• Life Abroad,  Travel,  Yearly Recap

    Year of Life & Travels: 2019

    Hello all! Hope you had beautiful holidays if you were celebrating! The Czech celebrating period seems to go for about two weeks so I am still enjoying the beautiful downtime, lit candles, all of our decorations and tree – this time is honestly one of my absolute favorites of the whole year, even though Christmas is over. We’ve just had a nice holidays in the Salzkammergut lake region of Austria, not very far at all from Salzburg (but in the smaller villages). I will post about it soon but I wanted to get to the annual and much anticipated (by me, if nobody else) ‘Year in Life and Travels’, 2019…

  • Austria,  Christmas,  czech culture,  Life Abroad,  Thoughts,  Winter

    This Festive Season

    Sometimes people ask me if I’m going back to the States for Christmas and the answer always seems to be… no. Don’t get me wrong, I deeply enjoy being back in my hometown for the holidays, away from the big city bustle. Every year when we would get on that on-ramp away from Seattle, there was something incredibly peaceful about driving north on I-5 and watching the sprawl slip away. Driving around the island on Christmas Day, Sufjan Stevens‘ album always playing on the car stereo. The white skies, tall evergreens, the sea. Again, I have to use the word peaceful, but a certain, specific peace only this kind of…

  • Austria,  Autumn,  Language Learning,  Thoughts,  Travel

    Language Progress + Thoughts on Solo Travel

    “That was a really good lesson. I felt like we sort of… are getting it now, you know?” A moment Alex and I shared after our Czech lesson today. We started taking Czech language seriously in autumn 2015 – that means it’s been now over four years of really studying the language. Before that, I had taken a couple classes sporadically the year I first arrived although they didn’t amount to much as I was a total beginner in a class with people who clearly had some sort of grasp on the language and a teacher who couldn’t explain Czech grammar in my native tongue. Four years of serious study!…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life,  Life Abroad,  Lifestyle

    Photo an Hour – An October Weekday

    I haven’t done a ‘Photo an Hour’ for years, but as I was enjoying my pumpkin pie oatmeal that day, I just thought gosh, I think it’s time for another one! This was on the first day of October, a weekday, and what I thought was the final day of summery weather this season (I would be wrong – our Indian summer is going strong!) So this post is for all the daily life blog post lovers (like myself). Be the post you want to see in the world, I think someone famous once said 😉 I woke up at roughly 7:15 or so this day. Took the dog out,…

  • Expat Life,  Language Learning

    Adjusting, pt. II

    Last Monday afternoon, I walked out of my building, onto the street, and along one of the main streets of the center of town where pedestrians and commuters of all sorts are walking to or from their various activities — lunch, school, work, and I heard Czech language all around me (wot’s this?). After almost seven years in this country, that caught me off guard. I know, kinda stupid. But I had just spent the weekend in my home, watching films (#octobermovieseries), spending time with English-speaking friends, reading American newspapers. I was tucked in my warm and cozy oasis of English and culture and loving every second. However, as the…

  • Autumn,  Budějovice,  Daily Life,  Expat Life,  Teaching

    Lately, Fall

    life here in czech republic is picking up again! alex and i’ve both started back up with our lessons for the new school year. i chose to stick with my job at the language school that i’ve been with since february instead of teaching only children with alex. i loved being around the kids during summer camp and i do enjoy having young students, but i thought that personally, i have a lot i can offer adults as well. so, i will continue to teach a variety of ages, 7 through 60+. what i like about this job is that i can accept or decline new students as i feel…

  • Life Abroad,  Milestones,  Summer,  Vagabond Days

    Europe-versary

    one year ago today, we arrived in glasgow, scotland at about 5:40am local time. we came in from hot and sunny toronto and were practically freezing in the 13 C temperatures. even though it was the last day of august, it really felt like autumn has arrived. it marked the next chapter of our lives! so we’re calling today, “victory in europe day”. our V-E day. and thinking a lot about our time in scotland. as much as i like to live in one place here in CB, i am really looking forward to the day we get back on the road– no lease, no taxes or social security payments.…

  • czech culture,  Summer,  Teaching

    Summer Camp, Pt II

    week two out of three of summer camps is complete! boy these days do fly! we have so much fun even though we’re so busy, and the kids have so much fun too. we’re having them recite “double double toil and trouble, witches brew and cauldron bubble” on the thursday field trip the castle to make the princess leontynka (me) appear from the window. and one of us pointed out that that phrase is actually from shakespeare’s macbeth! WE ARE TEACHING CZECH KIDS SHAKESPEARE. best english summer camp ever, ya heard? enjoying it here in SoBo (south bohemia— i’m coining it now!) and learning so much czech language and about…

  • Life Abroad,  Summer,  Teaching

    Summer Camp, Week 1

    as you may know, in february i signed on as a teacher (with alex) to teach three weeks of childrens’ english summer camps. this means just under ten hours (7:15am to 4:30 or 5pm) of hanging out with kids per day. and good news: i have survived week one! i’ve never taught groups of kids before, and it was a pretty amazing, fun, sometimes extremely tiring, and really rewarding experience. in this camp, the kids are surrounded by two native speaker teachers and one bilingual czech teacher in hopes they will pick up on the english phrases we tell them: stand up! sit down! line up! come on! let’s go!…

  • Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Travel

    Leaving Home, Living in Europe

    when i left seattle last july–almost a year ago–i didn’t have a goodbye party… something i sometimes kick myself for. although that’s what most people do when they go away for a long time, it didn’t seem real to me then. i told everyone where i was going and when but i didn’t feel like the occasion warranted a full-out goodbye party. sometimes i downplayed my departure.  that seemed too definite at the time. when i packed my clothes in anacortes last august, i didn’t quite understand what i was packing for. even though it was august, i forced myself to pack a warm winter hat and a sweater or…