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How I Wound Up Living in the Netherlands

How I Wound Up in the Netherlands

As a foreigner living in the Netherlands, I’m asked quite frequently what I think of this country — often by people who don’t seem to like it all that much themselves.

In fact, the question I probably get more than any other is, “Why would you want to live here?” (Usually accompanied by a raised eyebrow and that generally unimpressed tone the Dutch have when they speak in English.) CONTINUE READING

Sunset at Cable Beach — Broome

Sunset in Cable Beach, Broome

I can’t speak for everyone (to the shock and chagrin of many, I’m sure). But I would imagine we all have a place that, despite our open minds and best efforts, just didn’t “wow” us. Somewhere we don’t hate, or associate with a terrible experience, but merely wouldn’t think to recommend to our friends while there are so many other options in the world. CONTINUE READING

Exploring Northland, New Zealand: Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach

Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach

I’m not gonna lie: some parts of my visit to the Northland in New Zealand are a bit fuzzy.

I mean, this was my very first weekend in NZ — in other words, my very first weekend as a solo traveler in a foreign country. I probably still had jet-lag, not to mention I’d left a blizzard in Minnesota and arrived to incoming summer. Everything was kind of a mess. CONTINUE READING

Kawarau Bridge Bungy – Queenstown

If I’m going to give anyone a tip about bungy jumping at Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, let it be this: do not do it if you’re hungover.

Bungy Jump - Queenstown

Of course, we all handle our hangovers in different ways. I prefer to drink copious amounts of Coca-Cola and stay as still as possible. Other people might like to hang upside down over rushing water, slowly spinning in circles, waiting for people to release you from a giant rubber band and take you back to solid ground. Whatever. As the kids seem to say these days: do you. CONTINUE READING

Road Trip – Great Ocean Road

Like any traveler worth her salt, I enjoy a good road trip (and pretend to when I don’t). You may have noticed; I’ve talked about them once or twice before.

Great Ocean Road

But we haven’t talked about this yet. This, the mother (or at least the bossy oldest sister) of all road trips. This, something that requires little fanfare and little introduction — both of which I’m going to give you, anyway. This, the Great Ocean Road: a scenic highway stretching for approximately 250 kilometers along the southern coast of Victoria, Australia. CONTINUE READING

The Nijmeegse Vierdaagse (Walk of the World) in Nijmegen, the Netherlands

The Nijmeegse Vierdaagse (Walk of the World) in Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Like most reasonable people who have recently committed to renting an apartment, and who have a multitude of tasks ahead of them (including but not limited to: installing new appliances, painting till their arms fall off, eviscerating dust bunnies, and constructing furniture from plastic nails and hopeless dreams), we decided to do literally none of that, and go away for a couple of days last week instead. Because, you know. Priorities. CONTINUE READING

Renting Our First Apartment in the Netherlands

Renting an Apartment in the Netherlands -- Em Dashed

Considering how adamant I apparently am that I don’t live in Amsterdam, and how unlikely it is that’s going to change anytime soon (spoiler alert!), the place where I do live has received very little recognition on my blog lately. And considering that I may be the only person, currently or ever, producing content on the Internet about that place in English, it’s especially weird that I’ve forsaken it so frequently to write about places for which that is certainly not the case. Well, no more! CONTINUE READING