To Everyone Who Asks, “If you hate the US so much, why don’t you just leave?”

To Everyone Who Asks,

Hi, I’m Emily. Obviously, you don’t know me.

I say “obviously” because, if you did, you would know that I haven’t lived in my home country of the United States for over six years.

You might not know the whole story, but you’d know enough: that I left shortly after graduating with my bachelor’s degree, that I went first to New Zealand, and that somehow, I wound up living in Europe with a Dutch boyfriend I picked up along the way. The basics.

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A Brief Statement on My Non-Neutrality

Recently, in the United States, years and years of white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia, and other forms of hate and bigotry came to a head. Things are far from just beginning, and they are far from over; but it seems a great deal of Americans are only just realizing that.

Now, more than ever, when we stand up and speak out, we must be clear who and what we are standing up for. It is all well and good to talk about love, positivity, and compassion, but it means nothing if you are not specific.

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Five Mistakes to Avoid in Queenstown

Five Mistakes to Avoid in Queenstown New Zealand -- Em Dashed

Queenstown, New Zealand is a place of much regret. The town is home to top-notch landscapes and a range of heart-racing activities — but it’s also home to the largest abundance of first world problems you’ll ever find in such a small area.

“Why did I have that seventh shot?” “What happened to all the cash I withdrew yesterday?” “What do you mean, I have to climb another hill?” For some backpackers, Queenstown can easily seem like a monster, lying in wait to chew you up and snatch away your hopes, your dreams, and most of your money.

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Baking in the Netherlands

Baking in the Netherlands

There are a lot of challenges one must tackle when moving abroad. My life in the Netherlands comes with its own specific set, like trying not to get run over by bicycles, or eating a stroopwafel without half of it ending up in my hair.

Also on the list? Baking.

And no — I’m not talking about getting stoned. (Go on, get all those Dutch marijuana jokes out of your system right now. I’ll wait.)

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The Iconic Minneapolis Experience

Iconic Minneapolis Experience -- Em Dashed

The thing about Minneapolis, Minnesota is this: it’s kind of hard to get there by accident.

It’s not impossible, of course — contrary to popular belief, there are signs of intelligent life throughout the Midwestern United States — but it’s not likely.

So then, you might be asking: why should I make a point to visit the City of Lakes? What can you find there that you can’t find in a million other places?

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