A charming courtyard near the Université Lumière Lyon 2. Lyon, France.

Confessions of a Francophile

  I’ll admit it, I’m a total Francophile. I’m sure you all have at least one friend or acquaintance like me. Once I chose French as the language I wanted to (try to) learn, I totally dorked out on French culture. By French II, not only had I decided France
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A flawless view of the city. Dublin, Ireland.

On the lookout for a little Irish luck

I had been in Europe a week before the homesickness struck. It was swift and sudden, like a jab to the gut or maybe like a punch to the heart. I was sitting on a bench in St. Stephen’s Green, a beautifully landscaped park in the middle of Dublin center.
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A view of Princes Street, taken from North Bridge.

Foreign language immersion

“That’s so weird!” I mused, observing my surroundings on Princes Street, a popular tourist destination in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. Exactly what I thought was weird, I can’t recall through my still-jet-lagged haze. Perhaps it was the statue of a lion covered in pennies (or pence as they’re called here), or
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Looking out over Muharram Bey neighborhood in Alexandria, Egypt.

A language of one’s own

“Do you speak English like them, like the Americans?” my grandmother asked, puzzled, as though she had never contemplated the prospect before. “Yes, Grandma, I speak English like them, I actually study language. I write, too,” I responded, watching as the expression of bewilderment on her face grew into a
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Still Swimming

When I first arrived in Taiwan, there were certain things I had to get used to. I had to come to terms with keeping my elbows at my sides rather than in people’s ribs when I entered high-density areas; it turns out that the Taiwanese, unlike the mainland Chinese, not
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Taking a dive Down Under

I was about to dive into the clearest, bluest water I had ever seen in my life. I could see the outlines of fish swimming in and out of coral … with the sun shining from above, it was truly glorious. Let me back up a little. This summer, I
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The play’s the thing

Ashland, Oregon might not be as sexy as Paris or glamorous like Tokyo, but this little town has something special, just the same. It’s home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), and believe it or not, that’s reason enough to pay Ashland a little visit. Looking like something straight out
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On a Getaway Boat, Part I

Postcards from Italy

No, not this one. Maybe metaphorically like this one. But not actually like this one. I need to get away. To hide. A disguise! I need to breathe. Breathe. Remember to breathe. Breathe in. Breathe out. I slip into the first store I think I’ll be safe in. An Asian-Italian
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