Life as a Nomad: The Whirlwind Summer of 2016

These wrap-ups are for me to share personal tidbits, the little things that make up my life abroad — and to help you (and me!) keep track of where I’ve been. See previous months here. 2016 is the year I’ve forced myself to answer the question: How much is too much? How long can you live out of a […]

A year of saying yes (and what’s next)

*A note: I wrote most of this piece before the world completely burst into flames. So I kept putting off hitting publish, as it felt inappropriate to post when so many of my friends are (rightfully) upset over Brexit, terrorist attacks, police brutality, etc etc. But I’ve realized there’s never going to be a ‘right’ time to post, and after today […]

Life as a Nomad: Winter 2016

These wrap-ups are for me to share personal tidbits — the little things that make up my life abroad; stories and photos which may not otherwise see the light of blogging day. See previous months here. If I could sum up this winter in one word, it would be validation.  For months I’d been wondering if I […]

Slowing things down: Where I’m moving in 2016

There was once a time when friends would ask me what my upcoming travel plans were, and I’d already have flights booked out for weeks — or happily reply that I had no idea, and would just see what came up. But for the past few months, anyone who’s seen me knows that hasn’t been the […]

The 5 best things I ate in Paris: January 2016

In this series, I round up the five best things I ate in a particular city or country. Click here to read previous 5BTIAs from London, Boston, and more. As I’ve returned to Paris increasingly over the past year and made it something of a home base again, I find myself going out less, and […]

From Serial Expat to Full-Time Nomad: Life in 2015

Let’s skip all the pleasantries and excuses: yep, this recap is a little delayed. Happy 2016! Regardless of date, I love me a good annual recap. 2015, amiright?? What a year! This was the year I became a cliché, quit my corporate job, and left the serial expat life to travel full-time. More than that, my travel […]

Pass the Turkey, S’il Vous Plaît: The Joys of Expat Thanksgiving

I often claim that the best Thanksgivings are Expat Thanksgivings.  That’s not to say that my parents aren’t great cooks, because they’re the bomb — but in terms of good ol’ American traditions, the one portrayed in Hallmark movies and elementary school pageants? …Let’s just say Chinese food set on a table for four (because […]

Paris Is Life

Fluctuat Nec Mergitur: She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink. This has been the city motto of Paris for over 650 years. The day after the Paris attacks, a Saturday, the Eiffel Tower went dark. On Monday, it shone brightly in the blue, white, and red, with Fluctuat nec Mergitur blazing against the […]

Paris, Last Night

Red House last night, shortly before curfew was announced “There’s been a shooting.” My friend Joe read the news from his phone. We were gathered at his bar, spending a Friday evening as we usually do: at Red House, my favorite bar in Paris, located in the 11eme. I didn’t think much of it. We were supposedly two miles […]

On ‘Expat’ as Identity

(The office, Shanghai. 2009)  In the early weeks of 2008, I set out on a six-month trip to China. It seemed so insignificant at the time — I was still reeling from the death of my grandmother over Christmas, and was entangled in an emotionally abusive relationship that, at the age of 18, I couldn’t […]

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 […]

Saying “I Do” in Paris

A well-documented drawback to traveling and living abroad is that you often miss big life events back home: birthdays, graduations, watching the popular girls from high school get fat. But on the flip side, being an expat means being able to attend events in new countries, with new customs and traditions. The first wedding I ever […]

Paris Diaries

Paris is just one of those cities that does not quit. No matter how much time I’ve spent in the city, my camera inevitably fills up with a thousand photos of street corners and iron balconies and all the ways the light hits the riverbank. You’d think one would eventually run out of angles from which to shoot the Eiffel Tower, but you’d […]

Life in Paris & London: Summer 2015

It’s been over two months since I left Shanghai to go permanently on the road. In that time I’ve been to seven countries on three continents, saw very many friends and very few touristy things, probably gained a few pounds in wine and cheese, and went on far more camping trips than I was comfortable […]