The insightful gift of hindsight

One year ago, I quit my job. More accurately, a year and a half ago I quit my job, but circumstances were such that I phased out very slowly. It was a blessing and a curse. Two years ago I decided I needed to move on from my job. I no longer felt that I…

Book review: The Bourne Identity

I remember when The Bourne Identity movie came out. My dad and I agreed that it was SO GOOD. My mom, on the other hand, was appalled. She had read the book first and claimed that the film depicted a wildly different story line. I ignored her and continued blissfully enjoying the entire Bourne film…

Book review: Into the Wild

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer (1996), was a bummer of a book. Describing the ultimately fatal journey of a disillusioned, middle-class young man into the Alaskan wilderness, the book seeks to explain how and why Chris McCandless died. Through interviews with the family members he abandoned on the East Coast and the friends he…

Checking the motives of lifelong learning

I love learning. I’m an Enneagram 5, which if you know anything about the Enneagram, you know that means I’m a hoarder of knowledge, resources and energy. Fortunately, I’m a fairly healthy 5, so I stay relatively engaged in the world and I don’t cling to too many worldly possessions. I do, however, have piles…

Nashville + Franklin

After what seems like years of not leaving my home state of Illinois (except for family gatherings in Michigan, Arkansas, Missouri and Wisconsin), I finally took a road trip to a completely new location: Nashville/Franklin, Tennessee!  The university that my best friend and I work for gave us the entire week of the fourth of…

Book Review: Neither Here Nor There

Bill Bryson, an American travel writer, recounts his travels through Europe in the early 90s. He journeys from Hammerfest, Norway to Istanbul, Turkey while retracing an infamous backpacking trip of the 70s with an unforgettable high school acquaintance name Stephen Katz. The story of the original trip is documented in Bryson’s, A Walk in the Woods (which I have not read)….

San Francisco

Less than three weeks after I returned from my year in Paris, I was on the road again. Over the course a month I traveled west for work, paused in the Midwest for vacation, headed east to visit family, and then flew down to the Caribbean for a volunteer trip. For the first stop on…

China

In order to get to China, I had to endure Air India once again. Not wanting to ruin my now positive impression of Indian cuisine, I wisely stuck with rice and cucumbers on the plane. We first flew in to Shanghai. Our time there was primarily spent doing touristic activities. As was the case in…

India

India was wonderful. Before arriving, I was slightly worried that I wouldn’t handle the heat, smells, culture shock, crowds, or food very well (mostly based on a terrible Indian airline experience in 5th grade). Although we still had to contend with airline food, I wisely chose the vegetarian option (always the safest bet in my…

Ephesians 3:20-21

The past few months of my life have been a mix of chaos, order, confusion, peace, busyness, relaxation, and anxiety. Although those adjectives seem to make my personal life significantly notable, I suppose that such a statement can sum up most people’s lives. While I know that my situation is not remarkable, in a long…