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I'm currently studying Spanish at a Spanish school in Antigua, Guatemala. Nearly every day the school offers some sort of free local activity. There was a walking tour, a bicycle tour, and a visit to a nut farm. Yesterday's activity was a Traditional Guatemalan clothing demonstration where, well, we went to see and learn about typical clothes worn by Guatemalans. The traditional Guatemala clothing demonstration was all in Spanish, of course, and let's just say my Spanish is far from perfect at this point so, really, most of the time I had no idea what was going on. No. Idea. But the...

I’ve been taking Spanish classes for a week now — four hours a day, five days a week, one-on-one — at a small Spanish school in Antigua, Guatemala. My Spanish is far from good, but, considering a week ago I could barely say “hola,” I think I’m doing pretty well. On Tuesday my teacher and I just talked for a half hour at the end of our class. On Wednesday, whenever she asked a question based on my lesson we’d start conversing on some random tangent. Today I explained the concepts of Starbucks, cafe mochas, and the Easter bunny. Mind...

I'd never seen a football match in person. Football, or soccer as we call it at home, has never really been my sport. Not that I really have a sport. I used to watch a lot of American football back in college. But, really, I just liked sitting in Block I: U of I's student section where we got to dance and make Gumby out of plastic cards and socialize. I now enjoy an occasional White Sox game. But really I like those more for the hot dogs and, again, the socializing, than the actually game. In Asia I ended up...

A year and a half ago I sat on a park bench in Berlin, crying. I was overwhelmed by it all. From being so far from home. From being alone. From the thought of long-term travel. I didn't think I could make it for three months let alone 12 let alone 15. I just wanted to go home. A few days ago, and really, the whole week before, I sat crying in my room. And on the couch. And in the bathroom. Terrified once again of the idea of being out on my own. Being in a foreign country where I...