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It’s occurred to me recently that people other than my parents read this.  It’s also occurred to me that people other than my parents might find the whole thing kind of confusing: all this talk about New Zealand and Vietnam and Tennessee.  Who am I?  Where do I come from?

So here are some frequently asked questions, based on every conversation I’ve ever had with a stranger:

Who are you?

OK, so I don’t get asked this often, if ever, by strangers in real life, but since I have managed to write this blog with very few picture of myself, it’s maybe a valid question.  I am a 27 year old female person with one passport issued by the USA and one by New Zealand, though I have a crisp, West Coast American accent, which tips the national identity balance in favor of the US.

And as for why there aren’t any pictures of me…  I hate having my photo taken.  Hate it.  Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than being on the wrong end of a camera; holding what may have started as a natural smile for an unnatural period of time.  Cameo photos are even worse, since I tend not to react well when I realize I’m being captured.  So pretty much every photo of me looks like this:

You are interrupting my feeding. Why?

Where are you from?

Lots of places.  Nowhere.

No, where are you actually from?

See above.  But if you’re really curious about specifics, here’s what the timeline looks like, broken down by the age I was:

  • 0-12: Eugene, Oregon
  • 12-16: Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 16-17: Knoxville, Tennessee
  • 18-21: Geneva, New York (though I’ve been told college doesn’t count)
  • 22-23: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • 23-24: Washington, DC
  • 24-26: Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 26-27: Wellington, New Zealand
  • 27-now: Washington, DC
  • Future: somewhere else

Why are you writing a travel blog about the country you were born in?

Because this country is weird.  Living in Oregon does not prepare you for life in Tennessee.  Life in Tennessee does not prepare you for Washington, DC.  It might as well be a different country.  Plus, I’m one of those lucky people that never lived anywhere long enough to consider it home and thus consider myself perpetually on vacation.

How can one get in touch with you?

Easy!  Via electronic mail!


11 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2011 1:59 am


    I’m the editor of Expat (, a site devoted to developing comprehensive destination guides aimed at easing expat transitions abroad. At the moment we’re working on perfecting our Malaysia guide and I came across your blog though my research. I was wondering if you’d be interested in completing an email interview about your expat experience abroad? We upload these interviews on “Expat Experiences” pages to give our readers a better idea of what they can expect when moving to their future destination.


  2. March 14, 2011 2:58 am

    Yo! Nice blog. I’m visiting in August for a month and yours is the first blog that I found that wasn’t the typical tourist type ie: scenery, bungee, wine or sheep

    • March 14, 2011 6:14 pm

      Thanks! I really hate most travel writing for that exact reason: it just reinforces what you’re supposed to think about a country. So this is a huge compliment to me. Hope you enjoy your time in NZ!

  3. fart permalink
    April 6, 2011 4:55 pm


    i know you. remember me?

    i like you.

    • April 6, 2011 6:53 pm

      Do I remember you?! Psh. You never forget the girl you steal your first shopping cart with. I miss your face.

  4. Stacy Paul permalink
    June 26, 2011 12:50 am

    Nice blog.
    We should talk. I do wanna visit. Email me?

  5. June 25, 2013 5:30 pm

    Love your writing style! A blog to follow.

  6. June 29, 2013 7:30 am

    Just got back from a RTW trip, was in New Zealand with nephews and friends, was Christchurch ever a shock, gosh talk about tearing the heart out of a place – but Re-Start City is pretty amazing, followed NZ with America and spent the whole time batting away comments about my accent! (The fact that I sound very like Her Majesty, The Queen of England had a lot to do with it).
    Like your blog

    • June 29, 2013 2:26 pm

      Hi Deborah, glad you like it! Your trip sounds amazing. I read a few posts about it on your blog–it’s making me want to plan my own RTW.

  7. July 11, 2013 10:13 pm

    “Perpetually on vacation.” I like your perspective!

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