I dislike hotels, resorts, sightseeing, crowds, hot weather, hours spent in cars, and Things To Do Before You Die.

I like sketching, languages, eating, walking, the 40-60ºF temperature range, a solid mix of exploring and hunkering, and — apparently — being really self-conscious everywhere I go.

2010: Hong Kong (with a day trip to Macau). My first significant international travel! About 1 week. A family friend (whom we’d never met before) served as our guide, and another California friend traveled with us.

2011Taiwan with family (both as travel companions and as hosts/guides), for about a week. Afterward we took another week in Hong Kong but I don’t seem to have blogged about that.

In 2012, my husband, Erik, and I set off on what became ~2 years of international and domestic travel. We stayed in each place for anywhere from 1 night to 3 months, and we planned as we went; we didn’t have a set itinerary. It was a grand adventure. Here’s my original post explaining the journey.

spring/summer 2012: Canada. Two months in an AirBnB in Toronto, Ontario (with a weekend trip to Montréal, Québec). If you know Toronto, we were staying right between Koreatown and Little Italy. It was a fabulous place to live and the perfect start to our travels.

summer 2012: Scotland. A week in Glasgow, a month on Merchiston Crescent in Edinburgh, and five nights in a yurt in the West Highlands.

summer/fall 2012: Iceland. Seven weeks in two separate neighborhoods of Reykjavík, with day trips to various parts of the countryside.

fall 2012London, UK. We stayed in Kensington for this five-day interlude between our long stay in Iceland and our next stop.

fall 2012: Istanbul, Turkey. We spent a month in the Cihangir district. The link will also show you a handful of posts from a second visit in 2014.

late fall 2012: Paris, France. 1 month. We stayed right between the 5th and 13th arrondissements.

winter 2012/2013Boston, MA, USA (<2 weeks) + Waimea (Kamuela), Hawaii [the Big Island], Hawaii (1 month) + Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii (~1 week). We also spent about a month hanging out with family in California for the holidays. The link for Boston will also show posts from a later (and much longer) visit in late 2013.

spring 2013: Kyoto, Japan. 1 month in a traditional house in the Murasakino neighborhood. ❤

spring 2013: Singapore, 10 days.

late spring 2013: New Zealand. Two weeks on the North Island (Auckland), followed by two weeks driving around the South Island (ChristchurchOamaru, Invercargill, DunedinArrowtown), followed by a few more nights on the North Island (Wellington, Ohakune, and Tauranga). If you’re not familiar with NZ: my Auckland and Christchurch posts are more urban; the others are more country, small town, and nature. There are penguins. There is a steampunk museum. (Both were in Oamaru.)

rest of 2013 through early 2014: crisscrossing North America. We returned from New Zealand via a week with friends in the Greater Toronto Area, came back into the US with a week in Burdett (the Finger Lakes region of New York), spent a month in San Jose, CA, with family, flew back across the country for a couple of weeks in New York, NY, and returned to San Francisco, CA, USA, for just over a week. Then we subletted an artist’s work/live studio in Boston for 3 months. We stopped in Houston, TX, for a week, spent another month with family in CA, and then capped our travels with a month at our friends’ home in Tampa, Florida.

(continued below image too!)


World map in watercolor

July 2014: quick trip to Seattle, WA, with a day trip to Whidbey Island.

fall 2014: return to Istanbul for a friend’s wedding.

January 2015: return to our friends’ house in Tampa, FL, for a month.

summer 2015: a month around the Atlantic: rural England (Swanage, Dorset), St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, and Edinburgh, Scotland. As it turned out, I was in my first trimester of pregnancy, so my body also felt like a foreign country. I was so overwhelmed by the experience of pregnancy that I unfortunately didn’t blog about my time in Newfoundland or my return to Edinburgh.

fall 2015: quick trip to Maine for a friend’s wedding.

March 2016: two weeks in Japan (Tokyo, Naoshima, Okayama) with our 1-year-old. I haven’t blogged about this trip, but I hope to, soon.

fall 2017: a week in China (Shanghai, Nanjing) with our 18-month-old. Again, I haven’t blogged about this, but plan to.