Being Alone

Being alone is hard, worth it, draining, empowering, and lethal to overdose on. Do it, learn to enjoy it, do it often, and know when to quit. It’s more than just taking yourself out to eat or on a solo vacation. It’s watching major life moments – the happy ones – happen in front ofContinue reading “Being Alone”

30 Things I Learned Before 30

Courage is a necessity, not a luxury. If you don’t have it, you can’t get through even ordinary life. If you have it, the world is at your fingertips. “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.” – C.S. Lewis Empathy – choosingContinue reading “30 Things I Learned Before 30”

Culture Shock

Have you ever been homesick? Maybe you were young and away at summer camp, and started missing your mom (or her cooking). Maybe you were older and away at university, and started missing your dog. Or your friends from your hometown, or just having a sofa and a fully stocked fridge instead of bunk bedsContinue reading “Culture Shock”

Okinawa Diaries: Isolation

This has been a rough year for everyone, especially the elderly and those at high risk, who have had to impose stricter quarantine measures than the rest of us. I share this personal chapter of my life partly in their honor. May we love and look out for the invisible among us until they are visible, and no one has to live as a ghost.

Diving In

Oh, man! The first few months in China were chaotic, and therefore a rousing good time. (Those are ducks in the picture above, by the way.) My definition of a good time, mind you, is sheltered and quirky and rather skewed, and if you haven’t met me, now is probably the time to warn youContinue reading “Diving In”

Welcome to the Story

Two years ago, I was in the too-early morning Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport, with a backpack and two black suitcases as old as I was, looking with awe at one-way tickets to Shanghai with my name on them. I finished a Starbucks coffee and pastry on a stomach not ready for anything, waved goodbye to myContinue reading “Welcome to the Story”