making responsible decisions. and drinking beer.

making responsible decisions and drinking beer

So I think I am moving to a foreign country tomorrow. I say “I think” because I actually don’t have a plane ticket to Korea—or maybe I have a plane ticket, but no one at my new job has given me the (very-important-kinda-necessary) details of this ticket. Oh yeah, that’s right, I think I’m supposed to start a job next week. I say “I think” because this job is as an English teacher. And I’m not a teacher. Well, I did just spend the past two years in Africa “teaching” people things. But I also spent the past two years… read this post

korea aka “the rebound”

korea aka the rebound

Dear Korea, I’m going to be honest with you–because all healthy relationships are built on trust, right? Korea… you’re my rebound. I just got out of a long-term relationship. Honestly, it was a very tumultuous relationship. At times even abusive. But I loved Senegal with all my heart and gave everything I had to our relationship. It was an amazing two years. In fact, the best two years of my life. And while it was my decision to leave, I still yern for the way I felt when I was there. Some days it takes all my strength to stop… read this post

my travel inspiration

my travel inspiration

So, my (real-life, non-internet) friend, and fellow blogger, Elizabeth over a One Day I’ll Fly Away, nominated me to participate in the easyJet Holidays Inspiration Initiative. The goal of the initiative is for bloggers to share who, what, where and when inspired them to travel. All the participants who follow the contest rules will have a chance to win an iPad2 and a 5 star holiday. Of course, you need to be a UK citizen to win the prize… and I am not a UK citizen (at least not yet–Kit Harington I’m lookin at YOU). But I decided to write… read this post

you don’t choose a life, you live one

As my Peace Corps service came to a close I faced one of those inevitable forks in the road. Do I pack my bags and escape once again? Or do I return to America and settle down? Faced with a really important choice I balked at the pressure of actually making a decision. You see, I’m not great at making decisions. Or actually that’s not true, I am great at making decisions, just not at making good decisions. But you already knew that… With the hangover of adventure still lingering from 2 years in the Peace Corps, I ignored my… read this post

interviews

Question: I see you’ve been in the Peace Corps for the past two years. You know I once thought of applying for the Peace Corps. What I wanted to say: Great then, can I have your job? Because I actually applied, was accepted and served two years in the Peace Corps. It appears that I have already demonstrated that I possess more initiative and follow-through than you. Also, while we are on the subject, I once thought of applying to Harvard. What I actually said: Yes I was a Peace Corps volunteer and it was a very challenging and rewarding… read this post

so you’re saying the peace corps roofied you?

Random dude: Cool. You were in the Peace Corps! So what was that like for you? Me: Well… I’m not really sure yet. It’s like I woke up one morning and my hair was 6 inches longer, my skin was two shades darker, my body was covered in bruises and scars, I had a stomach full of parasites, there was the nasty aftertaste of shitty beer in my mouth, and an Akon song was stuck in my head. Random dude: Oh… so you’re saying Peace Corps roofied you?

stages of grief: peace corps edition

Stage One – Denial This stage manifests itself by volunteers insisting that they feel “fine.” They haven’t yet acknowledged that their service is over. They may still refer to themselves as a “PCV” (Peace Corps Volunteer) instead of a “RPCV” (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer). They call their village of service regularly and insist that their local language skills are not declining. Many volunteers prolong this stage indefinitely by embarking on close of service journeys to destinations even Lonely Planet has failed to cover in their Shoestring Guides. Stage Two – Anger Once volunteers have accepted that their service is in… read this post

it’s too late now…

dog, dudley labrador, guide dog, yellow lab

Two days away from departure and I cannot stop thinking about all the things that I didn’t get to do, the people I didn’t get to bid goodbye, and the stuff I probably should have packed…  It is starting to stress me out.  When I am stressed, I make lists… Melanie’s List of Regrets 1)  I am sure I didn’t drink enough coffee.  I really wish I could have had one more White Lie from Sure Shot on the Ave… 2)  I probably should have packed a pair of sneakers or boots… my Keens are hybrid (close toe sandals) but… read this post

packing list

peace corps, packing, list, staging

Peace Corps volunteers are allowed 2 bags.  The dimensions of the bags must not be greater than 107 inches (length, width and depth combined).  The bags cannot weigh more than 80 pounds combined and no single bag can weigh more than 50 pounds. So how do you fit two years of your life into 80 pounds and 107 inches?  Start with a list. 12 Tank tops 16 short sleeve tees  (all cotton or cotton poly blend) 8 lightweight long sleeve tees 2 polos Zip-up fleece Rain jacket 2 American Apparel multi-wear dress/skirts 2 Multi-wear wrap skirts made from recycled saris… read this post

rosetta stone

I had a funny experience while completing my 40-required hours of Rosetta Stone French. Four pictures are on the screen.  The phrase c’est mon mari (this is my husband) pops on the screen.  I click on the picture of two grey haired old men—one with his arm around the other’s shoulder.  Incorrect.  Confused, I click on the same picture again.  Incorrect. I pause, frustrated, and take a second look at the other three photos.  Then it hits me. Oh, maybe the photo of the young couple (male & female) gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes belongs with the phrase c’est… read this post