Sunday, May 7, 2017

27 Years

I started this post to look back on my 27th year, because it was a year benchmarked with drawled thoughts of, "Gawd, I am such a grown up." Yes, those years right after college, venturing into the workforce and then living and teaching in South Korea for a year gave me newfound perceptive and opportunities to showcase my adult-ness. But far enough past the automatic progression of school years, a 27-year-old is faced with the humdrum of day-in-and-day-out and is forced to make real, solo decisions.

In my 27th year, I became legitimately interested in things I had before only really wanted to like. Life stories from those older than me, politics, and saving for retirement got the blood flowing. I went free market and bought health insurance on my own for the first time, made donations to organizations I started to read and whose work I care about, and bought my first car. This is the age where I started to legitimately forget how old I was.

At 27, I began digging my heels into my grumpy cat ways, really trying to figure out my introversion. I cared slightly less about what I thought people thought about me, and I have come through my 27th year feeling more exhausted with my adult responsibilities. It's like things are easier but harder. I am roller blading down the hill but up the hill. Twenty-seven was a pivotal year in overall awareness.

When my college friend died unexpectedly at 27 just before Thanksgiving, it was hard to think about feeling positive about that 27 personal growth bit. I instantly pulled up Facebook and clicked on her profile. She had just uploaded a new profile picture... I had seen it a couple of days before on my New Feed. She had just texted me a few weeks ago. We had just been to the same party two or three months ago.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thunderstorms in Santa Monica

Our less than two-hour flight from San Francisco to LAX was delayed more than five hours because of thunderstorms. Thunderstorms in California! All the irritation of boarding and re-boarding three times at least was met with a small chuckle. Thunderstorms in California during a drought and wild fire season!

All that commotion seemed to fit our situation. I was very much looking forward to our visit and being able to see some of the aspects of Grandpa and Cheryl's every day life, yet I also felt guarded about the trip. Calling my grandpa with flight departure time updates is the most we have talked in a long time - it's just one of the realities of our relationship.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Oakland & San Francisco Take-Out

Our two-day stop in the San Francisco area can be summed up in my AirBnb review of our stay with Melissa in Oakland, CA:
We needed a vacation from our vacation (time to relax and slow down), and Melissa's place was perfect. Very clean apartment with lots to look at: artwork, lego-work, cross stitch, books, and more. We ordered in food (via GrubHub) and vegged out on the comfy air mattress in our private room. 
Small bathroom amenities and towels were provided, as well as an apartment key and a wifi password. Cats are very sweet; the cat smell was noticeable when I first walked in, but my nose quickly adjusted. Would definitely stay here again should I ever be back in Oakland.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Amtrak Train Memories & Improvements

The first time I rode the train in the United States, I was with my mom and my pink rabbit blanket. My baby sister was there, too, and we were headed to Denver, Colorado from Nebraska. I was four-and-a-half.

I remember the big, bright window best - looking out while I felt the train chug along beneath me. That memory is a good one, one that I think about once or twice a year. It was exciting to have my rabbit blanket with me, to see the outside zoom past like it does in the car, and to be traveling. I liked that my mom and my sister and I were together with a few select belongings stuffed into a suitcase.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Seattle & Port Townsend & Beautiful People

I am so thankful and grateful to my family in Seattle and Port Townsend, Washington, What a fantastic time in the great northwest with truly amazing people. Dean and Dan are my dad’s cousins, therefore, Samuel and my second cousins.  They are married to Jan and Vicky, respectfully. Dean and Jan live just north of the traffic-crazy city of Seattle, and Dan and Vicky live in the picturesque city of Port Townsend, a half an hour ferry ride away from Dean and Jan.

This trip was the first time any of us have really met — the Owen side of the family has a family reunion every two years, so while we all have technically met, it was a long time ago and not real impressionable. I wasn’t sure how it all was going to work as we walked to meet Jan at the airport, but I was open to many scenarios.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Flight Day is Happy Day

It feels good to be back in the airport with my carry on luggage, ticket, and passport in hand. It feels especially good to be traveling with my brother Samuel for this summer trip. Everything is a little less stressful with him here (mainly not having to go to the bathroom with all my luggage). But seriously, having a travel companion is really nice. I approve!

We are heading to Seattle, Washington, to visit family and to attend my college friend’s wedding. Seattle has been on my list for a while now – I’ve wanted to see the Needle and take in what I imagine to be the salty air. People seem to really love Seattle; several friends and family friends visit Seattle on a regular basis or have recently travelled there and above to Canada. It sounds like a healthy place to be. I’m excited.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Blog Carnival Master: New & Inspired Ideas of Home Comforts

It is my pleasure to be hosting this month's Reach to Teach | Teach Abroad Blog’s monthly "Blog Carnival."

Each month, a blogger-teacher-traveler hosts and asks a question, which is voluntarily answered by interested bloggers. Published by the fifth of each month by the host on their blog, the Blog Carnival focuses on advice and helpful tips for ESL teachers. If you'd like to contribute to next month's Blog Carnival, please do contact Dean at dean@reachtoteachrecruiting.com - it is a very welcoming process.

Here is this month's topic:
How has living in a foreign country changed your idea of home comforts? 
[NOTES: Feel free to talk about what aspects of living in a new place - such as your living quarters, the culture in your city, the food in your city, etc. - you liked the most.]


RTT Teach Abroad Blog Carnival

Monday, May 4, 2015

Blog Carnival: New & Inspired Ideas of Home Comforts

It is my fifth month contributing to the Reach to Teach | Teach Abroad Blog’s monthly "Blog Carnival." Each month, a blogger-teacher-traveler hosts and asks a question, which is voluntarily answered by interested bloggers. Published by the fifth of each month by the host on their blog, the Blog Carnival focuses on advice and helpful tips for ESL teachers. If you'd like to contribute to next month's Blog Carnival, please do contact Dean at dean@reachtoteachrecruiting.com - it is a very welcoming process. 

I lived and taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in two rural elementary schools in Icheon, South Korea for one year (2013-2014). 

It is my privilege to be hosting the Reach to Teach | Teach Abroad Blog's Blog Carnival this month.

May 2015 – Abigail Nedeau-Owen:
Abigail Nedeau-Owen of Bodging for Apples II asks:
How has living in a foreign country changed your idea of home comforts? 
[NOTES: Feel free to talk about what aspects of living in a new place - such as your living quarters, the culture in your city, the food in your city, etc. - you liked the most.]



Sunday, April 5, 2015

Blog Carnival: Teaching and Age Preferences

It is my fourth month contributing to the Reach to Teach | Teach Abroad Blog’s monthly "Blog Carnival." Each month, a blogger-teacher-traveler hosts and asks a question, which is voluntarily answered by interested bloggers. Published by the fifth of each month by the host on their blog, the Blog Carnival focuses on advice and helpful tips for ESL teachers. If you'd like to contribute to next month's Blog Carnival, please do contact Dean at dean@reachtoteachrecruiting.com - it is a very welcoming process. 

I taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in two rural elementary schools in South Korea for one year (2013-2014). I also was a teaching assistant at Creative Learning Preschool in Wisconsin for seven months prior to Korea. I mainly taught in the Two-Year Old Program. 

April 2015 – Rebecca Thering:
Rebecca Thering of Rebe With A Clause asks:
"Who is best to teach? Adults? Teens? Kindergarten? Which group do you love teaching and why?"

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Blog Carnival: Letter to Myself

It is my third month contributing to the Reach to Teach | Teach Abroad Blog’s monthly "Blog Carnival." Each month, a blogger-teacher-traveler hosts and asks a question, which is voluntarily answered by interested bloggers. Published by the fifth of each month by the host on their blog, the Blog Carnival focuses on advice and helpful tips for ESL teachers. If you'd like to contribute to next month's Blog Carnival, please do contact Dean at dean@reachtoteachrecruiting.com - it is a very welcoming process. 

I taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in two rural elementary schools in South Korea for one year (2013-2014). 

March 2015 – Holly Beddome:
Holly Beddome of Adventures with Holly asks:
"Write a letter back to yourself when you were just planning your trip. Give advice, forewarning, hopes and encouragement. What would YOU tell yourself, in retrospect? How have you changed as a result of your travels?"
Solo hiking in Icheon, South Korea