Monthly Archives: April 2014

On Taiwan and Food Porn

Yes, I’m afraid that these are my awesome friends. And they are photographing an ice cream burrito.

Yes, I’m afraid that these are my awesome friends. And they are photographing an ice cream burrito.

Food Porn (noun). Definition: Gratuitous images of delicious food that make foodies swoon.

I hate this term, but I hear it all the time because all my friends are foodies. My Facebook news feed is a complete disaster, where I hardly see actual pictures of my friends any more but instead high-depth photos of what they are eating (and increasingly, baby pics — urgh).

To make matters worse, I am guilty of being a food pornographer myself. I can’t resist sharing a good steak picture whenever the opportunity presents itself.

I didn’t have any specific expectations of Taiwan before spending a week here with my wife and several awesome friends. I was pleased to discover that the country is really beautiful, with incredible natural geography, hot springs, and villages. Taiwanese people are also really nice, which was a pleasant contrast to the somewhat cold treatment I felt in mainland China.

But the food in Taiwan—holy crap, it’s good. And cheap. And good. For less than $5 USD, you can eat like a king in this country.

I’m going to do something now that I never expected to do on this blog, which is dedicate an entire post just to food.

If you’re a food lover with wanderlust, I highly recommend taking a trip to Taiwan. We were here for a week, but we could have easily stayed longer.

Here are some highlights from our grand Taiwan food tour.

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Four days in China

Jade master carver showing off his sweet jade ball.

Jade master carver showing off his sweet jade ball.

China is weird. I can’t decide whether it’s a developing country or years ahead of the first world.

My wife and I didn’t spend too much time in China, we only got to visit two cities: Beijing and Shanghai. Both cities are so different that they could be separate nations.

Overall, I didn’t really enjoy China, but I do think that it’s a must-visit place. The nation offers a glimpse of a past history/culture that is incredibly rich, as well as a preview of what the future will look like for human civilization moving forward.

Here are a few highlights from China.

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Four days in Korea

“Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got…” (says this baby Buddha from a temple in Daewon)

“Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got…” (says this baby Buddha from a temple in Daewon)

After an awesome week in Japan with friends, my wife and I hopped over to Korea to visit family. Most of our extended family lives in Korea today and it just so happened that the timing of our visit coincided with my wife’s grandmother’s 90th birthday.

Even with all the family stuff we were able to sneak in some quality sightseeing. We spent most our time in the southern part of the Korean peninsula, particularly Kwangju where my wife’s family lives.

Here are some highlights from Korea.

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Seven days in Japan

A picture of Mount Fuji, taken at about 81 mph. Very symmetrical, how Japanese!

A picture of Mount Fuji, taken at about 81 mph. Very symmetrical, how Japanese!

Anthony Bourdain said it best: “Japan. Any excuse to visit will suffice.”

The first time I visited Japan was 2009. This was the first country that I’ve visited where I could see myself leaving the US to immerse myself in a new culture for several years.

The food. The geography. The people. The visitor to Japan will find all of these things utterly wonderful and bizarre.

After a fun few days in the Arctic Circle, my wife and I crossed the Pacific Ocean to kick off our 2.5 month Asia trip, starting with a week in Japan with some of our closest friends. We focused on traveling the Southern half of Japan, visiting many cool spots between Tokyo and Kagoshima.

Below are some of the highlights of our Japan trip.

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Calculating when you can say: F-You

Money buys freedom. Yet most people don’t know how much their freedom actually costs.

My favorite personal finance concept is F-You Money, which is the amount of money required for a person to achieve full financial independence. That is, for said person to choose to start a business around a passion, choose to work in a cube, or simply choose to sit on her couch for the rest of her life.

F-You money varies greatly depending on the individual. This article teaches you how to calculate the exact amount of wealth you need to buy your freedom.

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