Never Travel.


Never Travel.

Said no one…ever.

How the travel bug is not a world-wide infectious disease baffles me. (baffle=completely confuse) However, I must keep my open-mind and accept that not everyone has the same interests and passions. I will say though, that I am where I am today, only because of the adventures I’ve taken in the past. I cannot even begin to imagine where my life would be had I not been intrigued by the idea of studying abroad when the study abroad fair was on my college campus. Luckily, the Australian application was due that same day, otherwise…maybe I wouldn’t have gone later on, in 2009, and met the hubs.

Anyways, how perfect was the idea to study abroad? Experience a new place, new culture, new food, new people, new…EVERYTHING. What better way to learn? I’ll let you in on a secret, experience is much more interesting than a book 😉 The only thing I had to do was convince my family of this amazing idea. Big THANK YOU for their support from the beginning.

San Sebastian, Basque Country (Northern Spain *sorry to anyone I upset calling it either place*) was my first real abroad experience. Well, except for the week exploration adventure in Madrid where I made dear friends and unforgettable memories. Toledo, cathedrals, museums, El Prado, Valley of the Fallen, El Escorial, Royal Palace…and those are just the places off the top of my head. In San Sebastian, I lived with Mertxe, the sweetest 77 year old woman. Immediately submerging me into the culture, as she did not speak 1 word in English. We watched movies, TV, and could eventually have long conversations over lunch and dinner. It was definitely one of the better choices to live with a host family.

Looking back, something I would have changed…and a BIG recommendation for students, or anyone else going to study abroad.

Surround yourself in the language and culture as much as you can.

Being my first time out, I will admit I spent most of the time with Americans. That said, mi espanol es muy malo. My spanish is very bad. However, no regrets!

It was there that the travel bug bit me. I loved hearing different stories and meeting new people. I loved doing things that would be impossible from my own city. I took advantage of my time in Europe, and the incredibly cheap flights and eurail passes between the countries and spent weekends visiting new places, and explored 6 weeks after my course with a backpack. Upon returning home, I finished school and was faced with a very important question: Do I continue studying, start working, or do more exploring? The answer seemed so clear. So, how does a recent graduate with no money explore the world? Easy…find a place that will allow you to work! Australia. Working-Holiday Visa.

The rest, is history. Met my man, fell in love…and since then have explored New Zealand, Thailand, and lived in Brazil. In fact, I am in Brazil right now. Spending time with my friends and family, enjoying some World Cup excitement, and really, in my mind, living the dream.

I’ve learned so much along the way, and look forward to continuing to expand my mind….broaden my perspective, and hopefully, with this post, inspire others to do the same.

So, please share some experiences with me!

Have you had any eye-opening travel experiences? Have you defeated narrow-mindedness and broadened your perspective? Where is next on your list of travel destinations? What is your favorite part of travel? What is your favorite memory? What advice can you give to someone who’s scared to take the travel leap?


Word 1 of the Weekend: karma

Why is it useful? I’m a firm believer in karma, and that people should treat each other kindly, especially how they would want to be treated.

Another expression: what goes around, comes around….

 Are you a believer in karma? Do you have any first-hand experiences?


Courtesy: Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day (& Week)

You are reading this post because someone wants you to know that you are appreciated.

or you clicked a link because you are interested in teachers, teaching, education, or are just curious 🙂


A “thank you” is something that can pick anyone up (make someone happy), brighten a day, or inspire others to keep on keeping on. Today is a day to say thank you, and to honor educators. Actually, this week is a week to honor educators.  According to Channel 10, “As early as 1944, teachers called for a national day to honor educators. In 1980, the National Education Association (NEA) lobbied congress to create such a day….”

So here we are, beginning this wonderful week to give recognition, appreciation, and a virtual hug and “HIGH-FIVE” to those teachers who have made a difference in our life. Becoming an educator, specifically an ESL instructor, has given me an entirely new appreciation for those who dedicate their lives to teaching others, and choose to share their passion everyday. Although incredibly rewarding overall, this job is not always easy. It can be quite difficult to pour your heart into something, only to realize your sharing it with individuals who might not care. I have definitely, at times, taken a lack of motivation from students quite personally. I wonder why I can’t be the one to inspire someone like others have inspired me. However, still pretty new to this field, I am learning the ins and outs, and most importantly, that I can’t always take it personal. On days when I face less motivation, I try to step out of the situation and think of the students who I know I inspired, motivated, or whose lives I have touched. You know who you are 🙂 I try to remember that, no matter what, I can’t let anyone affect the passion that I have, and the information I want to share.

So I wanted to make a special shout out, and say thank you to the teachers who have influenced me in one way or another, who have made some positive mark on my life, and in the memories of my education. I wanted to create something that could be shared with other teachers who have made a difference. I wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone out there in the educational field, whether professionally or on a volunteer basis, whatever you may be doing to help positively influence the life of others. Thank you.

In thinking about my past, and educational experiences, there are many teachers I’ve had that were wonderful. Some made stronger connections, some shared a greater passion.

In thinking about the most recent, and biggest impact someone has made on my life, it would be the professor that helped guide me to where I am today. She opened my eyes to what else was out in the world, and showed me a path that I had never considered. Early on I thought I knew what I wanted to do, therapy with a psych degree, but having met Dr. Suzanne Moineau, in my “science to speech and hearing” class I was opened to the world of speech pathology. She was so motivating, and made learning so enjoyable. She’s friendly and encouraging, and it was that encouragement to go down this path and search for something different, that brought me where I am today. Other things, of course, have affected where I am, but I really hold a special part in my heart for Dr. Moineau, and extend a million hugs, high fives, and thank yous.

Other teachers who hold a special place are my Ramona teachers.

Mr. Bringham: “Who’s the now, You’re the now!” You’ll always be one of my favorites.

Mrs. Snodgrass, Mrs. Brainard, and Coach A Rodriguez: The continued support, guidance, love, throughout high school with the cheer program and academics is unparalleled. You wonderful women made such a huge difference in my life, and the whole program.

Mrs. Bridgewater: She made science fun. She was so happy, all the time, and her passion shined through her smile always. “Pooosh” is one of the forever ‘inside joke’ memories I have in that class, a definite favorite.

Mr. Newman: Hard for words to describe how wonderful Mr. Newman is! Spanish class and Washington D.C. in junior high, and felt his presence through high school as well. He made connections with students, and his passion and dedication could never be second guessed. The educational world is lucky to have him!

Thank you all.


I encourage you to share this post with a teacher who has made a difference. Reach out, and say thank you. Let them know you appreciate them, and show that you care. ♥


Some links if you’d like more information about National Teacher’s Day, links to spread the love to a teacher, or a relevant read!

Happy Learning ♥