I am an award-winning writer, editor, and multimedia journalist of Taiwanese and mixed Middle Eastern origin, who was born on the East Coast of the USA.
I currently live in the cosmopolitan city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where I also spent most of my childhood.
But can you really sum up who a person is by knowing what they do for a living, or where they are from? Or is it so much more than that: is it also the way we move through the world, the things that we love to do or consume, and what we create? Perhaps it's also the roles we play in the lives of others: friend, sister, daughter, partner - or in the case of my cats, the human who serves their every need. Maybe we actually become different people in the various chapters of our lives, each one a little more suited to the latest version of the ever-evolving self.
So instead, I'll leave you with a few tidbits:
I've loved creating art since I was a kid: drawing, painting, photography, sculpture... the world is a place full of beautiful things, and it feels awesome to honour that by creating more pretty things inspired by them.
I've travelled to 65+ countries, and while I feel extremely grateful and privileged to have been able to do so, there is so much more of the world I want to see!
My higher education degree - from Tufts University in Greater Boston - was in French Literature and Economics. Which doesn't have much to do with the career I've had! When I graduated, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, so I worked as a paralegal for a couple of years - before deciding I'd never be happy if I didn't at least give the media/journalism route a go first. And the rest is history.
My life sometimes feels like a constant pursuit of the ideal balance between my sense of adventure and my love for tranquility. I'm starting to realise the secret is in embracing both, and not having to choose one side.
Most of the pets in my family have been named after food - I don't know why, so don't ask me. My two cats are called Mochi and Pudding, my sister's dog is named Truffle, and in the past, we've had a Marmalade (dwarf hamster), Candy (dog), and Waffles (rabbit). There have been a few exceptions - like Beavis & Butthead, two extremely spoilt golden hamsters - but to me, none have been more aptly named than my late cat, Monsieur Baguette. A gentle giant rescue beloved by anyone who met him, he was simply too distinguished to not be given a title, and was named this because he was the best warm loaf of bread.
In case you're wondering, "Yi-Hwa" is pronounced like "Eva" but with a "w" instead of the "v". Don't worry if you get it wrong the first time - even autocorrect changes my name to "Highway" or "Yikes"!