Chinese New Year Day 7: Happy Birthday to All of Mankind!

The seventh day of Chinese New Year is known as  Renri (人日, the common man’s birthday), and many believe this is the day when human beings were created. So today my friends, we are all one year older. Another interesting fact I discovered, is that most Asians add a year to their birth date because they […]

Chinese New Year Day Three: Don’t Go Knocking

Day Three of Chinese New Year is known as the Chìkǒu  赤口, which directly translates to “red mouth”. It is customary to burn more paper offering over trash fires, but I have witnessed none of this in Kaohsiung. I have been told it is still practiced in rural areas. I guess people in big cities […]

Chinese New Year Day Two: Happy Birthday Toto

According to legend, day two of the Chinese New Year, called the kāinián 开年 “beginning of the year”, is the birthday of all dogs. It is customary to give them special treats, so in preparation for this I bought some dog biscuits to pass out  to all the pups. Usually, there are countless dogs running […]

Hi From an Unemployed, Illegal, U.S. Immigrant in Taiwan

Seven flights and three countries later, after many long layovers and unnecessary circumventions around the world in order to save money on flights (and a cheeky three week vacation in Thailand of course) I have finally made it to my final destination: Taiwan. There was a little complication in the Bangkok airport, where I found […]

Hello Bangkok!

My first day in D.C. there was a shooting across the street from the Mediterranean restaurant we chose for dinner, followed by a swarm of Homeland Security and Swat teams that surrounded the think tank building where it occurred. I had just moved back to the States from Honduras in order to attend graduate school […]

The Nature of Tourism and the Path to Sustainability

This morning, while sipping my hot coffee and surfing the hi-speed internet, I sit waiting for my brunch of homemade yogurt and fresh fruits, accompanied by a three egg omelette. I really could be anywhere in the world right now. Some boutique farm to table spot in a trendy part of NYC or Austin. Maybe […]

The Redemption of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day. And no, this is not about love, so before you disregard this as some cliché “anti-love” rant from a single woman, please read on a bit more and you will see that this piece is indeed, quite the opposite. It’s more about the stupidity of the average human being, which is in the […]

Confessions of a Traveling Teacher

One more week and I will be home for Christmas. And I have a confession to make. All though I am dying to see my family, bake cookies, and spread holiday cheer…. All I can think about is the first drink I am going to order from Starbucks when I get off the plane. White […]

Backpacker Stereotypes Part I- Everyone Wants to Be Like Christopher McCandless

As transient visitors, and consequently checking in and out of hostels constantly, any backpacker can tell you the chances to observe people are endless. Hostels truly are one of the best environments for people watching, and with a trenchant eye, it makes for an amusing sociology experiment. I have encountered many types of travelers, and […]

Three Months In a Lychee Shell

It seems like I have forever lived a life of walking down cobblestone streets dotted with the remnants of lychee shells colorfully scattered about, as if tiny pink sea urchins simply misplaced. Stray dogs that wonder aimlessly, but with purpose. The little girl on the rooftop of the house where Calle Principal begins, who, like […]