Back in 2017, after I’d finished my teaching contract in South Korea, I spent a few weeks traveling in Western Europe. One of the places I fell in love with was the Netherlands – it was so charming and quaint. And while I spent the requisite time in Amsterdam, I was charmed by Holland (a province in the Netherlands). It was like something out of a storybook – wooden clogs (klomp), wheels of golden cheese, tulips, farm animals and windmills! Oh my!Continue reading “Travel Throwback Thursday – Holland, the Netherlands”
Since we’re all stuck at home for an undetermined length of time, I thought it might be fun to revisit some cool travel memories from my past.
Back in 2014-2015, I lived and taught in Gifu, Japan (just outside of Nagoya)….Continue reading “Travel Throwback Thursday”
Ahhh, the new year. A time, when we all collectively rush out to buy gym memberships we will use for a month and pay for for the next eleven. I’m completely guilty of rushing headlong into resolutions – like a bull charging a red cape. And surprise! – that cape continually gets yanked out of reach – until even looking at the color red makes me feel guilty and annoyed. Studies show that only 8% percent of people keep their resolutions, which begs the question: Are we doomed to fail?Continue reading “New Years Resolutions: Are We Doomed To Fail?”
In December of 2015, I’d just finished my 1-year teaching contract in Japan. Hungry for adventure, I set off on a one-month sojourn along the eastern Australian coastline with a Scotswoman, a Frenchman and a Canberra-native in a Britz campervan. (No, this isn’t the start of a joke). There were all the usual road-trip high-jinks – forgetting to latch the kitchen drawers before hitting the highway, being delayed when our window was shattered by a ride-on mower at a rest stop, dodging the occasional kangaroo crossing the road, jamming the back door when we accidentally shut a sweater in it, battling plague-like proportions of flies and never ending sand, having our drying towels pooped on by a wombat. You know – the usual things. #justaustraliathingsContinue reading “Would You Believe…Hanson?”
As someone who travels frequently, I find that a change of scenery can inspire and inform your writing, but often doesn’t make for the best work habits. Whether you’re trying to take in museums on holiday or traveling on business, the following tips will help you to get your work done anywhere in the world.Continue reading “How to Write Anywhere in the World.”
A lot of my friends and acquaintances who keep up with my Instagram posts are really curious. You go to all these cool places. How do you do it? No, I’m not secretly rich. No, I don’t have a job as an International Spy of Mystery (although if I did, I wouldn’t tell you.) The short answer is: I teach.
When I tell people I’ve taught in Japan and South Korea, it’s very shortly followed by: How? As in, how did I get started? Below, I’ll detail some of the process.Continue reading “How to Live and Teach Abroad.”
I consider myself fairly tech-savvy, but when I was setting up my website, I had no idea how to set my blog as the main content of the site. I spent about an hour fiddling around in my settings, growing increasingly frustrated, but determined to do it on my own. Then my friend John, who had a WordPress account of his own, sat down and did what I hadn’t accomplished in an hour in about two minutes. Could I have saved myself some frustration and used my talents in a more productive way? Of course. So what was stopping me from asking for help?
Well, what stops anyone?Continue reading “How is Asking for Help a Sign of Strength?”
A few months ago, the idea of an “Artist and Writer’s retreat” wasn’t remotely on my radar. I was about to finish a one-year teaching contract in Korea and was looking for my next job. Would I stay in Korea, go back to Japan, return to the States or go somewhere completely new? The possibilities stretched out before me, but none of them felt right. Something in me resisted the idea of entering a classroom again. I loved teaching and my kids, but I needed a break. Not a vacation, crammed with sight-seeing. My soul was crying for a return to itself.Continue reading “What’s stopping you from going on a Writer’s Retreat?”
Five years ago, I was working in a beige cubicle with no windows in downtown Chicago. There was nothing wrong with my job on paper – the pay was good, I had fabulous coworkers, a healthy working environment and a relatively stress-free commute. Every morning, I arrived early to enjoy my Venti Starbucks coffee before my coworkers began to trickle in and I thought, well, it’s not happiness, exactly, but I’m content enough…I think? I didn’t technically have anything to complain about. I had job security and health insurance. I didn’t bring my work home. So, I gained a few pounds from being largely sedentary and snacking on the pastries that inevitably filled the break-room at lunch. So, there were lulls of boredom or stress when working up to deadlines. So, it wasn’t my life’s passion…Continue reading “If Not Now, When?”