I’ve been putting a lot of time into reading lately and one of the books I’ve picked up has been earth shattering for me. Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman has been inspiring and comforting, and I’m only on chapter four. Why is it so impressive?
This is the first book I’ve found that admits to the hardships of traveling that I experienced on my trip to Europe. Most travel writers talk of success and boldness while minimizing the idea of stress and complete dependence on the understanding of strangers. The author of this book talks about being terrified of her situation, about being overwhelmed and full of doubt. Admitting to her humanity and the doubts in her heart makes her a bold and refreshing voice. Continue reading
Categories: Personal, Travel
Tags: Adventure, Air Canada, Airport, Belgium, books, Important Lessons, Personal, Preparations, Tough Stuff, Travel
I’m taking a break from writing about travel to address something that’s really bothering me. I’m going to be up front and say something that can prove to be extremely controversial on the internet. I’m kind of a feminist. I believe that people should be treated equally, that women shouldn’t be treated badly because they’re women and that men shouldn’t fell less like men because they have feelings. I believe that the idea of fake gamer girls is a virus to the geek community and that geek men are wrongly portrayed in the media as fat, ugly, antisocial monsters.
Most importantly to today’s topic is that I believe that harassing anyone for any reason is wrong. My boyfriend brought this article to my attention today, knowing that I would have interest in it. Long story short, this article talks about the ongoing harassment towards Gamespot editor Carolyn Petit over her review of Grand Theft Auto Five. She released her review about the game stating that she LOVED IT. She also spent 30 seconds of the video saying that she found the game profoundly misogynistic and scored the game at a 9.0 out of 10.0. At last look there are over 21,000 comments on the page, many of them filled with the most intense bile I have ever read on the internet. This is profoundly not okay.
I should absolutely be sleeping, but no matter what time of night it is or how tired I am; late night is when I’m most productive.
Last week I wrote a post about why not learning Dutch was the one regret I had during my summer away. It only seems right that I talk a bit more about the steps I’m taking to right that wrong.
I’ve been researching all night. I’ve been flopping back and forth about my life and my future. It’s too hard, maybe I can’t do it. What if it doesn’t work out? Honestly, whatever. I’ve done with this lack of self confidence. I used to have a proverbial fuck ton of confidence and I’ve got the awards to prove it. It’s time to buck up and claim my future.
PS. This motivation only ever happens at night. Godverdomme!
I was in Europe for 90 days. Before I left home, I knew that the mother language of my home base in Belgium was Dutch, specifically the Flemish dialect. I poured over books, websites and Rosetta Stone with great ambition, sure that I would know enough Flemish to get by for a summer in Belgium. This lasted a few weeks. Native Belgians and friends who had traveled the area told me that almost everyone could speak English. I stopped studying, comfortable in the fact that I would be just fine and learn as I went.
I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. I feel pretty okay with that. I realize that it was supposed to be a tool to keep a log of my travels and let everyone at home see what I was up to, but honestly, Facebook kind of covered the most important aspects there. Not only was writing taking up too much of my time, it was taking focus in my mind while I was traveling. Instead of enjoying myself, I was wondering what I needed to write about next. That’s not a proper way to experience it.
I’m now four days from the end of my trip. Four days. It’s hard to contemplate how quickly that summer went. I had an amazing, eye opening experience. Some of the trip was fantastic and other parts were very difficult. Most of those things deserve their own post. There’s not much that I can describe in just a few sentences, but we’ll get to those later. Continue reading
I’ve been in Belgium now for just under a week. Some days have been spent at home watching tv in bed and others have been spend adventuring. I’ve been trying to acclimate myself little by little, so this is a perfect pace for me.
First things first. It turns out that I’ve been living under a bit of a rock. I’ve never needed more knowledge than I already possessed to get by in Canada. I felt cultured for having lived in more than one province and knowing bits and pieces about other cultures around the world. I never took learning a second language seriously because unless I was moving to Quebec there wasn’t really a need for it. These are all great examples of things that didn’t help me at all once I left the country. Maybe that’s why the first few days hit me so hard.
I haven’t been posting much this week because it proved to be a hard week for me in general. I probably should have been taking those experiences and documenting them here but I try to find a nice balance of being candid without getting into private matters. Unfortunately my alternative of bottling things up didn’t go over very well either. Continue reading
I’m feeling a pretty thankful today. I had a long conversation with my Mom today about my life and the things in it. While things aren’t always perfect, I do have a lot that I’m happy about. To stay on subject with the blog, one of the things I’m thankful for is the support I’ve received in the last six months. Continue reading
Today was another hard day.
We made the second trip to the airport in an attempt to get my boyfriend home to Belgium. The weather channel had been calling for lots of freezing rain, so in order to avoid driving on bad roads, we spent the night in the city at a hotel. Continue reading