On the merits of spontaneity, especially while traveling during COVID. 

As of just 48 hours prior to landing here in Phnom Penh, we were still unsure whether we would be going to Cambodia or Egypt next. Today we need to figure out how we will get to Sen Mororum tomorrow for our 4 days of volunteering with the Elephant Valley Project. We haven’t yet bookedContinue reading “On the merits of spontaneity, especially while traveling during COVID. “

My frog obsession part 1

I’ve had an obsession over frogs for a little while now. (Starting in 2019ish maybe, I honestly don’t know.) I’ve spent some time thinking about why I have this really really stupid obsession. I think it’s because frogs are such weird and cool animals. But more likely it’s because my older cousin Dante has aContinue reading “My frog obsession part 1”

Aprendiendo español – Part 2

My Spanish is now better than my Chinese. Sorry, Mom.  I had many years of mandatory weekend Chinese school throughout my childhood as well as 6 weeks of intensive Mandarin language classes in Taiwan when I was in my 20s, but after just five weeks of intensive Spanish classes in Costa Rica (4 hours perContinue reading “Aprendiendo español – Part 2”

I’m stuck in a black hole of travel planning

The last few weeks have been a carpal-tunnel-inducing blur of Momodo, Airbnb, Kiwi, SmartFares, Booking, TripAdvisor, random travel blogs, Sherpa, Google translate, email, various countries’ U.S. embassy websites and departments of foreign affairs. Getting denied from entry to Chile meant needing to rework our entire itinerary for the next month. So while the kids relaxedContinue reading “I’m stuck in a black hole of travel planning”

Aprendiendo español

For me, one of the luxuries of this time is the opportunity to learn Spanish. I’ve now taken 6 weeks of intensive Spanish (4 hours per day), supplemented with apps, videos and podcasts. And I’ve tried to use my limited but slowly growing vocabulary with any ticos (local Costa Ricans) I meet. (This is actuallyContinue reading “Aprendiendo español”

“And how did you convince your kids to go along with this plan?”

I get this question a lot from other parents of teens.  To be honest, we didn’t really give them much of a choice.  We are also lucky. Asher had just wrapped up 8th grade at Yu Ming Charter School, and his classmates were going to a dozen different high schools anyway, so he was atContinue reading ““And how did you convince your kids to go along with this plan?””

Why a family gap year?

Over the past 20 years, during our dreamy “what-if?” conversations, James and I have often talked about living outside the U.S. and travelling internationally. We wanted our kids to develop a broader perspective by experiencing life outside our privileged Bay Area bubble, and we wanted to show them some of the amazing things in theContinue reading “Why a family gap year?”