From Chiang Mai to Nong Khai–TESOL Reflections and Taking the Next Step

Once upon a time, a girl named Britta moved halfway across the world in search of new opportunities, a new life, and new adventure.

She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but she didn’t realize how hard it would actually be.

And she also never imagined she would meet a group of people who would ultimately change her life forever.

— — — —

Okay, screw this writing in the third person. I’m annoying myself right now.

I’m sitting here in my hotel room in Nong Khai and I’m not going to lie–the last day and a half has been one of the hardest of my life. After a month of safety in Chiang Mai (and oh man, did I not realize how safe it really was), I’m completely and totally on my own. I have yet to meet anyone in Nong Khai who speaks enough English to have an understandable conversation (though perhaps I’m not looking in the right places). I tried to have a conversation with the lady at the hotel who made my breakfast earlier today and ended up bursting in to tears when I got back to my room because I was just that overwhelmed by that tiny conversation, or lack there of one. Continue reading “From Chiang Mai to Nong Khai–TESOL Reflections and Taking the Next Step”

Chiang Mai: A Week (or So) In Pictures

Teacher Britta has lesson plans to complete for language camp later this week.

So, writing isn’t happening right now.

However, here’s a few pictures of this GORGEOUS country that I now call home:

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I should know the name of this Wat…but I don’t

Continue reading “Chiang Mai: A Week (or So) In Pictures”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–Back to College (for a Day), Friends Time, and Thailand is Getting Closer!

If we were having coffee, I’d start off out by telling you that this week has been awesome. Truly awesome. I’m down to a week and a half before I leave the country for an indefinite amount of time and I want to make the most of the time I have left here…and I feel like I’ve definitely been doing that this week.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about how I visited my college town earlier this week for the first time since I left as a new graduate in May. I’d tell you about how wonderful it was to be back and how I practically started crying when I drove up to campus and greeted my friends on the campus mall. There were tears and they were of the best kind. I was so happy to be back. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed campus until I was all the sudden there again. It was so wonderful to spend time with some of my dearest friends and I loved getting to see a bunch of people whom I hadn’t seen in ages. I also ran into my former history adviser and one of my favorite professors on campus, which was wonderful (hm…I’m using the word wonderful a lot in this paragraph. But this visit was so wonderful that my usual attention to variations in word choice while writing is failing me…and I don’t even know how else to describe it). I’m so unbelievably glad I got to go back before I leave for Thailand. This place means so much to me and, given my current sense of wanderlust, adventure, and a general need not be living in Minnesota for at least the time being, it’s quite possible that I wont be back again for…well, years.  Seeing so many people that I know I wont get to see for ages and ages now that I’m Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–Back to College (for a Day), Friends Time, and Thailand is Getting Closer!”

USPS Delivers…!

I don’t get snail mail often, and when I do you can bet your boots the United States Postal Service has delivered me goodies from either…

a) Some graduate school trying to woo me into their program (Thanks GRE)

b) The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum sending complimentary stationary and calendars while kindly asking for money (I guess I signed up for their mailing list when I visited last July?)

c) My credit union sending the usual things credit unions send to their members

d) The usual college information from my university…though now, that will inevitably become the alumni association probably most likely [obnoxiously] asking for money and sending information about alumni events

Today though? Today was a happy mail day that just happened to fill my heart with joy. I came back from my first day of work (which wasn’t so bad, though I Continue reading “USPS Delivers…!”

#WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you what an unbelievably busy week and weekend I’ve had, about my family vacation across the Midwest to spend time with more family. I’d tell you how my mom, dad, and I flew into Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday for my cousin’s high school graduation party, how we drove across Missouri on Monday and headed for central Illinois for a couple days, and how we then ended our vacation in the suburbs of St. Louis. I’d mention that my brother is currently studying abroad, hence, why he wasn’t there to join us…just in case you would have wondered.

If we were having coffee, I’d explain how much fun I had seeing family I haven’t seen in a while. I’d tell you how much I enjoyed seeing my twin cousins; even though they are nine years younger than I am, I love spending time with them. I’d talk about how we did so much–from a Kansas City Royals Game where my parents and I got dreadfully rained on (and where I Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare”

An Emotional Rollercoaster in a Nutshell

I am quite certain that emotions have a mind of their own.

Two days ago, I was ecstatic. Over the moon. My future is starting to shape up a little bit, and it’s really exciting. To be announced soon. Maybe.

But it’s also incredibly scary. Leaving this place I’ve called home for four years. There is so much familiarity on this campus. I have so many supporters here. I feel so safe here.

Today I feel anxious. I walked out of the social science building today after finishing my last Modern Britain class period of the semester with the realization Continue reading “An Emotional Rollercoaster in a Nutshell”

The Beauty of Blogging

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how blogging has changed my life.

That’s kind of a big declaration to make about something, I know.

But I’m serious. Blogging has changed my life for the better.

I have grown up a lot in this last year. I’ve matured and have become so much more comfortable in my own skin. Lately, I’ve been having little to no anxiety–of course, it still exists, it still sneaks up on me when I least expect it–but it is so much less severe than it was last year at this time and it Continue reading “The Beauty of Blogging”

Life’s Little Victories as Told Through Pictures, First Edition

Last spring, I participated in the 100 Days of Happy challenge that has been going around the internet for a little while. During a time period where I was experiencing severe anxiety on a day-to-day basis, this challenge developed into a way for me to push forward. I was bound and determined to finish this challenge and I did. Taking pictures every day developed into a safe routine and though it wasn’t always easy to take a picture every day, especially on my worst anxiety-filled days, it was, in the end, a very satisfying experience.

With 100 Happy Days in mind, I bring you my newest addition to What is Past is Prologue–“Life’s Little Victories as Told Through Pictures”–a post series that will document the good things in life through, well, pictures…the title is kind of self explanatory, I think. I don’t know how frequent this Continue reading “Life’s Little Victories as Told Through Pictures, First Edition”