I live for new experiences, which has taken me on quite the journey over the past four years.
Bob and I attended college together in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where we both grew up. After graduation we dabbled in the real estate world, but it was poor timing. Wanting to try something new we moved to Yangzhou, China to teach English. We accepted teaching positions, packed and left the world we knew all within a month. We quickly toured Tokyo and Thailand before moving to rural China.
We returned home for nine months after teaching before we decided we absolutely had to see more of the world. We took off for Thailand and spent seven months exploring Thailand, Malaysia and Japan.
Currently we're living in Bangkok both pursuing masters degrees in business administration.
I write the blogs - trying to put my journalism degree to good use. And Bob shoots and edits 99% of the photos. Enjoy!
July 19th 2013
Something about Japan makes me happy. We arrived tired, hungry and so thirsty (thanks AirAsia for making passengers pay for everything including water) but we were still happy. We landed too late to take the train to any reasonably priced accommodation so we slept in the airport, and still we were happy. Sleeping in airports isn't the best way to feel wide awake and ready for adventure in the morning, but something about Japan gets us excited enough to not care that we got a total of three hours of interrupted sleep. It’s not one specific aspect about Japan that makes us love it, it’s all of wrapped up in one neat, efficient, playful, kind and beautiful package. The instances that make me love Japan flooded back the moment we got off the plane. Japan takes ... read more
June 20th 2013
It’s been almost five years since I stepped out of North America and moved to China. With every destination I attempt to recruit visitors from home, partially for the company and familiarly of friends and family, and partially in my selfish attempt to pull people out of their comfort zone and experience something unknown. I say it’s a selfish attempt because for me personally travel has taught me an intangible amount about myself, others and the ways of this world. More than anything I thrive on learning – in any form that may take. I love having visitors because it’s a way to give them a tangible example of why I love experiencing life as an expat, and an opportunity to see how travel can be an amazing teacher and to learn from it. On a ... read more
March 22nd 2013
Something strange happens when people uproot themselves and move away from everything familiar. It creates an innate vulnerability in us. We become vulnerable to cultural differences, struggles of adapting to a new environment filled with new surroundings, faces, smells, language, schedules, foods, forms of transports, norms. Nothing is the same, yet everything is familiar. We end up taking comfort in the tiniest of things - like some good cheese, having a friend or family member email you, finding a goat in a park that makes you smile, or exploring an antique shop. This vulnerability sometimes brings on the worst of days. Something that would ordinarily be manageable can ruin a day - like that it’s uncomfortably windy, or a bus schedule is wrong, or we get horribly lost. Sometimes the vulnerability makes me fall apart over ... read more
February 15th 2013
Our school has campuses all over the world. After spending two semesters at the Bangkok campus we decided it was a good opportunity to visit another campus. So over Christmas and New Year’s, while in Seattle, we packed away our Bangkok clothes and repacked our bags with wool socks, sweaters and down jackets and set off for Europe - my first time in Europe. Iceland far exceeded our expectations. Everything about it was wonderful, beautiful and enjoyable. Then it was time to settle in for school in the Netherlands. That process was less wonderful, beautiful and enjoyable. Home until May is now Leiden, a town 40 km from Amsterdam in South Holland, or Zuid Holland if you want to learn some Dutch. It’s also the birthplace of Rembrandt and home to the pilgrims who came to ... read more
January 27th 2013
Snow + candy + hot dogs + beautiful snowy mountains + amazing architecture and design everywhere + pickled fish + kind people = one amazing trip to Iceland. There wasn’t one big event, one huge tour, one main sight that made me love Iceland – it was all of it smooshed together that created an amazing experience – one that I hope to repeat as soon as possible. We landed, took a bus to the hostel and then sat there at about 8:30am in the dark of night staring at the ground in a jet-lagged haze wondering what to do until we could check-in at 2pm. Not being afraid of the dark and not wanting to waste any of the four days we had in Iceland, we layered as much as possible while slightly feeling like ... read more
December 10th 2012
It's finals week, so writting a blog to avoid making a powerpoint or studying seems like a legitimate excuse. In four days we'll make the 24-hour journey back to Seattle. We're so happy to be heading for for Christmas! After the new year, we're off on new adventure – this time totally different than Bangkok. We'll be “studying abroad” at our school's campus in Leiden, in the Netherlands. It'll be quite the and culture and weather change from Bangkok, but we're looking forward exploring to a completely different place. Getting to Leiden is a short train ride from Amsterdam, about 30 minutes. We're flying from Seattle to Amsterdam on Iceland Air, which conveniently offers a up-to-7-days layover in Iceland for free! No question we'll be taking advantage of that! So in the middle of January we'll ... read more
July 9th 2012
I’ve had some amazing summers in my 27 years. I remember summer days on break from elementary school spent at home with my sister and the neighborhood kids riding our bikes through everyone’s yard, looking for the biggest hill or drop-off, searching for what we could label as the “splash mountain” of the neighborhood. There was the summer we realized the huge tree kitty-corner to our house had limbs strong enough for us to slide down them, bending and shooting us into someone’s backyard. We spent hours waiting for the Popsicle man, ran home when we were called to dinner only to find the front doorknob was too hot to handle from heating up in direct sunlight - turning it one rotation to get into the house was always a challenge I think I made my ... read more
June 23rd 2012
Once again we find ourselves wandering the streets of Tokyo and loving it more than the last time we were here, something we didn't think possible. Tokyo wasn't the plan at all but after numerous other trip itineraries failed, we opted to spend a month in Tokyo, and so far we're happy with that decision. We've moved into an apartment on the sixth floor of a building in Nakano – a 20 minute walk away from Shinjuku. Ironically it's three blocks away from the last apartment we lived in here in Tokyo about two years ago. We're familiar with the area, and we have a great time wandering around. I find Japan so different from the US and Thailand that even a day of touring 7-11s or 100 yen shops is entertaining. Our favorite thing to ... read more
June 1st 2012
Almost five months since we move from Seattle to Bangkok, and we’ve successfully completed the first semester of grad school! I’m happy to be back in school, I’ve learned a lot in just one semester and four classes, but now it’s time for summer break and some adventures. We started off with a trip to Koh Tao, an island in the Gulf of Thailand. Two years ago we spent almost two weeks there when the political situation in Bangkok became violent. We know the island well, we love it it’s an easy trip that doesn’t require any research on my part and it’s cheap. So we headed off. Of course, this being Thailand, getting there presented its own adventure. A canal boat, a sweat-induced walk, finding out the bus was sold out, waiting for standby and ... read more
April 12th 2012
The Louis Vuitton store was to my right. To my left was one of Bangkok's biggest mall, Central World with eight stories towering over me. The Skytrain was whizzing past above me transporting hundreds of people all over the city. On a typical day in front of me would be congested traffic down a road dotted with malls. A maze of motorbikes, buses, taxis tuk-tuks and cars not really in any specified lane but using whatever room available to get a few inches further, then a few more inches. A bit further down the road is McDonalds and the massive hypermarket Big-C. But I would see that on a typical day, and today is not a typical day. In front of me in the fresh morning sun at 6am sat 22,600 monks composing a sea of ... read more