Why is it still OK to be racist towards Asians?

This is an essay about casual racism, white privilege, and speaking out as an Asian minority in a white-dominated industry. I’ve taken a few days to write this because I wanted to take the time to gather my thoughts, to present this as clearly and rationally as possible. *** Last weekend a popular travel blogger posted a […]

Watch out! Unusual tourist scams to avoid in Paris

Whenever I go to Montmartre, I always keep my hands firmly in my pockets and out of sight.  Why? Because I know if I don’t, a tout will inevitably approach me and try to tie a piece of string around my fingers or wrist. It’s a common trick at Parisian landmarks, the Bracelet Scam. You […]

13 ways I saved money for travel as a teenager

We were poor when I was growing up, to be blunt about it. My parents immigrated to the US in the late 1980s as grad students (immigrants and grad students: talk about a double financial whammy), and worked a number of minimum-wage jobs — including waitress and convenience store clerk in NYC* — before finally settling […]

Travel Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: 21 Lessons from 21 Countries

If there’s one thing every travel blogger loves to talk about on the internet, it’s that solo travel is marvelous and made of puppy tears and will cure your long-standing eczema. In principle, I support solo travel. It’s definitely something I think everyone should try at least once. But personally, it’s not for me. As […]

Worth the wait: Highlights from Japan

For the longest time, I’ve wanted to visit Japan. And for the longest time, I’ve told myself to wait. I did not want to do Japan on a shoestring, I did not want to go as a backpacker; I wanted to wait until I felt it was the “right time” — whenever that was and whatever that […]

Five years on: How I moved abroad after college and built a career through travel

This week marks the five-year anniversary of my college graduation. FIVE years! Well I. feel. old. When I graduated from the Class of 2010, I was 20 years old, had $700 to my name — and zero clue what to do next. This is the story of how in the five years since, I’ve lived in […]

Floating over Melbourne by hot air balloon

Is there any better way to see a city than from above? I love sunrises and I love heights. So naturally, while in Melbourne, a hot air balloon ride over the city was in order. It’s worth the 4:30 call time. If you get cold, volunteer to help set the balloon on fire. That amount […]

Two Days in…LA

How much can you really see with only two days in Los Angeles, a sprawling city the same size as Hong Kong, or a third of the state of Rhode Island? More importantly, how much do you really want to see, when you’re an East Coaster who “doesn’t really get” LA? Let’s find out. For […]

The art of doing nothing in London

There’s not much to say about the art of doing nothing. It’s pretty much one step, self-explanatory: do nothing. Whatever your definition of ‘nothing’ may be — do it. Or don’t. It’s your art. By my third or fourth trip to London, I’d somewhat mastered this. I love London, but I love it particularly because […]

One Day in…Segovia

If you like aqueducts and suckling pigs, boy do I have the day trip for you. Segovia is a small town outside Madrid, about an hour’s drive or thirty minutes away on the fast train. It’s one of those towns so old and full of preserved historical goodness it’s been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage […]

Everything I loved about Madrid

Spain was never on my radar. Never. Something about it didn’t inspire me; no amount of writing or photography of its food, scenery, culture made my heart skip like it does when I read about Ireland or Iceland or Thailand. So I never planned a visit — I didn’t think we’d get along. It took […]

We drove to Belgium just for the beer

Like many good ideas, the idea to roadtrip to Belgium for beer came about over a few drinks at the bar. It was the start of expat leaving season in Paris. I was at a friend’s going away party, and with my own time in the city quickly running out, I was ruminating on goodbyes […]

Paris from Above

On my recent flight back from the US, I was seated next to a Texan school teacher visiting Paris for the first time. While discussing her trip I gave some recommendations, and after a while a pattern emerged: most of my favorite places in the city are either related to food or heights. When the […]