Oh la la! A night with the firemen of Paris

Bastille Day — or more accurately, la fête nationale — is one of my favorite holidays. Partly because it kicks off every year with a huge party with French firemen. Once a year, the French pompiers all around Paris do the most un-firemen like thing: they pack their fire stations with crowds, ply everyone with booze, set up smoke […]

Red, White, and Bleu

There’s something about living abroad that makes for the best 4th of July celebrations. Even though I’m not the most patriotic American, and have no plans on returning to the States, there’s one day a year I still celebrate the country of my birth, and all the opportunities I’ve been afforded because of it. After […]

Life in Shanghai: June 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. “What is this?” You may be asking yourself. “Why am I looking at a June recap? Aren’t we closer […]

Leaving Shanghai: The Double Decker

There’s a leaving season in Shanghai. It coincides with plum rain season; the whole month of June is awash with rain and leaving parties and many declarations of friend love and promises to return to the ‘Hai. This, coupled with the already event-heavy nightlife scene in Shanghai, meant I didn’t throw a leaving party my last […]

Life on the Move: May 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.  Well it’s safe to say, this might have been one of my biggest months yet. Huge turning points all […]

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 […]

Life in Shanghai: April 2015

April was yet another solid month in Shanghai: the arrival of spring, coupled with two trips, one concert, and having the coolest honor bestowed upon me by a bartender yet found me in a pretty happy place. Read on! For previous monthly recaps, check ’em out here. Jason Mraz: Kicking off the month was this guy: […]

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. […]

Life on the Move: Winter 2015

The first two months of the year saw me on three continents … and it’s taken till the fourth to write about it. I love monthly recaps and it’s atrocious that this one’s a quarterly — but let’s make up for it with snappy photos and snappier text. It’s a speed round! Here we go: […]

Beijing Lit Fest! And other fun spring updates

That’s me! In the lineup of a Literature Festival! So last year, I was published in this book. This year, they’re launching the book at the annual Bookworm Literature Festival in Beijing. Meaning this weekend, I get to discuss my essay — which was based on this post — in public. I’m very self-conscious about both my […]

Life in Shanghai: December 2014

A couple noteworthy events happened in December that I feel the month still warrants a recap post. But as everyone’s moving onto 2015, I’ll keep this as short and sweet as I can (short being 1000 words — that’s progress, right?). Haircut! I first donated my hair in 2008, and after six years of growing it […]

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 […]

The 12 Pubs of Christmas à Paris

There are few times you can look back in your life and point to an exact moment and say, There. That’s when everything changed. For me, that was … a pub crawl. My first year in Paris, as most people know, was solidly blah. I didn’t like the city, I didn’t get the city — and had I […]