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Traveler vs Tourist: Traveling Without Labels

The traveler-vs-tourist debate has been around for ages. To some, a tourist is somebody who is more interested in the destination and not the journey, who usually avails of pre-arranged tours and sticks with the guidebooks, who books accommodations beforehand, and who only admires the place and not make attempts to connect with the locals…

The Long Weekend

Nine hours until my presentation the next morning when my phone made that awful sound, which at that moment was not very welcome. The clock had just struck midnight and I was still facing a blank PowerPoint slide, trying to find the first word. Still, I picked up the phone. “Hi. Is it a good…

Abandoned Dreams and New Found Being

A bittersweet smile cut across my face earlier as I browsed photos of my friends from the Foreign Service on Facebook. Four years ago, I was with them preparing for the series of the toughest exams, providing moral support to one another, sharing stories of excitement, fears, and dreams. While I am happy for them…

A Break-up Letter

I never expected I’d be writing you this letter. We’ve had six years of wonderful memories but I’m afraid it had come to the point where you started to break my heart. I should’ve seen it coming since I’ve been finding it hard to breathe lately. It’s time to end the pain that I’m feeling and I just have to say goodbye. I’ve known you since I was a kid but it was only before my college graduation that we had a real relationship. At first, it was difficult for me to get along with you considering the nasty things…

Sometimes We Burn to Live

Whenever I meet people for the first time, it always happens. When they start their sentence with “I hope you don’t mind me asking but,” I know they are going to ask about what happened to my left arm. Most of my online friends are not aware that I have a huge third-degree burn covering…