China
Postcards: Huashan, a sacred Taoist mountain

Postcards: Huashan, a sacred Taoist mountain

It was foggy and drizzly when I walked towards the bus stop in Xi’an that morning, but I didn’t care. I was going to climb that damn mountain. Accompanied by a quiet Belgian guy from my hostel, I held a flimsy umbrella over my head and ate steaming buns filled with mystery meat that I’d bought...
Instagram as a visual diary

Instagram as a visual diary

Seoul, South Korea: Buddha’s Birthday lanterns. Love it or hate it, call it photography or not, there’s something romantic about Instagram. Captured spur of the moment with a smartphone, these digitally-enhanced, square-formatted images are both visually appealing and a great tool for documentation. For about a year, I’ve been uploading photos on Instagram, and in some...
2012 In Photos: the year that I never fully unpacked

2012 In Photos: the year that I never fully unpacked

Last year I summarized my travels through a photo essay called, 2011 In Photos: a year of transition and travel, so I decided to do the same for 2012. This year, thanks to my three extensive vacations and a slew of Adventure Korea-sponsored weekend trips, I never fully unpacked, continually leaving items throughout various backpacks...
Postcards: Hiking in Shaxi

Postcards: Hiking in Shaxi

August 11, 2011 Shaxi, pronounced sha-shi if you are reading it in English, was once a bustling village during the Tang Dynasty, where traders passed through to exchange tea and horses. Now Shaxi is eerily quiet, save small groups of tourists who pass through the deteriorating Sideng Market Square, named one of the 100 most endangered...
Postcards: the Chinese calligrapher

Postcards: the Chinese calligrapher

August 24, 2011 On a bright summer morning in Beijing, the calligrapher skillfully ran his brush along the smooth, gray stone of the Summer Palace’s pavilion, making curvaceous strokes with lines as beautiful as the ancient, upturned rooftops in the distance. Each character was written quickly and boldly with water for ink, appearing for an...
Postcards: The Great Wall of China

Postcards: The Great Wall of China

August 19, 2011 It’s hot. A middle-aged Mongolian woman sits with a cooler full of plastic water bottles on the crumbling edge of one of the lookout towers on the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall. She wears long pants, a long-sleeved shirt with a pink t-shirt on top, and holds a floppy hat in...
My first blogiversary

My first blogiversary

Yay! I made it! Today is my first blogiversary. One year ago, in the midst of an unraveling relationship and frustration over my visual artwork, I signed up for a MatadorU writing course, bought this domain, and I decided to write again. My first MatadorU assignment was to write an evergreen article, so I wrote,...
A Cultural Education in Beijing, China: art class at the China Culture Center

A Cultural Education in Beijing, China: art class at the China Culture Center

I close my eyes and place my hands on my lap. There’s rice paper spread on the table in front of me, along with three ink brushes, plates and a porcelain water bowl. I take a deep breath and smile slightly. I’m content. Today I’m not brushing shoulders with thousands of tourists in the Forbidden...
snapshots and thoughts from a 17 hour layover in Shanghai

snapshots and thoughts from a 17 hour layover in Shanghai

On my way to Maine, I spent the night in Shanghai before embarking on a 15 hour flight to New York the next morning. Thoughts when I arrived in Shanghai around 6 PM: *Bitch in the floral dress, I’m in line. (Waiting to see if there was a room available.) *Wow, the subway looks just...
Capture the Colour

Capture the Colour

TravelSupermarket is currently hosting a photography contest called, Capture the Colour, where participants are encouraged to explore visual storytelling through color. Jessica from Curiosity Travels nominated me. (Thanks, Jessica!) You must upload five photos that capture each color, white, red, yellow, green and blue, and tell a bit about each photo. There’s a chance to...
Couchsurfing with a Chinese Family

Couchsurfing with a Chinese Family

Last August I was in Beijing, trudging along a sidewalk lined with high-rise apartment buildings. Sweat dampened my t-shirt beneath my oversized backpack, filled with essentials to confront China’s diverse terrain and weather. I clutched a wrinkled piece of paper with directions to the family’s home and squinted at the rows of buildings. I was...
Drinking Tea and Staying Healthy Abroad

Drinking Tea and Staying Healthy Abroad

“Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary.” ~ Chinese Proverb. Last week, I blogged about a visit to the Boseong tea plantations in Jeollanam-do, South Korea, and it inspired me to write about my overflowing cupboards of tea. As I’ve traveled through east Asia, I’ve collected various types of tea. I...