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…

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…

Belgium

Even briefer than our day-trip to Italy, our time in Belgium basically only included a quick tour of the European Union Parliament building in the capital (Brussels) and an even quicker lunch before continuing on the coach to the Netherlands. Which brings me to the following explanation of why I count Belgium among the countries…

France

I was initially nervous to look forward to Paris. I was certain that if I had positive expectations, then the city would let me down. Thankfully, I was very wrong. Paris was incredible. Our first night there, we ate at a Samoan grille (super random and a bit lackluster), but we immediately followed dinner with…

Switzerland

Despite the financial stability of Switzerland, my bank account by this point in the trip was a little worse for the wear and consequently I did not do many touristic outings or try much local cuisine at the restaurants. The best parts of Switzerland were the continuation of the gorgeous mountains and the chocolate. In…

Austria

Our trip from Germany to Austria was truly magical. The landscapes we passed were absolutely incredible. My camera was unfortunately tucked away on the drive, but I made lots of mental pictures of the scenery. The tops of the mountains were shrouded with low clouds, but spotting the occasional castle tucked into a lush forest…

Germany

Traveling from Russia to Germany required hopping on a plane. We waited for ages at the most-cramped gate at the airport in Moscow before finally boarding. When we arrived in Frankfort, Ronnie, our Dutch coach driver was ready to pick us up. A favorite among decades of IBIers, Ronnie drove us all over Europe for…

Deep breathing: light heart & heavy faith

*Originally posted in January 2018 as a guest contributor for Why I Stopped Why I stopped letting fear suffocate me: I have always had a fanciful imagination. I have also always allowed fear to dwell too long in my heart and mind. Fortunately, the scenarios I dreamt up were just amalgamations of the thrilling bits of…

The best worst decision of my life

Last October, a marathon happened to me. As ridiculous as that statement is, it is also incredibly accurate. In March 2017, I felt compelled to sign up for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon as a charity runner with Team World Vision. Everything about fundraising for an amazing organization sounded wonderful. Everything about running any…

Redeeming the busy life

So far, the twenties decade of life seems to be one of daily self-therapy sessions. It must also be the decade of the sad cycle of the recognition, resolution, and then eventual casting away of good intentions to make positive changes. Recently, I was perched on the kitchen counter, eating a meager dinner of yogurt…