“There was nowhere to go, but everywhere, so just keep rolling under the stars.”
“…si nos contase / sería como el mapa de otra estrella”
“…if she told you / it would be like the map of another star”
– “La Extranjera” by Gabriela Mistral
When I first found myself in Barcelona, Spain, I was determined to fit in with the natives: dress like they do, talk like they do, and live like they do. Despite my best efforts, I did not succeed. As it turns out, Europeans in general are magical with tying scarves. Me, not so much. My accent was off: I didn’t lisp and if I did, it sounded forced. And try to get me to wait until 9 or 10 pm for dinner? Not happening.
At first, I brooded over this failure until I realized it was a choice, a choice that I was rather content with. I didn’t want to be a Spaniard or a Catalan: I wanted to be me, and if that meant being foreign at times, then so be it.
And so, this blog is the experience of a foreigner and all the strange, beautiful, mysterious, and elucidating things that have happened to me along the way. In a way, it’s like mapping out another star, unknown and far away from my grasp. Here you’ll read travel essays, see pictures of my destinations, and learn about my experiences teaching English abroad as I roll under the stars.