answering your questions + a life update

I think it’s about time I sit down and write a little update about life, upcoming moves, and my travel plans to clear up any confusion that may exist. A lot has changed in a short amount of time, and I thought this would be the perfect way to answer questions about what’s ahead.

I had people on Instagram ask me questions via my stories and have included them in here. I know you’re probably wondering why I’m only answering some of those questions, but the answer is I’ve saved my favourites for an exciting project I’m working on. Watch this space and you will get those answer, I promise!

Please enjoy these iPhone pics from the last month and some change. Figured it’d be fun to share some of them with you…and also I have taken almost none recently. I’m still sorting through and editing over 2,000 Sri Lanka photos and 1,500 photos from other not yet written about travels.

I am also currently readying myself for my sister’s wedding in England, so it’s been full on trying to catch up with friends, keep on top of writing work, finalize London events, and prep travel collabs in the hopes of enjoying the entire weekend sans devices— my favourite.


read on for answers + updates

ASK ME ANYTHING

WORK

what’s in store for the blog?

Oh man. I’ve been freaking' working. Archiving personal posts {yes, still}, updating old posts with Pins and maps, and rewriting old guides with more information— in short, a lot of behind the scenes work to make it optimized for SEO, tidier to navigate, more aligned with my style, and just better in general.

what do you do for work?

I am a freelance writer. Since leaving The Nanjinger {i.e. leaving China}, I’ve been lucky enough {read: worked real hard} to write for numerous online publications. I’ve also worked as a writer for two travel phone apps!

For some of my time in Laos, I was contracted with the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane to work on their behalf to complete a grant with the Lao Military Hospital, which is some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. However, that work has since finished and I’m entirely a travel writer and essayist, which feels scary but also kind of amazing.

how did you get into freelancing?

I worked for a magazine in China, which gave me experience working for a publication and allowed me to pick the brains of editors. It was a small magazine, so I got a very hands-on experience. I simply reached out to the magazine and they emailed me the next day saying they loved my website and were willing to take a chance on me if I was willing to learn quickly. Then, I worked with Hidden Hoi An as an unpaid writer in exchange for free accommodation, a meal stipend, and free experiences {Muay Thai classes, yoga classes, etc}. Through Hidden Hoi An, I met some amazing women who turned into mentors of sorts {as well as friends}. They gave me tips and insight that helped me starting out I also surround myself with people who believe in me. Supportive people are key when you’re going out on your own and doing something that takes confidence.

what’s your hosting site?

Squarespace and, before all the Wordpress fanatics get hot and bothered in the comments, I love it. It suits what I want to create on my corner of the web. Most of my favourite blogs are on Squarespace, so it felt right that when I moved from Blogger in 2016 to be aligning myself with the aesthetics and design I preferred.


events

what’s the deal with your London event?

I’m so glad a few of you asked about this! In January, I had a crazy idea to create a networking event for creatives in London. I knew I needed someone with some know-how to figure out how to pull it all off, and I immediately knew who that person was— my friend, Sandy. Sandy and I met in London during my summer stint there in 2017 completely by happenstance at a free meditation event. I contacted her, and we immediately put together a concept and got to work. The gorgeous Teatulia Tea Bar in Covent Garden, a fair trade tea and book bar, is generously hosting our meet-up for lady creatives in the city. The night is going to be filled with tea cocktails, giveaways, swag bags filled with beautiful brands that are partnering with us, and amazing women!

If you are a woman in London on May 7th and you haven’t gotten an invite, reach out before May 1st! Sandy and I have worked so hard to create a night that encourages us to support one another, celebrate each other’s accomplishments, and make real connections.

are there two london events?

Yes! As soon as I switched around travel plans {read more below}, my friend Sandy and I were asked if we’d like to create a second event in London in partnership with sketch London. Right?! Guys, to tell you I’m stoked would be an understatement. Details of this event will be sent out soon, but I can say it’s later in May and will open to lads as well.

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ASK ME ANYTHING
ASK ME ANYTHING
ASK ME ANYTHING
ASK ME ANYTHING
ASK ME ANYTHING

travel

are you traveling europe this summer?

Yes! I’ve received some dreamy opportunities to spend the summer back in Europe traveling to places I either haven’t ever been to or haven’t returned to in years. While I had already outlined and booked travels for Asia, looking at the weather and partnerships that could take place if I simply pushed back my travel dates for travels to new parts of Asia, I realized I couldn’t say no.

Not to mention, I’ve been properly sick, guys. I don’t want to get into the details; if you know, you know. I’d like to spend the summer in places where the language barrier is less steep and I’m a little closer to Western comforts while I heal up before setting off back to Asia and then onto New Zealand.

Europe really is a continent tied to my adolescent-hood travel memories, but there are so many places I haven’t been in across the continent. I can’t wait to do Europe up proper so I have plenty of content and information for this website.

On top of Europe goodness, I’m also making my way to two “bucket list” places {one in central Asia/Middle East, one in northern Africa}.

what happened to your asia plans for the summer?

Writing work, travel opportunities, and brand partnerships happened. All of those beautiful things, as well as wanting to travel around the parts of Asia I’ve booked to visit during the most optimal weather and when hiking and temperatures are absolutely prime.

I am booked to go to Nepal, India, and the Philippines, as well as returning to Taiwan and Singapore later this year. It’s all just been postponed from summer {i.e. rainy season in that part of the world}. By moving back my bookings, I’m also able to do some big, fun things in Europe. Sometimes, when you’re a freelancer or you’ve been offered amazing opportunities elsewhere, you rearrange your plans. That’s the beauty of travel— it’s flexible!

Will you be based in Asia any more?

No. Laos will always have a sliver of my heart, but I know that there is only one real home for me and, while Luang Prabang often feels like a cozy corner of the world I could be in forever, it isn’t the place I’m supposed to be any longer. I feel that in my bones. I have had amazing opportunities in Luang Prabang and I hold it dear. Every time I return, my love for it is affirmed.I simply decided that the opportunities that lie ahead of me made it necessary to leave.

what about orange robe tours?

Orange Robe Tours is a thing of real beauty that will be run with us doing our bits from afar {Luke will return and visit regularly}. One of the tour guides, Sounnanh, who has been with us from the beginning, will be taking on a bigger role. Orange Robe Tours was always meant to be something that gave back to the community, and promoting Sounnanh is part of that. Our monthly donations to the temple and our ability to provide housing and stable income to local employees, whilst offering a service to tourists that is sorely needed to preserve the cultural identity of this place both Luke and I hold so dear has been incredible to watch come from idea to functioning social enterprise. I could not be prouder to know Luke and to see how far ORT as a whole has come.

Will you be living in New Zealand? 

The short and simplified answer is yes. My plan, and the plan that is in place, is to live in New Zealand. However, I’ll be spending more a little more time working remotely until that move happens. I feel exceedingly grateful that I’ve been able to continue relationships with employers in New Zealand from a distance.

what are you most looking forward to about not living in asia? {not friends}

I loved that this question had the specification {not friends} attached to it. HA! Becasue that without a doubt would be the answer. Seeing the loves of my life again and being in closer proximity to my favourite humans. OTHER THAN THAT… I guess what I’m excited for are really simple things— my “regular” wardrobe, not being in a constant state of sweat, easy access to Marmite. I will miss living in Asia very much, but I feel ready to wear clothes that feel like “me”, eat my favourite non-Asian foods, and get a hair cut.


ASK ME ANYTHING

personal life

questions about moving, men, etc.

As I mentioned at the top of this post, I’ve saved some ones I liked for an upcoming project that I feel they are better suited for. If you’re wondering if your question got picked, here are a few of them:

ASK ME ANYTHING
  • how do you stay friends with an ex?

  • how do you keep in contact with friends when you’re abroad?

  • what’s your worst travel experience to date?

  • have you dealt with negative emotions while traveling?

  • how do you stay fit while traveling?

  • what’s it really like to travel with a significant other?


Thanks again for reading and supporting this space! Prepare for a lot of content from the other side of the world. But first, there’s a wedding!