Why I Left a Life I Loved to Move to New Zealand

When I told friends and family (and blog readers, and bartenders, and strangers on the street) that I was moving to New Zealand, I was met with a number of politely bewildered looks. “Oh! Are you a huge Lord of the Rings fan…?” Nope. “Right, so you must be into hiking? You should definitely check out […]

The Quirks of Taipei Living

Confession: for years, I saw Taiwan as China’s Canada. That is to say: it was so close in proximity, why would I visit the neighbor when I could use my vacation time to go literally anywhere else? (Yep, this is also me admitting I’ve still never been to Canada.) But then I began traveling full-time, and after hitting the road a […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Life in Europe: September 2015

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. September had me bouncing around Western Europe like a coked-up airplane bunny, jumping back and forth between Schengen borders […]

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 […]

5 reasons to visit Oktoberfest that don’t involve beer

As much as I enjoy beer, I never thought I would enjoy Oktoberfest. I like good alcohol, drank in an appropriate environment with fellow beer enthusiasts. I don’t enjoy rowdy parties with bad pilsner and drunk idiots (if I did, I would have gone to more parties in college). I thought Oktoberfest in Munich would be something similar, based […]

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. […]

Bastille Day: The Eiffel Tower does it better

A photo posted by Edna (@expatedna) on Jul 15, 2015 at 2:08am PDT It’s been well documented how much I love Bastille Day. So I always find it surprising when people say they’re going to celebrate the holiday at Not-the-Eiffel-Tower. (PS, no one really calls it Bastille Day. It’s better known as la fête nationale or le quatorze juillet; get it straight […]