It’s March which means Women’s History month and International Women’s Day (Thursday March 8!) – AKA girl power month. It also means I have an announcement!
On Earth Day (April 22) I will be running 13.1 miles in an all-women half marathon, in support of my beloved Refugee Women’s Center. I have run races before (only one half marathon!) but I have NEVER done a fundraiser. Why am I doing my first one now? Well, I found the charity that deserves it. Continue reading
**SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM TO SEE HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT REFUGEES & BUY YOUR HOLIDAY GIFTS AT THE SAME TIME!**
Twenty miles across the English channel, I went to work everyday and spoke with teenage girls who woke up with tear gas in their eyes, police boots in their ribs. On the outskirts of the grey, suburban neighborhoods of Dunkirk and Calais, police soak donated sleeping bags and tarpaulin in tear gas concoctions, rendering them useless. Children sell their bodies so they can pay for a way to meet family across the channel. The first cases of trenchfoot since World War One are running rampant. It sounds like a dystopian reality, but it’s not, and it’s here.
I could go on explaining the police intimidation and horrific conditions that make up life for refugees in Northern France right now (and this is a good post if that’s what you want to read) – but something would be missing. The actual refugees. Continue reading
This post is the final installment (although I will continue to write about this topic in many forms – your feedback is welcome in the survey at the bottom of this post!) in my diary posts on volunteering in a refugee camp in Northern France with the Roland Levinsky Memorial scholarship. You can read the first three posts here: 1, 2, 3. Continue reading
This post is part of my short series chronicling my experience volunteering in a refugee camp with the Roland Levinsky scholarship. You can read my first and second posts to catch up on my thoughts so far. Continue reading
Well, the time has come for me to actually volunteer! The scholarship donors informed me that they like to keep up to date on the experience via social media and blogs, so I figured, well, obviously Endless Distances is the perfect outlet for that.
I am of the opinion that as people who like to travel, as people who enjoy culture (of any kind), we have a duty to protect refugees. We are the people who have seen the world. Who have seen the art in Russia and tasted the street food in China and drank in the pubs in Scotland. We know that the world is full of people who are DIFFERENT than us, and more importantly, we value this: we take their art home, we wander their museums, we recreate their recipes, we fill scrapbooks with bits of their culture. Is it not our duty to protect these people of different cultures when they need us?
Since I originally started drafting this post, there have been two iterations of the US proposed Muslim Ban, both denied by federal judges, and my fervor has only gotten more intense. This post is a long time coming, but I’m very excited to share with you my views (and some advice) on why travelers should support refugees. Continue reading
Two days after I flew home to Michigan in December, I found myself sitting on a cold Doctors office table, being pricked with injection after injection of neon-red liquid. No, I hadn’t returned from some jungle expedition with a rare tropical disease. I was returning from three years of living in England, and four months of traveling within Europe. Every country I traveled to was considered “developed,” none had health warnings or required vaccines which I didn’t already have. So no, I wasn’t being treated for some rare condition…. unless you count the health impact of travel itself as a condition. Which, after dozens of painful injections, I was starting to. Continue reading
It feels strange to longer be an “expat,” but in some ways I think I will always identify as an expat. Take, for example, how I perk up when anyone mentions they are planning their own move abroad. I love to give advice, hence the blog (or maybe this is one of those chicken and egg situations?), so I’ve been gradually compiling a list of practicaltips for new expats in my head.
Add into the equation that one of my best friends from growing up in Michigan is imminently moving to Australia, and my head has really been buzzing with ideas. Over brunch the other day, Sydney (my friend) mentioned to me how she is wiring her money to her new Australian bank account, and all of a sudden all these alarms started going off in my brain. Like, Inside Out style. Imagine little Mindy Kaling-voiced elves storming through my frontal lobe with “practical tips for new expats” files under their arms. Continue reading
Well, it’s a little belated, but I wanted to share with you guys what I was up to in December! It was one of my 2017 goals to do a “monthly recap” for every single month, and I managed it! The end of the year is already so full of reflective posts that I thought maybe I wouldn’t post my December recap, but I wanted to keep to my goal so here it is 🙂 It’s actually pretty crazy looking back on this month and seeing how many places I actually was – I can’t believe it was just one month ago that I was collecting donations for the refugee camp in Germany!! And managed to get to four other countries as well! Looking back it seems so long ago. Continue reading