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.) READ MORE +

28 Fun Facts About Dutch Life

28 Fun Facts About 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. READ MORE +

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. READ MORE +

Christmas Markets in Hamburg, Germany

Christmas Markets in Hamburg, Germany

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

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. READ MORE +

Huka Falls and Hot Springs in Taupo, New Zealand

Huka Falls and Hot Springs in Taupo, New Zealand

I realize it’s highly unlikely you’re looking for another reason to visit New Zealand. You’ve probably already got a “pro” list longer than your arm — and if you ask me, it’s not too hard to see why. The last thing you need is another blogger to come along and rub your face in the fact that you’re not there right now. (Unless you are there right now, in which case: lucky you!) READ MORE +