Hello! I'm Julie!

The Bamboo Traveler

Welcome to the Bamboo Traveler!

Hi! I’m Julie, the Bamboo Traveler! I’m an ESL teacher, travel addict, and bookworm. My mission is to help those travelers who want to dig deeply into the history, heritage, and culture of some of the most fascinating places in the world. Whether it’s through the pages of your passport or the pages of a book, I’ll help you travel the world and uncover a country’s history, culture, food, architecture, and natural beauty.

I spent many years living, working, and traveling in Asia. When I was 24, I moved to China and spent 8 years there teaching English and running my own language school. I also taught English in South Korea for a year and spent many months exploring the countries of East Asia and Southeast Asia.

However, since 2021, I have been slow traveling around Latin America. I started in Mexico and have been making my way through Central America and South America.

But in 2023, I ended up having a knee replacement surgery in Ecuador. It’s slowed me down quite a bit. Hopefully, by the middle of 2024, I’ll be back on the road again lugging a suitcase (no more backpacks for me!), my camera, and my Kindle with me as I make my way to Argentina and Antarctica!

After I see South America, my next destination is Eastern Europe, a region I fell in love with from reading a ton of books about it.

You’ll find lots of book recommendations and travel inspiration, advice, and tips that I’ve learned from my travels and book reading through Asia and Latin America!




years living overseas

Where Have I Been?

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How can the Bamboo Traveler help you?

The Bamboo Traveler is for those who want to...

  • explore the history, heritage, and culture of a place.
  • travel on a budget but comfortably. I prefer small two or three-star boutique hotels, but I'll also do hostels if I need to like in the U.S. or other expensive countries.
  • get detailed itineraries about where to go, what to see, and how long to spend at each stop along the trip.
  • travel off-the-beaten-path and get away from the big cities and the touristy sites.
  • get nervous and anxious before their trip. I'll tell you exactly how to get from point A to point B, so you won't feel so anxious.
  • do lots of research before they go. There are lots of suggestions for books to read.

Why did you name your website, the Bamboo Traveler?

If you’re like me and you’re around my age (somewhere north of 45), you’ve probably experienced a lot of sh$t in your life like divorce, job loss, career stagnation, career burnout, aging parents, death and so on. You’ve probably got lots of life and job experience, but nowadays that experience isn’t valued as much, especially if you’re a woman.

However, in order to survive and not let all the things that have happened to us beat us down, we need to adopt an attitude like that of the bamboo: strong, resilient, flexible, and open-minded.

◊ Like bamboo, we might not look tough. In fact, I’m pretty short (5’3’’), not very fit, always the last picked for team sports, and definitely someone who would come out on the losing end in a bar fight.

◊ However, looks can be deceiving. and in fact, bamboo is as strong as wood, concrete, and steel. So like bamboo, we really have no choice and we need to be strong on the inside. All women need some kind of inner strength to survive and thrive in this world.

◊ Bamboo is incredibly resilient. No matter how much pressure is put on it (if you’ve been to Hong Kong and China, you might’ve seen the scaffolding made of bamboo that is used on skyscrapers), it’s going to bounce back. Like Bamboo, we, too, strive to bounce back from failures.

◊ Like bamboo, we’re able to bend in the wind. We don’t fight change. We go with the flow. We adapt to the culture around us whether it’s China, Zimbabwe, Guatemala, or Prague. We can travel the world, accepting the differences and diversity, and willing to be with what is.

◊ Finally, bamboo is open inside. Like bamboo, we need to also have an open mind when we travel the world. We need to travel with an open mind and a willingness to travel to be with what is.


The Bamboo Traveler is a blog and the information in this blog is my own personal opinion and not the opinion of anyone other organization or person mentioned in this blog. The information in this blog should be used for informational or entertainment purposes and should not be a substitute for professional advice.

The information is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge. This site cannot guarantee that all information has changed. Thus, there may be omissions, errors, or mistakes. This includes, but is not limited to, information about prices, exchange rates, dates, accommodations, transportation, restaurants, and tourist attractions.

All prices and exchange rates are those from the dates of my travels or the dates the post was written or published. These prices and exchange rates may be just the approximate amount and may have been rounded up or down for convenience purposes. I cannot guarantee that these prices and exchange rates will be the same on the dates you travel. You should not rely on them for complete accuracy and should instead research them using more professional and up-to-date resources.

Under no circumstances shall the Bamboo Traveler or its writers have any liability to you for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of information provided on this site. Nor shall the Bamboo Traveler be liable for the success or failure of your travels and travel preparation. Using any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

Travel Highlights

24 Best Things to Do in Puebla, Mexico (+ Itinerary)

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18 BEST Books on Guatemala: Read Before You Go!

“I’d never heard of this bloody place Guatemala until I was in my seventy-ninth year.” – Winston Churchill I spent the last three years traveling around and living in Central America and Mexico, and during that time I’ve read 18 books about Guatemala. Before I even...

29 Books on Vietnam That’ll Give You Serious Wanderlust

If you’re like me and you love to read up on the place you’re traveling to, then you’ll find yourself overwhelmed by all the choices of books on Vietnam. I swear the number of English-language books on this country could fill a small public library. What does it say...

Oaxaca Street Food Guide: A Culinary Adventure

Let me tell you a secret about the food in Oaxaca: The BEST food is not found at the fancy and expensive restaurants like Las Quince Letras Restaurante or Casa Oaxaca. Save your money. Instead, the best food in Oaxaca is found on the street. During my three trips and...

Recent Travels

Read about my most recent travels. Leave a comment and share your travel experiences or ask a question. I’ll be happy to answer as soon as I can.


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