Singlish, Peranakan and dragons are a few of the many adventures I’ve encountered in Asia. To document everything in seven columns would be impossible. I have contemplated Kiasu, slapped on sunscreen after losing my face and argued in two different versions of English. I have discovered Peranakan, reflected on my identity as a Third-Culture Kid…
It didn’t take more than a quick refresher on Persian Gulf geography to agree to visit my friend who is in Oman on the Fulbright Program. Embarrassingly, I had never been to the Middle East, so I relished the excuse and turned my three-day weekend into seven.
It must have been one of those I’m-about-as-pleased-as-a-wet-cat days when I threw my broken umbrella on the ground, took off my awkwardly muddy pants and booked a ticket to Sweden. Scandinavia in the winter is cold, snowy and dark, however I couldn’t resist free lodging and a chance to practice my Swedish.
I often wonder why I’m always so inspired to write when I’m sitting on an airplane. As I head home this weekend for a breath of cool Minnesota air and some fabulous (and free!) home-cooked meals, I have this constant reminder shaking me of why I should be polite on an airplane. I wonder why on earth the person behind me keeps banging on my seatback. Maybe we all need a bit of a reminder of flying etiquette.
Four weeks, four countries, six airplanes, one bus, 40+ hours of travel time. Couple that with class Monday through Thursday, a full workload (maybe not a full Stanford workload, but still) and the Madrileño tendency to stay out until 7 o’clock in the morning when partying, and you have my schedule for last month in a nutshell. February may be the shortest month of the year, but that didn’t stop me from packing as many travel endeavours into its 28 days as possible.
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting spring fever — spring break fever that is. At just over three weeks away, it’s not too late to make travel plans.
Perhaps it was last weekend’s memorable Casa party, or just nostalgia of my freshman year, but this week I’m sharing my first foray into spontaneous international travel. My upperclass partner-in-crime had gone abroad to Florence, and one day while in my sad and deranged state mourning her loss, I serendipitously came across a very cheap flight to Florence. My roommate certainly thought I was crazy, but his approving “go for it, Johnny” was all I needed. Logically, I booked the flight right in the middle of the quarter — Valentine’s Day weekend. Soon enough my phone was “lost,” I came down with a “really bad cold” and I winged my way across the Atlantic for some wine, gnocchi and gelato.
As I wing my way across the continental U.S. on a morning flight to New York, I’m thinking back on how my travel interest came to be. Gone are the days of middle school track practice when the coach would quiz us on what type of plane was passing overhead. Too bad, because I was that kid who had memorized the list from the Northwest Airlines in-flight magazine, impressing the coach, yet probably leaving my teammates slightly annoyed.