Yes, it’s true. Despite what you may have heard (or quite rationally assumed), people really do continue to live in and travel to the US state of Minnesota during the winter — subzero Fahrenheit temperatures and all.
When it comes to New Zealand and Australian coffee culture, I’ve got a fair amount of experience on both sides of the counter.
I was a barista for nearly 10 years of my life — four of which I spent working in the afore-mentioned countries. I’ve been yelled at, lectured to, and relentlessly interrogated about everything from extractions and grinds to, if you can believe it, “cups” vs “mugs.” I’ve probably spent more hours of my life covered in milk splatters and coffee stains than I have sleeping.
The Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand is widely considered to be one of the best day hikes in the country, and maybe even anywhere in the world.
Well, I can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of that claim. Though I spent nearly three years living, working, and traveling in New Zealand, I never actually did the Tongariro Crossing — and it wasn’t because I never got the chance.
As a foreign resident of the Netherlands, I occupy a kind of sweet spot. I’m enough of an insider to know what’s what, but enough of an outsider to guess what other foreigners might find unusual or confusing when they visit — and, in case it’s not already clear, enough of a blogger to write it down and put it on the internet.
Photo by Linda Xu
Looking for somewhere to grab a drink or a bite in Melbourne? Well, let’s be real: you probably won’t be looking for long. This Australian city is packed to the gills with cafés, bars, restaurants, dives, markets, stalls, food trucks, and holes-in-the-wall (hole-in-the-walls?) that cater to nearly every budget, style, and preference. Finding a great bar or café in Melbourne is like finding hay in a haystack.
When it comes to the outdoors, on a spectrum from “about to climb Mount Everest” to “Shelley Long in Troop Beverly Hills,” I reckon I fall somewhere in the middle.
My family actually used to do a fair amount of camping and hiking all over the United States when I was a kid, and though I didn’t always enjoy it, I’ve probably retained at least a few skills (we’re talking Girl Scouts, not Hunger Games). That said, I still spent more of my summer vacations in front of the television than my mother would have liked.
Photo by Anubhav Saxena
As an American who hails from what’s generally referred to as a “flyover state,” I get it.
The United States is big; the coastal cities are major and famous; there are only 24 hours in a day. Of course you want to go to New York and LA, Miami and San Francisco. I’m not here to crush your dreams. (Well, not all of them, anyway.)
Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Overijssel, the Netherlands before. Anyone?
Well, it’s a good thing I’m here.
Overijssel is a province in the eastern Netherlands, and it’s been my adopted home for the last two and half years. One of the reasons I started this blog was to share this area with the rest of the world; and it’s high time I gave a proper introduction.