What is home? (a nomad reflects)

Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. – Matsuo Basho I’ve done a lot of moving in my life in attempt to discover where I belong. I’ve moved from Portland, Oregon, down to Chico, California, then further still to Oceanside, California. And when we were fed up with the West Coast,…

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How has living abroad changed you?

My friend, who is somewhat newly moved to Thailand, was reflecting on what it’s like to be an expat: the culture shock, and then the struggle of not wanting to complain and feel culture shocked. As I walked to work, I thought about how much I had changed since living abroad.

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7 wonderful days in Penang

Penang Malaysia was one of those places that I constantly heard good things about, but never had made it to. But this year, I set my jets to see it. I planned months in advance to get a good ticket price and timed my hotel reservations, too. I’m so glad that I did. Penang is…

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Living with lizards: a love story

If you ask SE Asians what they are afraid of, they will most likely say: ghosts, snakes and lizards. Since I grew up in Hawaii, I can certainly understand why ghosts would be a legitimate concern. Ghost stories are very much part of Hawaiian culture, whether this be a modern development or something that spans…

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Celebrating 7 years abroad

It was Facebook that reminded me that the milestone had passed. Otherwise, I’m sure I would have continued to scroll past this moment, drinking my coffee and eating my banana. I posted, “I signed up for Intensive Thai, but based on my photo (with my application) I was enrolled in Intensive English instead.” Now, normally,…

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How I dress + pack for SE Asia

When I was doing my TEFL training in Bangkok in 2009, I noticed one of my classmates, Kim always wore jeans. “Why do you always wear jeans? Aren’t you burning up?” “No, I’m used to it. When I lived in the Philippines all the teenagers wore jeans. I don’t even think about it now. They’re…

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How’s my driving?

Cambodian traffic is something to behold. (Is behold the right word?) This is because you pretty much can drive in any direction you please. Now, in Thailand, I thought it was crazy when you saw a renegade motorbike going against traffic, hugging the shoulder and occasionally I did it, too. Sometimes it makes sense, especially…

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Do you speak broken English?

Despite the fact that I’m an expat in Asia and I hear broken English all around me, and struggle to communicate just as much as the next foreigner navigating these poorly maintained roads, I don’t speak broken English. And this isn’t because I’m an English teacher and I have my nose in the air, it’s…

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Should you become an expat?

I’m regularly asked about moving to Thailand (and now I’m being asked about Cambodia). There was a point when I was emailed so often I considered creating a standard reply, but in the end laziness reigned supreme. Interestingly, I’ve made friends though these initial inquiries. I’ve met up with a few and one time I…

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