WHEN I WAS 18, I took a year off university and moved to China. I taught English in Dalian, traveled across the country, wrote for a city blog in Shanghai, and worked at a tech start-up.
At 20, I completed my bachelor’s degree in political science.
Two weeks later, after my 21st birthday, I left the US for good.
NEWLY 21, I moved to Singapore on a whim with $700 to my name, no job, and only a hazy idea of where the country was on a map. I eventually got a job running social media for an Asian reality television show.
It was in Singapore I kickstarted my dream job in international sports, which over the next three years would lead me to cover two Olympics and numerous sports events across three continents (including one fascinating month in Azerbaijan).
AT 22, I moved to Paris to learn French and eat all the cheese and drink all the beer (yeah, beer) and have all the picnics. I stayed two years and it was it was fabulous.
AT 24, there was a failed attempt to live in northern Italy.
After Italy, I spent about six months backpacking Europe and Southeast Asia, with Sochi in between.
AT 25, I moved to Shanghai once again to work on the Asia Pacific regional comms team for a well-known American car company. That’s where I am — for now — though I still manage to travel a hefty amount and keep active in the international sports world.
One of the reasons I started this blog was to prove you don’t need to sacrifice a career to travel. I’ve managed to find jobs in each country I’ve moved to, and in a career path I’m passionate about at that.
But more importantly: You don’t need to be rich to travel.
I grew up with very little: my parents were immigrants who moved to the US as grad students (and partly for political asylum — my Dad’s story is here). But my parents still managed to scrape enough to send me to see family in Shanghai, every summer.
So if you came here wanting to know more about long-term travel, slow travel, or moving abroad, here’s the key: it’s not about luck. It’s about buying that one-way plane ticket, saying why not? and making your own adventure.
I’m kind of really into Ireland. I picked up Gaelic football when I moved to Dalian in 2008 and have since played on teams in Paris, Milan, and across China.
I love gin and tonics, a good Belgian blanche, and seriously dark porters and stouts.
I was published in a book once! It’s this one.
The photoblog of my China years can be found here.