• What the Hell Am I Doing Here?

    I haven’t written a “Letter from Emily” in a while because it’s been difficult to articulate how I feel. I still don’t really even know what I want to say as I begin writing this. Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been posting fewer pictures and videos of my teaching in classrooms full of forty or fifty kids. Some of you may not have noticed, and that’s totally fine. I feel as though I have built many strong relationships through traveling and through…

  • Here’s Why You SHOULDN’T Travel

    Are you considering quitting your job? Traveling the world? Going to teach English in a place where you’re making more than the locals?  Well, maybe you shouldn’t.  Yeah, I said it – maybe you shouldn’t travel. You shouldn’t travel if you don’t plan on having any sort of positive impact on the place you’re going to visit or live.  You shouldn’t travel if you’re going to go to a foreign country and get frustrated and angry because no one can speak English as well as…

  • The Questions I’ve Been Asking Myself

    When did you realize you wanted to be a better person? More dedicated. More passionate. More committed. More in love with the world. More patient. More focused. More careful. Stronger. Healthier. Kinder. When did you start to take time for yourself? When did you make yourself a priority? When did you realize it – that you wanted, or needed, to change? Did you ever? At what age is it too late to change? Is there even a limit? When did you stop making excuses? How…

  • How I Graduated from University without Going into Debt

    I remember my mom telling me about the $6,000 set aside for my college fund. That amount of money does not go far for college in most places in the United States, though it definitely does depend on where you are. Regardless, I understood from a pretty young age that if I wanted to go to college like the rest of my friends, I would have to go into an insane amount of debt. However, I didn’t take out a single student loan for school.…

  • Doing What I’m Supposed to Be Doing

    As most of you know, I’m back in the motorbike honking, coffee capital, and street food Mecca that is Vietnam. I’ve started out in Hoi An because I wanted some time by the beach and I needed to see my favorite tailor, Sewing Bee, for some tailor-made clothing for teaching. I’ll be heading to Hanoi within the next week or two and will be looking for a place to crash until my TEFL certification course starts, which includes accommodation for the 4 weeks. I don’t…

  • The Power of Nature

    Maybe it was the end of a nearly two-week viral infection that had taken over my mind and body; maybe it was because my throat didn’t hurt anymore and I could swallow without my ears popping. But I like to think it was purely just the salty air, the palm trees that lined the coast, the sunshine, the soft white sand, and the ocean. I felt the change, the shift of mindset when the ocean was visible from the window but before the plane even…