Two Weeks of Tall Ship Training: My Experience on Lady Washington

Two Weeks of Tall Ship Training: My Experience on Lady Washington

In March of 2017, I called up my mom to pitch an idea. “So, uh. You know those tall ships? Like in pirate movies or Master and Commander? Turns out you can go train on them. In California. And I really, really want to do that.” To which my mother, who tries her hardest to understand my whims, said, “why?” There were a lot of reasons for “why” — on one level, this seemed like a good way to make possible career in-roads…

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Getting the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship: Tips, Suggestions, and My Experiences (Part 1)

Getting the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship: Tips, Suggestions, and My Experiences (Part 1)

I got a scholarship! Which was kind of surprising to me since the whole application experience felt like a series of shots in the dark. Much mystery surrounds the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship (HES), which sends international students to study mandarin in Taiwan. Who’s gotten this before? How many do they give out? What sort of person do they want to give this to? WHO KNOWS!? I still don’t know the answers to some of these questions, but I have applied successfully…

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How to Get Vegetarian Eats in Spain

How to Get Vegetarian Eats in Spain

If you’re used to eating vegetarian food in America, get ready for a challenge in Spain. Vegetarianism is still a weird concept to a lot of Spaniards, so explaining your preferences can lead to confusion. Not only do Spaniards eat a lot of carne, they often don’t consider finely shredded meat or flesh-based products (like broth) to actually be meat. (If you shred up the jamón really small, it doesn’t count, right?) Finding vegetarian food can be an adventure or a chore, depending on…

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Why You Should Always Carry a Tactical Flashlight

Why You Should Always Carry a Tactical Flashlight

I’m not sure when I started carrying a tactical flashlight, but now I won’t travel without one. Why? Protection! Finding lost things! Adventuring! Oh, let me count the ways! Before I launch into a rhapsody (okay, an enthusiastic listicle) about why I love tactical flashlights, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. Tactical flashlights are meant to be used with weapons and in other tactical contexts. They tend to be very bright, water resistant, and tough. (Here’s a brief overview…

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Twenty-Two Years of Questionable Spanish Acquisition Techniques: A (sort of) Success Story

Twenty-Two Years of Questionable Spanish Acquisition Techniques: A (sort of) Success Story

Note: language aquisition and travel are inseparable for me. I travel to learn new languages and I learn new languages to enrich my travels. Spanish was the first of my non-native languages and the one I’ve been struggling with for the most years. For your comfort and edification (and so you don’t make my mistakes), here’s a brief reflection on my years with Spanish. I learned Spanish through a hodgepodge of techniques and curricula, poking at various curricula when I was younger, getting a bit…

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Odd Things About Spain

Odd Things About Spain

One of the perennially interesting perks of traveling is learning what little American quirks I’ve been taking for granted. Traveling pushes us outside of little comfort zones we didn’t even know we had and leaves us pondering doorknobs, water fountains, and all sorts of other topics we don’t usually give a second thought to. So! To kick off a series of posts about my recent travels in southern Spain, here are eight quirks I ran into over spring break. Dinner is super late at…

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I’m back! An update.

I’m back! An update.

Hey there, blog. It’s been a while. I’ve neglected you because, unfortunately, trying to finish my undergraduate degree was rather trying. Good news, though! That’s over with. I’m now free — free to write, free to travel, free to do whatever I darn well please, as long as money allows. Although I was busy with school, I made time to travel. I spent eight days in Spain this semester, and five camping in New Mexico’s high desert. I’ve got plenty of posts on Chaco…

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The Very Large Array

The Very Large Array

The Very Large Array has, at the same time, an incredibly descriptive and totally unhelpful name. The array in question is a Y-shaped network of radio telescopes that sit in the New Mexican high desert. They’re turned to the sky, listening to the sounds of worlds light years away from earth. Unless you’re New Mexican or move in space science circles, the Very Large Array (frequently called the VLA) is likely foreign to you except for the vague feeling that you’ve seen it…

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Fall/Winter 2016: College Budget Technical Clothing Haul

Fall/Winter 2016: College Budget Technical Clothing Haul

Here are some quick reviews of shirts and pants I’ve gotten over the past few months. I’ll write these posts every so often to keep you up to date with travel clothes that are actually worth it. This haul features a lot of H&M tencel and some Mountain Khakis pants. Read on for full opinions! H&M long sleeve tencel shirt ($10) This shirt is strange. I wanted a light, long-sleeved shirt that would cut the sun a bit and provide comfortable coverage for…

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How to be a Better Citizen of the World

How to be a Better Citizen of the World

This post includes referral codes, which benefit me and you. Win-win! Brexit, the US election, troubles in Turkey, an ongoing refugee crisis, frequent acts of violence and terrorism – 2016 was a turbulent year. You know how to make 2017 better than 2016? By widening your focus, deepening your empathy, and working to positively impact the world around you. No, it may not make a huge difference in the world at-large. But becoming a better citizen of the world will improve…

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