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A Weekend in Kalamazoo

A Weekend in Kalamazoo

Living in Chicago, I have easy access to a lot of the Midwest. However, despite living here for 14 years, I really haven’t taken advantage of easy train and bus connections to explore much of the surrounding states. So when the opportunity recently arose to head to Kalamazoo, Michigan to visit my friend Sally of Unbrave Girl, I jumped at it. I left late Friday afternoon, taking the Amtrak train out of Union Station, conveniently...

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Life is Too Short, Make the Most of It

Life is Too Short, Make the Most of It

I wasn’t even two weeks in to my year-long career break trip when the news came through my Facebook feed with little warning: a friend from law school had passed away suddenly. He was a year behind me and while we were friends in school, we had lost touch since graduation, only reconnecting through Facebook. Just weeks before, when I was home in Minnesota before leaving on my trip, he had liked one of my status updates. And then, as I was...

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Binder Park Zoo: A Taste of Africa in Michigan

Binder Park Zoo: A Taste of Africa in Michigan

I have been to a lot of zoos in my life. Growing up in Minnesota, trips to Como Zoo and later, the Minnesota Zoo (a/k/a the “New Zoo”) were pretty frequent. Here in Chicago, I have easy access to the Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the only free public zoos in the country. And once I started traveling, I sought out zoos in places I visited. The idea of zoos, though, has become increasingly controversial. Do they serve educational and...

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That Time I Was Named One of Chicago’s Most Eligible Singles

That Time I Was Named One of Chicago’s Most Eligible Singles

Those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter likely saw back in February that I was featured in the Chicago Reader’s Valentines’ Day edition as one of Chicago’s most eligible singles. I’ve gotten quite a few questions about what happened afterwards, so I thought I’d share here how it all went down. After jokingly posting a link on Facebook for a call for nominations, my friends Brandon and Megan went ahead and nominated me. They...

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All the Things I Love About New York

All the Things I Love About New York

A few weeks ago, I headed to New York City for the first of three trips there in 2015. I have probably visited the Big Apple more than any other city in the world and I have often said I love to visit, but I would never want to live there. But as I visited for the umpteenth time (I really have lost count), I couldn’t help but think how all of the things I love about New York tend to outweigh the things I don’t. I love the subway system. It...

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Remembering the Armenian Genocide

Remembering the Armenian Genocide

When I first arrived in Armenia just over three years ago, I wasn’t familiar with the Armenian genocide. To be honest, I’m not sure I had ever even heard those words together. I was enamored with my Western Civilization class in high school but we got so far behind that we probably covered all of the 20th century in about a week. I am fairly certain we never learned about the Ottoman Turks attempting to exterminate the entire Armenian...

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Visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

I visited the newly opened 9/11 Memorial and Museum back in September but struggled to really write about it at that time. It was a surreal experience for several reasons, although surreal doesn’t really seem like the right word. For starters, it was the first time I had ever visited a memorial to something that happened in my lifetime. In all my years of traveling, I have been to my fair share of memorials but most have commemorated wars...

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Random Thoughts While Walking Around San Francisco

Random Thoughts While Walking Around San Francisco

I spent a lot of time waking around San Francisco during my three day visit. I walked from my hotel down Post Street to the Embarcadero. I walked along the Embarcadero all the way around to Fisherman’s Wharf and beyond. I walked (climbed) up Hyde Street to the top of Lombard Street and then all the way down Lombard Street (on the non-crooked side) and over to the Palace of Fine Arts. And then I walked over to Crissy Field and followed a...

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My Weekend in San Francisco

My Weekend in San Francisco

I stepped into the bright daylight from the Powell Street BART Station, feeling a bit silly carrying my powder blue puffy coat over my arm. The sun was shining and the temperature was close to 70 in San Francisco, a far cry from the recent snow showers I left in Chicago. It was the last Friday of February and I was finally checking San Francisco off my list with a three day visit. I arrived around noon on Friday and soon made my way...

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My Scariest Travel Experiences

My Scariest Travel Experiences

According to many people out there, the world is a really scary place. And it’s so scary for women that we would just be better served to stay at home, let alone travel anywhere on our own. And actually, according to this article, a lot of places are really scary for Americans too – including Georgia and Kazakhstan, two of the friendliest and most welcoming countries I have ever visited. Sigh. So I got to thinking – in all my...

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