Thank you, Anthony Bourdain

Bourdain pictured in Granada, Spain

For many of us, Anthony Bourdain wasn’t just a chef. He wasn’t just a guy with a TV show. He wasn’t just someone who liked to travel. He was a source of inspiration—an exemplary human being who taught us how to live fully, listen carefully, and appreciate completely.

In the wake of his death by suicide, many of us who lived vicariously through Bourdain are finding further motivation through his lasting quotes. Here are some of the ones that have given me hope in the last few days—may they uplift and inspire you to never stop dreaming, never stop traveling, and never stop listening. Continue reading

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Discovering #vanlife

via Northcore

Last weekend, I somehow found myself sucked into a world I didn’t know anything about. Thanks to YouTube, I stumbled across a microcosm of something that completely encapsulates the idea of wanderlust: van life. What is van life? Exactly what it sounds like. Also called the “van movement” in some corners of the internet, van life is when someone chooses to lead a more hippie lifestyle, opting to live in their van or bus so that they can travel at will. It’s an intriguing mixture of minimalism and social media connectivity. These vans are usually completely remodeled and converted into mobile homes to the liking of the individual, and honestly they put all those HGTV “tiny house” shows to shame. Continue reading

“A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas

Bloomsbury

It feels like an age since I sat down and devoured a book in one day. It probably feels that way because it’s true—since my two Masters Degrees were completed, I’ve hardly had the time or energy to read for fun; or at least, I’ve lacked the patience to read a book in one sitting without being overly critical or without finding my brain wandering to other responsibilities and tasks. And then I picked up A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and (pardon the cliche) couldn’t put it down. Continue reading

A Traveler’s New Year’s Resolution

via Unsplash
via Unsplash

Happy New Year, everyone! 2015 was full of excitement and adventure for me, and I’m excited to see what 2016 has in store. I’m not usually one for making resolutions, but this year I decided to settle on a traveling goal: at some point in the next few years, I want to see more of the USA, preferably via Amtrak.

While living in England, I became accustomed to train travel. I’d never thought about going by train anywhere in the states, however, until I read this post by Derek Low a few months ago. This sounds like the perfect road trip to me, and has definitely gone on my bucket list.

Whatever your New Year’s resolutions and goals are, I hope they involve seeing more of the world. Happy Travels!

The Dutchman’s Guide to Fitting In

I am an American citizen. I am also a Dutch citizen. This means I get to pick and choose which passport I want to travel on, and when I want to identify either the Dutch or the Americans as a ‘they’, or as an ‘us’. Since I currently live in the UK, I often find myself talking about both the Dutch and Americans as ‘they’ these days. Today, however, I’ll be wearing my Dutch hat.

Not this one, thank god.
Not this one, thank god.

When I moved to the Netherlands seven years ago I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pretty confident that my status as a long-time TCK would help me to deal with whatever came my way. I am used to being immersed in new cultures (for better or for worse), and I am used to having to adapt and fit in quickly. What I definitely didn’t expect was that I would learn a thing or two from the Dutch about this process.

When choosing a nationality for the character of Goldmember (in the 2002 movie of the same title), Mike Myers wanted someone from ‘a place that nobody has an axe to grind with’. How do you develop that kind of status as a nation? Partly by financing half the world and providing vital trade to the other half, partly by becoming known as ‘that place where weed is legal’ (again, a savvy sales tactic), and partly by encouraging its citizens to become expert blenders.

So here, as my gift to you, is the Dutchman’s three-step guide to fitting in. Use it wisely. Continue reading