Recent Posts

Teaching ESL in Korea

The Kids arrival to school is a lot like Christmas morning. They’re all excited and expecting something. I have an hour to prepare before class, which goes by way too fast after that first cup of coffee kicks in. My school is a hagwon, which means a private school in ...

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A Quickie in Hong Kong

With much to explore, there is plenty to fit in during a brief encounter in Hong Kong. Between a long layover or a short stay throughout your Asian invasion tour, any amount of time is worth a quickie in Asia’s World city. And a world city it is, with trending ...

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Traveling to Escape Life

Moving across the globe to a world unknown didn’t make me brave, it made me a coward.  For it wasn’t the challenge ahead that I looked forward to, but the idea of escaping my demons by pulling a geographic.  The Pinterest favorite “we travel not to escape life, but for ...

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Working for the Weekend

I may have escaped the mundane world of corporate America (in my ignorant opinion), but there’s no denial that I spend Monday through Friday working for the weekend. As a Kinder teacher, the toddlers are cute and all: pulling at my shirts, smacking my ass and crying for attention but ...

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Color By Number

The best itineraries are the ones designed at 4am after a five-hour train ride across the country. Stranded at the train station, our group of sleep-deprived adventurers had eight hours to kill before check-in at our swanky rented apartment overlooking Haeundae Beach, Busan. And in that three bedroom apartment we ...

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School is for Fools

“Class.” “Class!” “Now after learning about question-forming words, I want you to ask me three sentences about myself. It could be anything. Ask me about my family, my pets, my favorite food. Anything”. *Crickets* “Class, don’t you have any questions for me? About America? About moving to Korea? I flew ...

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The Korean Fix

I cooked today. A bit of “meal planning” if you may. However, the final verdict for dinner was my last package of ramen. I couldn’t tell you which flavor of ramen, definitely spicy, but definitely not fish. (Thank G, because I’m sick of everything smelling like fish). I also joined ...

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Commitment To Excellence

I rummaged through my closet, looking for a worn-in tee suitable for sleep. I had been sporting my birthday suit in bed all week as a result of consecutive reckless nights during my return to Kansas City. Fast-forward to Sunday, the last night I would be resting my dehydrated body on ...

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Why I Could Never Live In Charleston

I grab the wheel in fright, cautiously aware of the wide-load truck passing through the porous one-way road towards KingStreet. I keep an eye on my GPS while channeling over Gospel radio stations. Just a few turns from Gabi’s house, I attempt to stay focused on the road, but the crowds ...

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Walt Disney World: Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival

Turns out, downloading Tinder fell in my favor. Within 48 hours of swiping and blocking cautionary messages, I matched with Matt, who wooed me after a few rounds of bowling. This Floridian transplant and I have shared a myriad of days chasing waves and sunsets along the gulf’s white beaches, wining ...

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A Belizean Affair

Confession: I joined ships after graduation to continue my lust for global exploration. Though the more I prioritized work over itinerary, the ports begun to blend into a redundancy of overweight passengers beelining to Señor Frogs, with familiar scenes of white sand and turquoise waters. Port days became ones for ...

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I Wonder What All The Poor People Are Doing

As the second round of Corona buckets were ordered, I lifted up from our shaded arrangement to withdraw another set of Andrew Jacksons. I read the ATM receipt hoping the head rush from the hookah was still in tact as I focused in on my statement. O My Word! I shrugged ...

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Swipe Right

“Shh..” “We don’t say that word around here”, Nate* whispered. “Tinder is sort-of frowned upon. No one wants to admit that they’re on it. If you’re on Tinder, it means you’re desperate” Nate added. I laughed and turned to my right to shake the friend’s hand on the stool beside ...

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Ignorance Is Bliss*

Paradoxically, ignorance is not bliss*. Before any departure, I check the map to pre-navigate points A to B. I seek out walking tours to learn about cardinal historical facts. I learn “hello”, “goodbye”, “thank you”, and of course, “Cheers!” in the new language. And while a few of these personal travel ...

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Cincinnati: A Place of Progression

Natalie rubbed at my shoulder, asking if I still wanted to run. My eyelids fluttered in and out of vision as my thoughts strived to articulate a stern, “No.” The past fourteen days have expanded into sleepless nights, early mornings and hours in the air. As I prepare to head tropical, ...

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My “Last” Day in Firenze

Two years ago I stood beside the Santa Maria Novella train station, distressed against my luggage, crying into my cup of stracciatella gelato. It was my last hour in Florence after four months of living in utopia. While my short-lived roommates looked forward to this day, I refused to believe ...

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Budapest and the Magic Baths

Water. I need water. And aspirin. Where’s my phone? Where are my clothes? Buried by my feet, I turn the volume off my iPhone as friends in central time zone buzz me updates about their Friday night escapades. Their check-in spurred a flashback from last night’s pub crawl in Budapest. ...

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10 Things I Learned About Budapest

Because learning is fun, and so is Eastern Europe 1. Budapest is by far the largest growing city in Hungary. Severed by the Danube River, Buda and Pest unified in 1873. 2. “Buda” refers to the lush hillside west of the Danube, and “Pest” lies flat on the east. Together, ...

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That One Time In Italy

Firenze, the host of the Renaissance, the Medici dynasty and Michelangelo’s David. For centuries artists have flocked to Florence to collaborate, inspire, and gain recognition. Today, the streets of the Tuscan town continue to ravish in its traditional beauty. Despite the scaffolding, gypsies, and crowded tour groups; Florence never disappoints. ...

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Oops… I Did It Again

Most would agree that travel takes time and money. I say it is all about what and who you know. I know how to navigate Europe, and have a reservation on a friend’s couch. Today will be the third time in three consecutive years I hop the pond into Italy. ...

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Cape Town, South Africa

  I once thought South Africa was a geographical region, rather a country. Such as “I’m from South Africa” was comparable to “I’m from the Midwest”. At least I realized there are white people in South Africa, thanks to The Disney Channel’s “The Color of Friendship” and of course Cady ...

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Barcelona

Sophomore year of high school, I anticipated my fourth period Spanish class with Señorita Hillen. The advanced class mastered simple conversations and focused on Spanish Culture. Upon flipping through slide shows about Gaudi, I urged to visit Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and other famous houses designed by Spain’s greatest architect. With Barcelona ...

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Greece

Thursday, October 31st For the past two decades, Halloween has been my favorite holiday. A marathon of classic thrillers and costumes, a party-worthy duo. Though I managed to stream “The Shining” with friends, the day-long cruise to Corfu, Greece killed the Halloween spirit. But I couldn’t complain. We were on a cruise ...

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Bolzano

Biking Bolzano With included spas and breakfast buffets, Mom did alright booking the Stadt Hotel in Bolzano. Wednesday morning started with mimosas, strudel, and fresh fruit before our bike ride. What a ride it was. We passed hundreds of Italians biking and jogging on this calm, cloudy morning up to ...

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Rome

Early Thursday morning, rain poured down the streets of Florence and a flashback of yesterday’s dreadful walk from the train station appeared in my head. Two hours south, Rome welcomed us with warmer weather and overcast. Past the platforms a mall of stores and restaurants towered our path leaving the ...

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Salzburg

The Hills Are Alive  8:30 AM, birds chirping, sun shining. The Martins are not. A day wasted on a train sparked a mood swing and restlessness. Walking to the tourist information desk, I carried a poor attitude and snapped at my mother’s lack of direction. Long days with the parents ...

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A Day on a Train

During our last hours with Gerlind, Walter, and Tim, we opened up Dad’s blood sausage at breakfast with our croissants and homemade jam. By noon us Martins were on our way to the train station after several hugs, thank-yous, and goodbyes. The train to Salzburg left at 1:10. We hustled ...

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Stuttgart Day 2

Strolling Around Stuttgart Allowing myself to wake up naturally, I figured I would have enough time to stretch out on a morning run before breakfast. This thought dissipated when I rolled over to see the screen on my phone read: “10:39 A.M.” No time for a run, I’ll eat instead. ...

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Stuttgart Day 1

Meet The Parents Straight past the exit gate, my mom stands waiting in apprehension. Once I catch her attention, her fists fly up and her eyes begin to water. My parents visit me at school every October, but this fall their trip was a bit longer than a nine-hour car ride ...

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The Half-Way Mark

Studious After imprinting copious notes about Socrates and the Sophists, my frazzled brain had enough of the library and pleaded for a mental break. Quarter ’till midnight, the young people of Florence moseyed to the bars. As I skipped my apartment to avoid extra reviewing and to soak up the ...

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