m not lying when I say that Texas BBQ changed my life. I had Terry Black’s BBQ for the first time, and my taste buds were in heaven. Austin is such a cute town. We also made our way to San Antonio and checked out the River Walk. I also did a little meet n greet out there. It was so unexpected, but so cool to meet followers from so far away. I always tell Josh that I treat my blog like a diary. Like no one will ever read it, but it’s so surreal to meet people who actually follow what I do and know so much about me. It gives me life and I’m forever thankful. Austin was amazing and I can’t wait to go back again one day.
After Austin, I finally decided to change my hair. I had an amazing 2 and a half years with pink hair, but after my birthday, I felt like I was maturing and started making a lot of changes. I was ready to let go of the pink and go back to blonde, which is the color I had before I tried purple and pink. It was a big change for me. I was so comfortable and attached to my pink hair that it became my identity. It also made me feel really young. After turning 27, I started realizing that I wanted to look and dress more my age. I changed my hair, changed my style and changed my mindset all for the better. I love being blonde now and I don’t regret the change. People keep asking me if I’ll go back to pink and honestly, I don’t think I will. Thanks to Linh, my hair stylist for giving me the perfect ashy beige color and keeping it up for me.
Shortly after, I skipped town again for another two weeks. This time with my best friends, Ellen, Michelle & Eugenie. Josh came along as well. We took a trip to Asia and visited Taiwan, Korea and Bali. It was the most fun I’ve ever had on a trip. I’d been wanting to check out Korea and Bali for some time now. It was perfect to go with my favorite people. We shopped til we dropped, ate like kings and queens and relaxed at the end of it all at the nicest resorts in Bali. Special thanks to Lifestyle Retreats for accommodating our stays. Bali was so beautiful. I don’t think we were there long enough. Check out the hashtag we used on Instagram for all of our photos. #wanderkrust
A few weeks later, I had the opportunity to work with L’Oreal again. This time, Ellen and I were sent to Barcelona to film the commercial for Colorista! It was so exciting. We got to work alongside Barbara Palvin, Luma Grothe and even Alexis Ren. Definitely one of the coolest experiences. I wasn’t in Barcelona for long, but I got to try paella for the first time. I can’t believe I’d never had it before. Check out the commercial below!
In November, I took 3 trips with Ellen. Early in the month, we both got sent to SF for the CL concert. It was perfect because we both idolize her and had been dying to go to her concert. We crashed with my good friend Clayton and had a nice weekend there. I love SF. It’s one of my favorite cities to grub. Not long after, we headed to Hong Kong. Ellen was being sent out there by Fanola and brought me as her plus one. Best friend goals am I right? It was so fun to go back. I hadn’t been back since I was 12, and it’s so different when you’re an adult. I also got to spend some time with my aunt, Susan (who lives out there), as well as an old high school friend, Daron. We ate a ton of dim sum and did some light shopping. It was nice to go back, and I’m so glad Ellen took me with her. Finally, we went to Miami together for Perrier Jouet. They had us attend the #EdenMiami party that they throw every year in preparation for Art Basel. I’m pretty sure I drank my weight in champagne during our time there. Miami was so fun. We only had a few days there, but the Eden Miami party was definitely one for the books. They had acrobatic performers and dancers, and it was all decorated so beautifully.
Finally getting to December, but December was crazy. I was gone for most of it. After Miami, I headed straight to Saint Lucia to join Supercharge Agency. It was my first time in the Caribbean Islands, and it definitely won’t be the last. It was a small influencer trip with the sweetest group of girls including Rachel, Sunita, Emiliy & Eugenie. It was such a relaxing few days. We had a comfortable stay at Capella Resort at Marigot Bay and I had so much fun getting to know new bloggers. After Saint Lucia, I had a week and a half at home before I headed to New York for the weekend. I went from warm sunny weather to below freezing and snow. I only spent a few days there, but it was my first time seeing it snow in the city. It was so beautiful and so cold, but I had an amazing time. I took my cousin, Terry, for her birthday and we spent most of the time eating and shooting pictures.
Last event of the year, which trickled into this year, was Japan! Went back to Japan with my sisters and Josh. The first time I was there, it was for work and I only got to see Shibuya. We didn’t have time to venture off and see other parts, so this time we made it our mission to travel through Japan. We visited Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Tokyo and Nagano in a span of two weeks. Japan is honestly the most interesting country. Everyone is so respectful and the food is to die for. We ate so good and I shopped till I dropped. It was worth every penny I spent. My favorite parts were doing the Mario Kart tour in Tokyo and also seeing the snow monkeys in Nagano. We spent New Years in Kyoto and I just got back a week ago. I’m still trying to recover from jet lag. It’s one of the reasons this blog post took so long. Hopefully I can get a vlog up soon and you guys can check out all my adventures from the trip.
If you’re still here, then kudos to you. I’m pretty sure this blog post is the longest one I’ve written to date. I tried to keep it short and sweet, but 2016 was such an eventful year. I’m so grateful for all the things that happened and all the opportunities I’ve had. I REALLY can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store. I already have a few trips lined up in the upcoming weeks. What I love the most is getting to create content and do what I love. I always tell Josh that every day feels like Friday to me because I love what I do and it doesn’t feel like work. Hope you guys enjoyed this post! catch you guys in the next. XOXO.