21 Dec, 2014 in Yearly summaries
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What did 2014 look like?  2014 marked an important change in my life. After 5 years as a PhD student living in Hong Kong I finally defended my dissertation and graduated the PhD to leave Asia and begin a postdoc in the United States. Most of this year was surrounding these big events, and so […]

Visions of France (45)

After a long absence from Europe, I got to spend a couple of wonderful weeks in Paris and roaming around France. To my delight, I was joined by some of my charming family to head out from the Paris airport east to explore the wonders of Champagne province. From there, we roamed around circling Paris […]

Visions of Paris France (29)

After many years of being away, this year I was finally able to spend more time in Europe. Earlier I visited the Netherlands, which increased my appetite, and so after wrapping up my life in Hong Kong I decided to stop in Paris for a couple of weeks before moving on west to my new […]

Arashimaya Kyoto (30)

Arashiyama was the last area I visited in Kyoto and it was a glorious beautiful day, filled with gorgeous scenic views, mountain wild monkeys, enchanting bamboo forests and magical hidden temples. You can probably spend a whole day there slowly soaking in the atmosphere, sipping tea in the mountains or just enjoying the local markets […]

Ginkaku-ji temple Kyoto Japan (14)

Lots to see and do in Kyoto, and by the end of the first day you’ll probably already feel a bit over-templed. Some temples are very impressive, and some more humble, some are Zen, some Buddhist, and if you’re a person of details by day 2 you might already start noticing the little details that […]

Kyoto Japan (59)

On my last day in Kyoto, feeling a bit of temple overload I was hoping to try something a bit different and the Arashimaya area was just the thing. One of the highlights in the area is a monkey park, but not your regular zoo style but an area of land where monkeys roam free […]

Singapore Gardens by the Bay-063

If you’re in Singapore, then Gardens by the Bay is probably one of the MUST-DO attractions. It’s one of the most surreal man-made gardens I’ve ever seen, almost hard to believe that someone built something like that, and especially in an already over-condensed, an expensive and real-estate hungry city like Singapore. But, a strong government […]

Fushimi Inari Kyoto (10)

Fushimi Inari is one of the nicest temples to visit in Kyoto, one of the must TODOs on your temple run. In the first post, we hiked up the Inari mountain through the thousands of orange torii orange gates of the Fushimi Inari Temple through a mountain trail of a few kilometers. Although it’s not […]

Fushimi Inari Kyoto (7)

Of all the temples I visited in Kyoto, the first and possibly the most impressive of them all was Fushimi Inari. Climbing up a 4km trail from ground level on the slopes of the Inari mountain, you’ll be awed by the beautiful orange toriis, the gorgeous wooden gates below, and the 32,000 little shrines around […]


Less than an hour away from Champaign Illinois is the little town of Arthur, with a vibrant community of Amish. Though the Amish are generally considered to be quite reluctant to connect with the modern world, the Arthur Amish are generally very open and friendly and Arthur is now promoted as no less than a […]

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