Is Rio really that bad?

No. NO. Stop it. I’ve been receiving daily messages asking about Rio: is it safe, is it clean, is it ready? This happens every Olympic year — and as someone entrenched in the thick of it, reading all the clickbait negativity makes me want to chuck a brick at your computer. No, not my computer, your […]

Rio, Day 0: An Accident & Settling In

I’m attempting to write more from the road: quick thoughts I’ve jotted down, with photos taken from my phone instead of DSLR. Less polished, but more real-time.  I’d been in Rio for all of *one hour* when I got into an accident. My taxi was hit on both sides; a little front-end/rear-end sandwich between a Ford and a VW. I’d […]

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 […]

Instagrammed: Sochi 2014

Today marks a year since the 2014 Winter Olympics began in Sochi, Russia. I never got to write about it at the time because, well, I was busy covering an Olympics. You’re lucky if you get time to eat or sleep at these things, forget the personal blogging. It was my second Olympics (the first one […]

From Sochi to Shanghai (and a few places in between): Life in 2014

It was bound to happen eventually, but 2014 is the first year I’m not entirely sad to see go.  In my recap two years ago, I had deemed 2012 the best year ever and was “scared” for 2013’s ability to rise to such epic precedents. 2013 indeed matched (and surpassed) the year before, but its many […]

An Accidental Year Around the World

The thing about accidentally going on a year-long round the world trip is that you don’t actually realize you’re on one…until it’s over. I mean, when you plan to travel long-term, you usually have a start date. You (usually) have an end date. You are aware that you are on An Adventure. Whereas for the […]

Instagrammed: One week in Sochi, Russia

“How was Russia? How was Russia?” everyone keeps asking. (Which is a fair question, I don’t think I’d be friends with anyone not curious about a trip to Russia.) Well, Russia was fantastic. …but I didn’t see much outside the hotel. That’s the thing about work trips: you don’t sample much of the local food […]

Instagrammed: The best of Azerbaijan

Scary confession: I took over two thousand photos in the one month that I spent in Azerbaijan — 600 of those were with my iPhone. Luckily I showed a bit more restraint when it came to my instagram feed. Below are a few of the best snaps from that month, depicting some of my favorite […]

To the people of Azerbaijan

Note: I put my travel posts on hiatus during the holidays, but now I’ve resumed posting in chronological order. I plan to finish Azerbaijan this week.  I recently got sucked into the black hole that is the internet when an Azerbaijani forum linked to all of my posts on their country and then proceeded to discuss […]

Azerbai-where? An introduction to Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan was never on my list of countries to visit. In fact, the only context in which I’d heard of the place was in catchy retorts – you know: “Oh it is ON like the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.” So when I accepted a gig that would see me spend a month in the […]

In Photos: London 2012 Closing Ceremony

Tonight I bring a close to my posts on London 2012. There’s much more I could say about the Olympics and my experience, but for a few reasons I’m going to stop here — besides, I want to get back to writing about travel and expat life. So here’s my look at the Closing Ceremony, […]

Singapore 2010: The Games that started it all

When people ask how I got involved with the Olympics, they’re always surprised by my answer: I moved to Singapore on a whim. That small, random action ended up changing my life in so many ways I never could have imagined. In the summer of 2010, I moved to the tiny island without any jobs […]

Wenlock, or How I learned to stop laughing and love the mascot

I still remember the day the London 2012 mascots were unveiled. I was just days away from graduating college, and came back to my tiny campus apartment in between senior week activities to check my email. Upon seeing the announcement, I burst out laughing and could not stop. Fast forward two years and one Olympic […]

In Photos: London 2012 Opening Ceremony

After watching the spectacle of Beijing 2008 unfold from a bar in Hong Kong, I decided that I would one day watch an Opening Ceremony in person. I never expected that my first Opening Ceremony would find me in the press tribunes; nor did I expect London’s to be remotely comparable to Beijing. And Danny […]