2017 Recap

Well, this year was a year for the books. It will be a year I will forever remember. There are a few years like this, ones that stick out with personal milestones and dates to remember. Years like 2007, when I graduated from Assumption after 7 years, or 2011 when I graduated from high school and the swim team I was apart of for 8 years. Years like 2015 when I graduated from college, went to London for an internship and got my first job at Gap Inc.

2017 will be one of the years I will remember forever. It’s the year that I finally spread my wings and dove straight into deep end (lol how many idioms/analogies can I put into a sentence? hint: a lot). I threw myself into a situation I knew would make me uncomfortable and possibly scared, but that’s what life is all about right? It’s about taking risks, never looking back, and making memorable experiences. Backpacking solo and traveling is not all what I did this year (although it’s the biggest thing), so here’s a little list & recap of the things I did (it’s not a lot).

  • I brought in 2017 with a hike/date with my loves Esther, Jade & Bekah
  • Had an amazing 2016-17 ski season with record breaking snow fall
  • Went to Disneyland twice (one for my birthday & one for my Christmas present courtesy of my boyfriend, who know’s Disneyland is my favorite place)
  • Experienced my first hockey game at the Shark Tank for playoff’s where the Sharks won 8-0
  • Saw all my favorite ladies in concert including Leilani Wolfgramm, Little Simz, Kehlani (& my favorite boyband the Bassheads)
  • Spent time with my friends ranging from my childhood friends from Assumption (with our monthly trips to Harry’s) and my Alameda friends (with trips to the club, hiking and going away parties)
  • Hung out in Chico for my brother’s university graduation! (Yaaaay Pat!)
  • Went to the Warrior parade after their Championship win!!!!!!

Now for my highlights from my travels

  • Partied hard on Khao San Road
  • Had the most expensive cocktail & took tons of pictures at the top of the Sky Tower
  • Played, bathed, fed, and had fun with rescue elephants
  • Learned how to cook 5 Thai dishes at a cooking class
  • Enjoyed the view with my 2-day journey down the Mekong River from Thailand to Laos
  • Went drunk bowling in Luang Prabang
  • Swam in the iconic Kuang Si waterfall (after an arduous hike)
  • Tubed down the river in Laos stopping at random bars on the way down
  • Made the bestest group of friends in Laos called the Los Banging Fabu Team 11!
  • Learned how to cross the street in Hanoi (& dodge motorbikes)
  • Trekked in Sapa with hill tribes
  • Kayaked and hiked in Halong Bay
  • Tried egg coffee and tons of delicious street food in Hanoi
  • Explored an abandoned water park in Hue (one of my favorite things I did)
  • Cruised the streets of Hoi An on a bicycle
  • Treated myself to an all inclusive resort called Ninhvana
  • Did yoga for the first time, then did it again, and again, and again
  • Tried & failed at stand up paddle boarding
  • Rode a really fun “roller coaster” down a hill to a beautiful waterfall
  • Learned about the horrible genocide that devastated Cambodia
  • Visited the famous Angkor Wat & partied on Pub Street in Siem Reap
  • Did yoga & saw some monkeys in Ubud
  • Partied really hard, biked around the island, did some yoga, saw a turtle in Gili T
  • Learned how to surf in Canggu
  • Saw my first traumatizing death (& possibly beat death) in Canggu
  • Was pampered and spoiled by my padre in Seminyak
  • Met and bonded with my family in the Philippines
  • Ate the best food, was treated impeccably kind, had seriously the best time in Manila and Palawan
  • Partied so hard (& hurt myself so bad) in Koh Phi Phi & Koh Phangan
  • Shopped till I dropped at the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok
  • And got a huge half sleeve tattoo in Bangkok

2017 was an amazing year. I’m so happy I had the opportunity to backpack solo for three months. It just makes me appreciate other cultures, beliefs & religions, foods, people, and nature as well as gain an appreciation for my own life. It put into perspective what’s important in life, why I shouldn’t moan & complain, and really just love and live life to the fullest. It allowed me to break down my walls, meet strangers from all over the world, vibe and enjoy different people’s company. It helped me learn about myself, my limits, my potential, my vices and my virtues, my inner demons and my best qualities. It reminds me of how life should be, it gives me something to work towards, and gives me a glimpse of a life I’d love to live.

I’m so grateful to have had this experience. Being laid off at my job was the best thing that could happen to me. 2017 was one of the best years ever. Hopefully 2018 can be even better (although it’ll be hard to top).

Goodbye 2017, you’ll be missed!!!


1st Blog Post…Ever


Ello misfits. My name is Melissa Wong coming to you from the bangin’ Bay Area. As time never seems to slow, I’ve always wanted a platform to write my thoughts and daily activities as a kind of memoir or diary. Although I do not believe my life is any bit exciting, I really hope you enjoy the constant struggles and wonders of this silly little realm we call reality.

Gold Opium was contrived, after much thought, to what I believed was my calling. As a marketing student (now graduate) and an obvious advocate for the importance self-expression, I wanted to create a name that was a reflection of my most inner soul. “Gold” is symbolic of my name “Gum Lan”, which translates in Cantonese as Golden Orchid, as well as it being the most valuable element on Earth. “Opium”, also known as poppy tears, come from the magnificent poppy plant, but is more popularly regarded opioids or drugs. While “Gold Opium” can be interpreted in many ways, my way of seeing it is that two very valuable elements, self (gold) and the temptations and distractions of what society sells to you (opium), are what you will constantly be battling with your entire life. It is until you can embrace both, will you find a balance. My balance is finding myself through the self-expression of fashion. I hope you enjoy!