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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Golden Week and Hangzhou

I come to you writing this entry from under my IKEA covers with a 4 liter bottle of water next to me, a pile of kleenex on the other side and half a dozen riccola cough drops tossed around on my bed. Yes, I am sick. I can’t remember the last time I was this sick! I am not a sickly person but this horrendous cough, congestion, fatigue and fever has really done me in these past few days!

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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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Family that are Friends and Friends that are Family

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“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”

– Tim Cahill

Hey friends!

Yesterday I got back from a whirlwind trip to New York to spend time with friends and catch up on lots of times and adventures that we have all had. Everyone talks about New York as if it is this land where dreams come true; and it is. However, for me, New York means good friends. I told one of my friends that I would be just as happy sitting in her apartment and eating donuts…not going to any attractions or doing whatever a typical New Yorker or tourist does. And I meant it. There is something so special when you find friends that you know will be in your life forever. People tend to come and go in life and thats just part of the rhythm…but I deeply value those who are part of my life and who allow me to part of theirs. Nothing is more special or magical. Money will only buy you so much; but it will never be able to buy you time or friends or family.

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Movin’ to Moab…Really Just College Roadtrippin’

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I went to Moab, Utah for four days with four friends and had an absolute blast hiking through Arches National Park. I had been to Moab when I was in eighth grade on a school trip where we camped in the park and learned about the ecosystem and have been yearning to go back ever since. Sometimes I forget how beautiful the USA is and this trip did more than a sufficient job of reminding me what a blessing it is to grow up and live in this country. What is particularly great about Moab (and the National Park system in general) is that you can do a lot with a limited budget and adventurous spirit.

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Ruined Forever: Colorado Roadtrip

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Amidst the rhythmic and chaotic circulation that we all sometimes find ourselves in, it eventually becomes essential to throw it all away, jump in a car and hit the road for a good old-fashioned road trip. This is exactly what I did with one tent, two friends and three days in the most beautiful state that I call home, Colorado. There is something about getting away from the city and moving into nature that allows time to slow and down and deeply moving and meaningful experiences to be felt. While I absolutely love the city life, there is nothing like being in the great outdoors. With minimum planning, we settled on a three day trip that would take us from Denver to Buena Vista, Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado Springs and back. It’s fair to say that we returned back to Denver wanting more of life on the road and inspired for the next adventure.

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Rowdy and Lao-d: Laos is Amazing

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I can officially say that my favorite country in Southeast Asia besides Malaysia is Laos! This completely surprised me as I knew very little about the country and had no idea that it would blow me away as much as it did. We also had another awesome in country guide, Chermoua, to accompany our other guide Ray which added infinitely to the experience. Chermoua from the beginning, picking us up at the airport in Luang Prabang, was nothing but phenomenal.

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