Homesickness and the Holidays

So the holiday season has come in the US! It started with Halloween (if you consider that part of the holiday season – I think it kind of counts because so many people celebrate). Next up – Thanksgiving! Not here though. While Halloween exists in a very small way in Ecuador, Thanksgiving basically does not […]

10 Reasons to be Thankful

Every Thanksgiving, Americans around the world are asked to practice gratitude and thankfulness. For me, this was the first Thanksgiving I was not celebrating with my family. It was easy to wish to be back at home, among the delicious fare my family whips up. But I found myself in London, thousands of miles away […]

A Familiar Face & More Hot Takes

This past weekend one of my best friends came to visit me in Liverpool, all the way from Michigan! The travel bug has surely spread through my friend group as she left me to head for Ireland, Germany and Poland. A curious thing happened this weekend – I became a tour guide of sorts. What […]

A Weekend in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is lovely because it can be touristy in some areas, but those touristy areas are easy to get away from. Finding transport to fun places on the weekend in Chiang Mai almost always starts with hopping into the back of a red truck. These trucks are one of my favorite modes of transportation […]

Getting to Class: CMU Style

If the 5 AM sunrise or the screeching birds don’t wake me up before my alarm at 7:30 AM, I consider myself lucky! Once I am able to sit up and open my eyes, I hobble out of my little bedroom and into my dorm’s main room to grab breakfast. Every Monday-Thursday (the days I […]

Learning to Live with Uncertainty

The people who know me know that I like to have everything planned out far in advance. Four year planning is one of my favorite things to do, and last minute planning stresses me out. Not knowing what’s going on stresses me out. However, I, along with everyone from my program and 18 million Chileans, […]

Guide to Street Food

Ask anyone who has been to Southeast Asia and one of the first things they will probably say is how amazing the food is. In some cases, the food is quite amazing, but one has to be careful in the realm of street food. The standards for health and sanitation are extremely low; every once […]

Part of the Family

Now that I’m over two months into my semester abroad (crazy, right!), I wanted to talk about being part of a host family. My host family is made of my host mom and dad, who are about the age of my real mom and dad, as well as a host sister who is a year […]

Trying Not to Get Hit by a Bus and Other Extreme Sports

A good public transportation system is on practically everyone’s Benefits of Living in a Big City list. It may even have a fighting chance for the number one spot. Being able to get where you want to go without having to drive yourself or walk is a huge bonus. As long as you get there […]

Food!! (& My Birthday)

Eating is hard. College students everywhere know what I mean. Meal prep, waking up for breakfast, consuming some sort of fresh fruit or vegetable, resisting the very strong urge to order take out every night, all of this is hard. It’s even harder to do abroad where 1) you have to be smarter with money […]