Road Trip – Tasmania: Nine-Day Itinerary

Road Trip - Tasmania: Nine-Day Itinerary -- Em Dashed

Welcome to the second post on our road trip through Tasmania! In part one, we went over the “back story” — renting our campervan, deciding how long to visit for, purchasing a national parks pass, and more. If you’re interested in the logistics, make sure to check it out. (Don’t worry; I’ll wait.)

Otherwise, let’s get into the road trip itself!

Continue reading...

Road Trip – Tasmania: Background Info + Planning Our Visit

Road Trip - Tasmania: Background Info + Planning Our Visit -- Em Dashed

Tasmania is Australia’s smallest and only island state. It’s named for the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman — a guy who managed to get like 47 world features named after him despite hightailing it outta New Zealand as soon as the Maori showed their faces. (Fun fact: according to Wikipedia, the spot on NZ’s South Island now called “Golden Bay” was initially deemed “Murderer’s Bay” by Tasman. Well, maybe “fun” isn’t the right word.)

Continue reading...

28 Fun Facts About Dutch Life

Observations on Dutch Life

On Sunday, the first of May, I will turn 28. This will be the second birthday I’ve spent here in the Netherlands, and the sixth that I’ve spent abroad. In what is perhaps an odd personality twist (given how much I like celebrating certain other holidays), I’m not really that into my birthday — aside from using it as an excuse for a night out and/or to eat a tower of bitterballen, anyway.

Continue reading...

Crocodile Spotting on the Daintree River

Crocodile Spotting Daintree River

By the time we arrived in Far North Queensland, we already had a pretty decent arsenal of Australian wildlife sightings under our belt.

So far, we’d encountered Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, koalas, dolphins, emus, and echidnas, to name some of the higlights. As far as kitschy animal sightings went, there was just one more big one to check off: the almighty crocodile.

Continue reading...

The 2016 I Am Expat Fair — Amsterdam

2016 I Am Expat Fair Amsterdam

Though I am rapidly approaching my 28th birthday and can remember to change my sheets on an (almost) weekly basis, there are a few “not a girl, not yet a women”-era traits I find myself clinging to. Holdovers from the university and backpacking years of my late teens and early twenties that I just can’t seem to shake (not that I’m trying all that hard). One of these is a magnetic attraction to anything “free.”

Continue reading...

My First Snow Day – Queenstown

I was born and raised in Minnesota, USA.

I’ve been trying to explain what that means for the last 5.5 years, but I get the feeling that no one really believes me. “Okay, but does it get to…minus 20?” they ask — as if that’s the end-all be-all of winter temperatures. Honestly, I’m not sure most people can handle that conversation, let alone an actual Minnesota winter.

Continue reading...

The Weirdest Spots on Fraser Island

Best Spots on Fraser Island

When I first read that Fraser Island was the world’s largest sand island, I kind of thought that was a gimmick. Like naming them the Pancake Rocks because they “look like stacks of pancakes” (only if your pancakes are especially sharp-angled) or calling it the Blue Mountains cause of a slight blue-ish haze off in the distance (not exactly the dramatic scene I was picturing).

Continue reading...

Christmas Market — Hamburg

It feels kind of weird to say I’ve only gone to a single Christmas market in my whole life.

Christmas Market - Hamburg

I’ve celebrated Christmas since childhood. My family was never been big on the religious bit, but I’ve always gotten into the tree-trimming, cookie-baking spirit. And really, what is a Christmas market but the tangible form of holiday spirit? It’s what all the non-Jesus-y carols are about: strings of lights, hot drinks in festive mugs, appearances from Santa, and deep-fried things being served up in greasy paper bags. Surely, I do this every year.

Continue reading...

Huka Falls Walkway — Taupo

Hiking to Hot Springs - Taupo

I realize it’s highly unlikely you’re looking for another reason to visit New Zealand. You’ve probably already got a list longer than Rory’s reasons for attending Yale — even (or maybe especially) if, like me, you’ve already been there.

But sometimes I sit down to write about the country I actually live in, and then 1001 things to say about New Zealand pop into my head, and as I see it, I’ve got two options: fight it, or just share some more NZ content.

Continue reading...

Snorkeling in the Whitsundays

Snorkeling in the Whitsundays

One of the many ways I’m kind of weird is that — while I apparently have zero qualms about booking a one-way ticket to New Zealand without a job, or jumping off a bridge over a river filled with storm debris — there are some areas where I prefer baby steps.

Take water activities, for instance. I’m not the world’s greatest swimmer. Despite the fact that I grew up in Minnesota, a state that literally took its name from the Dakota word for “water,” I’ve always been more comfortable on land.

Continue reading...