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Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Change, Culture, Feature, Most Popular | 0 comments

Travel Every Day: A Joie de Vivre Approach to Life

Travel Every Day: A Joie de Vivre Approach to Life

  What most people really desire is something quite different from industrial gimmickry- liberty, spontaneity, nakedness, mystery, wildness, wilderness.  Edward Abbey When we were kids, life was an adventure. We examined bugs, fought off ‘evil’ with made-up super powers, and thought little of consequences. Gradually, society taught us how to cope with boredom rather than cultivate curiosity. We internalized that the ‘real world’ would be a duty rather than a delight– and then we perpetuated this narrative. Eventually, we bought into the idea that success means comfort and stability rather than a raucous ride into the unknown. When we realized we lost our way, some of us burrowed deeper into a job or career, got married, had kids, or traveled the world. We constructed our identities as ‘expert’, ‘spouse’, ‘parent’ or ‘traveler’ and fortified them with online social masks. We forgot that the world is a wild kingdom to be explored. It is nearly close at an empty Mexican restaurant on Colfax Avenue on a cold Thursday night.  Stories on...

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Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Culture, Feature, Guest Post, Travel | 0 comments

Finding Art & Beauty In an Unexpected Place

Finding Art & Beauty In an Unexpected Place

This is a guest post by British travel writer Gaby Lucius. Read her bio below! It was late June and the summer doldrums had me bored and restless. My freelance work had slowed and if I hadn’t been so damn hot, I would have been bouncing off the walls. “Why don’t we go to Vegas?” my husband proposed after work one day. “Vegas? What the hell, Mike? Can’t you come up with something slightly more inventive?” The thing is, when I get hot, I get grumpy. The thought of going someplace decidedly hotter than Portland was not appealing. From the first day of our married life, Mike and I had been working hard to see the most beautiful parts of the world. We’d been to Singapore, Cambodia, France, Belgium, Russia…I could go on and on. We’d enjoyed home cooked meals with local families, hiked through humid jungles and thoroughly explored ancient temples. We made a point to avoid the tourist traps like the plague. And here he was asking me if I wanted to go...

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Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in Culture, Feature, Guest Post, Teach Abroad, Travel, Travel Planning, Work Abroad | 0 comments

Making the Most of Teaching English in Thailand

Making the Most of Teaching English in Thailand

This is a guest post by Robert Oakden. See his profile below! Congratulations on deciding to explore the world! Thailand is a truly stunning country, with a fascinating culture and friendly population – not to mention the weather. In fact, we’re starting to get a little jealous of your adventure – can we come too? Spending a year teaching abroad isn’t the same simply traveling. There are similar perks, but being a TEFL teacher is a job and possibly the start of a career. So before you pack us into your suitcase, here are some tips on how to make the most of your time teaching abroad. Get qualified Strictly speaking, it is possible to get a teaching job without a certification, however, a TEFL qualification is a fantastic way to learn the trade and it will certainly make getting a position easier. There are plenty of online courses to choose from that you can complete in your own time over the course of around six months, or you can opt to complete an...

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Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in Blog, Change, Culture, Guest Post, Relocation, Study Abroad, Travel, Volunteer Abroad, Work Abroad | 0 comments

What to Know About Living Abroad

What to Know About Living Abroad

The following is a guest post by Troy Peden, Founder of GoAbroad.com. Living abroad is different from any other type of meaningful travel, particularly if you do not have a set date to return to your home country.  The ambiguity of living abroad changes the way you consider your new digs and how you adapt to a new environment. The following tips about living abroad contain advice I frequently share with study abroad students but also include specific advice geared towards long-term visitors and expats. As someone who has lived abroad a few times and is currently living abroad right now, here are a few of my Do’s and Don’ts. Let Go of Your First Culture Don’t bring a suitcase full of your favorite granola bars with you to your new home.  The sooner you become comfortable with your new ‘granola bar substitute’ the better!  Clinging to your first culture doesn’t allow you to fully immerse into a new culture. Living Abroad is Different, But Not Better Remind yourself...

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Posted by on Jun 2, 2013 in Change, Culture, Feature, Guest Post, Study Abroad, Travel | 0 comments

How Beijing Gave Me An Iron Heart

How Beijing Gave Me An Iron Heart

I may have left my heart in San Francisco, but Beijing equipped me with a brand new one – made of iron. When I returned from my year-turned 6-month relocation to Beijing, people often asked me to choose and describe my favorite part of the experience. It’s such a completely expected and usual question, but I still found myself fumbling with how to answer. Filing through memories and experiences, and then bundling months of perspective into a single statement felt overwhelming. Faced with the question, it seemed I could do nothing more than shake my head, mouth gaping — I was speechless, and I was stumped. Initially, I considered the usual suspects: food, culture and activity. Memory after memory, I shuffled, trying to pinpoint the winner. But it wasn’t the steaming bamboo trays of jiaozi, though they were truly amazing. Once I spent nine hours in a moon-themed KTV room singing karaoke– that, too, was incredible but still not my favorite. Even waking up early to dance in the...

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Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Culture, Feature, Guest Post, Travel, Work Abroad | 0 comments

My Time as A German Au Pair

My Time as A German Au Pair

After college and an excruciating experience student teaching, I knew that I did not want to start a career right away. AT ALL. There was too much to do and to see. After going to Uganda before college and Germany during college, I’d developed a hunger to travel any and everywhere and to experience a different culture and language first-hand. I decided to be an Au Pair, or a nanny, to a German family in northern Germany. My main goal was to get better at German, see a lot of interesting things and meet a lot of interesting people. It was so exciting waiting in the airport to board my plane; I’ll never forget how hard I tried to keep down my smile. It was one moment in my life when I really knew I was doing the right thing for me. I boarded the plane and went off to have a three month learning experience. First of all, Germany is absolutely beautiful. I love everything about it: the...

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