China Culture Shock #7: Getting Flashed in Taiwan

China Culture Shock #7: Getting Flashed in Taiwan

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND, IT’S  CHINA CULTURE SHOCK!  Part of the reason I was interested in moving to China in the first place was to explore a culture completely different from my own. I wanted to experience “culture shock” and challenge myself. I’ve been living in China for over two years now, and I’m still constantly experiencing things that shock me, […]

River Tracing in Taiwan

River Tracing in Taiwan

I know what you’re thinking: What the heck is river tracing? Only the most awesome new outdoor sport there is! All of the photos from my Hualien Outdoors adventure are courtesy of Hualien Outdoors.  What is River Tracing? “First developed in Japan, river tracing is a combination of hiking, bouldering and climbing in and above […]

2014: A Crazy Year of Adventure

2014: A Crazy Year of Adventure

As this year comes to a close I can’t help but think back on all of the crazy adventures I’ve had. This time last year I was struggling with my teaching placement in the Chinese countryside, wondering if I would abandon my contract half-way through and go back to America. I was lonely, a little […]

Hiking the Taroko Gorge

Hiking the Taroko Gorge

Hello everyone and Merry Christmas from China! Since it’s probably cold outside and you’re all snuggled up with your coffee, getting ready to see family and friends, I thought I’d bring you back to my trip to Taiwan, where you can look at beautiful pictures of sunny skies and hot weather. For those of you […]

Aboriginal Taiwan: Visiting Orchid Island

Aboriginal Taiwan: Visiting Orchid Island

This summer while backpacking around Taiwan, I made a trip to Taiwan’s Orchid Island, otherwise known as Lanyu. Before the Chinese arrived, Taiwan was home to aboriginal locals, similar in ethnicity to those from the Philippines and Hawaii. After the Chinese conquest (and subsequent Japanese rule), much of the native culture has been lost. Fortunately, Orchid […]

5 Places in Asia I Need to Revisit

5 Places in Asia I Need to Revisit

Over the years I’ve realized that I like to spend a lot of time exploring each country. I’ve been living in China for almost two years and I just feel like I’ve finally seen everything I want to see. That said, there’s so many countries I feel like I didn’t spend enough time in. It’s […]

A Quick Guide to Mandarin Chinese

A Quick Guide to Mandarin Chinese

So you’re planning a trip to China, or you just got a job teaching English, or you’re interning in Shanghai; Whatever the reason, you want to know a few Chinese phrases. I’m a huge proponent of attempting to learn some of the local language wherever you go. Not only is it easier to get around, […]

Learning to Surf in Taiwan

Learning to Surf in Taiwan

Surfing makes me a little anxious. Swimming, snorkeling, wake boarding, kayaking, whitewater river rafting: they’re all fine. But there’s something about getting pummeled by wave after wave as you try to get out past the breaks, only to fail miserably at catching even one wave, that isn’t really my cup of tea. Growing up in […]

The Temples of Tainan

The Temples of Tainan

Tainan, the oldest city and Taiwan’s ancient capital, is famous for more than just its amazing food. The thing that struck me most about Tainan was the sheer amount of beautiful temples. You can’t wander more than two or three blocks without running into one. Tainan’s temples are tucked into alleyways and crammed in-between shops. […]

Food Photo Friday: Shaved Ice Cream

Food Photo Friday: Shaved Ice Cream

If I haven’t stressed this enough in my last few posts, summer in Taiwan is really, really hot. What do most people want when it’s hot? Ice cream! Shaved ice cream, or “snow ice cream” as they say in Chinese (xuehua bing), is the perfect treat for a hot evening in Taipei. How does shaved […]