Since I was seventeen, it feels like I’ve been constantly on the move. I ventured out to Austria, became infatuated with a world I could never see enough of, and began a series of geographic shifts that came with no less frequency than every year. I’ve spend five years like this; in and out and on to the next. Sometimes I moved away, and sometimes I returned back home and left something behind. I’ve had a whole lot of hellos and I’m no stranger to goodbyes. Continue reading On Losing Touch with Friends
about a year ago, around this time, I was just settling into life abroad: but in Argentina. I’d moved to the big city, Buenos Aires, and was beginning to see what it meant to learn a language and start over, all from scratch. now, a year later, I’m at it again but with a twist: Korea, small town.
that’s right: one year ago I was living in a city of well over a million residents. I now live and teach in a town of just over 2,000. talk about change! Continue reading livin’ in the sticks
when I first met you, I was disgusted. granted you were accompanied by the likes of ketchup and mustard and together you three make quite a sick troop. but ketchup and I have made our amends, and while mustard and I have agreed to disagree, he also doesn’t make regular appearances in my life. you on the other hand… I’m more revolted by you than ever, these days. Continue reading an open letter to mayonnaise
When you travel, especially when you travel by yourself (as I am currently doing), you learn a whole lot about yourself. You also learn small things, such as how to get around on public transportation, how to use and find maps, how to pack your backpack more efficiently. As helpful as these lessons are, though, they aren’t the real ones. The real lessons are about who you are and what you’re like, separate from home and perhaps despite home. These are the lessons that I am talking about.
Five personal lessons that I’m willing to admit to:
I am Cheap
I am really, really, really cheap. I buy the same three things when I go grocery shopping for a few days of food: bread, bananas, and sandwich meat. This usually costs about 20 pesos, or 5 US dollars. When I have the choice between reloading my card to take the bus or not, I won’t, and then I’ll end up walking 35 minutes uphill because I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the extra pesos. I also get uncomfortable when someone talks about going out to dinner; that’s for rich people.
I am Physically Lazy
When given the choice of two activities, one that involves physical activity but is worth it and one that doesn’t, I will generally choose to be lazy. If asked, I will claim that I like the former.
I Always Get Lost
I will, inevitably, without a single doubt or exception: get lost. No I am not joking. It always happens. Need to get to my hostel? Lost. Need to find the grocery store? Lost. Trying to find that one museum? Lost. This wouldn’t be nearly so bad, except for the next point…
I am Stubborn
One of these days I am going to wake up half transformed into a mule, like Shrek. This point plays into all of the other ones: I am stubborn and won’t spend money (hence being cheap) and if I get lost, I won’t ask for directions more than once. Even if I don’t understand the answer. If someone invites me to do something that I’m clearly not physically fit for, I’ll accept their invitation and then push myself to do the whole thing. You know, since I already claimed I would. My family can attest to this and now that this is on the internet, I really can’t argue when they say, “I told you so!”
I Only Need Two Things: Coffee and a Book
I could spend a whole day reading and writing in any cafe and I would be content and caffeinated. This may or may not be the first thing I do when I visit a city. Does this make me a bad traveler? Maybe, but I don’t care and I’m vividly aware of my lameness. Thankfully, that also means extra good posts for you guys to read!
What has traveling, backpacking, studying abroad or just visiting a foreign country taught you about yourself?