One Year in Review

The LaBelleValise blog is now one year old.  This blog started as a travel log on all the places work, life, and wanderlust takes me and over the past year the adventure has been better than I hoped. Here are a few of the highlights Istanbul, Turkey Chester, UK Chicago, Illinois New York, New YorkContinue reading “One Year in Review”

Lunch with King Ding and Snotting Cat-Beef on a Shanghai Lazy Susan

When Kingful Ding of Shanghai, China (no, I am not making that name up) asked me to be the guest of honor at a lunch in his villa I accepted the invitation with enthusiasm. It’s not everyday I get asked to lunch at a villa in Shanghai, and there wasn’t really a polite way for meContinue reading “Lunch with King Ding and Snotting Cat-Beef on a Shanghai Lazy Susan”

Delightfully Chaotic

“She is delightfully chaotic; A beautiful mess. Loving her is a splendid adventure.” – Steve Maraboli A colleague once introduced me as “the most fascinating whirling dirvish” she’d ever met. It was one of the greatest compliments I have ever received. Although, perhaps what she meant was, “She’s a chaotic mess, but at least she’sContinue reading “Delightfully Chaotic”

Gypsy Cabs and a Rape Whistle

I arrived in Qingdao, China at midnight on a half-full flight of sleepy business men who hadn’t checked luggage. I moseyed my way over to luggage pick up alone and registered the odd fact that the baggage carousel lights were out, but the slow whir produced my lonely green TravelPro and black crate full of marketingContinue reading “Gypsy Cabs and a Rape Whistle”

Airport Zen

Park and Ride drop offs; shoes-off-tech-out security screenings; gate change; screaming kids; and octogenarians who have never flown before all collide into one frenetic, frustrating, infuriating pulse during the experience that is airplane travel. But, when you travel as frequently as I do (just got my Platinum Medallion welcome kit, WooHoo!) if you let the airportContinue reading “Airport Zen”

Made in China

It begins, the trip that tests if I’m actually qualified for the job I have. When Sheryl Sandberg told women to use our power to “Lean In” she didn’t address what happens next. How do I go from landing the dream job and impressing my colleagues to actually believing all the hype about myself? DoesContinue reading “Made in China”

Not a Victim

When I tell people about places I’ve been, or where I’m going, I occasionally get “The Look”. The Look is that face of disapproval that screams, “Do you want to be raped, murdered, sold into sexual slavery, and then dumped into a septic tank?” It’s a rhetorical and silent question, but if I had theContinue reading “Not a Victim”

Getting Lost to Find Yourself Again

Each of us has a place, a time, or a talent where we find ourselves at our most authentic – the outdoors, an athletic field, plucking at the strings of an heirloom guitar. For me, “Me” exists best when I’m far away from the expectations of who others expect “Me” to be. In China I canContinue reading “Getting Lost to Find Yourself Again”

Cat on a Corrugated Tin Roof

Everybody likes a vacation, but adventure is an acquired taste. – Courtesy, Google Images Contributor When I told people I’d be going to a high school in Nanjing, China, an English-learning Kindergarten class near Ubud, Bali, or a wedding in Cartagena, Columbia I sometimes got a funny, “Why the hell would you want to doContinue reading “Cat on a Corrugated Tin Roof”

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