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The Movie “Wild” and Finding Yourself in Solo Travel

The Movie “Wild” and Finding Yourself in Solo Travel

When I saw the poster for Wild, I was immediately reeled in.

Courtesy of  The Pacific Coast Trail
Courtesy of The Pacific Crest Trail

As a solo female traveler, a movie poster featuring a lone woman on the road with a backpack immediately sparked my interest.  Although I wasn’t quite sure what the movie was entirely about, as a fellow traveler I was certain that I had to see it and discover for myself.

Wild is about Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon) and her journey on the pacific crest trail, starting from the Mojave Desert and ending in the National Parks of Oregon.  While this movie showcases the splendor of America’s rugged pacific coast, it’s not a picture perfect,  self-discovery type travel epic filled with epiphanies and life’s splendor.  It’s a movie about cold nights spent in a tent; the weight of a backpack digging into your skin, suffering from dehydration in the sun, ripping a toenail off your bloody foot and eating cold food for days on end.. read more

A Funeral in Bali

A Funeral in Bali

I try to keep this blog strictly about Japan and China, but just this once I’m going to go off the beaten path and write about my Bali adventure.


To be honest, I never intended to go to Bali in my entire life.  If it wasn’t for this Indonesian waiter that proposed to me at 17 and asked me to live with him in his newly constructed house in Bali (a story for yet another time), then I probably wouldn’t be able to point Bali out on a map.  I was completely unfamiliar with that area of Southeast Asia and now, I thought, it was a prime opportunity for learning. read more

Going to Bali Alone (and escaping China)

Going to Bali Alone (and escaping China)

I’m running away from China and going here:

Bali… here I come

I really need to escape China.  Badly.  And I think anyone that’s lived here longer than a year can 100% agree with me.
Beaches.  Rice Terraces.  No masses of people.  No spitting.  No people shoving me every corner I turn.  Sunshine.  Clean air.  Clean water.  Food without fake meat (aka no fox meat substituted for beef).

Oh yes.  Please.

Getting Out of China First

As I type this I’m in the Hangzhou airport.  Since it’s National Holiday Here (国庆节) I decided to take the safe route and come early.  During National Holiday, the roads are usually plugged up with traffic and the wait to purchase a train ticket can take a few hours.  Although my flight leaves for Bali at 11:00 PM, I decided to get my ass out of Shanghai at 2:30 PM and come to the Hangzhou airport early. read more