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I already never wanted to leave. I'd only been in Galway for a couple of hours and had only made it down the main stretch of restaurants and shops. But I felt like I could stay there forever, trying out different pubs, listening to the live music that changed every few feet, drinking Guinness and Bulmers at a wooden bar, talking to some of the friendliest people in the world. There was something about the place. The way the light fell, creating dramatic shadows that stretched the full length of the blocks. The way rain water pooled in the crevices of the...

It wasn't love at first sight. Of course, it rarely is. I arrived in Bogota on a Sunday afternoon, after an 8-hour bus ride from San Gil, and opted for a too-expensive taxi into town. Pointing to one of the recommended hostels in my Lonely Planet, I told the taxi driver, "Aqui." On the way, as we drove through the city, he reached back and locked my door and pointed to the other side for me to lock that one too. Watching out the window everything seemed slightly deserted, slightly dreary. When we arrived at the address in my guidebook, down one of...

1. I am not drinking tonight. I arrived in Bocas del Toro on the Fourth of July. In the morning, in Puerto Viejo, I watched Joey Chestnut break his hot dog eating record with the help of a vpn, a borrowed cable login, and espn.com, and I found myself missing home. Though, which home that was I'm not sure. And I realized that the two places in the world I wished I could be, no longer ever would be. I wished I was at Coney Island, which will never be the same because in this past year two of my favorite...

All I wanted was dinner. Scratch. Dinner and wifi. That was my plan. My mission. That was what I was looking for when I was walking down the street on one of my first nights in Pai. I certainly wasn't looking to meet a guy. In fact, I had promised myself that I wouldn't. No men in Pai. I'd been hurt enough lately and the last thing I needed was to meet yet another guy who would just break my heart. I needed Pai to just be fun, relaxing, devoid of any mental drama....

I am afraid of heights. No, that's not quite true. I am afraid of plummeting from heights. I held on for dear life and cried excessively every time a child bumped into me at the top of the Eiffel Tower for god's sake. So, how, exactly, I got myself 50 meters in the air, sitting on a crane with a bungee chord strapped to my legs is beyond me. No, that's not quite true. It involved, as such things often do, a cute boy and a couple of beers....

After a bumpy bus ride from Vientiane, one that was an hour late in arriving and only made pit stops by the side of the road, forcing me to pee in a bush, we arrived in Vang Vieng: a backpackers mecca revolving around rafting, drinking, and drugs. After walking around a bit we settled on a cheap guest house knowing that we would probably switch to the backpackers hostel the next day. ...

I make weird faces at myself in the mirror. It's a quirky little habit that I picked up somewhere in my lifetime. Pursed lips, puffed cheeks, flipped tongue, squinted eyes. All kinds of nonsensical expressions. I've recently noticed I do it on Skype too, so if you ever have the privilege of video chatting with me, watch out for it. So when Jacob, an Australian who invited me in to a game of euchre, started making strange faces at me throughout the game I was an equal match. It may have just been a tactic to distract me from my...

Again came just five days later. Gabriel and I arranged to meet in Koh Lanta, a nearby island, where we rented a bungalow for three nights on a quiet beach. It rained. A lot. But there was just enough sun for swimming, for lying in the sand, for watching half a sunset. And the storms were just an excuse for enjoying nights on our porch, drinking whiskey and soda, listening to music, dancing....