I have always been interested in travel, but circumstances (AKA money) have made it difficult. Many of my friends opted for semesters abroad in college or backpacked after graduation. I, unfortunately, was too practical. I could never justify taking the number of days or spending the number of dollars an overseas vacation requires. Instead, I read travel guides, obsessively open travel emails, and pin picturesque destinations for vacations I have yet to take.
A few months ago, I decided it’s now or never. I checked my savings, picked a general destination, notified my husband, and jumped on the next mind-blowing travel deal that popped up in my inbox. BAM! Two tickets to Tuscany!
A few months later, I am as excited as ever, but have yet to solidify plans. If budget wasn’t a question, here are all the things I would love to do in Tuscany. Keep reading »
So if we’re not all clear on the fact that I deal with sometimes-crippling anxiety as a result of PTSD yet, let’s just put that out there now. I tried to cure it by going on a big adventure, thereby exposing myself to constant emotional stimulation/isolation and it turned out to be an unsuccessful ploy that made me want to just hole up at home for several months straight (which, basically, I did).
The thing is, there are still good reasons to travel, on occasion. In June I went to Madison for father’s day; I went to New York last month to see the final weekend of Kara Walker’s Domino installation and meet some writing colleagues in person (note: Amelia and Jessica are cool online but even cooler in person), and then toward the end of the month I went to Colorado for a family reunion (/introducing the beau to the fam). I’ll be going to Austin probably three times in the next year, for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and SXSW; and Michael and I have talked about maybe visiting DC and Philadelphia next year because they’ve got free museums and museums are life (OK, that’s my reason if not his).
In other words, I like traveling. But it still makes me feel like I’m drowning, though: When I was in New York I got so overwhelmed by the whole hostel experience that I had to beg a couch from a friend (who was happy to oblige, thankfully), and I had panic attacks in Colorado induced by a feeling of both spending way too much time with the people I love and not being productive enough work-wise (yes, this merits a panic attack — think fear of failure/rejection), in addition to just not being at home, in my safe space. Slowly but surely, the more I travel, the more I’m learning what I can do to enjoy myself and have an enriching experience while not going crazy. Keep reading »
When we met at college, little did we know that between the two of us, we would spend the next few years living in five different countries (U.S., France, China, Australia and England) on four different continents . Naturally, when we made our initial moves, our heads were full of images of exotic foreign men and exciting adventures. But, as with many things about living abroad, dating abroad turned out to hold some surprises in store for us. During that time, we dated some weird people, made some questionable choices, and occasionally fell flat on our faces while trying to flirt in a second language.
Now that we’re both living in London, we’ve come to view these dates fondly (though it took longer for some than others) and started cataloging the good, the bad, and the extremely strange men that we dated. These are the strangest eight things that happened to us while dating abroad: Keep reading »
“Cities That Surprise” highlights places across America that defied or exceeded our expectations, for whatever reason. Today, Carrie Murphy explains why Las Cruces, New Mexico, should be on your radar!
The southern New Mexico city of Las Cruces is usually a quick stopover for people traveling east or west on I-10. That’s a pity. From the highway, you can’t experience any of the awesome stuff that makes Las Cruces the awesomely quirky place it is. Although northern New Mexico — especially Santa Fe and Taos — gets most of the tourist dollars from travelers hoping for a Southwestern experience, I promise you southern NM is worth a visit that’s longer than it takes to fill up your gas tank and inhale some truck stop food. Keep reading »
Move over, abortion rights and raising the minimum wage, because there’s a new political cause that is dear to my heart: bringing pandas to New York City! Next month, Rep. Carolyn Maloney is headed to the Chengdu preserve in China, ground zero for baby pandas, and has been encouraged to fill out an application to bring pandas to the city’s most famous zoo. “They didn’t say no,” Rep. Maloney told The New York Daily News, adding that “the greatest city in the world deserves two pandas.” The NYC blog Gothamist noted that back in the 1980s the large, spacious Bronx Zoo (located about a 45-minute subway ride from Manhattan) had visiting pandas, but Rep. Maloney’s specifically interested in bringing the bears to Central Park. It’s more important to me that whichever zoo might house these hypothetical pandas has the appropriate habitat. I’d love to visit pandas a short subway ride away from my digs, but if the leafy Bronx would be a happier home, so be it. Anyway, count me in, Rep. Maloney. Do you need me to canvas door-to-door? Put up posters? [Gothamist; NY Daily News]
This January, I had a bad job interview. I performed the best I could, but they’d kept me in a room, coming in groups of two or three at a time, grilling me on why I wanted and was qualified for an entry-level customer service job for two straight hours. I’ve been employed in some way or another for the last ten years, and I graduated with honors last year. I couldn’t just say, “I need a better job than I have now, and frankly this is going to be a cakewalk for me.” Some of them said I was underqualified; some of them said I was overqualified. No one really seemed to have a real sense of what they were doing; HR was out for the day, so it was all sales managers. I was so upset and confused afterward that I sat in Merchandise Mart crying for a half hour before working up the courage to get on the train. Keep reading »