Realistic Resolutions for 2017

Seeing in 2017, Paris house-party style What up, 2017? Another year, another round of resolutions. 2016 was straight-up insanity. I’m still working on a recap, but long story short — I took nearly 50 flights in 52 weeks, crossed continents nine times, and burned the hell out at least thrice. So for this year, I’m doing a […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Life in Taipei: April 2016

My monthly 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. Late night breakfast: one of my favorite things about Taipei (and one of the only photos I took all month) April was […]

Why I don’t buy SIM cards when I travel

The question came up casually the other day, while discussing Snapchat habits. I had mentioned in passing that since I rarely buy SIM cards, I usually only post snaps when I find wifi. “Why on earth don’t you get SIM cards?” Cailin asked, horrified at the Luddite monster that I was. I forget that this is other […]

Celebrating 2000 Days of Travel — and One Big Announcement!

Yesterday, I celebrated a huge milestone: 2000 days since I left home to see the world! On June 8, 2010, two weeks after my graduation and 21st birthday, I flew out of Pennsylvania with a one-way ticket — and, in retrospect, disturbingly little planned about my future. The Great Plan was: one week in San […]

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 […]

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 […]

Because of Singapore

Five years ago this summer, I boarded a one-way flight to Singapore. I had recently turned 21, graduated college, and decided I wanted to live and travel outside the US for the foreseeable future. I didn’t know where to go, though, so I found myself headed for Singapore: no job, no friends, (almost) no money. […]

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 […]

And then I quit my job to travel

After being abroad for the past seven years, I have some surprisingly big news. Really big. You may have figured it out from the title of this post already, BUT LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT IT, OKAY? It’s so big, I actually emailed my parents about it a few weeks ago. I love my family […]