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The Grass is Always Greener

The grass is always greener. The past, the future, it was better or it’s going to get better. We miss things and long for things and dream of things to come. 
My brain is always occupied with memories of adventures and happy places. Blueberry fields, apple orchards, museums in Santa Fe, farmers markets, lobster shacks on the coast in Maine, paddle boarding, Guernsey ice cream. And when my brain isn’t entirely consumed with memories I’m constantly daydreaming about exploring the rest of the world, where I’ll live next, what food I’ll be able to eat there, what I will do on the weekends. 
And then I look out my window. I’m living in Peru, and isn’t this one of my dreams? How is my every second not occupied with overflowing happiness to be here, to have this opportunity? It is, but it wears on you. Every challenge is emboldened by homesickness. I’m missing my dogs and running a near constant risk of consuming a parasite. 
About a week ago now I discovered that the bug bites and insidious it…

#thatonetimeincolombia

Off to Colombia! We jetted off together early on Monday morning off to see a new country! We even got to sit next to each other on the plane! I haven’t done that in years and years and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I was even able to sleep a deep sleep on our short hour ride. 
We got off the plane onto a steaming tarmac and passed through customs together, it was truly exhilarating completing a customs form as a “family.” My bag didn’t arrive from Panama and so unfortunately I was left to swelter the rest of the day in the Cartagena heat in my jeans. 
After one hell of a time finding our hotel, dad and I set off to explore the town and find something to eat. We spotted the popsicle shop I’ve been reading about on blogs and yes we did stop in. 
We enjoyed an amazing first meal in Colombia and had a great pizza dinner before we (read: I) crashed immediately upon return to the hotel. 
Our first day was delicious, and long, and hotter than hell, and marvelous, dad even bought himself a new hat, an…

#thatonetimeinpanama

My journey to Panama started with just some brief challenges and slight complications. A cancelled flight left me spending the night in Bogotá alone and dad and I taking separate rides to the hotel to meet up there in the middle of the night (basically... okay closer to 7 am). We never slept because we couldn’t help but catch each other up on our journeys. He brought blueberry bagels from home and we were able to find cream cheese right next to our hotel, yummmmm! We ate fish and chips, egg sandwiches with cheese, drank Panamanian beer, ate shrimp, and more fish and chips. Oh and popsicles, and bubble tea. We’ve been doing alright...
The Panama Canal was surprisingly better than expected. We enjoyed our time there and were glad we went. 
Everyone was lovely even though we were challenged by never being able to find our way around the city which somehow constantly felt like a maze. 
The weather was so lovely, sunny and hot. The food was great. Panamanians kind. Spanish spoken, culture exp…

Here’s the Synch

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"What’s the synch?” -Kim Possible Here’s the synch, I live in Ollantaytambo, Peru, I work for an amazing non-profit, I miss my family and my dogs a lot and often. Those are the basics, but you already know all of that so here’s some juicy gossip on all the details of my oh so thrilling life.
My parents came to visit back in December, and after a 24 hour delay in Dallas, and me stuck alone in Cusco on Christmas Eve, we recovered with a full nine days together here in the Sacred Valley. It was beyond a dream to have my parents here and getting to show them around. We hung out in Ollanta most of their stay at a lovely little hotel, they brought me so many presents and so much food from back home, it was truly marvelous. Can you say Cheeze-It heaven? I can.
We spent our days hiking the ruins here in Ollanta, eating at my favorite restaurants in town, cleaning and fixing up my apartment a bit and some shopping at the artisanal market in town. We went into Urubamba just for one day to sho…

A Love Letter to Peru

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My dearest Peru, we've just celebrated our six-month-a-versary and so I have a few things I'd like to say. 
Alright, well here I go:
The holiday season is upon us and I have many reasons to feel homesick. I've been craving ginger snaps for weeks, I can't seems to find any molasses here in the Sacred Valley but I'm not giving up. 
There's something awful about the consumer culture I grew up surrounded by that I miss, the mall and all of its craziness this time of year. Everyone rushing desperately finding gifts for everyone they know. I tragically, or magnificently, don't feel that at all anymore. I only want to buy things people would want/need/passionately love; I feel no need to make aimless purchases of things half heartedly to fill a void of a "holiday gift." I'd so much rather invest in an experience for someone than an unnecessary item. 
The plaza in Ollanta set up a large wooden manger scene complete with straw, small nativity figurines and…

What I'm Thankful For

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I have to say, I've written things over the past month but nothing has been worthy of your time or energy. What I do want to say, even briefly is, happy Thanksgiving to all. While the roots and history of Thanksgiving are borderline deplorable, what it stands for in my life is something so beautiful. Being from the suburbs of the United States doesn't always have the best rep, but the truth is I was raised in a very culturally aware and adventurous community. I love when Thanksgiving transcends cultures. We all eat something a little different on this day, we celebrate who we are, what we love, where we come from, and at every table no matter what, everyone is taking a break to say thank you, and to be grateful. 
Today was my first Thanksgiving celebrated abroad and it did not let me down. If anything I realized how profound the idea of celebrating a day to come together and give thanks, and to say what we're grateful for, is, especially cross culturally. One of my coworker…

Peruvian Bri

I left home 4 months ago, and yet a lifetime has passed. It's been a lifetime since that middle of the night ride to my friends' home in Lima. A lifetime since I walked along the Pacific Ocean and learned the word faro, lighthouse. It has been a life time since I tried my first taqueño and tried my first slice of Andean cheese. A lifetime has passed since I was in Huamanga, Hualla, and Sacsamarca. Surely a lifetime has passed since I was last in Lima. Field school feels like a year ago, spending time with my Limeño friends feels like two. Flying from Lima to Cusco for my very first time with giant furry hairy moths fluttering my stomach (definitely stronger and worse than butterflies), eons ago. A lifetime. And I can say a lifetime, because I'm not that person anymore. As my family and my friends' phones say back home: I'm Peruvian Bri now. My contact actually appears as "Peruvian Bri." And trust me, she's kind of a badass. 
Work has been a whirlwind o…