About Me

Hi!  I’m Justine, a California native turned expat who just wants to see the world.  I’ve been to over 30 countries in the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Southeast and East Asia.  And I’m planning on getting quite a few more stamps in my passport in the near future.

Why Travel Lush you ask?  Well, because I just can’t seem to stop indulging in all things travel.  Seriously, it’s kind of a problem…

Along with my boyfriend Aaron (who is mentioned often in this blog) I’ve been traipsing around the world on and off for nearly 15 years.  I absolutely love learning about new cultures, sampling delicious street foods and walking aimlessly in foreign cities.  I really am an unabashed travel fiend!

But – in case you’re itching to know more – here’s a little bit about my story:

Travel Lush - About Me
Photo courtesy of Élan Klein Photography

In August 2013, my boyfriend Aaron and I made the decision to travel the world indefinitely.  So we moved out of our house, sold most of our possessions, and bought two one-way tickets to Bangkok.

With a strict budget of $40 a day (per person) we had no idea where we were going or how long we’d be able to travel.

We spent 12 amazing months traipsing around Southeast Asia and South America.  We motorbiked around Thailand, floated down the Mekong in Laos, sipped fresh bia hoi (beer) in Vietnam, island hopped around the Philippines, gorged ourselves on street food in Malaysia, chilled out on perfect beaches in Indonesia, and lived like locals in Colombia.

It was bliss.

Travel Lush - About Me
This is the life…

After a year on the road, an unexpected change of events brought Aaron and I back to Indonesia.  Our journey as expats in Southeast Asia began when we moved to Jakarta in August 2014.  Aaron worked as a university professor while I landed a gig as a freelance writer for an English-language newspaper.

Living abroad in Jakarta was no doubt a challenging, eye-opening and life-changing experience.

Ambling through some Balinese rice terraces.

In 2015 we left Jakarta and spent six months living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  And in February of 2016 we moved, yet again, to Beijing, China.  Nearly two years later, we’re still here. Aaron still works as a university professor and I still work as a freelance writer.

Forbidden City
I heart Beijing!

 What you’ll find on this blog:

This blog is where I document all of my travels.  I mainly write about Southeast Asia, since I spent nearly three years living and traveling there and still spend about half the year based out of there.  But now that I’m also based in Beijing I do also write about East Asia.   I also tend to ramble about life as a (semi)newbie expat.  I’m a vegetarian who really loves food, so food plays a major role in this here blog.

vegetarian food in phnom penh
I’m a vegetarian and I love mock meat. I seem to write about this a lot!

I genuinely enjoy giving advice on travel and expat life.  So you can expect all sorts of tips for what it’s like to live and travel in Southeast and East Asia.

Travel Lush - About Me
Koh Rong…my favorite beach in Southeast Asia!

If you’re new to this site, here are a few posts that will help to get you started:

I’m also on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.  To keep up with my latest posts feel free to follow me on bloglovin’.  I promise you won’t regret it.

And, of course, you can always feel free to contact me at thetravellush@gmail.com.  Seriously ask me anything.  I swear I’m super friendly!

Thanks for coming on this wild ride with me!


21 thoughts on “About Me

      1. Yes, Im sure you will make wonderful memories there! I hope you get there soon…when the World Cup is over the flight tickets will probably be cheaper! You can’t miss the Galapagos Island in Equator either 🙂

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