Jason Cooper


Jason Cooper

My name is Jason Cooper and I am a 24 year old music teacher, composer, and world explorer. I've explored the North American and European continents so now I am exploring Asia. Follow my journeys.

North America » United States » Michigan » Mackinac Island October 4th 2011

Northern Michigan is one of the most peaceful places in the United States. Finally, I am seeing it get the recognition it deserves. As a native Detroiter, I frequently visit Northern Michigan. When I need a quick retreat from the suburban sprawl, I just hop in the car and head 4 hours north. This trip I explored Mackinac Island and Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Upper Peninsula is well known for it's beautiful scenery while Mackinac Island is known for it's crystal clear waters and old world charm.... read more
Upper Falls
Tahquamenon Falls
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Asia » Thailand August 26th 2011

After 9 ½ weeks abroad, I am finally coming home. What a journey it’s been! Coming home is a bit bitter sweet. I full heartedly look forward to seeing my family and of course, my dog, but the friends that I’ve made in China were nothing short of amazing. Now onto Thailand. The smells, the food, the traffic, the monarchy, and the Buddha’s are all that greeted me as I entered into Thailand. I got off the plane, took the sky train into the city and hopped into a taxi. I was actually pretty proud of the way I handled things because there was a point in the taxi drive in which I was getting very concerned. I didn’t know it at the time but I actually printed the directions without the address so the entire ... read more
Wat Arun
The Grand Palace
Beaches of Coral Island

Asia » China » Beijing August 11th 2011

It is currently August 11th, 2011 and I am on the train heading back to Suzhou from Beijing. After some thought and consideration, I’ve decided that my Beijing experience was nothing short of amazing. So get your coffee, I’ve got a hefty blog post for ya! My journey began on Monday August 8th. I had to get up very early to be able to finish up packing and take 2 buses and a taxi to the Suzhou North train station. Everything went smoothly, thank God. I arrived in Beijing around 2:30pm. I exited the subway station at Qianmen, which is right by Tiananmen Square, and was instantly filled with travel excitement. I saw the big monuments, lots of people and of course the Forbidden City. I stayed at Leo Hostel, which is around a 5-minute walk ... read more
Temple of Heaven
I took Mom with me
Forbidden City

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Suzhou July 21st 2011

So... as of tomorrow it will have been exactly 1 month since I have left the United States. Time does seem to be going pretty quickly here. Every day has been some kind of adventure, be it getting on the wrong bus or acting as a tourist and seeing the sights. Yesterday I had some friends come in from Shanghai to see me and the town. We had a good time but I felt terrible because on several accounts I led them the wrong way or took them on the wrong bus. I did my best to plan ahead of time and things just kept going wrong. It's very difficult because the buses are not in English and there are no maps! It's a terrible system but it is the ONLY system so you have to ... read more
Beisi Ta
River area
All of us at Tiger Hill!

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Suzhou July 16th 2011

On Friday July 8th, 2011 I left Shanghai for my new work destination, Suzhou. It was very hard to leave behind the great new friends that I made but I managed to do it. I took the speed train which went over 200 miles an hour. I got dizzy just from looking out the window. At first, I really didn’t like the city. It was too quiet. Truth be told, I did a little cry once I realized how alone I was when I got to my hotel. I had friends around me constantly then to suddenly be alone in a new country was hard, at least at first. I technically live in what’s called SIP or Suzhou Industrial Park. Yeah, it’s an ugly name but it’s actually pretty nice. I am a short walk from ... read more
Myself in the Garden
Garden Detail
Confucius Temple

Asia » China » Shanghai July 12th 2011

The culture of Shanghai is a culmination of East and West but mostly the East. While you can find plenty of Western stores and restaurants, there are plenty of traditional Chinese venues throughout the city. But if you do fancy a particular genre of food, it can most likely be found somewhere in the city, though one does need to hunt for Mexican as there are very few Mexican restaurants in the city itself. Let me first begin by discussing the Shanghainese people, who seem to be the most friendly and welcoming people I’ve ever met. I’ve Never been treated rudely or disrespectfully during these past 3 weeks of living here. This is in stark contrast to the people I’ve encountered in France and Italy. In fact, I would go so far as to say that ... read more
Tallest buildings in China
Taoist Temple
Tai Chi

Asia » China July 2nd 2011

Today was my first time out of the city of Shanghai. We didn't go very far but it was nice to visit some place new. The city was called Qibao. It's a small rivertown with some interesting food and flair. Lunch was awesome because we all ordered something and shared it with everyone. I normally don't like Chinese food but today's food was good. And to my surprise, it was decently priced! After that we went to a puppet museum and put on our own little show then took a boat ride down the river. So overall, it was a good day trip out of the city. Next week I separate from my fellow colleagues and head to Suzhou. I kind of wish that I was staying in Shanghai but hopefully this will be good. ... read more
Me in Qibao
Friends in Qibao
Shelle and I on the boat

Asia » China » Shanghai June 27th 2011

It is currently Tuesday, June 28th, 2011 and I am watching the Detroit fireworks on my computer! It's around 10:00am here in Shanghai so there is a 12 hour time zone difference between my home state and China. Anyways, I wanted to watch the fireworks online so that way I can get a little piece of home. The last 2 days haven't been too bad but also not extremely busy because I've been here for a bit now so I am settling into the city. I also started orientation for my job yesterday and I am looking forward to it. It is Very theater based, meaning that the teaching aspect of my job is basically a 1 man Disney World performance. It's bright, loud, exciting, and extremely energetic. I personally feel like I may have a ... read more
Nanjing Road
2 boats on the Huangpu
Shanghai streets are lit up very nicely

Asia » China » Shanghai » Changning June 25th 2011

As of right now the date is Saturday, June 25th, 2011 and it has been a busy week already. Usually I would have written in my blog already by now but things have been happening one right after the other so I haven’t had time to write. So let me start from the beginning. On Wednesday morning I got up at 5:10am EST and quickly got dressed, showered and said goodbye to my sisters. My dad drove me to the airport where during the car ride I received a call from United Airlines stating that my flight was cancelled! I panicked a little but it turned out fine as they put me on another flight where after I connected in Chicago and left for Shanghai. My flight to Shanghai was very good. It was 14 hours ... read more
Gab and I on the infamous Nanjing Road
Michelle and I

North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas June 10th 2011

This has been a great vacation with lots of things to do. We spent several days in Vegas with an added trip to Disneyland and Hollywood in California. Disneyland is by far my most favorite theme park. They will always receive my business because of their excellent ride and entertainment selection. Even their food was amazing! On my final day of my vacation I rented a car and drove to Utah. It was such a great experience. I went to Zion National Park and took in the natural beauty of the amazing state.... read more
Vegas hotel
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Photo 4

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