Saturday, March 31, 2012

the world is a book.

i'm pretty positive i got my "wanderlust" (my strong, innate desire to rove and travel about) from my mom. at a young age, my mom and dad were taking me and my sister places to see and do and experience. of course, coming to asia was the will of the Father, but i still have to give credit to my mom who taught me that there is much more to this world and God's creation than little ole atlanta, georgia.

i was really, really excited to have my mom come visit me a couple of weeks ago! she got the full china experience with eating authentic food, riding public transportation, going to language class, buying groceries at the outdoor market, and hanging out with my friends. it meant so much to have her experience the things i do, taste, and see on a daily basis. i'm so thankful to have had the chance to show her the place that will forever be in my heart.

the "old town" in my city

a river boat cruise

the great wall!

i saw this quote the other day, and it reminded me of my bookworm, jet-setting mama! mom, how blessed we are to have "read" so many pages together. 
i can't wait to read the next one this summer!

‎"the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page." (saint augustine)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

all mankind together will see.

After our conference and vacation, we returned home for a day, re-packed our bags, and headed back out on another trip. This time it was to a small mountain village in a neighboring province. It was a great week of really immersing ourselves in another culture and learning about who they are.

 "Every valley shall be raised up, 
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
 and all mankind together will see it."
Isaiah 40:4&5

{at the end of our trip, we got to visit a national park covered in snow! 
it was absolutely gorgeous.}

singing singapore's praises.

Our next stop was Singapore, Singapore, and I LOOOVED it! It is easily my favorite major city in Asia. I loved its diversity, and the people are so nice! I also loved the Singapore River and eating meals along the Boat Quay.

Singapore has so many different groups of people living in the city. 
Lindsey and I visited all the main neighborhoods! 

 Arab Street

 Little India


 We also got to go to the Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo and visit the Botanical Gardens. They were both so great, though I was really impressed by the beautiful flowers at the Gardens. 

By the time our time in Singapore was over, I was so worn out from my travels. It was an incredible few weeks of seeing this part of the world. I feel really thankful for such great opportunities and that everything went so smoothly, every step of the way. So blessed.

a mini malay vacay.

After the beach, my friend Lindsey and I wanted to hope on over to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a couple of days. It was a really interesting city. I felt like I was in the Middle East with a tropical twist. 

These Dutch houses reminded me of one of my favorite cities - Amsterdam.

 We got to go into the national mosque...but we had to wear the headdress and robe! Ha!

The Petronas Towers were really neat to see! We got to go to the top and see a bird's eye view of Kuala Lumpur. I thought it was fun to see all the golf courses right in the middle of such a huge city.

The United Nations' Buddy Bears were on their world tour, and I was so excited because they reminded me on the Berlin Bears! Every country chose an artist to paint a bear to represent their country. They were all so creative.

oh my koh lanta!

after traveling in cambodia, we headed to thailand for some beach time on the island of koh lanta. i returned to the same beach and hotel as last year. it was fun to be back in a familiar place with so many great memories! 

here are a few snapshots of new memories made.

 (we went snorkeling one day and stopped at an island 
for lunch with these crazy creatures! eeeekkk!)

legends of the hidden temple.

after our conference, we had the chance to go travel a bit! our first stop was siem reap, cambodia! i never in a million years thought i would travel to cambodia, but i enjoyed a lot! i felt like we were living out the game show from my childhood, "legends of the hidden temple." we visited all the famous ones (angkor wat, pre rup) and ones where we were the only people there (my fave)! in the evenings, we hung around the quaint town of siem reap and ate lots of great khmer and american food. and of course, i did lots of shopping the markets and shops!

siem reap was a really unique city...much different than any place i have been to in asia. i am always so surprised that you can literally cross over a border into another country, and it instantly looks, sounds, smells, and tastes different! what an experience!

i was made for sunny days.

to escape the dreary winter in our city, we headed down south to thailand to get some sun and relax during the spring festival holiday! we started off with a conference with other students studying here in east asia. our hotel, the courtyard marriott, was INCREDIBLE. and everyone's room had an ocean view! we were so spoiled!

 (they even had a water slide. how fun is that?!?!)

my birthday also fell during this week! so i got to celebrate with my china family. it was really special. the hotel even sent me a birthday cake and flowers! and many of my friends went to dinner at an italian restaurant which was really yum!

not only did i get calls from all over the world (grace in india, anna in nashville, laura and miller in auburn, anna in daytona beach, kyle in london, and sara beth in montgomery), sara beth sent me e-mails of pictures of my best friends spelling out "HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEGA!"

this is sb's, for example!

i felt SO loved. i am so thankful.
what a fun week!

Friday, March 23, 2012


our winter in china was full of things to celebrate. of course, christmastime was sweet and really christ-focused as we celebrated together as a crew and with lots of our friends. 

we got to celebrate the chinese culture with a free trip to watch sichuan opera! our favorite scene was the men with masks that changed colors in an instant! and all of the costumes were so beautiful and intricate.

one of most famous landmarks of our city is an opera house located on the yangtze river. we had the chance to go watch an ABBA cover band perform there right before new year's (honestly, we thought it was going to be the broadway show mamma mia, but we were misled by the advertisement/language barrier...haha). either way, we chalked it all up to a fun experience and a way to celebrate our city and all the curve balls that come our way as foreigners living in the orient!

on christmas day, my roommate and good friend lauren got engaged! that was really something to celebrate! (and i get to be one of her bridesmaids on august 4th!!) we were so excited. when we went to her fiancé harrison's city for new year's, we had the chance to throw them an engagement party at a yummy mexican restuarant! it was so fun!


"celebrate we will, because life is short but sweet for certain." (dave matthews band)