Reflections On My Travels


I am finally back in the U.S. after nearly a year and a half of travel. I have experienced and seen so many things during this period. When I think about when I first conceived of the idea about 4 years ago to travel long term after completing my Ph.D., it is hard to believe …

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Jakarta is a big, giant, dirty, smelly cluster fuck. But it’s awesome. From the moment my feet touched the tarmac as we got off the plane (no boarding platforms needed!), I could tell this part of Southeast Asia was a different world from the mainland. The Indonesia island, Java, where the capital, Jakarta, lies is …

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Diving in Thailand


For those who know me, I am not the best in the water. I am a weak swimmer at best, and I am just not that comfortable when I am in the water. But I had to try diving. Without even thinking about it, I signed up for an “Open Water Certification” course at Big …

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A Month and a Half in Southeast Asia


Southeast Asia, in general, is one of the easiest, most comfortable, and cheapest places in the world to travel. After landing in Bangkok’s modern airport and taking its elevated train to my hotel, it was clear that my expectations of Bangkok were very different than reality. I expected chaos – insane traffic, pollution and noise. …

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My Top 14 Experiences in China


After traveling in China for nearly a year and exploring all of the major regions of the country (besides Tibet), I feel like I am in a pretty good position to say what the best of China is. When I say the best, I mean the places that took my breath away, the places that …

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Back in Taiwan


Two weeks in Taiwan just wasn’t enough. My first trip to Taiwan surprised me so much with its incredibly beautiful scenery, super friendly people, and truly unique culture. It was time to go back, this time for almost a month. There were definitely things I wanted to see and do which I missed the first …

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Shanxi Province


I kind of expected Xian to not be that interesting. It is a major international tourist destination, and there is an incredible amount of hype surrounding the Terra Cotta warriors. One can only be disappointed, and I was. Sure, I was glad I finally was able to see the Terra Cotta warriors, the City Wall …

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The Most Precipitous Mountain Under Heaven


Hua Shan, near Xi’an, is known as one of China’s most dangerous mountains. Unbelievably steep stairs coupled with sheer drops on either side makes for a potentially deadly combination. However, its crazy beautiful and one of its paths, in particular, has captivated my imagination for the past couple of years. I can’t remember how I …

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Tibetan Sky Burial


On my way to Langmusi, on the border of Gansu and Sichuan, I had no idea what a sky burial was. Fortunately, I met two other  travelers who were going to Langmusi specifically to seek one out. A Tibetan sky burial is a ritual where, after a person dies, their body is put on a …

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My Tibetan Pilgrimage


Tibetan people from all over China make there way to Xiahe in Gansu province to follow the “kora” or pilgrim path around the huge Labrang Monastery. My journey to Xiahe started with a beautiful bus ride from Xining to Xiahe, passing through huge grasslands and high mountains, all while listening to the constant chanting/singing of …

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