Sometimes if I close my eyes tightly and concentrate, I'm transported around the world and into another place and time. Less than one year ago my life was completely different. Travel with me for just a moment...

It’s 5:30 in the morning. I’m by myself, miles away from home and many more miles from anywhere that really feels like home. I hear some faint Chinese chatter and sounds of steam coming from the street vendors outside prepping their dishes for the hungry commuting crowds. And I’m squatting in a stall. It doesn’t take long before I look around and realize there’s no toilet paper. Of course there’s no toilet paper. This is China.

How and why I ever left sunny San Diego to find myself squatting in a Chinese public bathroom in the dark of the morning may remain a mystery. But I feel it fitting to say my life has not gone exactly according to plan, but it has been far better than I imagined.

My photos from China depict just a small portion of what I grew to love about this great city I called home, Beijing. The people and places that comprise this remarkable country are historically fascinating and culturally unique. From the Great Wall to the hutongs, Beijing will forever hold a place in my heart.