Getting ready for travel requires careful packing and making numerous checklists. Any experienced traveler will tell you what you shouldn’t forget: passport, tickets, money, snacks, first aid kit, and a camera. All of these items and more are incredibly important and should not be forgotten, but there’s always one thing we forget to bring with us: kindness. I’d like to think that travel can make us more tolerant and willing to assist others, but as posts from Adventurous Kate and Expat Edna will tell you, people are still close-minded and judgmental. I find this is true not only of travelers, but locals as well. Is there a way to make the world kinder? On Random Acts of Kindness Day, here are a few situations that have inspired me to think differently about how I travel and live: Continue Reading ›
How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
—The Sound of Music
When I’m asked what I want to do with my life after graduate school, I can only come up with one response of certainty: “I want to travel. I want to live internationally.” I’ve always wanted travel in my life; it’s something that isn’t a completely foreign concept to me. Foreign countries may sound intimidating, but in reality, the thought of living somewhere else isn’t a strange idea to me. Some people, however, don’t share the same enthusiasm for my idea. Shouldn’t I want a job or career first? Shouldn’t I be looking for a companion, someone to share in my love of travel? Of course, I do want a career and eventually a partner, but I have different priorities. Continue Reading ›
Like most months, February is known for certain ideals. January is known for changes and new developments, and as I’ve found in the past, sticking to changes and improvements isn’t always easy. It can seem even harder when the goals are meant for sustainability. This year, however, I’ve decided to make a change by setting goals that allow me to take steps towards sustainability one at a time. As I mentioned last month, accomplishing goals can seem overwhelming at times, which is why I’ve decided to set affirmations instead. Having completed January, I’m looking forward to what’s next for February. However, before I jump in, here are a few moments and highlights from last month’s affirmation: I am a person who develops and maintains healthy relationships. Continue Reading ›
Life is full of difficulties, but there’s one challenge that is filled with complexities and no straight-forward answers. What is that challenge? Relationships. Whether it’s the relationship with family members, friends, significant others, partners, or co-workers, relationships are not always easy. While upholding this month’s affirmation to sustain healthy relationships, I found it’s more complex than you think. Not everyone thinks like you, acts like you would, or is supportive of your decisions. What can be done? Here are a few steps I learned that helped me maintain my affirmation both now and in the future: Continue Reading ›
If there’s one thing that can be tough about sustainability, it’s constantly making sure you’re committing, which is especially tough when you have a job that requires you to be on the move. In the past, I’ve set goals for myself to maintain sustainability although I moved every few months or so to a new location and job. Even though most of my moving was from Denver to nearby towns, after several years I began moving temporarily to San Diego and then internationally followed by a few months in Chicago. While I was in Chicago, I noticed it could be difficult at times to maintain my sustainable practices. On some occasions I found myself holding a plastic bag instead of a cloth one or using Ziploc bags instead of looking for replacements. In order to remedy the situation, I set a few goals for myself, which have gone fairly well. I continue to use cloth bags, I have a reusable lunch tote and I love to shop at local markets and boutiques. I was also gifted reusable bags to replace Ziploc bags and I always strive to carry a refillable water bottle with me. While all of these updates are great news, I still sometimes find myself feeling overwhelmed. Continue Reading ›