Moments of Zen

Ten Years of Travel

June 6, 2016
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Ten Years of Travel

When you ask the average child what he wants when he grows up, you’ll probably get a variety of answers based on careers, outlandish ideas – e.g. “to live in a castle with a pet dragon” – and a combination of wealth and fame. Seldom do we hang on to these ideas into our...
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Posted in Living in America, Moments of Zen, Random Thoughts, Travel Advice, Travel Jobs, Travel Writing | 3 Comments »

Travel over work, work over travel… over friends?

February 9, 2016
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Travel over work, work over travel… over friends?

I have no regrets about my time on this life-avoidance trip. I left Dallas without much of a plan: just visit a friend in Chattanooga, work in Atlanta, and see what may come in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington DC. There were some times I felt a little out of place – meeting...
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On Not Belonging, or Why I’m Definitely Through with Solo Travel

September 30, 2015
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On Not Belonging, or Why I’m Definitely Through with Solo Travel

Walking around any major city at night is something I’d recommend to newbie travelers. Although you’re sure to encounter traces of home, like a Little Caesar’s Pizza across from a Starbucks advertising pumpkin spice lattes, they might be in the shadow of a thousand-year-old mosque, or inside the Louvre. Little things stand out: the...
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You don’t read stories about me on the Internet

September 7, 2015
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You don’t read stories about me on the Internet

In the summer of 2004, I accepted a position working the graveyard shift at a small fishing resort on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. The job was pretty straightforward: bag ice when customers weren’t around, make sure the shelves were stocked. I even took a few shifts as a server and dishwasher to mix...
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Posted in Living in America, Moments of Zen, Travel Jobs | 1 Comment »

My List

August 18, 2015
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My List

One of the things most likely to come up in a conversation with me, no matter the topic, is my list. My all-encompassing list of activities and destinations I have yet to experience. As a traveler, this list keeps getting bigger with each Internet search and knowledge of new adventures. I’ll give you a...
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Reflecting on Distractions

November 20, 2014
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After two weeks at Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in the redwoods of California, I find myself disconnected from the world. Not the real world, mind you – not the one filled with green fields, snow-capped mountains, and blue rivers – but the one in which everyone is obsessed with getting the fastest wifi and burying...
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Sometimes, I Hate Being Famous

September 20, 2014
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Sometimes, I Hate Being Famous

Working in the customer service industry and being a white face abroad (in most countries, anyway) have a lot in common. I’ve already done my share of ranting over my superficial treatment in Asia: for as many benefits as there are in being a foreigner – e.g. not expected to know or necessarily conform...
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I May Never Find My Place

September 17, 2014
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I May Never Find My Place

I can’t explain why autumn has this affect on me. For as long as I can remember – and we’re talking as far back as 5-6 years old – I’ve always associated sunny weather, chilly winds, and brown leaves with being at peace. I can remember walking to my father’s office from school on...
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Posted in Living in America, Moments of Zen | 2 Comments »

Why do I work?

September 3, 2014
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Why do I work?

I’ve been having a lot of latent thoughts since my return from Canada, the only bit of international travel I’ve had since the Philippines… ok, even that makes me sound a little spoiled. My worldview and my definition of happiness and success are changing all the time for the better. If you had asked...
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What I’ve Accomplished as a Millennial

February 20, 2014
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As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to change my definition of success more times than I could count. If you had asked me what that word meant at fifteen, I probably would have said a mansion in LA, an acting career, and a supermodel on my arm. In college, I would have settled for...
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