Hey, babes! Welcome to La Vita Vivi.
I thought I’d share some fun facts about me so ya’ll can get to know more of who’s behind LVV. As I’m creating this blog and making it grow, I want you to know who I am so we can develop a sort of online-relationship with each other! I hope you enjoy this light-hearted post, and learn a little about me as you go along. I’d love to learn more about you too, so tell me something fun about yourself in the comments. 😉
Ready? Here we go!
My English name, Vivian, means “full of life” or “lively”. I was given this name because apparently I was dancing and kicking around so much in-utero (lol)! I was also named after Vivien Leigh, an English film actress who played Scarlett O’Hara in the movie adaptation of Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
Both my parents immigrated to the States from South Korea, so I am 100% Korean-American. My Korean name, Na-Hana (last names go first in Asian countries), means “my one” or “my first” because I’m the first grandchild to my grandfather who has his last name.
My cousin, Soobin, and I when I visited South Korea last summer!
When I was little, I spoke Korean and Spanish in addition to English. I learned Korean from my family and Spanish from my nanny at the time, Rosa. There’s a picture of me holding my grandma’s hand on one side and talking to her in Korean while holding Rosa’s hand and speaking to her in Spanish on the other side. I don’t speak either well anymore but I totally wish I did! I ended up learning English by watching Disney movies, which is why Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” is my favorite!
CHILDHOOD FAVORITE FOOD
Anyone who knows me will tell you I was the salad/veggie queen growing up. It seemed like all I wanted to eat was caesar salad. I used to loooooove the one from the kids’ menu at California Pizza Kitchen because they would put goldfish crackers on it!
I love to eat, but I also love to cook just as much too! I remember growing up, we would throw lots of dinner parties with so many yummy goodies – roasted garlic and lemon cornish hens, grilled tri-tip with herb butter, stuffed mushroom caps and sun dried tomato spread on toasted crostini to name a few.
My mom, sister and I back in 1998 at the Lobster Festival in Redondo Beach! I was three years old here and living my best life (haha)! Beach life forever, am I right? 😉
Although I don’t go out and do crazy wild activities all the time, I learned that I do love to be adventurous and try new things when I can. I went sky diving in San Diego, California with a bunch of my friends in college, and it was such a thrilling experience! My boyfriend and I are thinking of going skydiving one day, which is HUGE because he’s deathly afraid of heights (it’s so bad that a few years ago he couldn’t even look at the tops of tall buildings because it would make him feel sick…so we’ll see if this actually happens lol). I can’t wait until that day finally comes!
FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WORLD
Italy is definitely my favorite travel destination, which is why I wanted to emulate those same romantic coastal vibes by giving the blog an Italian name (“La Vita Vivi” is an Italian phrase loosely translated to “The Life [of] Vivian”).
I first went in high school on a singing tour with a choir and we sang all over Italy in different venues. The highlight of the trip was singing for a mass in the famous St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City! It was such an amazing experience because it was the first time I went abroad internationally by myself. Plus, it was right after my high school graduation so I feel like it helped me enter college on a really inspired note.
The second time was for a study abroad program during college with one of my best friends. We traveled through Tuscany for a week, then lived in Florence for the rest of the program. We took a couple culinary/hospitality classes at the Florence University of the Arts and got to immerse ourselves in Florence since we lived in an apartment right by the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore! I’m so grateful for that experience with her and can’t wait to go on more adventures together.
Click here to check out my old travel blog!
Travel Checklist: Italy, Croatia, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Arizona, Nevada
Travel Wishlist: New York, Nashville, Hawaii, Egypt, Ireland, Spain, Morocco, Greece, Tulum, South of France, India, Netherlands + so many more!
One of my favorite trips with my favorite people!
When I went to Thailand last summer, I got my first taste of connecting with animals when I visited an elephant sanctuary near Chiang Mai. I was so moved by their kindness and gentleness. After this experience, it sparked another dream – swimming with sharks! I think swimming with sharks would be the coolest experience because just like the elephant sanctuary, you’re immersing yourself into their world. Anyone else down for this???
Top Tip-If you’re traveling somewhere that is known to have elephants, make sure to support sanctuaries and not any tours where you ride them. They torture the elephants in order for them to learn all those tricks and commands, whereas the sanctuaries rehabilitate them and leave them to prosper in their natural environment.
LIFE LESSONS & WES
I’ve been with my boyfriend, Wesley, for nearly four years. I’m including him in this post because so much of who I am is thanks to this guy. He is an amazing person who leads by example and is truly a huge source of guidance in my life. Of the many lessons I’ve learned by being in this relationship, the main thing I know he’s taught me is empathy. He has always stressed the importance of putting yourself in another person’s shoes to reach a point of understanding of that person. Today, I realize that I lead my life with this mentality and I have him to thank for that!
This is a snippet of us from our high school days! (It was Halloween…lol.) I had no idea he liked me then but I always had a little thing for him, too. Little did I know he would become my best friend and ask me out five years later 😉 hehe
This is a picture I took on our first date at Venice Beach, California! I remember he had this cute day planned and paid wayyy too much money for parking but did it anyway because he wanted us to have this cute moment on the beach. We ended our night with dinner at the The Grove, where he was so nervous to hold my hand (haha).
I love this picture of him because he’s so into playing. He plays for our church praise band and I sing! I love that we do that together, plus we direct the church summer camp together as well. Working together with your significant other can be challenging at times but it is totally rewarding in the end!
If you made it this far-wow! Thank you for reading! If you like posts like these, please let me know by liking it or letting me know in the comments. I’d love to learn more about the real people behind the screen, so I can’t wait to connect with you!