A Canadian in Shanghai: Interview with Andranik .A

One quality that I really appreciate in a person is the ability to unapolagetically be yourself. And that is exactly what and who Andranik is. I first met Andranik four months ago when I moved to Shanghai and he is a colleague and someone I am happy to now call a friend. Besides fully and always being himself, he is a great conversationalist, gym enthusiast and can give the blue steel look just as good as any model. We love exchanging stories about our very fabulous and hilarious students throughout the day and searching for the best salad places in Shanghai in our off time. I asked if he would want me to take some professional and fun photos for him and we turned it into a morning of laughs, lunch and of course good lighting. After our photo shoot around Shanghai, we sat down over salads and rice bowls and talked life and all things Andranik.

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Falling in Love with Shanghai

I’ve only truly fallen in love once before. Love is the most inexplicable emotion that doesn’t quite make sense but is like nothing else and perhaps the purest of all the emotions. When it is real and lasting, there is nothing better. There are so many variations and types of love. I fell in love with school from a young age, have a true love for food and love traveling. I have also received the most pure and unwavering love from my family that as I get older continue to be so grateful for. I know how fortunate I have to have a lot of love in my life from my family and friends. There is a great quote from the movie The Fault in Our Stars that perfectly summarizes love for me.

“Falling in love is like falling asleep, it happens slowly then all at once.” 

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Make Green Tea

I was pondering about how to start this post last night while I was madly pedaling away at my spin class. This spin class was my first chinese exercise class where my instructor looked straight out of a lululemon catalog and had the overly peppy personality to match. Chinese techno and pop music was being blasted in the background while I tried not to fall off of my bike and heard the Chinese versions of “YMCA” and “Ice, Ice Baby.” At one point the instructor had us doing body rolls while pedaling. I was very confused. Story of my life right now. I am mostly confused.

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Where Have I Been: Vietnam 2015

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“Adventure is worthwhile.”

– Aesop

As a break draws closer (Thanksgiving break can’t come soon enough!), I wanted to reflect on a trip that I took almost a year ago to Vietnam. I was hired as an adult adoptee mentor for a travel group that takes adoptees and their families back to their birth countries. As an adoptee myself who has gone back to China, it was a very moving experience where I learned a lot. While a large part of the trip didn’t go as I planned or expected, that’s part of life; learning to accept yourself, adapt to unexpected situations and learn from every experience.

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Life Lately

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“You change your life by changing your heart.”

-Max Lucado

I haven’t done a type of this post as often as I would like to; however there is no better time to start than the present! Life lately has been fairly wonderful. I know I have said this before…but there is something about this time of the year that is so magical, but with that magic also comes a lot of change.

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Looking Back: China and Inner Mongolia

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A trip that I will remember forever and had enormous impact on me was my trip to China in 2008. It was my first international trip without my family or friends from back home and really inspired my future travels and helped me reconnect back to the country I was born in and one of the many places in the world that I call home. I went on a three week trip throughout China and Inner Mongolia with four other Chinese Adoptees, a guide and a driver doing various activities…mostly having fun and exploring the country we were all born in. It was such an amazing trip and I feel so lucky that my mom trusted the universe enough to send me out there and let me learn from experience independently! Adoption is so special and I found some forever friends on this trip and cannot wait to go back! Hopefully ASAP!

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Toughy (Aubrey)

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This crazy things happen when you unplug your headphones, stop looking ahead in a dead stare and decide to stop and chat to another human for no other reason but than just because. As I was walking downtown after having an amazing lunch with a friend who just moved to Colorado, I checked out the centre of the 16th street mall and was immediately drawn to this awesome group of musicians jamming out with their puppies and rolling around in these funky, red chairs.

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Gabe R.

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Goob. I mean, Gabe. I met Gabe the fall of my first year at college through the Resident Hall Association and Williams Village Program board. Aka the two places where all the nerds and people who feel like they need to do something with their college experience other than study and party go to gather. His presence alone is a massive ball of contagious, positive energy that echoes off everyone around him. It’s easy to be happy around Gabe and his sincere goofiness. He doesn’t take life too seriously while also being completely serious that he is having the time of his life at all moments. It’s a beautiful energy to be around.

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Xia A.D.R.

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The first thing you should know about Xia (Chi-a) that you would never know unless you were fortunate enough to spend time in her enlightening presence is that this girl has style and pizazz beyond your wildest dreams. She is a cluster of energy, intelligence and whimsical fun that we often think we have to lose as we stop playing in the leaves and dressing up as princesses. Somehow she has bypassed this false ideology in the world that we have to grow up in order to show as an intelligent being and has merged all sides.

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