3 Things to Consider Before Staying at an AirBnB (and How to Save $35 Off Your First Trip!)

My wife and I recently spent a week in Hong Kong to renew our visas and visit with some friends.

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We knew we wanted to spend some time on Hong Kong Island, but we also didn’t want to go through the hassle of booking a hotel — especially knowing how pricey a nice hotel can be on the island. So we decided to find ourselves an AirBnB.

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How to Build Relationships in Multicultural Settings

When it comes to building relationships, we all go about it very differently.

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For many of us, relationship happens through conversation. Do you remember the last really good conversation you had with someone? It’s no coincidence that that person is most likely someone you would consider a friend – either that or you’re really good at making conversation with strangers!

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Why I Love Being a Western Asian in China

Asians are everywhere. Sometimes it seems like we’re taking over the world.

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But just because we’re Asian doesn’t make us all alike. Lots of us are descendants of immigrants who came to Western countries to start a new life. And so our culture is often vastly different from that of our parents or our grandparents.

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Using Local Currency in a Foreign Country

Planning on traveling or living abroad? Then get your calculator out (or start reviewing your third grade math homework), because it’s time to use foreign currency!

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Using the local currency is one of my favorite things about visiting other countries. Maybe it’s because I don’t handle cash a lot in my home country, or maybe it’s simply because I enjoy getting to see the country’s culture reflected in their currency. When I was a kid, I also enjoyed collecting stamps from foreign countries, so maybe I just have a weird fascination with foreign things in general!

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What It’s Like Being a Foreign University Student

Now that summer is officially over, I find myself back in the same place as university students all over the world – the classroom.

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The two textbooks I’m going through this semester.

Five years ago, I officially graduated from university with a bachelor’s degree. At that point, I figured my academic career was over. I could check “attend university” off my list of Things Every Normal Person Should Do.

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How Culture Impacts the Way We Are Raised

What was your childhood like?

No doubt this question can provoke a wide range of emotions and memories, depending on what you experienced as a child. 

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During our formative years, our parents have the greatest amount of influence in our lives. We are dependent on them to dress us, feed us, and sometimes just keep us from hurting ourselves! But as children, what we don’t realize is that we’re not merely offspring of our parents. We’re also offspring of the culture into which we were born.

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Why We Love Convenience, and Why It Might Not Be the Best

Convenience is something we all enjoy.

Instant noodles. High-speed wireless internet. Short commuting distances. We like all of these things because they make our lives a little bit easier.

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Though we might not realize it, this pursuit of convenience is deeply engrained in all of us. So much, in fact, that we will often base our decisions on whether or not it is “convenient” for us. Why do we love convenience so much?

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When You Get Sick in a Foreign Country

Nobody really likes getting sick. You lose your physical energy, your motivation to do anything, and it’s just downright uncomfortable.

But what’s even worse is when you get sick while you’re away from your home country.

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There’s a saying that goes, “You don’t really learn to appreciate something until it’s gone.” This is especially true of our health! But it can also be said of the peace of mind that comes with our access to Western medical care.

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The 5 Best Things About Taxis in China

In our day-to-day lives, we all have places to go and people to see. Many of us drive our own car, while some of us take public transportation, such as the subway or the bus. Those who are especially motivated (or have no other choice) will bike or walk.

But very few of us will actually hire a taxi to take us to our desired destination.

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However, in China, taking a taxi isn’t simply one of many options. Sometimes t’s actually the best option. Sometimes it’s the only option.

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Why We Think Sitting is Better Than Squatting (and Why We Might Be Wrong)

Sitting is something we all do. You’re probably sitting right now. But squatting isn’t something we do very often.

If you’ve ever been in China before, you’ve probably noticed that Chinese people still like to adopt the squatting posture as a way to rest (and in order to do other things, but we’ll get to that later). Whether young or old, male or female, rich or poor…everyone here does it.

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Photo courtesy of Flickr.com/TLimPhotography

Our Western mindset looks at this posture and thinks it’s kind of unnatural and maybe even a little uncivilized. But when it comes to resting, squatting might actually be the healthiest, most natural posture for our bodies. Continue reading