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The Unexpected Side Effects of Staying in a Hostel

The Unexpected Side Effects of Living in a Hostel

When it comes to hostels, I’ve got a bit of experience. I’ve stayed in dozens of them, and for more than 700 nights altogether. On the internet, that basically makes me an expert.

Of course, hostels vary wildly — big and little, charming and soulless, clean and, uh, not so much — but staying long-term in any kind of shared accommodation will certainly change you and your life. Just look at me: if it weren’t for hostels, I probably wouldn’t have met Simon, or be living in the Netherlands right now. CONTINUE READING

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. CONTINUE READING

Summer 2016 Wrap-Up

Summer Wrap-Up: Netherlands + Minnesota -- Em Dashed

This past “summer” in the Netherlands was pretty much what I’ve come to expect after two years.

It was cold. It was cloudy. It was wet. I grumbled and pouted and questioned nearly every day why I had chosen to live in such a godforsaken place, which I can only assume means I should get my Dutch passport in the mail any day now. (“Je bent één van ons. Veel sterkte.”) CONTINUE READING

“Going Home” When You Live Abroad

Going Home When You Live Abroad | Photo by Aaron Burden
Photo by Aaron Burden

When you’ve been living abroad for as long as I have, the idea of “going home” starts to become a bit fuzzy.

Though I use the word frequently — referring to either my current mailing address here in the Netherlands, or my hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota — if someone were to straight up ask me what I consider home, I wouldn’t be able to answer. At least, not without an explanation. CONTINUE READING