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Stacy Dahl

Freelance Writer, Editor

Location icon United States

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. :)



OPEN Magazine
A Weekend Excursion to Xiamen

As the weather in China cools down, expats and locals both may be looking for a weekend escape to a warmer place. Xiamen is the perfect getaway since it offers a gorgeous beach view and countless activities to keep tourists entertained.

OPEN Magazine
Luxury Camping in China: What is it?

For some, camping is the ideal activity for connecting with the great outdoors. For others, it may be a nightmare experience that entails bugs and cold showers. Luckily, glamping has taken trend in China and offers campers a luxurious adventurous outdoors.

OPEN Magazine
48 Hours in Vientiane, Laos

With a weekend to spare, I made my way to Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. On this adventure, I discovered the capital's best cultural sites, tasted the spicy Laotian cuisine and stayed in the city's best villa.

OPEN Magazine
30 Hours in Sanya: The Hawaii of China

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.

OPEN Magazine
A Weekend on Tantou Island

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.

OPEN Magazine
7 Hidden Gems in Jamaica

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.

Sassy Hong Kong
24 Hours In Shenzhen: Where To Stay, Eat & Explore

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.

Sivana East
5 Reasons Why Going Abroad Can Bring You Peace

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.

OPEN Magazine
72 Hours in Xi'an

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.

OPEN Magazine
Perusing Phnom Penh

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.

Sassy Hong Kong
Your Chengdu Travel Guide: Where To Stay, Eat & Explore

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.

OPEN Magazine
In My Head - A Solo Trip to Guilin

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.

Sassy Hong Kong
Cheap Travel: Free Things To Do In Shanghai, China

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.

OPEN Magazine
10 Days, 3 Countries, 1 Woman

Ten days, three countries, and one woman and her giant backpack. This is the crazy expedition I set out on last summer.

We Are Travel Girls
Manila City Guide: Top 10 Things to Do | We Are Travel Girls

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.

OPEN Magazine
48 Hours in Manila, Philippines

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.

OPEN Magazine
Jamaica: A tiny island with a big heart

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.

China Highlights
Nanjing Top Things to Do, Recommended Attractions to Visit

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.

Dame Traveler
Lessons From Cambodia: Keep An Open Heart | Dame Traveler

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.


Hello Teacher!
7 fun speaking activities for the Chinese university classroom

Nothing is more intimidating to a university student than speaking in front of the class, especially at a Chinese University. Although Chinese students tend to be on the shy and quieter side, this doesn't mean they don't have a lot to say.

Personal Essays

Thought Catalog
The Unedited Truth About Growing Up With A Mother Who Doesn't Know How To Love

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.

Thought Catalog
This Is What I Wish I Could've Told My 20-Year-Old Self

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.

Dating & Relationships

The Nanjinger
Dating Profile Piracy; China's Tinderish Troubles | The Nanjinger

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.

Love at first swipe: Should college students be using Tinder?

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.


Changzhou Expats Experience Taoism | 看多国友人穿越道教文化 | SupCZ

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 [...]

The Nanjinger
Southern Capital Seized by Girl Power | The Nanjinger

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.

Twin Cities Daily Planet
100 days without oil: Cold showers and lots of biking

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.

Twin Cities Daily Planet
Shining a light on Somalia

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.


The Nanjinger
World U19 Beach Volleyball Championship Next Week in Nanjing | The Nanjinger

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.

The Nanjinger
Tik Tok to Launch Age-Appropriate Child Protection Measures | The Nanjinger

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.

The Nanjinger
10 Days Detention for Irish Teachers Working Second Job | The Nanjinger

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.

The Nanjinger
Six Flags Amusement Parks to Open in Nanjing | The Nanjinger

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.

The Nanjinger
1/2 Kilo of Heroin Trafficked in Nanjing Bonnie & Clyde Style | The Nanjinger

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.

The Nanjinger
Nanjing Republican-Era Renovation Trendy but Superficial | The Nanjinger

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.

The Nanjinger
Counterfeit Viagra Sales Raise Side-Effect Concerns | The Nanjinger

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 Nanjinger
Disaster Preparedness Program to be Offered in Nanjing | The Nanjinger

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.

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