Getting older but also getting younger

All photos are from my parents’ road trip in Canada and America this time:D


My parents recently went on a 45-days long road trip, crossing through the mountains, lakes and also modern cities in Canada and America. When I first heard their plan, I was a bit shocked that they wanted to go away for such a long period of time. My mum claimed that she wanted to experience the life in the other side of the world. After a few short overseas tours, my parents have gain some overseas travelling experience, so this time they are ready to go for a longer vacation organised by themselves with some help from me.

“I want to experience the life in the other side of the world!”
My mom told me.


I started to notice that there are a lot of similar cases around me – friends’ parents went on holidays by themselves, also my parents received invitations from their friends to go on a trip together. They have just reached the age of retirement, now they finally have time with some extra money, now is the perfect time to start thinking how to enjoy life.


Travelling seems like one of the popular choice, which was not that accessible while they were young. So where to and how? That’s the question. They have already tried the old fashion 12 days 5 countries package tour in Europe, but after the bad experience of rushing to all the tourist spots, and being with a group of people who only wanted to shop in Louis Vuitton, the group tour is never a option for them again, and waiting around for their grown up children to take them on a short holiday is also not convenient.



The ‘independent overseas tour package’ is popular for years in China, but it is hard to find a perfect package to suit all your needs. More and more young Chinese prefer to organise overseas trips all by themselves as freedom is calling, but for the older generation like my parents, it seems a bit harder to do so:

- majorly the language barrier, travelling without language help
- do not know how to plan a good travel route
– not confident enough to get around all by themselves and unsure how to book everything
– unfamiliar with the foreign culture, considering a lot of foreign places are dangerous
– worried about cannot get access to Chinese food

I found it very interesting that after the independent trips my parents did, they are more open to new things, it is like growing older but also growing younger at the same time. They are already thinking about going to Indonesia for the next trip after my suggestion.


China is facing an ageing population, the demands of independent travelling for older generation is growing. There are some alternative Chinese travel agencies are doing tailor made premium tour package but the price is also premium. Can today a new business model, a new service can help them to conquer their barriers, allow them to easier to achieve the dream they have – experience the life in the other side of the world? For example, a Uber like tour guiding service, help them to get a Chinese speaking tour guide near them whenever they need it. And perhaps they also need some extra encouragement to start the journey, to be able to see the world differently. After all, we all need the time to keep growing up, no matter how old we are.

巴厘岛街拍,毫不逊色于巴黎街拍. Bali street fashion.


珀尼达岛(Nusa Penida)是巴厘岛东南面的一座离岛。大多数游客只是匆匆坐船到珀尼达岛的水域进行水上或水下活动,但这片陆地几乎被大家完全忽略了。Lonely Planet上对这里的介绍是如此描述的,“这是一片自由而天然的土地,它回答了我们这样的问题:如果旅行者从未踏足,那巴厘岛会是什么样子?” 但并没有一个旅行书对这个岛上的活动或景点有着具体的介绍,因为岛上的旅游业并不发达,也并没什么很正式的开发过的旅游景点。于是我们带着好奇心来到了这个暂时还未被大量游客摧残过的地方,这个谜一样的地方。就在这个冷门的目的地,给我们带来了一个又一个的惊喜。


Nusa Penida is a small island right next to Bali main island on the south-east side. Most of the tourists would just come here to enjoy the water sports, but the island itself has been largely overlooked. Lonely Planet says “It’s an untrammelled place that answers the question: what would Bali be like if tourists never came? ” There are not much details you will find on travel books about Penida’s sights or activities, and it doesn’t really have any formal sights or tourism infrastructure. But it is a good thing we thought, we like place that is untouristed. So we came and it all turned out great at the end, this island is full of surprises and awaits for discovery.

Most of local people in Penida are Hindu. Although the life here is still quite hard, but every time they go to the temple for ceremony, they would all dress up in their most proud traditional clothes, set the hair and joining the biggest social event along with their family. One day we passed by one of their big event and luckily got invited going inside of the temple. In today’s overwhelmed modern technology dominated world, I found it very inspiring that Balinese are still well committed to their traditions and beliefs, therefore such a beautiful culture and heritage craftsmanship are going to be passing on to new generations.




















Photo by Yingting and Jaap.

上海姑娘在巴厘岛的别样生活 – Mia Chow in Bali





Have you ever daydreamed about moving to a tropical island to live? Mia Chow didn’t just day-dream about it, she made it all happen for real.

“I enjoy every moment of it.”
Mia replied to my question of “how’s life in Bali?” when I first met her in Ubud.

Mia Chow, a Shanghai girl in her early 20s, is living in Ubud Bali for one year already. After graduation, she has tried exploring her career interests in magazine editing, fashion styling and graphic design. Last year she went to Bali for short holiday and fell in love with this magical island immediately.






The moist air is mixing with the scent from offerings,
local people are on their way to the temple in colourful traditional clothes,
women are carrying farm crop on their head walking in the rice field,
the wind is whispering through the coconut trees,
Western artist is crafting the passion of his life.

Mia said to herself she would love to live here, so she flew back to Shanghai packed her life and move to Ubud.

Just like that, Mia’s new adventure took off. She started a blog to share her views on Bali’s essence. Why “Tropical Monday”? Because she would like to bring some fresh tropical breeze to the blue Monday for the nine to five lifestyle people. At the meanwhile, she also does private touring, photography services, and freelance graphic design. Recently she got invited to write for Chinese travel  magazines.

Living on a foreign island on your own, things can get very stressful too, but driving a motorbike against the wind makes Mia feel that she is taking control of her own life. After one year’s exploring, she found her passion in food and children photography, and her ultimate dream is to create her own lifestyle magazine like Kinfolk. Mia is currently planning her next move, excitement and challenges are awaiting for the young and brave heart.


Mia’s interview with OneEyeCat, all photos are taken from Mia’s residence in Bali:

Q1: 童年的梦想是什么?如今呢?
M: 小时候一心想着做衣服,所以我的Barbie们有很多时髦款,那时候不懂什么fashion design,就是一味地喜欢。A4纸上画了很多自己喜欢的服装和假想的models,大概堆起来有10本vogue这么厚。现在想要拍很多美食照片,还有小孩子的照片。不是俗气的“上菜即拍”,也不是幼稚的影楼范儿。我还在寻找适合自己的风格。

Q1: What was your childhood dream? What about now?
M: When I was little I only just wanted to make clothes, so I made a lot of fashionable garments for my Barbies. I didn’t know what was Fashion Design at the time, but I was just lovin’ it. I sketched a lot of clothes I like on the imaginary models on A4 paper, it’s about 10 copies of Vogue magazine thick if you stack them together. Now I want to do food photography and children photography. Not the Instagram kind of food photos or the cliché kids photos made by tacky photo studio. I am still exploring my photography style.







Q2: 在中国,对于一个刚毕业没多久的大学生最常见的选择要么是赶紧找一份稳定的工作,要么是考研或出国(其中当然没有包括去印尼)。你是怎么想到一个人独自从上海搬去巴厘岛的?家里人是否支持?
M: 第一次去Bali是放松心情独自旅行,结果用了两个礼拜就爱上了这个地方。食物,设计和氛围都是我喜欢它的理由。吃得东西更健康,价格也很便宜;有相当规模的欧美独立设计师的精品店和充满创造力的手工业,有很多东西值得学习;十年间,有不少西方人移居Bali,岛上形成一种多元文化,可以接触到世界各地的人。相对城市,更容易体会人与人之间的和睦感,有更好的交流,并且,每天都可以收到陌生人的问候和微笑是一件很快乐的事。一开始家里没人支持,现在外婆最支持。我想,时间长了,他们大概都习惯了。

Q2: In China, the more common choices for a newly grad are – find a stable job, or apply for Master degree, either in China or overseas e.g. US, Europe… How did you decide to move to Bali from Shanghai? Does your family support you?
M: The first time I traveled to Bali alone, I fell in love with this place in 2 weeks. The food, the design and the atmosphere, are all the reasons I love here. You can find healthier food options with cheaper price, a decent numbers of Western independent designer boutiques and the booming creative crafts industry, so much to learn. The growing Western residents over the last decades simulated the multi-cultural environment, you can meet people from all over the world. A city like this, it is easier to experience the harmony between diverse of people. Further more, isn’t it great to receive strangers’ smile and regards everyday?! At the beginning, no one from my family supports my decision, but now my grandma supports me the most. I think they will get used to it after a while.




Q3: 请分享一下你在巴厘岛最典型的一天
M:  咖啡(最爱Seniman和Monsieur Spoon)- 拍照 – 午餐 – 拍照 – 冰淇淋(Gaya Gelato is everything)- 拍照 – 回邮件 – 晚餐(多数去Hujan)- 上网看Blog和了解资讯

Q3: Please share a typical day of yours in Bali.
M: Coffee (I love the one from ‘Seniman’ and ‘Monsieur Spoon’ the most) – photo shoot – lunch – photo shoot – ice cream (Gaya Gelato is everything) – photo shoot – reply email – dinner (mostly go to ‘Hujan’) – surf internet and read blogs & news.





Q4: 巴厘岛看似一个十分友好的地方,但作为一个外国人居住在这里到底是怎样的呢?融入当地人的生活是否容易?
M:  我不犯人,人不犯我。Be nice, then be nice again. 只能说和expats(外来人)更容易做朋友,大家会有共同的困扰,会产生共鸣,也会一同寻找解决方案

Q4: Bali seems like a very friendly place to live, but how is it really like to live there as a foreigner, is it easy to integrate into local life?
M: People will not attack unless they are attached. Be nice, then be nice again. I can only say it is easier to make friends with expats, since we have common problems which we can help each other to solve.









Q5: 你在巴厘岛经历过最有趣,和/或,最困难的事情是什么?
M: 很多事都很有趣,尤其遇到的人都很有趣。一开始和大厨房东还有旅店老板用幼稚的手段开过不少陌生人的玩笑,每天都很没心没肺很开心。最困难的是交通,最方便的也是交通。因为没有公共交通工具,下雨天骑摩托车很绝望,但是在大多数情况下,摩托车就是自由,就是你掌控一切的砝码;没有摩托车,将寸步难行。

Q5: What is the most interesting thing and/or difficult thing you have experienced in Bali?
M: A lot of fun things, especially the people I met are very interesting. At the beginning, I would make silly jokes of the strangers with my chef landlord and the hostel owner, full of laughter everyday. The most difficult thing is transportation, but it is also the most convenient thing. Because there is no public transportation infrastructure, it is difficult to ride motorbike when raining but with no choice. Most of the time, motorbike stands for freedom, it is how you get in control of everything; if no motorbike, you cannot go anywhere.






Q6: 能谈谈你的网站 “”么?你是怎么想到要做这个网站的,及其你日后对其的打算?
M: 尽管很多人去过Bali,但多数人对Bali的看法很片面,甚至一无所知。美食氛围,手作文化还有建筑风格都是值得了解的。它之所以受欢迎,并不是因为自然风光,而是生活气息,有一种汇聚性的创造力,这也是为什么在Bali聚集了很多欧美设计师的原因。建一个网站,可以更便捷地去传播这些信息,也可以和在路上的人分享经验和身边的小故事。我希望可以在日后逐渐宣传自己的美食摄影和儿童摄影。在尝试过美食编辑,平面设计还有服装助理后,发现自己更善于捕捉,更喜欢记录美和生活细节。

Q6: Tell me about your website ““, how did you come up with the idea and where did you plan to take it to?
M: Although a lot of people has been to Bali, but most of people only has seen a small side of it, or don’t even know anything about it. Food, craftsmanship culture and architecture style are all worthy to know more. Bali became famous, not because of the nature but the rich flavour of life full of creativity, this is also why it gathered so many foreign artist and designers. To have a website is more convenient to spread out the information, also can share my stores and tips to other travellers. I hope I can use it to promote my photography in food and kids. After I tried working as a magazine food editor, graphic designer, and assistant stylist, I found myself is more good at capturing and documenting the beauty and detail in life.

Q7: 如果你能从上海带走一件东西去巴厘岛,你会带什么?
M: 酸奶机。

Q7: If you could bring one thing from Shanghai to Bali, what would that be?
M: Yogurt maker.


Q8: 你现在正在听的音乐/阅读的书/看的电影是什么?

M: 太多了 Lakehouse by Of Monster and Men / Sexual Revolution by Macy Gray / Promise by Ben Howard / House Inside by How to Dress Well / September by Earth, Wind & Fire ……在读Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg。Chef(落魄大厨),昨晚刚看,喜欢!

Q8: What is your current album/book/movie?
M: Too many. Music: Lakehouse by Of Monster and Men / Sexual Revolution by Macy Gray / Promise by Ben Howard / House Inside by How to Dress Well / September by Earth, Wind & Fire ……
Book: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
Movie: Chef – just watched last night, love it!

请关注她的微信公众平台:生活在巴厘岛(ID是 bali_daily)

Want to find out more about Mia?
Follow her Public WeChat Platform: bali_daily
or visit her website:

辞职去旅行 – 骑摩托从上海到德国(下) Journey to the west – Motorbike trip from Shanghai to Germany – Part 2




有兴趣可以去看看他们的旅行博客 Monkey Kings:

Following the last post about the journey to the west, this post showcases one of Chris and Matthias’s test drive’s gadgets. Before they headed out to the real adventure, they did quite a few short distance trip to test out all the equipment and have a better feeling of riding.

At the moment, they are already half way into their real journey, crossing the Asia & Europe continents in Turkey.

Please follow their travel blog Monkey Kings:






















OneEyeCat’s interview with Chris:

问1: 童年的梦想是什么?如今呢?
Q1. What was your childhood dream? What about now?
C: Too many dreams to count. Like becoming a fire man, a spy or sailor, wild life camera man, garbage truck driver, traveling the world…
Traveling is still high on the list.
Q2. What was your motivation of moving to Shanghai from Europe before?
C: Mainly boredom with Central Europe and the need for a change.
Q3. How did you come up with the idea of this motorbike trip from Shanghai to Germany? What is the motivation?
C: Once again the need for a change. Shanghai was good for a few years but there’s too many other cool places that shouldn’t be missed out on.
The idea of the trip was obvious to us. It evolved from wanting to drive an old military truck, through taking a car until finally saddling on motorbikes. After I convinced Matthias of the awesomeness of bikes that is.
Q4. How long did you prepare the trip? What is the most difficult part during the preparation; is there any unexpected problem or funny story to share?
C: The preparations of the bikes, all the necessary gear and route research and planning took about half a year.
There’s really every information one could possibly need out there. But at some point one just has to let the adventure be an adventure and stop preparing.
Map of their journey:
C答: 我的摩托车,我想这也是我正在做的事儿。
问8: 这趟旅行你有没有什么特别期待的事儿?如果你有一个待办事项列表,什么事项是最重要的?
C答: 如今我们的旅程已经进行到一半了,我可以说穿越中国的那段绝对是超越了我们的预期值。
Q5. What is your most memorable Shanghai moment?
C: I don’t plan on moving there again. But somehow I also got the feeling I’m not done with Shanghai yet.
Q6. If you could bring one thing from Shanghai back to your hometown, what would that be?
C: My motorbike. which is I guess what I’m doing right now.
Q7. What is your current album/book/movie? Will you bring any of them for the road?
C: Since we can listen to music in our helmets while riding I pretty much brought all my music. Same for movies on my HDD. Only book I brought is “The Adventure Motorcycle Book”, good for trouble shooting a bike on the side of the road or getting tips for certain countries’ bureaucratic hurdles.
Q8. Are you expecting anything particular from the trip? What is on the top of the ‘to do list’ of this trip if you have one?
C: Now, half way into the trip, I can say that crossing China was way better then we would have expected. Baffling beautiful landscapes in the Tibetan plateau and Xinjiang, amazing people and culture especially the Tibetan and Uyghur.
Crossing the Pamir mountains in Tajikistan was supposed to be the highlight of the trip, but unfortunately because of wrong timing we couldn’t get a visa and had to leave out Tajikistan, which had closed it’s borders for 3 weeks. Pamirs, this ain’t over, we’ll get you next time!

辞职去旅行 – 骑摩托从上海到德国(上) Journey to the west – Motorbike trip from Shanghai to Germany – Part 1




有兴趣可以去看看他们的旅行博客 Monkey Kings:


A Bavarian and a South Tyrolean guy met in Shanghai, and they gradually fell in love because of the common passion for motorbike so they ran away together for a big adventure back to Europe… Oh no no no, that’s not the real story,  just my fantasy, I always joke about it with them, hahaha.

So here comes the real story: In my design firm, I was working with Matthias the Bavarian guy from Germany and Chris the South Tyrolean guy from Italy. After few years living in Shanghai, they thought their adventure in China had to come to an end, so they came up with a creative idea for going back home – a journey to the west from China to Europe by motorbike.

Before they left, I visited their motorbike workshop couple times, it was super exciting to see how they did the modifications to the bikes. Think big, get your hands dirty, do prototype for testing, make modifications, get real connections to the process, and make things happen… and also most importantly have fun! That’s how they prepared it. It’s going to be a trip of the lifetime, and I am so happy I can be a very small part of it by documenting it.

Matthias and Chris are on the road already since end of July 2014, and now stuck in Uzbekistan temporarily because one of the bike needs some repair. They are waiting for some parts sending from Taobao in China. The famous Taobao… well, I used to joke with them that they should get a sponsorship from Taobao before, haha you see Alibaba just listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange few days ago, a good chance to propose them to enter Europe:D maybe…hahaha

Please follow their travel blog Monkey Kings:

Here are some photos from their workshop and followed with Matthias’s interview:


Let’s meet Matthias:


And let’s meet Chris:






























OneEyeCat’s interview with Matthias:

问1: 童年的梦想是什么?如今呢?
M答: 我小的时候从未想过将来会怎样,也不知道外面的世界是怎样的。我那时只关心我那下一个Lego积木太空船会长啥样。

Q1. What was your childhood dream? What about now?
M: As a child i didn’t think too much about the future and had no idea about the world out there. I was more concerned about how my next Lego spaceship would look like.

问2: 能说说你当年大老远从欧洲奔来上海的动力是啥吗?
M答: 主要是因为工作。我一直都钟情于亚洲文化,特别是有关日本的奇奇怪怪的事物。其实一开始我还以为上海是在日本,之后我又想这离得挺近的,应该差不多。结果你知道我是有多么的震惊,但我爱这点。

Q2. What’s your motivation of moving to Shanghai from Europe before?
M: Mainly the job. But I have always been a big fan of Asia and interested in Asian culture and stuff. Mainly weird Japanese shit. Honestly in the beginning I thought Shanghai is in Japan. Then I thought… Pretty close… Can’t be that different. Guess how surprised I was. But i loved it.

问3: 你怎么想到以开摩托车的方式从上海回德国的呢?动机是什么?
M答: 生活在中国,在我人生的轨迹里留下一个重要的痕迹,并且改变了我对许多事物的看法。从中国飞往德国需要12小时,我想难道12个小时就能结束我人生中这么重要的一程么?这听起来不太对劲。
一天我和Chris在聊此事时,我们提到为何不直接自驾横跨大陆回去。当时听起来像个玩笑,但我俩握手表示承诺这次一定真干,而不是让它又变成一个我们从未实现的愚蠢计划。一开始我们计划开汽车,由于那时我还没有摩托车驾照,也是考虑到骑摩托车十分危险。 之后我们去了一趟菲律宾的Palawan,经过了那一周的摩托车之旅后,我们就再也没提过开汽车这件事儿了。

Q3. How did you come up with the idea of this motorbike trip from Shanghai to Germany? What is the motivation?
M: Living in China made such a major dent in my life and changed my view on quite a few things. So leaving China and flying home in 12 hrs.. That’s it? Didn’t sound like the right thing to do.
Chris and I were chatting about this one day… Then we said, why don’t we just drive home over lands? Sounded like a joke at the time but we shook hands on it and promised to really do it this time… Not just have it one of our many stupid plans that never happen. First we planned to do that by car as I didn’t have a motorbike license at that point. Also because motorbiking is crazy dangerous and so on… Then we did a one week bike trip in Palawan in Philippines and the car was never mentioned again.

问4: 你们用了多长时间准备这次旅行?期间遇到什么最困难的问题,有什么意想不到或好玩有趣的事儿和我们说说呗?
M答: 差不多准备了一年的时间。就如我之前提到过的,我没有摩托车的驾照,所以最困难的地方是把两个国家的证都办齐了-一个德国的,一个中国的。办这些证件是否繁琐,期间也遇到不少麻烦,但这一切都是值得的!

Q4. How long did you prepare the trip? What is the most difficult part during the preparation; is there any unexpected problem or funny story to share?
M: Roughly it took a year. As I mentioned earlier I don’t have a motorbike license so the most difficult thing was to get both, a German and a Chinese drivers license. It took me quite some effort to get them, went through a lot of trouble, but all the hard work is worth doing!

问5: 你在上海最难忘的时刻是什么?
M答: 那太多啦。上海最棒的地方就是一你一旦出了家门就能被娱乐到,方式时好时坏,永远不会感到无聊。

Q5. What is your most memorable Shanghai moment?
M: There are too many. Best thing in Shanghai is that you are always entertained when u leave the door. Sometimes in a good, sometimes in a bad way – Never gets boring.

问6: 如果你能从上海带走一件东西回你家乡,你会带什么?
M答: 淘宝 – 我们这次旅行几乎所有的装备都是淘宝上买的。你想得到的他们都有,你想不到的也有。

Q6. If you could bring one thing from Shanghai back to your hometown, what would that be?
M: Taobao – we got almost all our gear for the trip from there. They have everything – and more.

问7: 说说你现在正在听的音乐/看的书/电影?你会带上什么一起这次的旅行呢?
M答: 音乐。我希腊朋友John给我制作了一个超大的歌单,超级期待的。我iPad上有几本我一直都想读的电子书。但我觉得可能时间不太够用。我驾车时有时会听语音书以及Podcasts。或许我能最终听完最后一集Game of Thrones的语音书。

Q7. What is your current album/book/movie? Will you bring any of them for the road?
M: Music. My friend John the Greek made me a huge playlist. Looking forward to that. I have a few books on my iPad that i wanted to read for a while. But i am afraid there wont be enough time… Sometimes I listen to audiobooks and Podcasts during driving. Maybe I can finally finish the last Game of Thrones audiobook.

问8: 这趟旅行你有没有什么特别期待的事儿?如果你有一个待办事项列表,什么事项是最重要的?
M答: Well, 这一次,我希望每一天都能够看见不同的东西,去不同的地方,遇见不同的人。我本身是个没有耐心的人,所以我希望这次旅途中自己可以学着变得更加放松,随遇而安… 但最重要的是进行一次大冒险,以及一堆小冒险。

Q8. Are you expecting anything particular from the trip? What is on the top of the ‘to do list’ of this trip if you have one?
M: Well. For once I hope to see different things and places, meet interesting people everyday. I am very inpatient. So maybe I gonna learn to be a bit more relaxed and just go with the flow… But mainly it’s about having a big adventure and a lot small ones.