Working on this month’s #GlobalLife365 Challenge in the actual month!! I haven’t caught up yet, but you can be sure these responses are fresh.

1. Favorite memories from June

My birthday weekend was a blast. I had family time and friend time and me time.

2. What I’m grateful for today

Good friends. A getting better relationship with my sister. Rejuvenation of a mini-jaunt out of town.

3. What I did yesterday

Today was a fantastic and satisfying day. A post will be coming about this day of getting out of town with some friends and having great finds in the region.

4. Favorite international summer dessert

99 Flake. First memory of having one was while visiting potential undergraduate colleges in England and Scotland with my mother. We were waiting to go see a play and there was an ice cream cart so we got something to eat. I saw the word Cabury near the 99 Flake and selected that. I was disappointed. Today, Flakes are one of my favorite Cadbury chocolate bars and now I want to make some soft-serve ice cream and put one in!

5. Pool, lake or ocean?

Answer to this question is always, “whichever has the best mountain view.”

6. Official or unofficial mentors

This is tough. I probably have a ton of unofficial mentors who are so unofficial I don’t realize they are mentors. I did have one while an undergrad at UW-Madison. I followed what I perceived to be the typical track for the radio-film-television Communication Arts students and was all about production (Journalism was a separate school and the other Comm Arts track was Comm Sci and rhetoric). I was fortunate enough to have been selected for highly sought-after screenwriting course. Though proud, something didn’t sit right with me about taking the class. There was this other class I was also interested in, but it conflicted with the screenwriting course. I went to check out the other course and knew it was the right fit. That course’s professor, Michele Hilmes, took me from my commercial broadcasting path and showed me the way to my love of public, community and alternative media. She was also as big a BBC fan as I was (programming-wise). I dropped the other course and took what courses of hers I could. She introduced me to and mentored me through my summer internship at the school’s public access news and information television program. I enjoyed it so much that I and a recruited friend took it over after in the fall and completely revamped it to make it our own. A few years later when I was going to grad school, she knew one of the visiting professors I was going to have at LSE for an public, community and alternative media course. Having the connection proved invaluable. I am forever grateful for her and her influence on my academic career. I read that she retired from Madison last year. I should definitely reach out to her.

7. Today I…

am angry. I woke up to two more reported deaths of black men by police officers. I went to bed angry about people in my area being close-minded, overbearing, manipulative and self-centered children rather than being community-minded adults and making decisions in a way conducive to positive change. I hardly slept. I feel helpless. I don’t know how to affect appropriate change on either a local or a national scale. I don’t know how to channel my anger for good. I just want to yell at and shake some sense into these people. I want them to feel the full force of the consequences their actions have instead of the rest of us on the receiving end just sitting idly by.

8. Grad school: yes or no?

I went to grad school as a way to go abroad again for an extended period of time. Is grad school relevant today? Honestly, I really think it is up to the individual, their interests, goals, and what they want their life to be like. Some people hide in academia; other people prefer the workforce. Would I go back and do it again? Probably. And for the same reason. Would I consider more schooling? Nah.

9. Someone I miss talking to

The friends/people I talk to most in my life right now are the friends/people I want to talk to the most. I do have one friend, who I was roommates with for two years, whose conversations tended to lean towards the “bigger picture” and the how’s and why’s of life and how life should be lived. I’ve had a yen for this kind of conversation lately. Unfortunately, since moving back east, we have not been in as close of contact. But she is the kind of friend that when we get the chance to visit each other in person, we are right back where we were.

10. Favorite summer activity

Does drinking Pimm’s Cup count?

11. Fly or drive?

Flying usually means I’m going farther away so that great appeal. But driving/road tripping has a great sense of freedom and opens you up to being more spontaneous. This is a tough call that I don’t want to make.

12. Someone who has made an impact on my life

I asked my partner Anna this and she pointed to herself. And she is right.  Particularly on the culinary side of things. She has introduced me to importance and luxury of a great meal. When I would travel, searching out a recommended but off the beaten path restaurant never crossed my mind. Now, getting a delicious meal representing a culture of a destination is now very important to our trips. And I love it.

13. Yesterday I…

Had a dip in confidence that seeped over into today. I also did laundry, laughed with my parents, and was disappointed when I couldn’t keep my eyes open for the climax of a really good book (this does not sound like good things for the book, but it’s a really good book and I tried to finish this morning, but ran out of time. I shall finish as soon as I get home from work. Hizzah!).

14. Favorite sound

“Mind the Gap”

15. What I can see from my window

I don’t have a window right now actually to look out of.

16. Favorite summer travel memory

I have two. Dingle, Ireland. Actually that whole summer. And the summer after I graduated undergrad and returned to Madison to see what if life held something for me there. I had not found a job and so was going to head to Colorado to visit my sister at PhD school. Ha. While there I found out that my mom was flying out to Utah and my sister was going to meet her and family friends. I tagged along as little sisters are wont to do. After my mom left, I headed back to Wisconsin. A one week trip turned into three. I loved the freedom of being able to do that. I loved roadtripping. I went to a rodeo, Estes Park to the Shining hotel, joined a drinking club in Park City, picked up three more Capitols, saw Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands and Wall Drug.

17. A moment I wish I could relive

All the moments when I was brave and acted through my fear while traveling.

18. I wish I could…

be braver

19. Things I’ve lost while traveling

When I was a kid stilling sucking my thumb and never without my “Pink Dolly,” we were on a family road trip. I was letting Pink Dolly get some fresh air by holding her out the window. I couldn’t hold on to her and away she flew.

My little travel jewelry box was left behind in my temporary accommodations in London. The made ended up taking it and when I went back for it, I was given money instead. Thankfully there I was about discover Accessorize, the accessory sister shop to Monsoon, a favorite clothing store (I bought my senior prom dress at a Monsoon in Bath while my mom and I were looking at school for undergraduate degree).

20. My favorite “home” abroad

I really loved London. That, of all the places abroad, is the location that I felt at home in. It was also my favorite accommodations while abroad.

21. Rent or own (house/condo)?

Some think I may have commitment issues because I have not been in the market for a house. I don’t like the idea of committing myself to an area. You never know when something will come up elsewhere. And then there’s all the paperwork and process of selling that has be gone through. You can’t just pack your stuff up and go. In the past I have equated the thought/feeling I have when thinking about buying a home as cemented feet. YET! Yet I know I am ultimately searching for that place I can call and feel at home.

22. Something that really matters to me

Being creative

23. Favorite summer drink

Pimm’s Cup

24. Someone I wish I could talk with

I’ve been hankering to have one of those philosophical life chats with my friend and old roommate, Jenna. She was also good for those. Could start one in any situation.

25. Best thing I’ve eaten this week

I’m going to go back to the last 7 days. While on vacation in Provincetown, MA, we picked up some Portuguese Croissants from the Portuguese Bakery on Commercial St.  I had my last one perfectly warmed up on Wednesday (20th). The combination of linguiça and butter in the pastry….Fantastic!

26. What’s in my purse/day bag

Wallet; the best planner that I’ve found for what I like: the full month calendar pages only and then a bunch of blank notes pages, flexible/soft cardboard cover in the convenient size of 5 3/4″ x 8 1/2″ by Sugar Paper; car keys; right now my travel journal is in my bag from our trip to the Cape; a pen; lip balm; and hair tie.

27. If money were no object, I’d…

Spending 6 months to a whole year living in a country and then moving to another etc. for about 2-5 years, and seeing what transpires as I cultivate my curiosity, explore my interests and create new relationships.

28. What I think about on a Sunday night

I usually have a low-level obsession-fest about what time I should go to bed. If I’m tired out from the weekend, I usually end up going to bed later than I decided during my LLOF and vice versa for when I’m not that tired. I’ll also think about the week ahead as sometimes during the summer when more events are happening I’ll lose track of which week I’m in. Occasionally I’ll start thinking about what I will wear.

29. What I currently miss about being abroad

The transportation network at your finger tips.

30. A song that inspires me

Bob Seger’s Greatest Hits is my summer album. It really inspires me to get on the road with the first bars.

31. Tomorrow I…

Am looking forward to a lazy Monday morning having taken a half day of work.


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.