Hitting Reset: How Fiji Got My Groove Back

“Can I ask you something?” the hazel-eyed Brit interrupted from across the hostel breakfast table. “Let me get this right: you’re not a beach person. And you don’t dive or scuba or hike. What…exactly…are you hoping to get out of being here?” It was a surprisingly personal and pointed question for someone I’d known for all of an hour. […]

On Balance and Burnout

This is the face of someone who has spent two solid months burning the candle at both ends. “You look destroyed,” my old flatmate observed the morning of my last day in Singapore. I certainly felt it — physically, mentally, emotionally. “I’m not okay,” I admitted, and the bear hug that followed was greatly appreciated. In any […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Embracing spontaneity: A magical night in Tokyo

I wasn’t surprised that I loved my trip to Japan. You hear it all the time: Japanese people are so polite, the food is incredible, the internet is lightning fast, etc. So I won’t tell you everything I loved about visiting Japan — you’ll have heard all the reasons before (efficiency, cleanliness, vending machines: all +1). […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

New Year’s Eve from the best seats in Sydney

For someone who loves New Year’s Eve as much as I do, being invited to a private party, in Sydney, right next to Harbour Bridge — that’s equivalent to, say, giving a teenage boy front-row seats to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. I was pretty pumped. Apocalyptic downtown Sydney, four hours before midnight Originally, I’d planned to […]

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 […]

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 […]