Wanderlust Wendy

Life in Shanghai

2014 Year-in-Review

 

The word for 2014 is balance. I struggled to find it. Last year, I didn’t write my year-in-review until nearing the end of January. To start off 2015¬†right, I am writing it with 4 more days to spare!
January: I ended the year with a trip to the East Coast to reunite with my friends. It was wonderful to catch up with so many people on one trip. The struggle of the expat life is that I have to carefully divide the very few vacation days to visit family, friends, and then do some traveling on my own. Tough to balance. Fortunately, I have great friends whom I can see once a year or two, or three, yet still feel as though no time has passed. I began the year giving a lot of gratitude. I ambitiously wanted to document daily gratitudes for the entire 2014. While that endeavor didn’t last, I did live a very grateful life.

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Powerless in Shanghai

Last night, the power went out in my Shanghai apartment. And it brought me back. The fuse box blew and I called the repairman. For all of Shanghai’s annoyances, one amazing thing is that even at midnight, someone is ready to come fix problems and make a few extra RMBs. For the next hour, I lit all the candles in my apartment and sat in silence. I read things on … Read more

Stop and Look at the Churches

I love old cities. Before moving to New York, London was my favorite city. So much history. And the architecture! They sure don’t make buildings like the way they used to anymore. New York is a baby city in comparison, but there are still some gorgeous buildings around. On my way to the post office today, I noticed that there are some amazing churches sprinkled in between the concrete jungle … Read more

Corporate Grind

Today at lunch, despite the rain, I walked out of my office to grab a bite of something to eat. I told myself I wouldn’t bring my lunch back to eat in front of my computer. I needed a break from those Excel spreadsheet. I sat in this small all-in-one lunch place eating my bland udon noodle soup (one should never hope a place that serves salad, hot food, sandwich, … Read more

Big Girl Job

Today, I put on a suit and a pair of power heels and started what I hope to be my first career job. It’s a strange feeling to embark upon a career. Sounds so serious. Last night, I actually was somewhat nervous about it. For the first time in my life, there is not an end in sight. It’s not a summer internship because I am not going back to … Read more

Story of a Honduran Girl

During my time in Honduras, I made many new friends; one that made a great deal of impression on me was Marisol. She is my age and acted as our tour guide through the city of El Progreso during our very first day in the country. We talked about the same things that all 25-year-old girl talks about. Her English was fabulous. She asked me if I like going dancing, … Read more

Love. Love. Love.

Last night, I found myself at Lenox Lounge, a jazz club in Harlem. It was a picture perfect New York experience. A down-to-earth space with incredible jazz musicians, a few audiences from the neighborhood that embody Harlem. The five piece jazz band played many classic tunes, sprinkled with a few ballads by Duke Ellington and the like to set the mood. Perfect prelude to this Valentine’s Day. I felt transformed … Read more

How SIPA Takes on Exam Stress

Oh SIPA. You never cease to amaze me.¬† I have been so involved with my life in New York and the happenings at Columbia that I haven’t written much about these really amazing past few months. It’s finals time and stress is in the air, but what really impresses me is how my SIPA colleagues manage to handle this stress with such humor. Slight variation from the LSE exam time, … Read more

The little things in life

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. In the past 6 years, I have only spent one Thanksgiving in the USA. I am beyond excited to be back. Celebrating this holiday in the foreign land, while at times memorable (those Peace Corps Thanksgivings were pretty epic), usually is pretty anti-climatic. Even though I am staying in the City and not going home for Thanksgiving, I am at least in the US and can make … Read more

Life at Columbia SIPA

Happy Halloween! Somehow, November is upon us, the first snow of the year came and went, yet I had not written much about my time thus far at Columbia SIPA. Life has been busy, but in a positive and fulfilling way. Columbia is a magical place. I feel myself growing all the time. Everything I thought I wanted out of life and career changes constantly as I become inspired by … Read more