Is A Rural Life Right For You? 4 Questions To Answer Honestly

I recently went back to Indiana to visit my family. It was weird being back in the boonies. Good weird, but also so different than the D.C. area. For two nights, I stayed at my aunt's house tucked between two corn fields. When I went to bed, I noticed my aunt left all the windows… Continue reading Is A Rural Life Right For You? 4 Questions To Answer Honestly

10 Books to Buy Secondhand: What I Learned from Working in a Used Book Store

Here is my list of 10 Books You Should Never, Ever Buy New. Unless you enjoy wasting money.

My Story Was Published!

"Why didn't you tell me you had a story in The Democrat?" my dad asked over the phone as I stood in my childhood bedroom. "Right, I forgot to mention that," I said. "I didn't know when it was coming out. Is it in the paper?" A smile spread across my face. I had submitted… Continue reading My Story Was Published!

A Vietnamese Garage That Reminds Me of Home

As soon as we arrived at the garage of Cuong's Motorbike Adventures, full of U.S. Army Jeeps, motorbikes, and stacks of spare tires, I knew we had made the right decision. This garage was my kind of place. I was ready for a 3-day motorbike tour of northern Vietnam.  I had been nervous about the… Continue reading A Vietnamese Garage That Reminds Me of Home

Washing Our Clothes By Hand in a Bathroom Sink in Vietnam

This morning, I stood in front of the hotel's bathroom sink that looked like an over-sized pho bowl, squeezing dirt from Joe's blue T-shirt in water that was gradually turning a coffee-with-milk color. This dirty water was a result of our travels–our strain and our sweat. Warm bubbles floated up between my fingers. My arm muscles… Continue reading Washing Our Clothes By Hand in a Bathroom Sink in Vietnam

Stop Wearing Earbuds in Public, for the Love of all That is Good

Several months ago, in the dead of summer, I noticed something strange as I sweated on the corner of 16th Street—an older man rattled cherry red maracas from behind the wheel of his car halted at the stoplight. These maracas were the big ones, with the handles. He stared over at our group on the corner,… Continue reading Stop Wearing Earbuds in Public, for the Love of all That is Good

I Feel Judged by Liberals. Even Though I’m Liberal.

Dear liberal friend, It scares me to write this: I feel policed by you, even though I'm liberal. I hold many of the same views that you claim to hold, yet if I fail to fall in line with each and every one of your acceptable ideals, I am likely to be berated. The only… Continue reading I Feel Judged by Liberals. Even Though I’m Liberal.

How to Throw a Laid-Back Dinner Party, according to the New York Times

Have you ever wondered how to throw a laid-back dinner party? It's your lucky day! The New York Times has some great low-key entertaining advice for you. First, remember: What goes into your body shows up on your skin. This is important for a party. So be sure you force your guests to eat nothing… Continue reading How to Throw a Laid-Back Dinner Party, according to the New York Times