Katie: My Alter Ego

Paint me like one of your french girls - Versailles, France

Paint me like one of your french girls – Versailles, France

Hi I’m Thu, but sometimes I’m Katie. Let me explain.

My name is difficult to pronounce. I remember in college one of my professors completely butchered my name when he called me “TH-oo New-Guy-In.” Well…that’s a first. Not to mention elementary school and my 6 year old self sitting in full anxiety as the teachers go down the list of names for roll call.

“John Smith”

“Abigail Hernandez”

“Daniel Johnson”

Long pause …


Another long pause…followed by eyes squinting and her slightly mouthing the name to herself before saying it out loud.

“TH-oo? New…new…”

Oh god, it’s me. By this time, I’m already breaking out in sweat.

I quietly whisper “It’s…it’s…Thu Nguyen”

All of the other kids immediately turn towards me and giggle. Kids can be so cruel at that age. It’s a 6 year old nightmare realized. Now repeat this same scenario year after year in school.

Eating in the La Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain

Bar seating, no reservations necessary – La Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain

Fast forward many years into my adulthood and I’m still struggling with the introduction of my name. Minus the whole anxiety factor, because you know…we’re grown up now. And if you do laugh at my name and you’re in your 30s like me, then you might as well be laughing at fart jokes. So, ha!

I’m pretty much used to introducing myself (generally followed by a look of confusion from the other party…no surprise there) and then re-introducing myself in that same moment. Only this time I say, “It’s Thu…like the number 2.” All while holding up two fingers to make a peace sign so that they are sure to get it this time.

So, then comes in my alter ego: Katie.

I love eating out with friends but I hate making reservations because it generally goes something like this:

“Hi, can I get a table for 4 please?”

“Sure, can I get a name?”


“Oh, table for two?”

“No, 4”

*confused look

“It’s Katie. My name is Katie”


I don’t know where I picked Katie from, but I think I just blurted it out one day. Ah, Katie. She never struggles with her name. I sometimes envy the ease of her getting reservations or getting her name written right on her Starbucks coffee.

So there you have it, an explanation as to why I am Katie sometimes and Thu most of the time.

Where Did The Time Go?

Morocco 2014

Just being totally natural here guys – Morocco 2014

Where did the time go? With the holidays quickly approaching, I realized that 2014 is coming to a close end. The past few years have been a hell of an adventure that I can’t even grasp on to, but it has definitely taught me a lot.

On the people we come across…

People come in and out of our lives for a reason. Some are here to stay, some stay only for a short period of time. They all teach us something about ourselves and add color to our life story. Even the crappy ones that you meet have a purpose. So be open. Be friendly. Because you never know where these people might lead you.

Also, always question your 1st impression but never your 2nd one. I’ve made some lifelong friends that have proven to be the exact opposite of who I thought they were. Give people 2nd chances because I would want the same for myself.

On dating and relationships…

Fuck yes or hell no. Thank you Mark Manson.

On being happy…

Happiness is a choice. Yes, sometimes life will hand you really shitty situations, but it’s how you deal with it that matters. It’s ok to let yourself dwell in your emotions for a bit. After all, we are only human. But at some point it is ultimately up to you to decide on how you want to turn your life back around.

Picture taken by my talented friend Kristie.

Picture taken by my friend Jimmy – Montserrat, Spain

On traveling…

Travel often. It gives you such a different perspective of the world. It has made me a better person because of it.

On friendships…

Friendships are put to the test in your 30s. When you’re in your teens and early 20s, you grow together with your friends. You’re on the same path and everything is pretty much laid out right in front of you. You go to college, you hang out at the same parties, and you hang out with the same people. Life was structured. Life was easy.

At some point, you all graduate and get real jobs. From there, you grow in separate directions. Some become super successful in their careers, some travel a ton, some get married, some have children, some go through a divorce, and some stay single. It’s hard to become relatable when you’re all on different paths.

But we make the effort and we try to maintain those friendships because they are important to us. So my friends sit through my ramblings about my disastrous dating life and I sit through theirs about what to use on a diaper rash. And why do we do it? Because we support and love each other despite where we are in our lives. And at some point in the near future, we may all find ourselves reunited again on the same path.

That one cold winter in Paris, France.

That one cold winter in Paris, France.

Life has been nothing but the best. No regrets. No looking back. Who knows what 2015 will bring, but I’m already holding on for the ride. Hopefully many more new friends, travel adventures, good eats, and perhaps the occasional mishaps. Besides, life wouldn’t be exciting without the occasional mishaps right?

Happy holidays! xoxo

Off to somewhere. Yay!

Off to somewhere. Yay!


This view.

This view.

Where to run off to next?

Paris again?

New Zealand seems like it’ll be an adventure.

I should try and at least stay put for a while.

This city is beautiful.

Yes, that view.

At least until Japan in April.

How did he wait for them for 23 years in space without going absolutely insane? (Re: Interstellar)

Space-time continuum.

Remember to Wikipedia that on the walk to the shuttle stop.

Still need to read Gone Girl.

Haven’t heard from so and so in a while.

God, it’s already 1am.

I need sleep.

Can’t sleep.

Sleep damn it.

Holiday party.

I hope this gown will fit properly.

Reminder that new Serial podcast is posted this Thursday.

Need to start running again.

All I want to do is hibernate in my apartment.

The sound of the rain is so comforting.

I really want a dog.


It’s a lot of commitment.



Maybe I’ll do Paris in the summer.

No. New Zealand in the winter.

It’s going to be a long day at work tomorrow.