I left my comfort zone in Edinburgh

The most nervous I can remember being in a long time was staring between the clock and the door from my seat on the bus, just minutes before it was due to leave for Scotland. There wasn’t a lot of help available for my friends and travel buddies this late
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Reflections before moving to Japan

I’m an American moving to Japan and while I’m very excited to go overseas, I’ve still got a lot to process. For the past month, I would tell people that I’m going to Japan, which made the prospect seem very far off. By using the word “going,” I meant, “eventually” — as in,
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Point Reyes: a house trip

My housemates decided to go camping at Point Reyes National Seashore over the summer. It turned out to be the perfect get-away-from-everything trip because the only thing close to civilization was a hole in the ground, aka a “toilet”. Throughout our trip, we marveled at Mother Nature’s beauty, which might be hard
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Journey through Armenia: a photo essay

This summer I embarked on my 14th trip to Armenia. Unlike past visits, this time I didn’t go with my family. Instead I went with friends on a mission to volunteer in my motherland. Located in the Southern Caucasus on the cusp of Europe and Asia, Armenia is one of the oldest
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Life lessons from Barcelona

The thing about going from London to Barcelona in July is that you don’t realize that you’d forgotten what heat really feels like. Even late at night, I might as well have stepped off the plane and into a sauna. Summers in London are mild and cloudy. Needless to say, that’s
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Iced coffee in Croatia

“In the mornings, we do not do the cold coffee,” Mateja explains to me in the tiny kitchen as I pour an inch of hot water over the instant coffee and sugar in my mug, add cold milk to it and then push it to the back of the fridge
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Exploring Central Europe: Slovenia week 2

I watched a lightning storm over Croatia last week — that’s a sentence I never imagined I’d write. From our cabin on the outskirts of Slovenska Bistrica, we stood on the balcony, shoulder to shoulder, and watched the clouds roll in ominously, with thunder and lightning clambering in thickly behind.
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Slovenian supper

Family holidays aren’t for everyone, I thought, as I boarded a plane to Frankfurt last week. Somewhere in Europe, in the backseat of a nine-seater van where I’d be spending most of the next three weeks, I was going to find out if they were for me. After touching down in
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A spontaneous week in Zion National Park

I was invited to spend last week in Zion National Park in Utah with friends from high school whom I hadn’t seen in two years. The invite came via SnapChat and was at first taken to be a joke. I assumed the dates were in August, considering they came so close to
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Madrid week two: Holy Toledo

The heat in Madrid will not subside. I’ve seen over a dozen Miami Heat jerseys since arriving, which forcefully remind me of its inescapability. But despite the temperature, Spain’s delicious and inexpensive cafe con leche has become a vital part of my daily routine. After a short siesta — which
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