small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

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Travels

8 Observations about the First 5 Hours in America

Like many American expats, June is the month our family boarded a plane back to the U.S. It’s always surreal to arrive back in the Land of the Free and Home of the Big Gulp. And there’s nothing like the… Continue Reading →

Retailers in Malaysia and Thailand Embrace Chinese New Year

There are just a few days left in the official two weeks of Chinese New Year! Our family happened to be traveling through Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and parts of Thailand in the days leading up to Chuxi (New Year’s Eve)…. Continue Reading →

14 Things China Expats Binge on in Thailand

Every year around Spring Festival, there’s a flood of Chinese expats from the Great Chicken over to the Land of Smiles. I don’t have an exact number, but judging from the way my Facebook and Instagram feeds are currently bursting… Continue Reading →

What’s on Your 2017 Cultural Bucket List?

It’s a new year! This is the time when we think about goals and plans for the next twelve months. This year, my goals include getting out and exploring the city and culture I’m in. My list includes Chinese zodiac… Continue Reading →

This Global Life: Southern China

  It has been incredible to follow along with Taking Route’s October series, This Global Life. Each day this month, we’ve been treated to glimpses of  everyday life in 31 different countries through the eyes of expats who live there. I’ve… Continue Reading →

Like Turtles? You’ll Love Yuantong Temple

Tucked away between the famous cherry blossoms of the Kunming Zoo and the famous seagulls of Cuihu (Green Lake) lies a relatively unknown Kunming landmark: Yuantong Temple. Despite its proximity to two of Kunming’s most famous sights, Yuantong Temple remains… Continue Reading →

Clean Water, Copper Pot Rice, and Blueberries Top our Reasons to Visit Fuxian Lake

Located about an hour south of Kunming, Fuxian Lake is China’s second-deepest lake, Yunnan’s third-largest lake, and one of China’s only clean lakes. Flanked by some low mountains, and enjoying the same mild climate as the Kunming area, it’s no… Continue Reading →

I’m Writing a Book. For Reals.

Over the past year or so, this blog, and the response from my fabulous readers, has reminded me just how much I enjoy writing. It made me start thinking (again) about something that probably crosses every writers’ mind: writing a… Continue Reading →

Commemorating the End of WWII at the Flying Tigers Museum

China is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. On Friday, a military parade in Beijing grabbed the whole world’s attention. Yesterday morning, on the opposite side of the country, my family and I went to… Continue Reading →

The elusive goal of traveling light

One time. There has only been one time that I have succeeded. And it was glorious. All the logistical stars aligned to make it possible: I was traveling alone, I was only staying one night, and I was staying at… Continue Reading →

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