How I Learned to Come to Terms With Where I'm From

How I Learned to Come to Terms With Where I'm From

Home: the place of Hurley surf contests and clean, trash-swept streets. Of middle-aged women with breast implants, sandals in January, and gyms so large they have their own hair salons inside. Of community yoga classes in grassy parks, outdoor shopping malls with acoustic guitar concerts, and “Closed” signs slapped to locked glass doors at 9pm. Of hilly running trails, foggy June mornings, and fish tacos so tender they ruin you for life. Home: a place I have loved and despised in equal measure.

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A Weekend in San Francisco

A Weekend in San Francisco

I spent this past weekend in San Francisco with my best friends, roommates, and sorority sisters from college. Several of my friends live in the city, so we were able to stay at their gorgeous, modern home in Russian Hill. When we arrived on Friday night, the girls had a big spread of food and wine set out: apple and spinach salad, a variety of cheeses (pesto gouda was my favorite), crackers, clumps of fresh grapes, dark chocolate squares, strawberries dipped in white chocolate, nuts, spinach cheese dip, and raspberry Brie.

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7 Ways Travel Improves How We Connect With People

7 Ways Travel Improves How We Connect With People

1. You become a better listener.

One of the first things you discover during travel is that everyone has a story to tell. Your seatmate on the bus in Santiago was a Mormon missionary from Kansas who loved Chile so much he decided to stay past his two-year term. The woman who asks you for directions in Florence teaches neuropsychology in Finland but decided to take a 6-month sabbatical in Italy. You Airbnb hosts in Montpellier are botanists who spent 11 years in Mali studying the indigenous plants.

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7 Ways to Quickly Recover From a Travel 'Misadventure'

7 Ways to Quickly Recover From a Travel 'Misadventure'

1. Stay calm and accept the situation

If you’ve ever missed a flight, boarded the wrong train, spent two days in bed from food poisoning or paid a large chunk of money for a vacation package that turned out to be a scam, then you’re familiar with feelings of panic and extreme anger. (It’s also likely you have a generous handful of swear words reserved for these very occasions, probably in a couple different languages too.)

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8 Simple Ways to be More in the Moment When You Travel

8 Simple Ways to be More in the Moment When You Travel

{I'm happy and excited to share the piece below that I wrote for Matador Network. It's published on their site here. Let me know what you think!}

1. Don’t make comparisons

Whether you travel often or only occasionally, it’s far too easy to compare your current situation to one from the past. The pebbly shore off the Promenade des Anglais in Nice instantly makes you long for the black sand beaches you frolicked on in Santorini. The phad thai dish you order in Camden Market makes you realize how much better the noodles were in Phuket. You can’t help but notice that the cab driver who picks you up at 6 in the morning after a night of drinking in Berlin wasn’t nearly as friendly as the one who took you to the airport in Lisbon.

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5 Challenges of Teaching English in South Africa (and 3 things that make it all worth it)

5 Challenges of Teaching English in South Africa (and 3 things that make it all worth it)

I recently published this article with Matador Network about my experience volunteering and teaching with the non-profit organization One Heart Source. My six weeks there were remarkable and I am so thrilled to share a bit of my journey. Please check it out and let me know what you think. If you have any additional questions about the program, feel free to comment below!

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9 Things Americans Can Learn From the French

9 Things Americans Can Learn From the French

{Below is the long, unedited version of an article I wrote that was published today on Matador Network, one of my favorite online travel publications. Check out their website--you won't be disappointed!}

1. How to slow down

    If there’s one thing the French don’t do, it’s rush through an activity (unless you’re in a Parisian metro station, then take refuge against the wall and try not to fall forward as hordes of hasty French commuters shove past you). The French take their time sipping coffee and searching for the right word to use in a sentence. 

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Shark Diver

Shark Diver

The weather is the first indicator that I’m screwed. The rain is slamming into the pavement and streams of collected droplets are gushing and wiggling down the van windows. I force myself to stare at the ocean—the color is caught between grey and black as the clouds surge forward and sideways, revealing slants of sunlight only occasionally. The waves are unsynchronized, toppling over one another like confused and desperate fish caught in a net. 

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