Buenos Aires 5.8.17

Adam works as a US Foreign Service Officer. He and his husband Kevin are currently posted to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I met Kevin in a freshman seminar our first semester of college. Adam and I became friends through Kevin and when we would cross paths as University of Minnesota employees. As a guest for more…

Mendoza, Cordoba, Rosario 4.28.17

Arriving in Cordoba I quickly noticed and appreciated the city’s emphasis on preserving and promoting arts and culture. For example: Cordoba has a central arts related website compiling events, exhibitions, and museum information. I received a branded, color, multi-lingual map created by a graphic designer describing the space and exhibits at each museum I visited. The museums were housed in renovated,…

Eating Well: Chile 4.25.17

Two thoughts on food for this Eating Well installment: Shared kitchens are a common part of hostel life in South America. From Chile onward, every hostel I stayed at had cooking facilities. In contrast, the standard for hostels in Asia was to have a kitchen and bar located on the premises. Off the top of my head,…

Santiago & Valparaiso 4.22.19

While buying water in the Santiago airport, I said to the convenience store attendant, “¿Tiene cambio para un billete de 50 pesos?” or, “Do you have change for a 50 peso bill?” He replied, “No.” I responded, “Quiero uno botella de agua. ¿Hay otra mantra de pagar? ¿Se acepta tarjeta de credito?” or “I want water,…

A Visit with my Chilean Family 4.19.17

In 2008-09 I studied abroad in Viña del Mar, Chile. When I reflect on how I decided to travel for a year and why I feel comfortable with this life, I am not surprised to realize my experience abroad in college contributed to my current reality. Studying abroad I developed resiliency and self-sufficiency, personal skills I rely on daily and that are also…

250 Days & So Many Friends 4.16.17

  Each day I capture video footage of the people who are a part of my day. Somedays the people I record are new friends. Other days the video subjects are unknown people but we share the experience of being in the same place. Every day though, there is a story behind the video snippets. I shared my first…

NYC & a 30th Birthday 4.14.17

In early March I enjoyed a week in New York City with friends and family. This visit enabled me to transit from Asia to South America without spending an outrageous number of hours in airports and on airplanes. More importantly, traveling through NYC allowed me to visit special friends and celebrate my birthday with people who matter in…

Yangon 4.5.17

Somewhat often people ask, “What do you miss from home?” After only a few weeks traveling in China, I realized I missed salad. My diet at home included salad bowls, tossed salads, deconstructed salads, and fresh vegetables as snacks. Once I started traveling, my efforts to eat like a local and to avoid food based illnesses led…

Golden Rock 3.31.17

Upon arriving in Myanmar, the first thing I noticed was the traditional dress of the people. I saw women wearing beautiful gold paint on their faces and men wearing elegant long fabric skirts. I appreciated that the standard of style and beauty in Myanmar reflects regional traditions instead of western traditions, a reality that may also be a…

Ngapali Beach 3.29.17

A month before I flew to Myanmar I borrowed digital guidebooks from the Hennepin County Library and started reading about the country. As I read the Lonely Planet guide’s Top 20 Myanmar list, I was surprised and excited to read about Ngapali, a beach the guidebook said is one of the best in the world. Contributing to my…

Bagan 3.27.17

GDP per person in Myanmar in 2016 was estimated at $6,000 USD according to the CIA Factbook. The same source says approximately 26% of the country’s 51 million people live in poverty. Given these statistics and what I was spending in other countries, I was surprised when hostels in Myanmar were more expensive than anywhere else I visited….

Inle Lake 3.24.17

In the Burmese language, the word mingalaba is the salutation people use to greet one another. The direct translation for the phrase is ‘auspiciousness to you.’ The greeting mingalaba became the default word for saying hello in the 1960s (source). Everywhere in Myanmar, and especially in smaller towns, I exchanged this singsong greeting with people I passed on…