íshellan var mjög köld

After settling down, eating, and fully absorbing that we truly were spending the night in Iceland, there was a big decision to be made. Is it most sensible to stay put and rest up in preparation of the next day of travel? Is life telling us to seize the day and explore, even though we’re […]

Phuket

Before I left for Thailand, I had a few friends who studied abroad give me some advice on weekend travel. They told me that weekends were valuable, and they could either be used to spend time getting to know your city or traveling around to new ones. So far, I have had a healthy mix […]

Deja Vu in the Midst of Culture Shock

Most of the time, when you go to a new country, everything seems new. You don’t know what’s going on half of the time, and they call that culture shock. But sometimes, occasionally, you spot weird similarities between cultures and they stand out more than all of the differences in the world. For example, when […]

Secular Sanctuary

Last week I visited St. Paul’s Cathedral, or should I say St. Paul’s V. The very first St. Paul’s was founded by a monk in 604 AD. Now, in the middle of a sea of lumbering office buildings, rises the unmistakable dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral. The architect, Christopher Wren, oversaw the construction of this […]

Good Morning, Vietnam!

Traveling around Southeast Asia is relatively cheap, and quite easy. Taking advantage of this, my friends and I flew to Da Nang, Vietnam, last weekend. After dropping our bags at the Airbnb, we made a beeline to the beach. I didn’t realize how much sitting at the beach would remind me of Lake Michigan. All […]

Eating in Ecuador

So – plantains! They’re just one of the changes between the food here in Ecuador and the food in the US. Here, we eat plantains almost every day. I learned that there are about a million ways to eat plantains including boiled, fried as empanadas, and as “chips”. Also, I learned that there are approximately […]

Vivre à Paris: Rules, Reasons and History

Paris is a complicated, historic city. There are unwritten rules to just about everything, and if you want to be treated like a local, you better follow them all. Unlike in newer American cities and towns, quick convenience and individual happiness are subject second to the city’s collective needs and functionality. Say au revoir to […]

Time for Thailand

I arrived in Thailand a little over 3 weeks ago on August 10th. Every day since then, I have given thought to what I should share in my first blog post. It hasn’t been the easiest task to decide on what to write about because a lot has happened since I got here. I flew […]

As they say in Les Miserables: Who am I?

Who am I, you ask? Well, to make a long story short, my name is Katie Joachim and I am a rising senior at Hope College, studying Theatre and Creative Writing. Some of you may have seen me as the Baker’s Wife in Hope’s production of Into the Woods last fall. Currently, I am an […]

An Open Letter to Pre-Study-Abroad-Me

Hi Em, I know you’re scared out of your wits right now, even though you’re too proud to admit it. As much as you want to put on a brave face for your mom, who will worry about you for the entirety of the time that you’re away from her, it’s okay that you’re scared. […]