Hello! Below, you'll find a small sampling of my work, organized by category.
I’m a writer and editor specializing in travel, dating, news, personal essay, and lifestyle topics.
I write the travel column for Open Magazine, as well as freelance regularly for various outlets, such as China Highlights and Sassy Hong Kong.
My writing has also appeared in places such as Star Tribune, Twin Cities Daily Planet, Thought Catalog, The Nanjinger, SupCZ, Sivana East, We Are Travel Girls and Dame Traveler.
You can contact me at [email protected] regarding work-related topics — or just to say hi. :)
My mother is Vietnamese and my father is American, yet I've always felt as though I was a tea bag submerged solely in American water. I was born and raised in Minnesota, I speak only English, and I know very little about Vietnamese culture.
Growing up, I used to envy my girlfriends for the relationships that they had with their moms. My best friend and college roommate of four years was particularly close with her mom. The whole bringing chicken noodle soup when she was sick and running to her daughter's rescue when the bedroom door was broken - yeah that was her mom.
Dear 20-year-old self, Where do I even begin? Since graduating from college, you finally left that small town that you always felt you didn't belong to. In fact, you've managed to travel the world and live in several different countries.
In just 30 hours, I discovered the best spots for trying Sanya dishes and what to see. I also met the PR person for The Sanya EDITION and was treated to a full tour of the five star hotel and drinks on the rooftop.
One woman embarks on a weekend in Tantou Island, a beach getaway off the coast of Shanghai. See how she fares among strangers and without any electricity for two days.
After spending a year in Jamaica as a volunteer, I can honestly say that Jamaica is one of the most spectacular places I have ever stepped foot on. Jamaica's hidden gems may require a little digging, but trust me they are worth it.
Whether you're living in or visiting Hong Kong, Shenzhen is too close to miss. A day trip might mean getting a much-needed massage or finding a good bargain in Lo Wu, but our neighbouring city offers much more than that.
Whether you've become bored with your day-to-day routine or have been wanting to go on that dream vacation more than usual lately, time away has its benefits. Nothing says relaxation like a margarita-in-hand with a beach view or a yoga session in Bali.
With 72 hours to spare, I took a much needed trip to Xi'an, a city located in Shaanxi province that is known for its delicious cuisine and the Terracotta Warriors.
Although it is the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh is severely underrated in terms of what it has to offer. With three days to spare, I was on a mission to discover the city's best food and attractions.
With mainland China just across the border, there are plenty of travel opportunities right on our doorstep that we tend to overlook. As a city of 14 million people and the capital of Sichuan Province, Chengdu is home to the adorable Giant Panda bear and the Sichuan peppercorn.
After 2 months of living in Nanjing, China I decided to take a solo-trip to Guilin, a beautiful tucked-away city featuring limestone mountains and serene rivers. During my three day getaway, I came face-to-face with my biggest fear, myself.
Walk along the Bund at night One of the most memorable views in Shanghai, and even all of China, is the Bund. Luckily for visitors, the attraction is free of cost to see. The best time to visit is before sunset, when you'll get a spectacular view of the Huangpu River and Shanghai's glowing skyscrapers.
Ten days, three countries, and one woman and her giant backpack. This is the crazy expedition I set out on last summer.
Many people come to China to visit its more famous cities Shanghai and Beijing, but perhaps they are missing out on one of China's most underrated cities. Located to the northwest of Shanghai is Changzhou, a hidden gem in China's Jiangsu province.
The Philippines' underrated capital of Manila is an eclectic mixture of old and new, rich and poor. A conglomeration of 12 cities and five municipalities creates what is known as Metro Manila. In this often overlooked gem, you will find one of the world's most contradicting cities.
With just 48 hours to spare before I had to be back to my full-time job in China, I made the crazy spontaneous decision to spend my short weekend in Manila, Philippines.
Jamaica is a beautiful little island located just south of Cuba in the Caribbean. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to see Jamaica for myself the summer after I graduated from college when I volunteered for a year. I went to Jamaica with the hope of making a change, but I was the one who was changed most of all.
Without empathy, we would be robots, merely existing without the ability to connect. Sure, parents would still take care of their children and we would go on with our day-to-day...
Nanjing's Sun Yat-sen Memorial Nanjing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. With options like a leisurely stroll around Xuanwu Lake, an adventurous hike at Purple Mountain, and many historical sights to see, the 'southern capital' city should be on your China bucket list.
The world, to me, is like a blank white canvas and every new color that I paint onto it is a new place that I have had the opportunity to explore. It doesn't matter how many colors I move from the palette to the canvas because the colors can never quite fill the page.
Dating & Relationships
The Party line calls for a harmonious filial unit. But the growing independence of China's modern women combined with less acceptance for straying husbands, as well as other factors, means divorce rates are twice what they used to be. The solution? Sit a divorce test.
For as little as ¥30, it is possible to buy a dating profile in China, one that includes accounts, passwords, and three photos of a real person. Often, these fake IDs are used to swindle not just love, but large amounts of money, from unsuspecting daters.
Online dating is all the rage. With websites like Match.com, eHarmony and OkCupid, many people are finding love on the World Wide Web. One matchmaking mobile app called Tinder has been popular among college students as of late. Tinder is a matchmaking app that can be downloaded on Androids and iPhones.
Four times a year, the Changzhou Radio and TV Station is entrusted by the government to organize activities to engage and educate foreigners about Chinese culture. On October 18, Peggy, one of the station's planners, came up with the idea to take foreigners to Oriental Salt Lake Resort in Jintan, Changzhou to spend a day [...]
Girl Gone International (GGI), a non-profit international community, based in over 140 cities around the world and a community solely for women, has now made its way to Nanjing. GGI hosted its launch event at Finnegans Wake Irish Bar on 31 March. In a private room upstairs, cocktails flowed as did opportunities to become acquainted.
Molly Eagen, 26, from Minneapolis biked a total of 1,150 miles in 100 days. Eagan biked these miles because she decided to go 100 days without using oil to see how much oil she actually used in five major areas of her life: transportation, food, waste, water and electricity.
During his first trip back to Somalia in summer 2010, Mohamed Samatar, 19, of Minneapolis, expected there to be no electricity and to be in a desert. "Everything I had in America was there. The only difference is that the weather in Somalia is nicer," Samatar said.
As Nanjing enters its second month of summer, it is also making way for the upcoming FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championship, in just T minus 4 days. This championship is a unique opportunity for youth beach volleyball players from around the world to compete and gain experience.
Whenever a person creates a social media profile, they are actively choosing to put themselves at risk of having their personal information viewed by strangers. Ultra short video app, Tik Tok, known as Douyin in China, is this month to buckle down on their privacy control options, due to recent child protection issues that have arisen.
For China expats, time, money and location are important determining factors that often make it difficult to step out and enjoy their adopted city. In Nanjing, it is also little wonder that many might think the city is becoming one big shopping mall. Enter the theme park.
Two female Irish teachers have received detention in a Beijing cell for 10 days, only to be released on Tuesday 15 May, for working two jobs illegally. The two are from counties Kildare and Offaly, and at the time of the arrest, were working for a registered English language school in Beijing, to which their legal working visas are linked.
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, the world's largest regional theme park company, has announced its plans for opening a water park, theme park, and adventure park in Nanjing. The amusement park operator has been offering hundreds of roller coasters, thrill rides and family attractions to guests in the United States, Canada and Mexico for the past 55 years.
In a story reminiscent of legendary criminal husband and wife team Bonnie and Clyde, on Saturday, 24 February, the Gulou Public Security Bureau received an almost unbelievable report from the Nanjing Police Department. According to the report, a man surnamed Ma from Henan province notified the police that he had recently swallowed 500 grams of heroin and was on the run from a drug dealer.
Keeping up appearances in China is important. This societal ideal gives rise to a plethora of interesting, if not, to the outside world, frankly odd, scenarios. Such has been playing out all over Nanjing of late, in the renovation of the facades of older buildings.
China is getting older, and the young don't care. They even less want a morgue on their back doorstep. Harsh words perhaps, but there is more than a ring of truth, as Nanjing's residents speak out against an elderly care home.
With 1 in 4 men suffering from erectile dysfunction in China, sales of viagra are on the up. Fearing the embarrassment of consulting a doctor in regards to such issues, Chinese men are increasingly turning to popular online retail sites, as well as local pharmacies, to purchase the pills.
The Saifu City Museum, located in the Jiangbei New Area of Nanjing, is introducing its first disaster preparedness program that offers participants real-life emergency rescue experience. Whether a person is stuck in an elevator, on a subway that has caught on fire, or wherever an earthquake has struck, this new facility simulates genuine emergency situations and prepares its visitors for it all.
A high standard of education and the opportunitys that the modern world has to offer are the main driving forces behind a new army of "full-time wives" that is sweeping Chinese society, and helping to enhance community life for many.
With the recent passing of World Consumer Rights Day on 15 March, the Nanjing Intermediate People's Court has withdrawn its lawsuit against Baidu, Inc., the operator of China's largest online search engine and mobile app.