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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

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 Jump in Queenstown

Bungy Jump - Queenstown

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

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

Great Ocean Road Trip in Victoria, Australia

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.

But we haven’t talked about this yet. This, maybe not the mother, but 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. 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