Yasmeen Hussain


Yasmeen Hussain

There is freedom in discovery

Asia » China » Shanghai December 29th 2019

The food in Shanghai is so incredible, it enhances the overall travel experience and can easily be its own memory. That is, if someone suggests recommendations for a culinary trip, I would hands down recommend Shanghai without a shred of hesitation (with the only other town being my beloved Chicago). From local Chinese cuisine to international fare, this city has it all. Everything I sampled, tried, and devoured – from small bites at the local coffee shop to full-on sit down meals at restaurants – was suburb. The combination of tastes and flavors astounded me every time. And what was clear in my experience is that whatever the Shanghainese do, they do it damn well. Let’s start with the coffee shops. I for one adore coffee shops – they are my happy place. And it pleased ... read more
Christmas Dinner :)

Asia » China » Shanghai December 26th 2019

Contemporary China has a fascinating relationship with spirituality: as a country with historically deeply rooted traditions and practices which spread throughout the region, it is also accelerating in modernity at lightning speed. When you are here, it is hard to reconcile China’s historical traditions with its current society. I think the Jing’an Temple (photographed below) is a perfect example of the dichotomy between rich cultural practices and modernization. Though there are a number of religions in China, including Taoism, Confucianism, and Islam consisting about 10% of the population, this blog post will be focusing on Buddhism, which is the country’s most practiced religion (15% of the population). However, it must be prefaced that the vast majority (over 70%) of mainland Chinese are non-religious, which makes it the world’s largest non-religious population. That is a mind-... read more
Jing'an Temple
Buddha Art Exhibit

Asia » China » Shanghai December 24th 2019

“The Economy, Stupid.” My fascination with China began with a conversation. I was traveling back to Chicago from attending a wedding in France in the summer of 2017 when I accompanied an old college acquaintance. Throughout our journey home, he talked about how his parents struggled to move to the United States and how hard they worked in their white collared jobs (while facing prejudice in the workplace – go figure, California) to give their children a life they did not have growing up in China. Most of my Chinese-American friends echo the same story. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, a few bad policies and natural disasters led to one of the worst famines in Chinese history. The most conservative of estimates state that at least 15 million Chinese died of starvation (some scholars ... read more

Asia » China » Shanghai December 20th 2019

December 20, 2019 Somewhere over Russia Season’s Greetings! I hope everyone is having a wonderful December, no matter where in the world you may find yourself. I am writing to you on a flight to Beijing, where I will continue on to my final destination of Shanghai, China. Shanghai has always captured my imagination since youth, and a little bit of research into the city proves to me that it is a jewel of Eastern Asia. My hero Anthony Bourdain once said Shanghai makes New York City look like a third world country, and from there my fascination exploded. From what I know so far, it is a juxtaposition of the absolute modern with classical Western art deco architecture. It has former European style neighborhoods, which is in contrast to what Cheryl and I experienced in ... read more

North America » United States » California » Monterey September 23rd 2019

A few nice, boring (yet memorable) photos of California from summer. Enjoy xx Marine conservation and environmental protection is key - please donate your time and money in helping protect the environment. Do your part in reducing the amount of plastic waste that may end up in our oceans. Reduce air pollution and carpool or take public transportation when possible. And opt for seasonable produce and sustainable farming practices for food. Little changes in our daily lives will make a difference. ... read more
Burning red

4th and King Street, San Francisco– Several months ago (although it feels like yesterday... time really does stand still when the seasons blend together) I found myself at the 4thand King Street train station waiting for our ride back to the Salinas Valley, which I have accepted as my home now. As we were waiting, I had flash backs to the last few times I was at that station waiting for a train, and how much my life had changed each time. The first time was my first visit to San Francisco since childhood. It was in November of 2017, and I was interviewing all over the United States for a new job. I had an interview in a little suburb north of San Jose, and decided to (finally) take my old college roommate and darling ... read more
Mission Dolores Park, Nov. 2017
Cindy and me! :) Nov. 2017
San Francisco, one June night in 2018

North America » United States » California » Monterey November 18th 2018

Well, hello there. You see that I am writing this blog from Monterey, California? How did this happen, you ask? You thought I was going to stay in Chicago forever, you say? Well, that gig sort of did not work out for me and one August morning in 2017 I realized it was finally time to go back to California. A few months later I packed up my things as the snow quietly fell and left my beloved Chicago community in January. Although I miss it dearly, I realized the best thing for me was to not look back for the time being. And I have not looked back since. Friends, I literally live in paradise. Monterey County is unlike other parts of California. It is just a wonderful enclave all to its own. The weather ... read more

Virginia is for lovers. So goes their state motto. And so captures the essence for one of my most magical friendships. Last weekend, my very best good friend Felicia took me down to Shenandoah Valley from Washington, D.C. and we had the opportunity to hike along one of my most beloved trails in America - the Appalachian Trail. I felt like we were living Bill Bryson's and Stephen Katz's adventure in the hilarious classic, A Walk in the Woods. Only we had company with our other best good friend, dog. Let me state right here and right now that it has been my dream for ages to hike along the AT in Virginia. Shenandoah is dubbed one of the most beautiful parks in the United States, and with good reason: I was absolutely astounded at how ... read more
Panorama on peak
Luray Caverns

This has been a very strange summer, to say the least. Perhaps one of the stranger summers I have had in a very long time. And it hasn't been a lovely one per say - in fact I have spent most of it holed up in a windowless office re-studying everything I had learned concerning American law over the past three years. Moreover, it has been a summer for changes and endings: I moved out of Washington, D.C. (hallelujah), finished law school and returned back to California to study for (wait for it) the New York bar. Bar prep is indeed absolute misery. I also hit a quarter century, and lost the one person I had loved since the inception of my twenties, all in the same month. May was, indeed, a shitty-ass month. But change ... read more

North America » United States » California » San Bernardino December 31st 2015

To my family, and all of the amazing people I met during my travels and adventures... Happy New Year!! You have taught me that the world truly is a beautiful place ... read more
St Augustine
View of Long Island City from UN Gardens
Mom and me :)

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