I’m a Pennsylvania native who left home at 18 to work my way — literally — around the world.
You can read the super long ‘How Did I Do It?’ 5-year update here, ooor the cliffnotes version below (or both, I won’t tell you what to do).
I first moved abroad in 2008. I was 18 years old and spent my sophomore / junior years of university off in China: teaching English in Dalian, writing for a city blog in Shanghai, and managing events for a tech start-up.
At 20, I graduated with a BA in political science from a tiny liberal arts school near Hershey (yes, home of the Kisses!).
Two weeks later, I left the US for good.
NEWLY 21, I moved to Singapore on a whim with $700 to my name, zero job prospects, and only a hazy idea of where the country was on a map. I landed a job as the social media manager 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 the London and Sochi Olympics, and numerous sports events across three continents (including one fascinating month with FIFA in Azerbaijan).
AT 22, I moved to Paris (on yet another whim; I’d never been to Europe) to learn French and eat all the cheese and drink all the cocktails and have all the picnics. I stayed for two years and it was it was fabulous.
Paris changed my life and I now consider it home. If I’m not traveling, you’ll likely find me there, in my usual studio on Île St Louis.
AFTER LEAVING Paris at 24, there was a failed attempt to live in northern Italy.
Post-Italy, I spent a few months backpacking Europe and Southeast Asia, plus three weeks in Sochi for the Winter Olympics.
AT 25, I moved back to Asia, and spent a year working with Ford on their Asia Pacific regional comms team, headquartered in Shanghai. While I don’t regret going corporate, in May 2015 I quit my job to return to my true love: sports and travel writing.
ON MY 26th birthday, exactly five years after I graduated from university, I flew to Japan and embarked on a new adventure as a freelance writer slash nomad, traveling for as long and as far as my writing will take me. Let’s see how this goes.
I blog to share my photography and my love of food and travel, but also to prove:
You don’t need to sacrifice a career to travel. Not only have I managed to find jobs in each country I’ve moved to — travel has led me to my dream career in the Olympic movement.
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). Yet even on minimum wage jobs, my parents still managed to scrape enough to send me to see family in Shanghai, every summer.
I don’t come from money and since leaving the nest at 16, I’ve worked and hustled for a decade to give myself a life of travel.
I believe in long-term travel, slow travel, and the importance of moving abroad. Here’s the key: it’s not about luck. It’s about buying that one-way 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.