Wanderlust Wendy

Travelogue

One of the perks of having a French partner is the privilege to visit Paris on the regular. The luxury of being in a city not for the first time is the zero pressure to check out top sites. I’m free to roam the streets and do as I please. In my late teens/the early twenties, the movie Before Sunset was one of my favorites. I count my blessings each time I … Read more

London holds a special place in my heart. It’s the city that really kicked off my desire to live a global life. I’ve lived in the city three different times, totally nearly two years. The first time, on a semester abroad program, living in a dingy basement flat near Earl’s Court. The second time, I returned the following summer to be with a boy I was dating. The relationship didn’t … Read more

Chile, Atacama Desert

This week marked a year since we concluded our one year of around-the-world travel. Over this past year, we’ve had time to properly digest all that we’ve experienced. Our itinerary has been retold dozens of times. People seem to have a great interest at how we had structured our route, so here I share how we had planned our around-the-world trip.  Planning the Route and Logistics Our entire year was … Read more

sustainable tourism

I’ve always loved traveling to learn about a culture and gain perspective on different ways of life. Typically, I dislike tours and prefer to be away from tourist traps. Somehow, I never connected the dots between my two passions: community development and travel. That is, until I met Ameer Virani, who works in sustainable tourism. He showed me that, in fact, I may have been unknowingly supporting local community development … Read more

After spending six of my formative years in St. Charles, a St. Louis suburb, I moved into the city. For four years, I discovered the city as an undergraduate at Saint Louis University. The idea of a college town didn’t appeal to me. I wanted to go to school in an urban setting, and enjoy non-campus-based student life. While I didn’t appreciate it at the time, St. Louis was rather … Read more

St. Charles, Missouri

In 1998, I landed from Taichung, Taiwan, to St. Charles, Missouri, as a 12-year-old awkward girl who didn’t speak much English. I was confused at the people-less streets. I hated the need to drive everywhere that took away my freedom to walk and bike places. A city girl somehow found herself in a small suburban town.  In the six years that I lived in this town, I couldn’t wait to … Read more

Phu Quoc Island, Bai Ong Lang, Vietnam

After our year-long whirlwind travel, we were looking for a vacation. Not travel, but a vacation, where we don’t feel pressured to check out all the sites, and hanging out all day by the beach is perfectly acceptable. Five days on Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam checked the boxes.  The Night Before Tet Holiday We flew out the night before Tet Holiday began from Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat airport. Big … Read more

Royal Caribbean Cruise

In my household, I’m not the only globetrotter in the family. My sister leads an equally unique life. She had met her husband while working on the Royal Caribbean cruise line. My brother-in-law still works on board as a navigation officer. They had a new baby, and we accompanied our six-month-old nephew on his first cruise adventure!  I’m not typically a cruise vacation type of person. Still, after 8 months … Read more

Chile, Atacama Desert

At the end of our whirlwind Workaway adventure, we treated ourselves to an epic trip up North in the Atacama Desert. We had decided against Patagonia since we didn’t have sufficient time to do proper hiking and had already spent ample time on the Argentina side.  As fate would have it, the Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth, was flooded two weeks before our scheduled arrival. I was following … Read more