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  • 2007 was a horrible year almost as soon as it got started.  First, my Nana died before her 97th birthday.  It was a shock to everyone, because even with the knowledge of her age, she was very healthy, and I think everyone secretly believed she'd make it to the triple digits.  Secondly, my dog died...

  • My mom loves to travel, and because of her I have had many great experiences. We have traveled all over the world, but my best vacation memories come from a family trip to Costa Rica we took in 2008. We landed in San José, the capitol of Costa Rica, late in the afternoon. The airport was out of...

  • Some say the West is among the most beautiful places in America, but they’re wrong. It’s the most beautiful place on earth. I remember staring at the panoramic melting sunset from the Broken Arrow Trail while a zephyr uplifted my heart. At that moment, I caught a glimpse of heaven’s rays radiating...

  •   “Now remember,” my uncle instructed as he disappeared into the back of the car. “Water is essential for hiking trips.” As he proceeded to stuff our backpacks with bottled water, I surveyed my surroundings. We were standing in the Fenghua Hotel parking lot in Dali, China. The sunshine felt...

    Tags: Asia
  • Waukesha: A small town in the heart of Wisconsin; home state of American cheese. This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind as the destination for the first week of summer.      After receiving the nomination from my school guidance department that I was to attend the World Affairs Seminar, the...

  • My senior year was approaching, so my aunts that live up in Monterey, CA invited me to come stay with them during my spring break. No other family, just me. They explained they wanted me to see what it was kinda going to feel like living away from my home also to consider going to college up...

  • "You’re too dark, and your Chinese sounds too funny for you to be Chinese, you’re not fat enough to be American... what are you?” bluntly inquired the local six-year-old Shanghai boy at the Global Education “World Expo Summer Camp,” where I was teaching English for the summer. When I explained...

  • My mother had asked another tourist to take a picture of our family. There I stood, waiting for the moment to be over. I was enjoying the trip, but the location was not the problem. While uncomfortably shifting my weight from right leg to left, I thought about how there are some trips that go...

    Tags: Europe
  • Only a few months prior to the time that I now write this, I sat in a small, dingy little log cabin just north of Flagstaff, Arizona; it was still Spring then. Outside, the evergreens stood resolutely like a swarm of strangers looking round for something they could not find, while inside the cabin...

  • I have forever and always thought of myself as a city girl. The plains of rural Kansas were never inviting, and seemed unimaginative and commonplace to this bustling girl. However, I recently came to appreciate the simple nuances and subtleties that accompany wide open spaces during my stay in...

    Tags: Europe, Exploring

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