Parker Pflaum

China, Southeast Asia, India, and Morocco Instructor, Study Abroad Faculty

M.A. in East Asian Regional Studies, Harvard University.
B.A., Summa Cum Laude, in History and Chinese Languages, University of Florida.

Parker first took Chinese language in his sophomore year at college, and after one semester, he decided it would be a good idea to study abroad in the the frigid, industrial city of Changchun in Northeast China.  The combination of his first real winter— he was born in Miami Beach and grew up in north-central Florida—and not really speaking Chinese or knowing anything about the country— made for some interesting, nay, even eye-opening experiences.

In between the embarrassment, the stomach readjustment, and proto-communication involving hand language he fell in love with that county.  After graduating with his B.A. he returned to China for a year to live in Zhejiang and Sichuan provinces, and then studied all-things China at Harvard University.  He loves long train rides as a means of exploring that huge, diverse, and quickly changing country.

Parker’s love of travel, adventure, and the great outdoors has seen him backpacking extensively throughout Asia and the rest of the world.  He once traveled overland (no planes allowed) from Indonesia to the United States by way of Eurasia via bus, train, and ship (including the week-long trans-siberian railway).  He has been to 48 states and hopes to travel to Idaho and Alaska soon.

When he’s not working, traveling, or studying, Parker enjoys slack-lining, reading, being silly, and getting lost in new cities.  He recently hiked the 2,650 mile-long Pacific Crest Trail, which took him five months!  He has spent much of the last few years in India, especially in the north, in Varanasi and Ladakh in the Himalayas.