30×30: COMPLETE!

Well, guys—I’m super excited to post that I’ve completed my 30×30 challenge! Seeing 30 countries by the time I turned 30 has been my personal goal for the last five years. Given that I started the decade of my 20’s with barely 3 countries on my list, it seemed like a pretty lofty goal. Funny…

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Should I Visit Athens?

Ah, Athens. One of the world’s oldest cities. Where classical, graceful, historical meets gritty, graffiti-splattered, and dirty. Athen’s port, Piraeus, once the major import/export center and navy base for the ancient Greeks, now launches ships daily outward to the pristine Greek Islands. But as you book your flight into the city of Athens and prepare…

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Beyoncé and Jay-Z at Berlin’s Olympiastadion

We walked under the Olympic hoops as one big motley crowd. There was a girl dressed as a unicorn. A guy with an arm full of Disney tattoos. Africans, Americans, Eastern Europeans. Interracial couples, a girl in a wheelchair, a group of gay men sporting eyeliner more expertly applied than mine. Into a stadium redesigned…

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How My Father Taught Me I Was Smart

If there’s one thing I am always going to remember about my dad it’s the way he always said my name when he wanted my help. Not lingering over each individual syllable: Guh-bree-elle, but a rushed, quick whisper, each syllable scrunched into the next. It was a conspiratorial beckon, an inside joke—delivered in a stage…

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What It’s Like on an Advertising Shoot

On a Saturday afternoon at the end of April, I posted a photo to my Instagram of me sipping champagne in business class, on my way to an advertising photo shoot in Vancouver. Obnoxious? Yes. Strategically selected? Absolutely. In fact, if you follow me on Instagram, you’d have seen a smattering of photos posted over…

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An Expat’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

There are days where I wake up and I am so damn grateful to have this expat life. Living abroad means days are full of surprises and new experiences, delicious foods and castles (yes castles!) just sitting there on the side of the road. But there are other days when nothing seems to go right,…

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A View on Viewing Animals – Featured on Written From

I’m super excited to share today that I’m a featured contributor on Written From! Check out the story—a reflection of what I’ve learned about interacting with animals while traveling—here! Written From is a really interesting blog—a conglomeration of posts that reflect, think deeply, and even critique the travel experience. From their mission statement: “We want…

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Year Zwei: Germany

A popular song in German radio last year had a catchy, twangy hook: “I got no roots but my home was never on the ground.” I heard it every time I got in a cab, in stores, in coffeeshops—and inevitably, it became what the Germans call an ohrwurm, or earworm. It was stuck in my…

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Is Namibia for me? 

One of the questions I frequently get asked by friends or family when I get back from a trip is, “Would I like it?” Most times it’s a fairly easy answer, “Sure, it’s not that different from [home]”. Maybe you, like me, don’t have a great idea of what Namibia is, beyond a vague connection to…

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Dear America: Election Reflection

Forgive me if this post is a little meandering, I was glued to the screen all night watching the election unfold. It felt strange to be far away during such a huge (and hopefully historic) event. I told Tim on our goodnight call that I missed home and wished I could be there to celebrate…

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