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Tongue-Tied? Blame Your Affective Filter

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I was out running errands and happened to pass by a pharmacy so I popped in to buy some band-aids. In little pharmacies in rural China, band-aids are the kind of thing that are kept behind the counter, so I approached the employees to ask them to get me some. The weirdest thing happened, though. […]

Is It Time to Go Home? (And How Do I Know?)

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Last week while sitting at Starbucks unsuccessfully trying to connect to their internet, a thought came to me, “Is it time to go home?” It had been a particularly stressful day that started with heading to the airport at 6:20 am for a “quick” turn around trip to immigration on another island.  After explosive diarrhea […]

The Shelter of the Golden Arches

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During college, a friend and I spent a summer learning to teach English as a foreign language in Prague. We hadn’t been to the Czech Republic before, nor did we speak the language. When we got off the plane, we met up with a student with limited English vocabulary to find our rental apartment. The three of […]

Our Actions Speak Louder Than Our Hashtags

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I know how it feels when it hits you. You open up your Facebook feed, your Twitter homepage or your CNN app. Something else went wrong today. Terribly wrong. There’s another massacre, another senseless killing, another injustice, another seemingly-unquenchable evil entity rising in governments all around the world. For some of you, it’s not just […]

Transitionitis: Also known as Happy and Sad Syndrome (HASS)

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Written in jest (but only partly)… ABOUT Transitionitis/HASS is a very common ailment affecting hundreds of travellers each year. It is caused by the change in routine brought on by transition, and anxieties (often underlying) relating to the unknowns of the new location and losses associated with leaving the current location. SYMPTOMS Symptoms include –wildly […]

Embracing the New Rhythms of the Expat Life

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I don’t know about you, but for me the mention of any particular month of the year immediately brings pictures, feelings, memories and smells to mind. Having grown up in the Northern Hemisphere, whenever I hear the word March, I see bright yellow daffodils, feel the relief of sunnier days and the excitement of the […]

Sorry, Stephen Colbert, but I am America

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It happens pretty frequently. I’ll be in a taxi (or restaurant, market, bus…) and the driver (or owner, vendor, fellow passenger…) will ask me where I’m from. I’ll answer, and, if they’re the curious type, they will launch into questions about my home country. Much of the time, it’s “Basic Geography and Culture for $100, […]