Castle on a Cloud

I’ve lived in multiple countries, but in the United States, I’ve only ever been a Californian. Today that changes. Today I’m saying goodbye (again) to California as this United flight takes me 2400 miles away from SF to DC. And although Washington DC is not a different country, it will certainly feel like a different…

The Sunshine Award Post

If you haven’t already gathered by now, I’ve moved back stateside from France. And one thing that I will always associate with a move back to the States from any other country is an upswing in the level of busyness. No other country I’ve lived in requires such a constant stream of commitments, heavy work loads, and…

The Best-Ever Quote About Ayn Rand

Originally posted on 101 Books:
I’ll be honest. I don’t know who John Rogers is, but if this isn’t the best-ever quote about Ayn Rand then I don’t know what is. If you love Ayn Rand, well, sorry. We’ll be back to the normally scheduled programming tomorrow. ? There are two novels that can change a…

Coffee and Kayaking: Sweden Part II

There is a very long list of cities in which I’d someday love to live. San Francisco is high on that list. So are Seattle, Portland, and Chicago. There are plenty of international locations, too. I could grow used to drinking sweet mint tea in Marrakech, pints of Guinness in Dublin, or café au lait…

Ukraine Now

And now for some less reflective, more pertinent thoughts on my recent trip to Ukraine (if you want the reflection and emotion, check out this recent post): Several of you have expressed interest in knowing what it was like to be in Ukraine during this critical time in her history. Thus, below (nicely organized in bolded headings so…

And Again Goodbye

As a student in Paris, I fell entirely in love. With the city, my host family, a boy, my friends: life was blissful. I was in love with the world that year. Yet when it ended and I left Paris, I didn’t cry. I don’t even remember feeling sad. I left Paris behind, and returned to California without much…

The Time Traveler

I’m moving backwards in time. Seventeen months ago, I left Ukraine. I flew on a Pegasus Airlines flight from Ukraine to Istanbul. Tonight I’m making that journey in reverse. This morning, I left from Stockholm. There, everyone spoke English perfectly; in cafes, people paid with plastic; drinks were served cold; and everyone had a smart phone. By…

Coffee and Kayaking: A Trip to Sweden

Musing and reflection may soon follow, but for now, simply some photos from my week spent drinking coffee, learning Swedish, kayaking in the archipelago, exploring Stockholm and Uppsala, and generally having a fabulous time in Sweden.

Aimer, Vivre, et Voyager For Ever and For Always

Today was colder. The last week was sunny and warm, but today the Big Gray returned to Troyes. Yet evidence of spring remained. On what was my very last walk to school, as I pulled my scarf tighter around my neck to combat the breeze, I passed a beautifully flowering tree. As the wind blew,…

The Contrarian Path

A friend recently described me as occupying a stage in life when one is prone to wandering and adventuring. Is that true? Am I going through a phase, or is this just the way I am: a constant wanderer, ever craving a new scene? Although I have spent the last few years wandering, now, for the…

You Get What You Need

I spent my first two days at Taizé in relative quiet. I wasn’t totally silent, but I wasn’t a social butterfly either. I took long walks around the retreat center, went for beautiful runs in the picturesque French countryside, journaled in my notebook, and, of course, sang. I thought that was what I wanted. It…

She Loves Paris, Yoga, and the Sun

Although on this side of the pond the winter has really been quite mild, the first sunny weekend of the year still feels like heaven on earth. After a winter of gray, the first beams of sunlight always seem like gifts from the gods, don’t they!? Adding to the glory of a weekend of lovely…