Staci and Martin

Staci and Martin

Staci and Martin

After graduating from college in 2007 and spending a few years in the working world, we randomly decided to move across the world and teach English in China. Hmm...foolish, or awesome? It's going to be the year of a lifetime, with adventures we'll never forget. Join us as we cry, laugh, experience life as we never have before, and make new friends while trying to stay in touch with the old ones. We'll be returning to the USA during the summer of 2010, where we'll hopefully move to a new city and begin life yet again anew.

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Miraflores March 19th 2011

Since I didn't mention before, our hotel is Hostal Torreblanca-- -- a funky and nice hotel in the VERY nice Miraflores District of Lima. Danielle and I were sharing a cute room on the 4th (top) floor with two twin beds and a decent sized bathroom. Compared to some of the places Martin and I stayed last year, this place was a four-star resort! The only drawback was the steep climb up to the 4th floor- no elevators in this place. Our first full day started with a bit of a panic. We somehow didn't receive a wake-up call until just around 7:45am, at which point Lindsay also knocked on our door to see if we were awake. I showered, we both scrambled and made it downstairs in just around 20 minutes with everything we ... read more

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Miraflores March 18th 2011

It all began at 3:00am when my alarm went off and I quickly got ready for the day and finished my packing. I needed to be at the airport by 4:00am and made it in plenty of time, thanks to the fact that we now live a quick 10 minute drive away. That whole rest of the day is kind of a blur. I met up with the rest of our group at the airport where we exchanged names and immediately began talking and checking in- the security line at the Spokane Airport was seriously insane. Usually you go right through, but of COURSE it was crowded on the one day we needed to get to our flight. Our group consisted of the following people: Dr. John Matthews, Professor of Social Work at EWU (though he ... read more

North America » United States » Washington » Bellevue July 28th 2010

I had dinner with a friend tonight who expressed the sentiment that she had been hoping for a follow-up "we're home!" sort of blog, and it got me thinking. Why haven't we written anything else? What is there to say? How do we even begin to describe the feelings of coming back to the US after a year away? We returned to Seattle on Tuesday, July 6th. As of today, we've been 'home' for exactly three weeks, though home is a pretty loose term these days. I'm not even sure what it really means after a year of calling a foreign land home. Most days, it simply feels as though the last eleven months were a dream. It feels surreal. I find myself referring to China stories often, and watch as friends eyes glaze over- not ... read more

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen July 1st 2010

Our last day here was perfect, in a completely chaotic and weird way. We closed our bank accounts, we ate lunch with Harry and Shaka at the cafeteria, we packed and packed and took a Chinese-style afternoon rest, we went to dinner at our favorite Muslim noodle place, we talked and laughed with students. In the morning, we gave a box of butter cookies to the man who delivers water jugs to our school and has carried countless jugs up the six flights of stairs to our room over this past year. He always greets us with a smile and a 'hello', and is quite possibly the friendliest person I've ever met. Shaka was with us, and he told Shaka in Chinese that he was so moved that he had no words to express how much ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud June 29th 2010

We just returned to Kuala Lumpur after a week on the beautiful island of Bali, in Indonesia, a place both of us have always wanted to visit. On June 21st, we took a late flight from Singapore Changi Airport (rated #1 in the world-- it WAS nice) to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali. If you look at a map, you'll barely make out the island of Bali, sitting there tiny and quiet in between the islands of Java and Lombok. Though it's small, it has two distinct features: one, it's probably the biggest tourist destination in all of Indonesia, and certainly the one you hear about the most as a place to travel to. Secondly, (and this I had to verify on Wikipedia) it has the largest population of Hindus (a religious minority in an ... read more

Asia » Singapore June 20th 2010

Singapore is HOT. Too hot. Painfully hot. I know I’ve said this about a lot of places, but seriously. It’s the kind of hot where you look around a park and realize that nobody is out…they’re all inside, enjoying the air conditioning. We learned our lesson quickly yesterday. Starting the day out around 10, we headed out to see the Singapore Flyer, a newly built ‘viewing ferris wheel’ that is supposed to be the world’s largest and offer great views of the city. It didn’t disappoint. Definitely recommend it. The ride takes about thirty minutes, and you are in an enclosed glass ‘capsule’ the whole time and free to walk around and snap pictures. Afterwards, we simply walked around the city, trying to find our way to a botanical garden. We stopped in the mall attached ... read more

Asia » Singapore » Chinatown June 18th 2010

Today was purely a day of lazing around and transport. As Martin wasn’t feeling well (a bad head cold started the night before), we took our time getting up in the morning and opted for the easiest breakfast in Asia- McDonalds. It was already hot at only 10am in Melaka, squelching any desire we might have had to walk around the town some more for exploration. With the heat and Martin’s cold, we spent the morning in our fan-only room, just reading and relaxing until checkout at noon. At that point, we moved downstairs for another hour of reading until a taxi driver (arranged by our guesthouse) picked us up and took us to Melaka Sentral, the same bus depot as the day before. We both quickly got lunch to eat and hopped on our even ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Melaka » Melaka City June 17th 2010

I'm in love with Malaysia. KL was clean, efficient, diverse and very tourist friendly. Melaka is just plain gorgeous. It took us two hours to get here from KL, on the most comfortable bus I think SE Asia must have to offer. It was luxury! The cost? 5USD. We arrived to Melaka Sentral around 2pm, the bus station just outside of town, and immediately purchased bus tickets for tomorrow to Singapore so that we wouldn't have to deal with it later. Then, a nice taxi driver who spoke English drove us to our hostel, the Kancil Guesthouse. Our hostel is very unique- it's a family's home and sort of in an open courtyard format. Our room has no AC, and just a shared bathroom. But hey, for a little over 10USD a night, I can't complain. ... read more

Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, has about 2 million people and is also the biggest city in Malaysia. We arrived very early this morning, after a 9pm flight from the Hong Kong Airport. The flight was 3.5 hours long! Luckily, the time flew by...I guess we've become used to long journeys by now. I wonder what driving for a few hours will feel like again in the States. Arriving at our hostel (Red Palm) by taxi at 2:30am meant that all we did was get a room key and immediately fall asleep. Well, tried to. The World Cup was playing at the restaurant next door, so sleeping at first was a little difficult with all the crazy cheering. Kuala Lumpur is a difficult city to describe. It's the most culturally diverse city we've visited ... read more

Asia June 15th 2010

Since returning from Shanghai on the 8th, things have been sort of a blur. We came back to a school that was slightly frightening- everything was roped off with what looked like (but wasn’t) crime tape and there were extra police everywhere, even at the beginning of our road to only allow certain cars and people through (no public buses). The reason for all this? The Gao Kao, China’s national Senior 3 college entrance exam. It lasts for three days, and each school looks sort of like ours did during this time. Parents swarm the school, only allowed in certain areas, anxiously waiting for their beloved child to come out and get a snack from them or just a quick pat on the head. We made sure to tip-toe around the school grounds as much as ... read more

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