Make a practice to practice.

I started this blog in 2015, hoping to build a digital portfolio of both writing samples and personal reflections on the things that I found to be important and relevant. Also, I had just finished my master’s thesis and was trying to balance the stress and the tedium of searching for a job. Around that…

Book Review: The Bourne Supremacy

This time last year, I was writing a review for The Bourne Identity, the first in Robert Ludlum’s trilogy. As I discovered while reading that book, the storylines of the book and the movie series are incongruent. Other than being fairly similar in the characterization of the main character, Jason Bourne, the screen writers really…

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…

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…

Fort Wilderness

For nearly 20 years my family has made a yearly pilgrimage to Fort Wilderness in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Each summer we have piled 70 hours worth of mosquito spray protection, 7 days worth of adventurous clothing, and 7 hours worth of car-riding activities into the family vehicle to spend a week in the northern woods getting…

England

I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that my first priority when we got off the ferry from the Netherlands and drove into London was finding coffee. I am slightly more embarrassed to admit that I was over the moon when we were directed to a Starbucks. We hit the ground running in England enjoying an…

Netherlands

Our stay in the Netherlands was quite lovely. Going into this leg of the trip I had no expectations (except to see tulips & windmills). The country was full of hospitable locals, beautiful sights in the cities (we got to tour the Hague, Amsterdam and Rotterdam), delightful drives through the countryside, flavorful food, and historical…

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…