I FIRST MOVED ABROAD in 2008, at the age of 18. In China I worked as an English teacher in Dalian, wrote for a city blog in Shanghai, and managed events for a foreign tech start-up — all while continuing to pursue my degree back home.
At 20, I graduated with a BA in political science in my home state of Pennsylvania.
Two weeks later, just after my 21st birthday, 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.
AFTER LEAVING PARIS 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 the Sochi Winter Olympics in between.
AT 25, I moved to Shanghai once again, when Ford Motor Company offered me a position on their Asia Pacific communications team. While I don’t regret going corporate, after one year I decided to return to my true love: sports and travel writing.
I’m about to embark on another adventure, beginning on my 26th birthday. Stay tuned.
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 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.