Blood Mountain

Matt came home from class last week and asked if I wanted to go on a hike. (Of course!) We packed up our cameras, some snacks, and our water and jumped in the car to leave. Forty minutes and one insanely curvy road later, we were in the parking lot at the base of Blood…

The 8 “Hows” of Studying Abroad in China

During Spring 2015, I flew halfway around the world to spend a semester in the Intensive Chinese Program at Ocean University of China in Qingdao – a 4hr/day 5 days/week program. My goal was to return to the United States fluent – and I did! During my time abroad, I was fortunate to spend breaks…

The Stages of Studying Abroad

“The first two weeks are going to be rough.”  These were the words of encouragement I received shortly before departing for China. Up until that point, I was on cloud nine. I was nervous, but completely convinced everything was going to be fantastic. These words brought me down a bit, which was good. Although a…

Spa Day and a Surprise (or 6)

Slight warning – You’ll have to excuse me during this post. I’m going to have to gush a little bit about how awesome Matt is. You’ll understand soon. 🙂 Saturday morning rolled around and Matt and I were 100% ready for our spa appointments. The only thing standing in our way was breakfast at the…

Berkeley Springs – America’s First Spa

Although Matt and I have been together for almost three and a half years, we’ve never gone on vacation together. All of our trips have either been to see each other or to see our families over the holidays or during the summer. Yay long distance relationships! So, we decided at the beginning of the…

Unexpected Destinations

Day trips can be a good way to fit in a mini “vacation” without breaking the bank or having to take time off work. You’d be surprised at what you may be able to find close to home. This was the case for me when I discovered The Palace of Gold. I never would have…

Belize Part 3, Vacation Time!!

After our week long stretch at the field station it was time to begin our actual vacation. We left the island on our itty bitty boat and said goodbye to the crew and station manager that made our stay at Calabash Caye so enjoyable. We took a water taxi from Belize City to San Pedro…

Belize Part 2, Why Belize?

Now that we had settled into our new home for the next week, it was time to begin our research. We had the privilege of going to Belize to conduct an ecological study on a species of sea stars that are commonly found in an area very close to the research station. The species we…

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles. And a Boat.

It was 4:45am and I could hardly contain my excitement. It was the day I was going to Belize for the second year in a row. In the summer of 2016, I went to Belize for a study abroad course in marine reef ecology. We spent over a week in the country, snorkeling, diving, and developing…

Chinese Fare – The Food You Must Try

If you ever plan on going to China, I sincerely hope you are not a picky eater. Authentic Chinese food – not the Americanized Chinese take-out we’re used to – can be particularly weird, but incredibly delicious. You just have to be open to trying anything and everything. The craziest things I tried while I…

Roadtrip 2016

Matt and I usually take every chance we get to visit each other, which is why in May 2016, I planned to visit him for about a week before he had to leave to work at a Boy Scout camp over the summer. At the time, he was planning on driving to Texas because he had…

A Semester in China

Going to China was not the first time I left the country. As a child, I went on a family vacation to Cancun, Mexico and about ten years later I went on a work and witness trip to Costa Rica. Both trips were wonderful experiences, but going to China is what truly kicked off my…