In 2007, I traveled to China for the first time and started a journal. As I traveled more and more, my collection of stories and photos grew, but no one else was able to see or partake in my adventures, so in the summer of 2010, when I worked at the World Expo in Shanghai, I took my journal online and started this blog, The Traveling Bird. Now, my journeys have expanded to cover adventuring in Europe, volunteering in Rwanda, interning in Hong Kong, traveling in Australia, studying at Harvard, and now living in Asia. As I continue to travel, the list grows, and I chip away at my bucket list of things to do & places to see in the future.

My mama and me

I find enjoyment in drinking tea, doing newspaper brain teasers like sudoku, ken-ken, and cryptoquotes, reading many, many books on my Kindle, and teaching myself foreign languages. I’ve studied Mandarin Chinese since age 13, and can speak some basic Cantonese, Spanish, and kinyarwanda. I must admit, I probably spend more time researching the best methods on how to study a foreign language than actually studying them! But now I know about all the different resources and learning methods and language websites that are out there, so that’s a plus. Just you wait, one day I’m going to come back a world-famous polyglot. Decalingual would be nice.

Using a dictionary to journal in Chinese while in rural China, 2009


  1. I really love your blog! I found it today when I was looking up birds but I am also extremely interested in China/Chinese so I really enjoyed reading your posts! (Especially the one about Bubble Tea haha-I just had some yesterday actually!)

  2. Hi Caroline! If you look two comments up, you’ll see one from “Rocky” ~ that’s me! Here I am, just over one year later, and I’m still a huge fan and loyal reader of your blog. I just wanted to thank you because one year ago, you & your blog inspired me to start my very own and I’ve been on WordPress ever since. I’m actually a high school senior and you also inspired me to apply to a few ivies because you seem like you’ve been having a great time studying at Harvard. (I find out where I’ve been accepted at 5:00 tonight. So excited and so nervous all at the same time!) Anyway, keep up the great blogging! 🙂

    • Hi Rocky! I’m so happy to hear that! I’m glad you’ve started blogging– it’s definitely a great way to record all your memories, travels, and stories. Good luck!! No matter what happens, everything happens for a reason, so even if the end result isn’t what you wanted initially, it might end up being the best thing to happen to you!

      I originally applied early-decision to an extremely structured and focused business/foreign language program at Wharton/UPenn and got waitlisted, then rejected. I thought that was what I really, really wanted to do with my life at the time, but now I look back and am so happy that I didn’t get accepted there. So it all works out, trust me!

    • No, unfortunately. I haven’t since my 2009 trip (it definitely takes more time!). Now that I do it online, I write them in English so family and friends can understand 😉 I totally agree though- it’s one of the best ways to help with learning a language because it makes you realize what common, useful words you don’t know. And it gets you thinking in the language.

  3. Hey, I’ve enjoyed reading your adventures and I appreciate your info about the school in Rwanda. I nominated you for the Liebster Award. It’s totally not spam and you probably won’t find much on google about it – I didn’t. It’s pretty much a way to spread the blogging love. You can read about it on my blog. Thanks for sharing your stories!

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