Hey, I am Mao! I started Mao & Then to document my passion for traveling, learning different cultures, and creating an unconventional lifestyle.
Even though we now live in the digital age, when it comes to cultures and travels, people still tend to be limited to stereotypes and often misconceptions. I hope Mao & Then would make the gaps (especially between east and west) smaller through my travels and videos.
Currently I am preparing to leave corporate America and to go all in on pursuing my passions. It took me several years to realize that life is too short, and the typical 9 to 5 is not for me anymore. Writing this can be risky as my employer could see this, but I wouldn’t be doing this if I am not determined.
I do not know what the future holds, but I am certainly stoked for the journey!
Some Background about Mao
I was born and raised in the beautiful island of Taiwan. My childhood was pretty typical, which consisted of mainly school, piano lessons and goofing around with friends. I guess I never truly appreciated Taiwan until I left. Maybe it’s the product of Asian education systems, or I took everything for granted. Taiwan is really an amazing place where I will always call home.
At age 13, my family moved to Shanghai China where I attended international schools. The seed and passion of traveling the world was planted then as I was fascinated by all the different cultures and languages of my fellow classmates who were all from different countries. After high school, I moved to Beijing to attend college where I had an once in a lifetime opportunity to be a volunteer for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Did I mention that I got to watch gymnastics court-side?
I immigrated to the United States at age 20. Originally I came to the US for my summer break, but ended up staying in the country (I am legal, I promise)! Coming from a traditional Taiwanese background, there are a lot of cultural differences between east and west. I have tons of hilarious cultural and ESL (English as a second language) moments, especially from dating Sara, my gorgeous girlfriend of 5 years.
Even though we now live in the digital age, when it comes to cultures, people still tend to be limited to stereotypes and often misconceptions. I hope Mao & Then would make the gaps (especially between east and west) smaller through my posts and videos.
Traveling brings me new perspectives and energy. The best part is simply by just being there and live in the moment. To me, traveling is not about counting the numbers of countries you have visited. Instead, it’s about learning about the local people and culture. I am not a big fan of mainstream medias as they are in the business of generating buzz and news rather than going beyond the surface.
I consider myself a budget traveler especially I tend to travel during slower seasons. It allows me to explore when it is less touristy, and learn the everyday lives of the people. One of the biggest joy is meeting the cool folks throughout my journeys, and I am always eager to hear their stories and learn from their perspective.
In addition to travel guides and tips, I will incorporate as much personal experience and encounters as possible to bring you more of an intimate experience with Mao & Then.
Preparing for the Big Move
Another goal of Mao & Then is to keep myself accountable on transitioning out of corporate America. Having worked for a few years after college, I enjoyed the rising income and comfort corporate America brings. However, I have never been truly happy even though I couldn’t have asked for better jobs.
I noticed that people around me, including myself, are caught up in the rat race rather than focusing what matters most to them. As I am preparing for this big change, I am less and less afraid leaving the comfort of corporate America. Instead, I am more excited for the new and unconventional lifestyle I will create for myself while pursuing my passions.
Please don’t be shy and say Hi as I would love to hear from you!