I remember the first time I jumped off the plane in China. It was the summer after fifth grade and my first time leaving the US, if you didn’t count the time our family had gone to South Korea when I was two years old. As I stepped out onto the tarmac, I remember the muggy humidity, the overcast skies, and, above all, the lingering fear of being someplace completely foreign.  I remember thinking, “I have to spend my summer here?”  In the following months, I realized that China was not simply a place to explore with one’s eyes– I became familiar with its sights, sounds, smells, flavors. Above all, you could SMELL China. I remember the welcoming smell of the street food carts, the smell of sweat on overcrowded streets, and the less welcoming smell of the hole-in-the-ground bathrooms.

Despite my initial misgivings and countless embarrassing stories, I look back to see that I’d matured so much as a person and as a traveler in those short summer months. I grew to love China. I grew to appreciate the overnight sleeper trains and the conversations they induced. I grew to appreciate the endless stretch of farmland that made me feel so small. Above all, I grew to appreciate the people I’d met along the way. I realized how narrow-minded and sheltered I had been while growing up in my small pocket of the world in Los Angeles, California. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to travel to various parts of the world. In the years to follow, I can only hope to keep traveling, keep experiencing new sights and smells, and keep sharing the magic of it all with you.

In short, I fell in love with traveling because it affords me unknown beauties, encourages dreaming, challenges my many weaknesses, refreshes the spirit. Though I regret not sharing my experiences before, here’s to better late than never. Here’s to sharing the dreams I’ve pursued around the globe– meeting interesting characters, lugging around carry-ons, and learning cool shit.

I’m Joyce. Born in Los Angeles, California in the 90’s, raised in K-town LA and Tianjin, China.
Now living in and loving New York City, and getting lost all over the world.



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