Make sure to read Parts 1 & 2! All the huts along the Kepler Track were stunning, but if I had to choose one for an extended stay – it would be Iris Burn. New… More
I arrived in Granada, Nicaragua in September 2014 via chicken bus. Walking those beautiful, oppressively hot streets in the middle of the day with all of my worldly belongings on my back, I had a feeling this place would change me.
I can say with certainty now that it did. It was there that I met and fell in love with my now husband, and made friends that have become family. It was there that I grew confident in my practice of travel and teaching. It was there that I faced down some of the ugliest realities of white privilege and the legacy of colonization; where I had the experience of being the visible minority; where I fought tooth and nail with deeply ingrained and overt sexism, struggling with my place and role in it all.
It’s there that I first took the stance of activist teacher; and of the importance of instilling self-esteem in students; in helping them to know and understand that they have power and that they can make a difference.
So who would I be if I didn’t use what space I have to make you aware, single reader, that the city hall in Granada has burned down, that the country is in chaos, and that as a result, hundreds have lost their lives and tens of thousands have lost their jobs? Continue reading “Don’t Forget Nicaragua”
Alright single reader, I promise this is the last wedding-related post!
The challenge of Tom and my relationship has always been and will always be the distance. Even now that we are together it is a test to decide how to use our hard-earned dollars and vacation time. Do we visit my family or his? Where do we settle? How do we find a compromise when our loved ones are so spread out across the world? Continue reading “Our New Zealand Celebration”
Still high off of our wildlife viewing day on the water, Tom and I awoke early on day 5 of our honeymoon. We had read that Pearl Harbor limits the amount of visitors in a day, and had heard horror stories of tickets sold out before 10am. And so we set out not long after dawn for what we knew would be an emotional but important morning. Continue reading “Hawaii Honeymoon Part 4: Ticking Off the Honolulu To-Do List”
After 2 jam-packed days on Oahu, we decided to take day 3 of our honeymoon as our official, much needed R&R day. We spent the morning on the beach, the afternoon in the spa, and the evening in the all-you-can eat buffet. It was all heavenly but ultimately… uninteresting to write about. I’ll leave it at this: the facilities at Aulani are truly first class. We were so happy to base our stay there and would HIGHLY recommend any adult doing the same to check out the spa – which features access to a private garden and many different soaking pools that are worth a visit all on their own.
By day 4 however, we were ready to move again. Continue reading “Hawaii Honeymoon Part 3: Swimming with Spinners”
After our back-to-back crater climbs on that first day of our Honeymoon, Tom and I retreated to the beach to rest our shaky legs. Taking in the gorgeous scene from the comfort of my lounger, I overheard a couple nearby discussing the North Shore with some friends. They were saying the biggest waves of the year were predicted for the next day. We hadn’t thought much about how to spend our Sunday, but that eavesdropped conversation stuck with me. By dinner time we had decided the next day’s plan – we wanted to see the famous waves ourselves. Continue reading “Hawaii Honeymoon Part 2: Wave Watching on Oahu’s North Shore”
I have always wanted to go to Hawaii. But to be honest, we landed on Hawaii as our honeymoon destination without too much thought. My parents gifted us use of their Disney Vacation Club points as a wedding gift, Disney has a resort in Hawaii, and Hawaii was (kind of) on the way back to Melbourne from Colorado. Tom and I briefly experimented with the idea of trying to add some sort of backpacking adventure in South East Asia to the trip, but it wasn’t feasible with the amount of leave we both had from work and the logistics of crossing an ocean with a giant wedding dress (my gown would be needed again for our reception in New Zealand a few months later). So just like that, Hawaii it was. And after saying goodbye to our family and friends who traveled from all over to meet us in Colorado, we packed up and headed towards the Pacific. Continue reading “Hawaii Honeymoon Part 1: Ballistic Missiles, and Craters, and Panic Attacks – Oh my!”
So, I have a confession.
I was one of those girls.
You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones with the secret Pinterest boards. The ones who binge watch all the wedding reality shows on TV. The ones who dream about their wedding – the dress, the setting, the ring, the guy – their whole lives.
I know it’s very cliche and unoriginal, but it was me. Continue reading “The Best Day of My Life: Our Winter Mountain Wedding”
Kneeling on the ocean floor, my instructor gave me the signal. My stomach felt knotted and heavy. I lifted my hands to my mask, but couldn’t make them take any further action. I reached for the board and pen my instructor kept tied to his belt.
Nervous, I wrote. Continue reading “Learning to Scuba Dive: My Solo Bachelorette in Bali”
A lot of teachers travel. The best teachers love to learn. Travel draws those kinds of curious personalities.
It doesn’t hurt that a perk of the job is a few extra weeks off a year than most. I’m tempted to go on an aside here about how teachers earn more than those weeks off in overtime worked during the school year… but I’ll resist. Continue reading “On Teaching and Travel”
During the last big government shutdown in 2013 I was working for the NPS as a Park Ranger. As a direct result of the shutdown I decided to leave the NPS and switch careers completely. Continue reading “3.5 Years Later, Shut Down Again”