I am back!

So I haven’t posted anything on my blog for a while. It was not that I ran out of things to write about, rather, I was too¬†busy traveling. ūüôā Just edited¬†the ‘Travel’ and ‘About me’ pages to reflect the new additions – 1 country, 2 national parks, and 4 airports.

I spent 10 days in Argentina – Buenos Aires, Bariloche, Cueva de las Manos, Mount Fitz Roy, and the Perito Moreno Glacier. Each place has its own charm. Just when I admired a beautiful scene and smiled and thought it couldn’t get any better, the next¬†wonder would prove me wrong. There are so many things to write about and so many photos to share that I don’t even know where to begin. I will just show one photo for now and leave the rest to future posts.

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After a wonderful¬†and eventful road trip (more on this later),¬†I flew from El Calafate to Buenos Aires to Houston to Washington DC and was welcomed by 8 inches of snow on my driveway. I didn’t bother to shovel since I could only stay home for 14 hours. Had to board another plane early next morning to London on a business trip. Thus I flew ~11,300 miles in about 50 hours, and I was in three continents within 3 days. Good thing that I tend to sleep a lot on the plane – be it a 3-hour or 10-hour flight, day time or night time, I slept thru at least half of it. What a blessing!

Now that I will be home for a while, the regular posts will resume. Can’t wait to share more of my adventures. ūüôā

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Travelogue (III)

Bitterly cold outside. A few inches of snow on the deck. I switch between typing on my laptop and holding a mug of hot tea. As usual, recalling the past times and amazing places and old friends and fun stories puts a smile on my face.

2003 – I went on a business trip to Kansas City, MO. At my colleague’s suggestion, we flew with Midwest Airlines and got quite a few pleasant surprises. Once there, we crossed the MO/KS state line multiple times to commute between offices. Throughout the year I made a few trips to Seattle, during one of which I visited Olympics National Park and had such a wonderful time – snow-capped mountains, beach, and rain forest, all in one park.

2004 – Another 3000-mile road trip from Seattle to Washington, DC. On the way I visited Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park (so foggy that I only saw the feet of the mountains), Mt. Rushmore, Badlands National Park, Chicago (heavy rain again so I still didn’t see much), and Pittsburgh. A trip to San Francisco (again) for a church retreat at the end of the year.

2005 – A China trip immediately after receiving my Green Card (saw my 3-year-old niece for the first time). A short visit to Detroit and Ann Arbor in July. Joint Statistical Meetings in Minneapolis in August. Then two road trips – to Boston in November (got my first and only speeding ticket in the morning of the Thanksgiving Day), and to St. Louis and Kansas City in December. These trips were very different in terms of purposes and people involved, but each was fun in its own way.

Okay, that is enough travel for today. The next¬†travelogue will start with my road trip in Canada. Stay tuned. ūüôā

Travelogue (II)

Check out¬†the blog’s ‘Travel’ page¬†that I created today.¬†I will update it whenever I have new places to add to the lists. This would help me keep a record of my whereabouts.

As you can see, other than China, I didn’t go anywhere outside¬†the United States until 2006. This was largely due to my visa status – it was a hassle to re-apply. Additionally, once the Green Card application started, it was a risk to leave the country¬†during the process, which took many years. Fortunately, there were many beautiful places in the US to keep me busy. ūüôā

1997 – Visited Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, New York City for the first time. Shenandoah National Park was only an hour’s drive away so it became a regular place to¬†explore over the years. From now on, I won’t count the dozens of trips to MD, WV, PA, NJ and NY.

1998 РWent to Guangzhou and Shenzhen in southern China during summer break; A road trip to Florida by way of VA, NC, SC and GA. I had a great time in Orlando, Miami and Key West.

1999 – Attended the Interface ’99 conference in Schaumburg, Illinois. This was my first ‘business trip’.¬†It was also the¬†first time that I gave a presentation and it went quite well. A friend¬†drove me to Chicago afterwards. Unfortunately it was raining so hard that I wasn’t able to do much.

2000 – Attended Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Indianapolis. JSM is the largest gathering of statisticians in North America, usually held in early August. Several¬†cities that I would visit in the years ahead were¬†hosts of¬†JSM. A road trip to Niagara Falls –¬†its sight and sound¬†took my breath away.

2001 – A 3000-mile road trip in western US – from Seattle to Portland to San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego to Las Vegas to Grand Canyon to Salt Lake City to Boise, crossing Cascade Range (no fun in winter) and back to Seattle. Visited three National Parks this year – Mount Rainier, Grand Canyon, Zion. They were all marvelous in their own way.

2002 – A trip to Las Vegas and Grand Canyon – again. A trip to Niagara Falls – again. You see, my parents came to visit me so I showed them around. The time we spent together and those precious memories will stay with me the rest of my life.

Okay, time to take a break. My mom just sent me a message so I will go talk to her on video. Till next time…

Travelogue (I)

In the spring of 1974, I was born in Changchun, a city in northeastern China, thus began my journey on earth. I have no recollection of my first trip since I was no more than 1 year old. My mom brought me to Beijing to see my grandparents (or rather, to let them see me). For the first 19 years of my life, Beijing was the only other place I had been to (several times) besides my hometown. Somehow I decided to make ‘traveling around the world’ as¬†a life¬†goal.

During my years in graduate school (1993-1996), I visited Haerbin, Shenyang and Qinhuangdao in several separate short trips. I saw ocean for the first time in 1994, and it was a hilarious experience. The Great Wall was crossed off my list in early 1997. Needless to say, I was very excited to finally stand/walk on this famous wall. Unfortunately the film in the camera was accidentally exposed thus there was no photo proof that I had been there.

In the summer of 1997, I came to the United States – the other side of the earth. The first US city I set my feet on was Anchorage, Alaska. I was awed by the marvelous snow mountain view (seen from above). Many hours later, the bright night sky of New York City welcomed me. My first travel by air was pleasant enough, although very long: 20+ hours, I think.

I am glad to report that I haven’t wasted my¬†time ever since. Not a year went by that I didn’t travel somewhere. Some trips were for work/conferences,¬†most trips were¬†for fun; some trips were short weekend get-aways,¬†while others¬†were fairly long road trips. I enjoy both natural beauty and city culture, and I love watching people. Will definitely keep traveling as long as I am able to.

I plan to do a series of ‘Travelogues’ to briefly list the places I visited, with each post covering a few years.¬†Also perhaps write up stories for selected points of interest. Stay tuned and check back often. ūüôā