NOLA to Bogotá Update: Bienvenidos a Colombia

In October 2014, I left the Netherlands to move to Colombia. That quickly faded into backpacking overland from the US to Colombia, which turned into living in Mexico City for half a year, which turned into a lot of different and confusing things. Now, one…

How a Year of Language and Travel Made Me a Better Global Citizen

This isn’t the pretentious ‘global citizen’ that you hear in hostels from hipsters who think their own passport isn’t cool enough to warrant a straight answer when you ask where they’re from. I mean the actual philosophical, civic, and social idea of being a global citizen and…

16 Ways to Study a Language Abroad for Free

Language immersion is not only the best way to learn a new language, but also sort of the reason this blog exists. When I turned 21, I only spoke English, and one of the reasons was that I thought I’d just never have the time…

How to Sit Alone on a Greyhound

If you’ve ever taken a long-term backpacking trip or just been a poor college student in the US, you’re probably familiar with the horror and suffering known as the Greyhound bus. And if you’re a regular rider, the only hope for maintaining your sanity may lie in finding a seat…

A Backpack’s-Eye View of East Nashville

I find it really silly and almost cute when people say that the United States has no culture. First of all, just on logical grounds that’s a ridiculous statement — the definition of ‘culture‘ is basically just all the stuff that happens when a group…

The Bosnian Renaissance in Dutchtown, St. Louis

I liked St. Louis a lot more than I expected to. It’s one of those cities where having a local friend makes the difference between two bored nights on the main tourist drag and a week of exploring its eccentricities like a local. In my five…

The South of Mexico: Fast Travel in 21 Photos

I’m normally a huge fan of slow travel: stop, take off your shoes, stay a while, learn a place. It’s how I explored most of Mexico. But when I left Mexico City in July to travel through the country’s south — an area about twice the…

backpacking mexico

Backpacking Mexico, ¡with Mother!

In January I was in Monterrey, my first stop in Mexico as well as my first trial speaking Spanish in a group social setting. My Mexican friend Karen and I went to a small meetup with some Couchsurfers, a German and three Mexicans, who we met at a…

mexico city travel

Mexico City: The Easiest Place I’ve Ever Been

When I set out for Latin America, one of my priority list toppers was poverty. I wanted to experience first-hand what it was like to live in a developing country, to live with and travel through developing communities. I wanted a global perspective on my…

Is Mexico Safe for Travelers?

I’ve been dying to write this post for a while now, because its title is a question that’s been posed to me so many times this year: “Is Mexico safe for travelers?” After spending eight months in Mexico an in 12 of its 31 federal…