The things I won’t blog about

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been picking up my blogging game lately. I’ve missed writing as often as I used to, about travel and food and sports journalism and expat life. But I’ve learned something difficult over the past year and a half: I am not one of those people who can balance a full-time […]

When a city changes your life — and you never want to go back

I first moved abroad in early 2008. I was 18 years old, a sophomore in college. The plan was only to stay for four months and study Chinese, then return to my ‘normal’ life at home. I ended up staying a year — and after that, a ‘normal’ life was the last thing I wanted. […]

Realistic Resolutions for 2015

00:00:00: our view when midnight struck in Sydney I’m one of those in the minority who love New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s resolutions, and making a big hullabaloo in general about the whole thing (see: previous editions of Realistic Resolutions). So because public accountability to a large group of strangers is an unsurprisingly strong […]

An Extrovert’s Struggles in Small-Town Italy

I barely made it three months in Italy. Most people are surprised when they hear this, though not all. There are the usual suspects who go, “But…Italy?!” But there are those who quip: “Italy’s great for visiting, but not for living.” I have to agree, as much as it pains me to do so: I had […]

Taking control

If you were to take the contents of my mind and pour them out right now, I imagine it would look something like this chaos. (thanks to being in Hong Kong this week on a visa run for the convenient imagery.) Lately I’ve had a lot of thoughts swirling around, all around, always. If I’m […]

Return to Paris

So I’ve been back in Paris for nearly two weeks. Before anyone gets too excited! — I’m not staying. I’m only here for one more week, taking a breather before heading to Belgium and Amsterdam. But remember that last personal post, where I said that after Sochi, I could be anywhere? Well, I chose anywhere to […]

Endings and Beginnings

(I’m going to apologize in advance for the long read, but I felt I owed a proper explanation for my disappearance these past few months. I promise future posts will be shorter. And feature more food.) If there’s one thing I’ve learned this summer, it’s that nothing is for certain. Friendships. Relationships. Opinions. Circumstances. Doesn’t […]

Life in flux

The past week — and this month in general — has just left my head spinning. My stomach is constantly fluttering with so many butterflies I feel like a colony of caterpillars is crawling through my insides while I’m on a roller coaster going through airplane turbulence. It’s both exhilarating and annoying (really, there’s only […]

The hilarious world of strange Internet search terms

The Internet can be a strange place. For instance, one of the most popular search terms that leads to my blog is German army uniform 2012.  Sure, once I posted a photo of some German soldiers in Paris  — but military uniforms are clearly not my niche, so I’m not sure why that term refers […]

A Sunday in the Marais

Today was one of those perfect Sundays that made me smile and think, man I love living in Paris.  One of those days where nothing extraordinary happens — but little things like sunshine on your face, a smile from a stranger and a walk through a quiet park  leave you feeling overwhelmingly content and joyful. One of […]

On family, tradition, and the Year of the Snake

The sad thing about family traditions is that sometimes you don’t recognize them until you’ve left the nest and moved halfway across the world. Then the holidays strike and you suddenly realize that you miss things like dragon dances, steamed buns and sticky rice, and seeing your city washed in a sea of red decorations. […]

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 […]

Realistic Resolutions for 2013

Making resolutions for 2013 has been tricky. Last year I moved to Paris just as the year was beginning and I had all sorts of grand plans for the year, so my goals were easy to articulate. But this year is full of uncertainty. Things I can’t talk about yet — but the bottom line […]

Recap: My 2012 resolutions

One of the many reasons I love New Year’s is the idea of starting anew; wiping the slate clean of the past year’s dusty transgressions and poor habits. So every year I write a short list of resolutions, usually minor things like ‘stop biting my nails’ (a resolution that has been made and broken twenty […]