Here are February’s #GlobalYou365 Challenge questions and answers. As you read through the questions, comment below if one of them sparks a connection for you.

1. Favorite January Memories

Nighttime snowshoeing with friends that included maybe a moose or bear “hearing” (we never saw it/them but we heard em!); Packer Football and watching the Washington playoff game with a Washington fan and learning about spirit fingerz; started moving again and trying something new by having first line dancing class with a good friend; visiting a best friend and seeing her new home.

2. Languages I want to learn

My mom and my sister have both attempted German but neither have mastered it. I don’t know that I want to master it, but being of German heritage, I would like to learn it. I’m hoping my knowledge of Dutch will help. We’ll see.

3. Favorite Travel Outfit

When I went to London in 2008 I felt very “American tourist.” I saw not only Londoners but also international tourists looking simply stylish. The thing, aside from shoes, I noticed most was the difference in coats. Mine was a short zip up that I felt was my most appropriate for traveling. I quickly noticed at the Tower Bridge how out of sorts I felt and how glaringly American I looked. When my friend Sophie and I went to Oxford I found a woolen coat that was bright green, knee-length with green buttons. It was perfect. I wore it the rest of my trip and felt much more at ease.

I’m not a stylish person but I find when I travel that the clothing options abroad are simple, classic, but with a hint of fun. Not too much fun, like I feel some American clothing can be – at least in my budget. I also picked up a great number of pashmina scarves to wear with my new coat or on their own.

This experience reminded me of how shoes were my first big fashion”must” when I was in London four years earlier. All I had were sneakers, athletic looking ones. I felt again like I was standing out. I admired a pair of faux suede loafers in Pink Dolly Pink at Shelly’s shoes store. I finally bought them and though not the best for long days of walking around town. They did make me fell more blended in. With the pink I was expressing me as a person, rather than wearing shoes that expressed me as an American tourist.

4. What frustrates me about “home”

Poor train network

No “gap year” to help people figure themselves out and perhaps see their own country if not somewhere else in the world

“Home” feels restricted. There appears to be less “newness” and I’m not curious. A lot of what frustrates me about home is more in my head than in reality

5. Places I’ve worked

Upstate NY: Kline household babysitting, Knitting Mill, Summer Rec program, St. John’s Episcopal Church, FMCC Foundation, Lexington ARC

Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin summer rec, Roadway data collection company

Washington, DC: Temp Agency

6. Ways my travels have changed

Less often; more research done of destination rather than just going by city name and seeing what I saw while there; more expensive; more worry goes into the whole experience

7. Music I love

80s/90s Hip Hop, Pop, Soul, R&B

8. Movies that made me cry

Beaches, The Blindside, The Notebook

9. Where I’d like to live

London; Dingle, Ireland; England; Germany; Madison, WI; Maine; on a lake in the mountains; or where the ocean meets a great view of nearby mountains

10. How I like to exercise

Well there’s how I like to exercise and how I actually end up exercising. Walking is how I usually get my exercise in. I loved loved loved this hip hop/cardio class at my local YMCA but that went away sadly. I enjoy swimming and though I most enjoy doing gymnastic floor routines in the shallow end, I do like doing laps. I also like playing sports but am not in an league or pick up group.

11. Today’s to-do list

The day I’m actually getting to this one’s to-do list had on it to email two people regarding two community involvement opportunities, pre-register for camping this weekend, clean my office, put together some ikea items, clean the bathroom, walk to library to return movies, complete work tasks, finish putting clothes away

12. Who I talk to the most

Anna, Amy and Tabitha (partner, friend since middle school, friend from Madison from when living there after grad school, respectively)

13. Favorite smells

Light Blue on my partner; coffee beans (though one of my least favorite smells ever is burnt coffee bean/grounds); freshly baked cookies

14. What inspires me

Nature/serene scenes, my mom

15. Beach or mountains?

Mountains. I’m in my head so much and mountains seem tend to get me out of it. They remind me of my insignificance in the world and I feel more alive. My worries go away along with my stress and I feel whole.

16. What I never leave home without

Some would say my license as even if I am just driving to a friend’s house a few minutes away, I always have to grab my license.

17. Pets I’ve had

I’ve never actually had pet of my own. I was promised when I was younger that upon our family’s return from vacation in Maine I could get a fish. That did not happen. I was a baby when my parents’ sheep dog, Duffy, passed away. Then when my parents took in my sister’s Australian Shepard, Foster, I was away at college and only got to see him with I came home or, if he was back with my sister, when I visited her. My partner has a three-legged cat named Lt. Dan and he and I have bonded quite well over the past couple of years that I think of him as my own, except for not cleaning his litter out or feeding him on a regular basis. I do enjoy brushing him though.

18. Favorite things about winter

Bundling up on the couch in the dark with Christmas lights still up and watching the snow fall heavily outside ala end of A Christmas Story. The quiet and stillness. Game nights. Hot cocoa – who knew the best recipe was the one on the Hershey’s cocoa powder box?!.

19. What I remember about being 10

I was in fifth grade and I remember having to do a lot of those reading comprehension things where once you finished a set you moved to the next color having “upped” your reading understanding. I was a flapper for Halloween. I liked to draw on the chalkboard at school. The Gulf War was going on and I remember doing air raid drills. I remember sneaking out of the classroom during one of the above reading comprehension stories to hang out in the girls bathroom. I was a rule follower so this was pretty extreme for me.

We had moved into my family’s new house in the country two years before and I was probably still annoyed by it. My sister would have 16 and was always in her room when she was home. I started a lot of fights with her to get some kind of attention from her.

20. Favorite winter beverages

Hershey’s hot cocoa. I’ve recently been introduced to mulled wine (ick), hot toddies (ok), mulled cider (yum), and eggnog (delish!). And as champagne is good year round, I’ll add that too.

21. Who I’d love to travel with

Anna and my crew from Ireland for a reunion tour with our significant others.

22. What I’m currently wearing

This is an outfit I could have been wearing in February as well as June. It is a tomato red dress with ruffles on the top, a black cardigan with white diamonds and sparkly black flats. If this were February, add some black or grey tights.

23. Favorite travel quote

It would be odd not to use the quote I have at the top of this blog.

“A Journey is a person in itself; no two are alike.” – John Steinbeck

24. Advice I’d give others moving abroad

One Rx for Homesickness Coming Up

Internet and the Study Abroad Experience

Anything really under my “Bumps in the Road” section

25. Grammar mistakes that drive me nuts

The one I ignore the most purely because I can not figure it out and therefore drives me nuts is the whole  lie, lay, (layed?), laid, lied, lain. Placing the book on the table versus reclining. Whatever. I also tend to ignore where commas should really go. I subscribe to the whole “whenever there’s a pause” theory, but it’s a mix of that and actual clauses.

As for those I read in others’ writing, probably the they’re/their/there.

26. Artwork I’d like to see in person

I’ve been very fortunate to have seen all the pieces of artwork that I have. I am an impressionism fan. Highlights for me have been Musée d’Orsay, the Art Institute of Chicago (Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”), the Van Gogh Museum and seeing the statue of David at Galleria dell’Accademia. But what I’d really like to see is living art at Park Güell in Barcelona.

27. Musical instruments I can play

Trumpet, piano, dulcimer – all beginner/intermediate level

28. What I think about as I fall asleep

I usually read until either the book has fallen on my face or my eyes have shut. When I do stop early and allow time for some night time thinking, it’s usually because my brain wants to process something, an incident, emotion, list of things. This is usually a calming time, rather than stressing out. Those nights happen to, though.

29. What I love to do on a snowy day

Please refer to #18.

Small Planet Studio‘s #GlobalYou365 Challenge was created as a “reflective challenge for global adventurers in re-entry” to aid travelers navigating the often choppy waters of returning home from abroad. This Challenge consists of a question a day and is a tool that can be used to help you create a lifestyle that accommodates both your abroad self and home self. Usually it is used for those coming home, but I sought to use the Challenge in reverse, as a great opportunity to reconnect with my traveling self to create a more global lifestyle today. You too can take the challenge by clicking here.