About Me

Hi, I’m Richelle!

A 25-year-old Seattle native turned world traveler and serial China expat.

After studying abroad in both Beijing and Xi’an in my junior year of college, I knew I wasn’t done with Asia quite yet. With no job or boyfriend holding me back, I hopped on a plane to rural China where I taught English to 1,000 crazy high school students. Then for some unknown reason I thought it would be a great idea to get my master’s degree at a British university in China. Now I’m working as a college counselor in Beijing!

I’m a coffee addict, spicy-food lover, and dance fanatic. I love scuba diving, salsa dancing, and trying weird foods no one else will eat.

Work in China

Somewhere along the way I went from a girl who was afraid to stay in a hostel in Seoul by herself to a woman who doesn’t bat an eye backpacking around Southeast Asia alone. I was petrified to study abroad in China for seven months. If you had told me back then that I’d still be living in China today, I would’ve laughed in your face.

But here I am, living in China and traveling the world on my own, sharing my crazy misadventures with all of you!

Most people back home have no idea what I’m doing with my life. I’m that weirdo girl who still lives in China and travels way too much, usually solo. My life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies over here in the PRC, but at least it’s always interesting.

mangrove Siargao

About Adventures Around Asia

I started Adventures Around Asia right before I embarked on a seven-month study abroad adventure in Beijing and Xi’an in my junior year of college. It was a way to keep my friends and family up to date, and share my experience with those who were interested in China. Over the next four years, Adventures Around Asia grew from a small study abroad blog to a website I’m extremely passionate about.

Slowly but surely this blog I love so much is morphing from the world’s most time-consuming hobby into a potentially viable career. My goal is to show you that travel and life in Asia is more achievable than it may seem. Whether its moving to China, backpacking Cambodia, or learning to surf in the Philippines: you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.

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Where Should I start?

This blog is packed with over four years of content, so it can be a bit difficult to know where to start. To make your life easier, I’ve picked a few of my favorite posts as a good starting point to help you explore further.

START HERE! 

Let’s Keep in Touch

Want to stay updated on my adventures around Asia?

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

For glimpses into my everyday life, you can also find me on Snapchat at Adventures_Asia

Want to get in touch with me? Want to work with me? You can find me at AdventuresAroundAsia@gmail.com

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35 comments on “About Me

  1. Sounds like an incredible year! We are teaching in a rural town in Korea and I definitely think it’s more fun local living than in a city :) Look forward to following along.

    • I agree, living in a rural area definitely makes for a more enlightening and interesting experience. I wouldn’t have half these crazy stories if my school and students were used to having foreign teacher!

  2. Hi Richelle
    Thanks for your comment on my blog! I’m happy to have found yours as I’m so interested to read about your experience living in Ningbo! It must be very different to Beijing! Looking forward to reading more. :-)

    • Thanks Joella! I’m glad I found your blog too. Ningbo as a city is extremely different from Beijing, but living in the “countryside” as they call it, is an even bigger shock. In some ways I’m glad because I have a lot of interesting experiences and stories, but I’m definitely ready to move back to the city ASAP!

  3. Hello Richelle,

    Ni hao! My name is Yang. It’s not very often to see foreigners stay in Ningbo. So glad to find your blog. Hope you enjoy when you are in China.

    I have started a website: http://www.mynewchinesewife.com. It’s a resource for foreigners on finding a Chinese wife and dating Chinese women. Right now we have native English writers that provide articles for us. I found your website today and it’s really interesting and I like what you are talking about China. I am wondering if you are interested in the idea that we could provide a guest post to your website or link exchange? If you are interested it, we could talk more in details about the topic maybe?

    Again really like your blog! :)

    Thanks and look forward your reply.

    Yang

    • Hi Yang, nice to hear from you and thanks for reading! If you’d like to talk about a guest post, possibly about cultural mishaps in a western-Chinese relationship, or something of that sort we can chat about it over email. I find it very interesting that a lot of white western guys date Chinese girls, but not the other way around and I think it’s definitely something worth talking about. My email is rgamlam@gwu.edu if you want to get in touch.

      • Oh so now you are delving into the fields of dating dynamics between different cultures.

        Want to poke your nose in there now too?

        Seriously, for someone who hasn’t held a single stable relationship all her life, you sure do give a lot of advice!!!

  4. Dear Richelle,

    My name is Zhu Xiao Di, Deputy Director of the Ameson Education and Cultural Exchange Foundation. First of all, I would like to thank you for your dedication and commitment to the Ameson Year in China (AYC) program. As an ambassador of the U.S., you have shown Chinese students an appreciation for the spirit of diversity and cultural engagement, an immeasurable aptitude that will not be tested despite its significance. I’ve heard you will start your Master’s degree program in International Communications at the University of Nottingham in Ningbo. Congratulations!

    In the initial year of AYC that you are participating, we encountered external difficulties, mostly resulting from recent changes to China’s visa policy, as well as internal communication problems. However, through the collaboration and dedication of all AYCers and the foundation staff and extensive communication and negotiation with regional and central governments, we, as a team, persevered and fulfilled our mission. Throughout the entire year we have received valuable feedback and constructive suggestions from participants like you, as well as pertinent recommendation from other stakeholders and organizations. We are glad to report that we have refined our catalogue of partner schools, updated programming, hired additional supportive staff, and done so much more in order to enhance the experience of participants in 2014 and beyond. We expect very positive results from these changes and look forward, with optimism, to ushering new AYCers into one of the world’s most quickly developing economic, political, and cultural landscapes.

    As this year’s AYC application deadline (June 15) approaches, I encourage you to tell your friends who are looking for a memorable experience in China about this amazing program, its history, its size, its challenges, and the improvements we are making to AYC. Ameson Education and Cultural Exchange Foundation looks forward to continuing receiving your constructive criticism, truthful comments and friendly suggestions. I wish you health, happiness, and success in your teaching, studying, and living in China.

    Best wishes,
    Zhu Xiao Di

    • Thank you so much Zhu Xiao Di. Overall I really did have a meaningful experience this year, and I have really enjoyed sharing my thoughts and experiences with others through this site. I think if AYC can make the changes you stated above, the company has a really bright future.

  5. Pingback: Taking care of pets - cultural differencesChina Elevator Stories

  6. I fell so in love with China during the month I spent there earlier this year, that I am going back next year. This is the first time in my life I have ever loved a place so much that I am sacrificing visiting new countries, to return to it.

  7. Hi Richelle!! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog… yours is really cool and your story is amazing!! I am always happy to meet new people on this amazing blog world :D I will look forward to reading your posts, so I will be around here once in a while :D I will follow you on your social media channels so we can be even more connected!! Have a great day!
    Allane

  8. Hello Richelle! Nice to meet you, I also love caffeine, spicy food (I’m mexican! lol) AND dancing! hahaha
    Let’s keep in touch! xx

    Greeting from Slovenia!

  9. Hey Richelle,

    I admit I came by here… I don’t know how & from where !!… But I liked reading your “What am I doing with my life?” post and felt like instantly connected, more or less the same thoughts occurred to me 8 years ago, when I am 24 & doing my MBA. Now, it seems I got to follow you…

    :)

  10. Hi Richelle,
    I spent the first 16 yrs of my life in Hong Kong but had no idea that China is such a fascinating country until I start reading travel blogs in the past two years. I found your blog through Holy Smithereens yesterday and I am hooked. Thanks to bloggers like yourself who open my eyes to so many travel ideas (which unfortunately my limited vacation will never be able to catch up). Some of the places you wrote about are too adventurous for me at the moment, but reading about them and knowing that such places exist are enough for me, at least for now. I am older than you and have more responsibilities so I am not as mobile…wish that I had travelled more at your age!

    • Oh wow I’ll have to thank Jean!! Thank you so much for spending time on my blog, it really means a lot to me! I know it can be difficult to plan a trip once you’re older and have more responsibilities, but if you can get the time, definitely come to China! I’d love to give you some travel advice, or even meet up if you come to Beijing!

  11. Hi Richelle, I recently stumbled upon your blog and I have not been able to put down my phone for a second to stop reading all the amazing things you have to say about China and your experience so far. I am about to finish college in 4 months and I have already signed up to take a Celta program so I can hopefully start a journey just like yours and fulfill my wishes to travel! It seems very daunting since I have never traveled alone, but your input and experiences give me hope!
    Thank you for sharing so many wonderful things and please keep it up!
    Much love and greetings from Ecuador!
    -Pamela

    • Hi Pamela,

      Thanks so much for your kind message, it really means a lot! If you have any questions about teaching abroad, be sure to let me know. I’m sure you’ll find a great job in China!

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