She told me I smell weird.

The first thing she said to me was, “You smell weird.” At least, that’s probably what she said.

I had taken a train to a city called Kaohsiung (pronounced “gow-shong” — SO WHY IS IT SPELLED WITH A K ????) for the weekend. Taiwan was having a holiday, which meant a rare three-day weekend, and I wanted to take a little vaycay to a new spot. Taiwan Mom had recommended Kaohsiung, a city a couple hours south (EVERYTHING in Taiwan is a couple hours away), because it’s a fun place and her mom lives there, so I could just stay with her.

Only one hitch: Taiwan Grandma can’t speak any English and the most complex thing I can say in Chinese is, “I want a mango smoothie.” But I figured I’d be outside exploring the city, only coming to her home at night to sleep. No need to talk, really.

Taiwan Mom set it all up and Taiwan Grandma met me as soon as I got off the train in Kaohsiung. I said “Ni hao!” (“Hi!”). She said nothing, handed me a helmet, and got on her motor scooter. I hopped on behind her and we zoomed down the street.

I like riding scooters. They make me feel like Harry Potter on his Firebolt. Only difference being his broom is magic and I’m on a scooter riding piggyback behind (in this case) an old Asian woman.

At the first stop light, she turned and said something. Obviously, I didn’t understand the words, but her pointing to her nose and at me confirmed what I thought she’d notice: I reeked of deet. I had just applied a layer of deet to my skin cuz there’s an epidemic of dengue fever in southern Taiwan. Since I figured she’d notice the smell, I was prepared with an answer: “Um, I know” (in English).

The light turned green and we continued buzzing down the street. We stopped at a restaurant and I followed her inside. I was glad because I was hungry, but I knew it would probably be the most awkward meal I’d ever eaten (and I’ve DATED in PROVO for FOUR years). And I was right!

First, the menu didn’t have any English or pictures (and we weren’t at a smoothie place), so I didn’t know how to order. I was fine eating anything, but I couldn’t even say that! I busted out Google, she called Taiwan Mom to act as translator, and we all decided on beef rice.

While we waited for the food to arrive, we were both silent and didn’t look at each other. It was like when you’re meeting a new person and you want to say something to get to know them, but you don’t know what to say and you’re afraid of sounding stupid. Like that except we also COULDN’T say anything. I pulled up Facebook and showed her a couple pictures of my family, but I can only say “dad” in Chinese (thanks, Mulan), so that didn’t go far.

When the food came, I was already really tense, but I was even more nervous about not being able to hold my chopsticks right (I’d already dropped them on the floor), so I crouched my back and I kept my arms as close to my body as possible so very little food would fall, but this position mixed with a fresh layer of deet resulted in my elbow pits getting bright red rashes. I straightened my arms and hid my elbows from her.

Of course Taiwan Grandma was very nice. She paid for everything and I was very grateful to stay with her, but the only thing I could say was, “Xie xie” (“Thank you”). She kept saying stuff and pointing at different things on her plate and I kept nodding and muttering, “Thank you. Good food,” after which, she’d flag down a waiter, and I’d have another plateful of food in front of me. Eventually, I figured out that she was asking if I wanted more, so when I finished my chicken leg, I said, “Wu uh,” which I think means, “I’m full,” and we left.

And that was the first day. The next day, we almost became Baptists (or Catholics?) and she left me at the bottom of a mountain. And then there was a typhoon.

Easier said than done, Smalls.
Easier said than done, Smalls.

Dahu Park

Visit Dahu Park in Taipei! It’s a great place to …

… see some very attractive person!


… see some squirrel!.


I mean, it’s probably a squirrel, butt I can’t see the head,so.

… see some cranes!


~Very Asian.~

… see some little girl trying to hunt a duck!!!


Little girls and animals. A must-see.

… see some people hunt fish!


Ha! Get them fish before they get you.

… see some lady take pictures of her dog like it’s a person!!


Spoiler alert, lady: puppies turn into dogs who get old and die.

… see nerd(s) LARPing!


Spoiler alert: your dreams will take you as high as that broom, kid.

… feel like you’re at a classy park!!


Duck (goose?), crane in tree, people. *nice*

… butt last, butt not least, see this cool bridge!


The Moon Bridge is very cool. Very must-see. Very must-stand-on.

As you can see, we all need to go to Dahu Park. It makes you feel super classy and it’s v v cool. #Taipei #ShareThisPost

Elephant Mountain

You’ve heard of elephants, you’ve heard of mountains, but have you heard of Elephant Mountain? Elephant Mountain is a mountain in Taipei (A mountain in a city! What is this, Lord of the Rings?). But before I tell you what it’s like to visit, let me give you a little history.
Taipei is also known as “Elephant City” because of the elephants that rule there. It all goes back to when Babar the first elephant king came to Taiwan.  People and elephants used to live in peace. They co-owned businesses and threw parties and stuff. It was pretty cool.
Anyway, Babar crossed over from (wherever elephants are from) and was like, “We can do so much better.” So he started a war with the humans. Since elephants are so much bigger than ordinary people, the elephants won and they continue to rule Taipei and most of Taiwan (but mostly just Taipei) to this day.
It’s not a big deal. They just get to cut in lines and have preference in elections (1 elephant vote = 1,000 people votes and there are only, like, 4,000 people in Taiwan anyway so) and offer human sacrifices sometimes. But it’s mainly whatever.
Anyway, so hiking Elephant Mountain is a real snap. There’s a set of old stairs that take you to the top of the mountain in about 20 minutes. It’s a fast hike, but it’s very steep and it’s (of course humid), and (depending on when you hike it) can be pretty hot. All this translates to SWEAT SWEAT SWEAT.
I mean, it’s just a bunch of stairs going straight up.
So, to be prepared, the most important thing to have is water and sugar water. I’d say have a half or a whole liter of normal water. Sugar water is water with electrolytes and junk added to it. Usually, I don’t approve of non-water drinks, but you’re gonna sweat so much that you’ll feel pretty terrible (I got an annoying headache) if you’re not replacing all the stuff your body’s sweating out. So, bring a bottle of sugar water (I recommend dolphin water – it tastes like a very mild Sprite without the carbonation).
What you wear doesn’t really matter. It’s not a real hike because it’s so short and it’s paved the whole way, so just wear something breathable and comfy (or maybe something you can run in if the elephants get in a sacrificey mood).
The selling point of the hike is the view you get of Taipei 101. It’s almost impossible to get a bad picture of it from on top.

I hiked it with my friend Spirit Sword (middle) and my new friend Xin Yi.
The hike up is real pretty too.
So it’s a draining hike, but the views very very pretty. There are plenty of trails to explore on the way up and on top of the mountain too, so plan to look around for a bit.

And watch out for dem elephants.

Here’s a sweet vid of the hike:

If lost, return to

So you know how when you’re a little kid, your mom makes you memorize your phone number just in case you get lost? (I had my childhood phone number memorized for fifteen years until I was talking about it with my sister a couple years ago and she was like, “That wasn’t our phone number at all. Mom must have told you the wrong number cuz she hates you.” So either my mom hates me or my older sister’s a jerk AND I’M NOT PREPARED TO BELIEVE EITHER OF THOSE THINGS.)
Or, for a different example, you know how you put collars on dogs with your address and phone number just in case they get lost?
Or, like, when your mom sews your name into your underwear, etc., etc. ????
Well, I’m not a child or dog OR UNDERWEAR, but this kinda applies to me.
I work at four different schools, so I need to take the bus to get from one to the other. Unfortunately, a lot of the buses here only have their schedules and names written in Chinese characters, so I can’t read them. So, the first time I got on one, one of my bosses gave me a note in Chinese explaining who I was and where I was going, walked me to the bus stop, showed me which bus to get on, and told the driver to tell me when my stop came.
I appreciated the help, but at the same time I was rolling my eyes thinking, “These people don’t know who I am. I’ve been to EUROPE and back on my own. I am NOT a little kid/dog/underwear. I’m a BIG BOY.”
Anyway, yesterday, I had an hour to get from one school to the other, so I ran to my bus stop, found my bus, and jumped on it. I was just a little bit jet lagged, so I thought I’d take a power nap before my stop. I knew roughly how long it would take to get there, so I figured I’d time it in my head and wake up before I got there.
(You know this isn’t going to go well.)
When I opened my eyes, I didn’t recognize anything outside. I’d never seen any of the buildings or streets before. I knew I hadn’t had my eyes closed long enough to miss my stop, so I figured I just hadn’t learned this route yet. I sat and waited for something I recognized to show up outside my window, but nothing ever did.
So then I knew I was lost. I ran through all my possible options. I still don’t have a SIM card (another story) and I didn’t have wifi, so googling anything wasn’t possible. I don’t speak Chinese, so explaining my situation to anyone was out of the question. So I had no options. I knew the bus would eventually come to the end of the line and that if I didn’t recognize any of my surroundings, I’d be in the middle of nowhere without a way to contact anyone.
Anyway, so I was sitting on the back of the bus, silently hugging my backpack tighter and tighter (INVOLUNTARILY). I noticed that the bus driver kept glancing at me in his rearview mirror, so I tried to act natural like, “I just really like this backpack.”
We got to the end of the line and the bus driver told everyone to get off. I started to get off, but he must have noticed the worry in my big, gorgeous brown eyes and asked (in English) where I was trying to go.
I was grateful he spoke English, but I didn’t know how to explain which stop I was supposed to get off at, so I showed him the paper my boss had written for me. He told me I’d gotten on the wrong bus, kindly drove me to the correct bus stop, and told the driver where to take me.
The sign says: “I’m a sad American. Please help me get to the right stop. Don’t rob me. Peace!!”
I arrived to my class a half hour late. Thankfully, another teacher covered for me and I was able to jump right into the lesson as soon as I arrived (“Who here has read Harry Potter?”).
So, I guess I’m not as internationally adept as we all thought.
And, when you get down to the deets, I never would have made it to so many places in the world if people hadn’t helped me. I’d have been lost a million times, stuck without transportation or money more than once, and had to sleep on the street if friends and strangers hadn’t helped me. So thank you, world, for treating me like a lost puppy.
But, of course, I AM an adult, and I PROVED it to myself when I got home by eating ice cream on the toilet. #adulting #winning

Fancy in Taiwan

Life here in Taiwan is just like life back there in America. I have a Taiwan Mom and a Taiwan Dad and they feed me and take me places and tell me I’m the most handsome. We live in our Taiwan house, which is really a two-story apartment on the top floor of a really tall apartment building, just the three of us. We just need a Taiwan dog and Taiwan 4 cats and everything will be perfect.
Me, Taiwan Mom, and Taiwan Dad (I’m the one in blue).
I got here Saturday and things have been going 100%  smoothie … smoothly. Taiwan Mom and Dad’s kids are all grown, so it’s just us in the apartment. “Mom” is the lady who had me and some other white kids come in July to teach English for a couple weeks. She’s hecka nice and so is her husband and they’re legit like my real parents (Taiwan Dad gave me dating advice the first day I got here).
Taiwan church is nift. It’s all in Chinese, so I don’t understand 100% of it, but I do understand the words wo men (we) and nu-guh (um), which they say A LOT, so I’m getting there.
An LDS hymnbook with characters and pinyin.
Today I found out what my job is. I’ll be teaching six classes of kids aged kindergarten to high school how to read, write, listen to, and speak English. The teachers have given me my textbooks and lesson plans, but they’re basically like, “You’re gonna mess up a lot, so just send the kids to us when they annoy you.”
They’re going to learn the best, most useful English from me.

So I’m nervous butt excited to start my new life. It’s raining a lot, I’m exploring a lot, and I think my hair looks great. Things are A++++.

The rooftop of an abandoned building I found on my morning run. Did *not* get locked up here.

Airport chillaxin’

Well, yeah, waiting in LAX all day wasn’t super cool, but it was okay/nift. I was FINALLY able to check in at 8 pm (after being there since noon), then I flew out at midnight.
Flying at night to Asia is the way to go. I got a full night’s sleep and a nap, so jet lag hasn’t been as fierce as usual. Here’s how:
I watched the first half of Tomorrowlandand ate dinner, slept for 7 hours, finished Tomorrowland(that movie deserves more love because I love Brad Bird), took another two hour nap, woke up, had breakfast, watched Benjamin Button (basically, Brad Pitt has sex at every stage of life, starting by having sex with a young prostitute while he’s old, ending by having sex with an old lady when he’s a teenager, so you never really feel comfortable with it regardless of your opinion on premarital sex), then we landed at 5 am on Saturday Korea time. (BTW, the airplane was SO quiet: it landed as soft and gentle as Jennifer Lawrence’s lips on mine someday maybe.)
The Incheon Airport was SO nice (it’s the #2 top-ranked airport in the WORLD). It was big and clean, there were lots of nice restaurants and stores, but the real highlight was the rest area.
When you’re travelling, it can be hard and uncomfortable to be stuck in an airport for hours. Even if there’s good shopping and food, mostly you just want a nice place to sit down and rest. In this airport, it’s easy to find a quiet place to rest from travelling – there’s an entire floor dedicated to it.
On a level separated from all the hustle and bustle, there’s a spa, showers, massage chairs, a hotel, cultural displays, a cool play area (FOR KIDS?!!), and lots of soft, cushy chairs and benches where you can take naps. I think the spa and hotel cost money, but the rest of it was F R E E. It was so nice to hop in the shower and change into some fresh clothes I’d brought in my carry on. It was like getting a whole new start! (Actually, I just sat and looked at my phone after I explored for a couple hours, but I reallythought about freshening up. Maybe next time.)
Really *fancy* bathroom.
I kno it’s a bad pic butt this guy was full-on awake, so I couldn’t take very good pics of everyone else sleeping.
Butt I did get good pics of these people sleeping.
Sleep away.
I think this was the cult part of it.
This was part of the cultural display lol 
Korea airplane, you so quiet. Be my J-Law.
Should I join? #KoreaFamous
Unfortunately, I didn’t find the movie theater. There’s also supposedly an ice rink and junk, but I didn’t see those either. Internet’s lying to me, man.
After five hours, I jumped on a plane to Taiwan. I watched a Chinese action flick (not Mulan), ate some tofu (not good), then watched the first part of Age of Adaline (not gonna finish it).
no no no
Now I’m in Taiwan. And I’m still not 100% about what exactly I’m getting paid for, but whatevs.


Please don’t panic, but I’ve been at the airport for over FIVE HOURS with a really sketchy Wi-Fi connection. ALSO, I gave my mom my old SIM card and phone yesterday (I got a ~new~ phone), so I don’t have data right now either.Needless to say, staying connected to the Internet right now is a STRUGG.
(I’ll pause to let you catch your breath.)
On top of that, I’ll be in this airport for another seven hours and I DOUBT THE INTERNET SITUATION WILL IMPROVE MUCH.
(Another significant pause.)
Also, even if I’m able to get a steady connection, I forgot my headphones at my parents’ house, so I wouldn’t be able to watch and enjoy Internet in its entirety anyway.
(One last pause to let your mind drift into the abyss that is life without the Internet.)
Now, I know things sound really bleak right now, but don’t cry for me, Argentina. We WILL make it to Taiwan and when we get there, we’ll hook up to Wi-Fi as ASAP as possible AND we’re going to buy more data for my Taiwan SIM card. It’s just a couple hours. Or days. I’m not sure, really.
Pretty fly for a Wi-Fi.
I left the Sacramento Airport this morning at 10 am, my plane from LA leaves at midnight, I’ll land in Korea fourteen hours later, have a six-hour layover, then land in Taiwan an hour and a half after that. It’ll be noon on Saturday in Taiwan and 9 pm Friday in the States. Whew!
But being stuck in LAX isn’t so bad. Aside from the fact that I can’t check in for my next flight until 7-ish (probably) and that I have to drag around 100+ lbs. of crap in four different bags until then (like, I have to bring it all with me to get food or go to the bathroom or move or anything), I like LAX.
It looks like I’m barricading myself for a zombie apocalypse, butt really I’m just pooping.
Of course, LAX has really grumpy employees and LA itself isn’t that cool of a city anyway, but it’s still the heart of international travel for so many people. There are so many different languages and clothing styles and cultures represented here. It’s interesting to look at people and guess who’s coming to America for the first time, who’s trying to move here with their families, and who’s flying back home. SO MANY HOPES AND DREAMS AND IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL. It’s cool w/e.
The airport in Korea is gonna be really cool too. The Incheon International Airport  is supposed  to be the second-best in the world (after Singapore). There’s a movie theater, concerts, really *nice* restaurants, free storage lockers for your things, and a child’s play area. I’ll be sure to take pics for y’all.
And being on long flights is the best. Two meals and so many movies. Hours and hours and hours of movies. And if you don’t want to watch a movie, take a nap. And if you don’t want to take a nap, watch a movie. It’s such a pleasure.
My first flight to Taiwan. Look how chipper!
My main thing when I travel is just to relax. For example, this morning I was running late getting to the airport. I was stressed about it, but then I thought, “Do I want to feel stressed right now? No.” So I stopped. All through Europe, I never had a concrete plan for each day except to have A BLAST. Did I know where I’d sleep each night or what I’d eat next or how I was getting to the airport the next day? No, but it all worked out and I had A BLAST.
Travel is fun and the world is your playground. ~So dang.~


When I found out I was leaving Provo, I knew there were a couple friends I needed to say goodbye to (and by “friends,” I mean “foods,” and by “say goodbye to,” I mean “eat.”)
So here it is: the very last Provo Food Blog featuring the very best food in Provo (in no order):
Thin, crispy crust and a versatile assortment of sauces and toppings to make your pizza taste like anything from pulled pork to tacos. Even though it’s pricey ($4-7/slab), the slabs (pieces) are HUGE and delicious. (You can read my original review of Slab here.)
Chile Verde (top, my fave) and the Veg (bottom)
Cheap, fast, and tasty,  I once argued that this was the best/most authentic Mexican restaurant in Provo. Since, I’ve found a few places that make good Mexican food, but Rancherito’s is STILL the fastest and cheapest. AND it’s open 24/7. Thanks for always being there when I needed you, amigo. (You can read my original review of Rancherito’s here.)
Even though I’ve been food blogging for years, I’m still not very good at food photography.
Café Rio:
I actually never blogged about this uniquely-Utah Mexican restaurant, but I have to be honest: I don’t love it. The food’s too American in my taste. BUTT their Grilled Steak Salad is something I can’t get off my mind: crunchy, leafy Romaine lettuce, little chip strips on top, a creamy tomatillo dressing with a tinge of heat (you have to pour ALL the dressing on top of the salad for maximum effect), tender, tasty steak in the bottom, all in a delicious chewy tortilla that you can use to wipe up the extra dressing (DON’T waste the tortilla or I’ll SLAP you and when people ask why you have a slap mark on your face you’ll have to say, “Because Gordy thinks I’m an IDIOT.”). P.S. I’m typically against ordering salad EVER (if you’re gonna eat a salad, STAY HOME), but this is the one place it’s worth it.
The one thing at Cafe Rio that doesn’t suck. C O N T R O V E R S I A L.
The all-you-can eat French toast here is de-lite-ful. I’m crying just thinking about it. Chewy, sweet, cinnamony bread topped with strawberries and whipped cream, then DRENCHED in THICK  C A R A M E L syrup that’s as golden as the Plates of Nephi. CRYING. C R Y I N G.
TBH: A recycled pic from this blog post. 
So, these are the best places to eat in Provo in my opinion. Thank you, friends, for all you’ve given me (mainly gas and (?) green poo. #WorthIt)
SIDE NOTE: I know some of you may be surprised to not see Guru’s on this list. Well, I went to Guru’s and ordered my fave/usual (the Southwest Chipotle Wrap) and, honestly, it wasn’t as good as I remembered. Either I’ve grown out of it, or it’s grown out of me. Still, Guru’s will always have a place in my heart. (Here’s my review of Guru’s.)

Bucket list: Road trip through the Alps

I don’t think people in the U.S. appreciate how close Italy is to Austria and Germany. I also don’t think people in the U.S. can find Austria or Germany on a map. (Tbh, I still can’t: What kind of loser looks at a map all day lol?)

So here’s a little geography (for all of us):

As we all can see, Italy is the boot at the bottom, Austria looks like a guy rolling on the ground cuz he just got kicked in the crotch with his legs above Italy, and Germany is the big green country above that.

So now we know: Italy is very close to Germany and Austria (aka Crotchstria). In fact, if you’re ever visiting Austria and you want to visit the Matterhorn (a supes cool mountain Walt Disney built), the fastest way there is to drive south into Italy, then north again.
Anyway, so northern Italy is where I first got a glimpse of the Alps. I was on a train from Milan to Verona and I could see the foothills of the Alps popping out of the ground in the otherwise flat Italian countryside. From a distance, they looked like any other mountains. After sticking around in Verona for a couple days, me and my cool Couchsurfing host decided to take a road trip to Austria.
Driving into the Alps was breathtaking. The mountains were HUGE. With gradual inclines and sheer cliffs, covered in trees and streams and snow (I’m a sucker for snow), the tops peeking into the sky and scraping clouds, I was completely blown away.
Bad pic.
Literally, no picture is good enough.
Keep in mind, I live in Utah which also has crazy cool mountains, but the Rockies look like baby mountains compared to the Alps. The further we got into Austria, the more the Alps dominated the sky.
A panoramic view I got of Walensee in Switzerland.
Eventually, I made it to Feldkirch Austria, a cool town close to the borders of Germany, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein, so I got to visit all those places in a day (Wooow! ~Such travel.~) Feldkirch’s a nifty little town with a castle, clear blue river, neat town square, and very Snow White-ish architecture.
Feldkirch and me. I am looking fly TO DEATH.
After my little jaunt through the Alps, I had to jump back on a plane in Milan, so I hopped on a bus and was back in Italy in just a couple of hours (cuz IT’S SO CLOSE).
So if you’re headed to Italy, don’t forget to check out the Alps, man!

P.S. I want to give a shoutout to Marvin Veit (pronounced “Fight!”) and his family for hosting me in Austria. It was so nice to be in a real house and eat real food after hostels and hotels and restaurants!


Guys, I’m moving out of the U.S.

The quarter life crisis is REAL and such a struggle.

Before I graduated in December, I had the plan to apply to BYU’s psychology PhD program in January, get accepted, take nine months off, go back to school Fall 2015, become a bona fide therapist, then live the rest of my life sitting in a cushy armchair listening to other people’s problems.

Then my last semester happened and I got hit by senioritis SUPER HARD. I didn’t want to be in school for another ten years — heck, I didn’t even want to finish the semester. The idea of studying for and taking the GRE, applying to a graduate program, then going to school for ten years was soul-crushing.

I was hating school so much that I talked to a professor about it. She asked if I’d ever taken time off from school — aside from my mission (which wasn’t a break). I said I hadn’t and she recommended that I take some time to R&R.

I knew there were other things I wanted to do in life aside from becoming educated and getting a good job (like traveling and writing), so I put all my plans on hold and impulse-bought a plane ticket to Europe (I’d always wanted to see western Europe) for a month-long #EURUSSIACRAYCRAYVACAY (which you can read about here).

First day of the trip, found St. Basil’s!

My crazy Europe vacation was so great! I saw amazing places I’d always wanted to see and experienced amazing things I’d always wanted to do WHILE seeing amazing places I never knew existed AND doing amazing things I never thought I’d do. My month-long trip was a huge success and made me want to travel all over the world.

But then I came back home. I’d spent all my money, maxed out my credit card, and was living on borrowed cash from my parents. My trip had been pretty cheap, relatively speaking, but if I wanted to do another big trip, I knew I’d have to save up a lot more money to do it.

Being a recent college grad, I applied for lots of jobs hoping to find one that paid well and would give at least a month off every year to travel. Even if I didn’t get a lot of time off, I figured I’d be able to make pretty decent money. I mean, I had a college degree, right?

JK. Turns out, getting a job is kind of a game: a lot jobs (decent-paying, full-time jobs) value experience over education. I had the education, but little experience, so every job I actually wanted wouldn’t hire me.

Another part of the job game is having connections. Fortunately, a roommate helped me get a job doing customer service. It wasn’t salaried and I was at the bottom of the totem pole, but the job paid the bills. In a couple months, I was out of debt and was able to save a bit.

While I appreciated the job, sitting all day drove me CARAZAY. I’d worked on my feet with REAL people my whole life, but this job was all on the phone and I mainly got callers asking questions I didn’t know the answers to. At the end every day, I felt like such a dope cuz I was a college-educated dude who couldn’t even do this rinky dink job right. I quit after two months and did odd jobs (yard work, etc.) to make ends meet (which I preferred).

An old #worktweet. Follow me on Twitter!
I worked in this creek for a day. Much better than a desk.

I was super frustrated. By this time, I knew I was going to Taiwan for a month (which was gonna be cool!!), but I didn’t know how things would work out after that. I’d gone to college so I could get a good job, but now I was digging holes all day cuz I’d rather do that than sit at a desk. Why had I gone to college if it didn’t help at all? Why were things not lining up like they’d always seemed to before?

I mean, my whole life had been a check list: go to school, get good grades, get your Eagle Scout, go on a mission, finish college, get married, have kids, support a family. I’d done everything on the checklist (up to the married part), and now there was nothing left to do. (And even if I had married, I feel like I’d be having similar struggles, just multiplied.)

So, since I didn’t know what to do, I started fasting and praying to figure it out. The idea of traveling popped into my head. I’d already known I wanted to travel, but now I was thinking about traveling full-time. I thought, “Maybe I can stop playing this job game and just go off and do my own thing. I could travel for cheap (like, not in Europe) and see where things went from there.”

Then I thought, “I can’t do that. I need money to travel and I have no money.”

Then literally someone shared an article on my Facebook: “How to travel with no money.” I read it and other blogs about traveling even cheaper than I already had.

So I figured God was trying to tell me something. I thought, “Fine, after Taiwan, I’ll work for six months, save as much as I can, then go off and travel.”

So I went to Taiwan with that plan. Taiwan was a blast and a half, then I went to California last week, and I just got back to Provo.

I was applying for jobs today and I was back at the job game again: “Not enough experience. Don’t have the right connections for this job. Yes I can answer phones all day.” I knew I could get a job in customer service or custodial (because that’s what I have experience in) but I didn’t want to. Like, I really didn’t want to. But I applied for, like, 15 jobs today. Some I’m qualified for, some I’m not, but I just hoped to get something.

About midday, the lady I worked for in Taiwan posted online asking if anyone could come to Taiwan last minute to teach English for six months. Immediately I responded and said I would go. It just felt 100% right and I had (still have) no hesitation at all. She was like, “Great! You’re flying out on the 31st.”

I Skyped with her later today and it sounds like a sweet deal: housing and food paid for along with a paycheck every month.

I’m very excited and it feels exactly like what I should be doing right now. I’ll be able to work for six months, save a lot of what I earn, then go off and have an adventure, all while having an adventure.

I mean, I know my whole life isn’t solved now. I know things might fall through. I know teaching English will be hard. I know it’s only for six months. But it’s something and things are working out for now.

So look forward to the next six months of blogging, y’all! And after that, we’ll be able to travel somewhere else together.

Fun fun fun fun, you know what I mean.

I explain my relationship with cats

I’m gonna come clean and let you all know what I really think about cats. It all starts two years ago.
Two years ago, I had a great idea for a party. I realized the only reason people come to parties is to eat food (duhhhhhhh), so I had the idea to throw a food-themed party (basically, I’ll bring some food, you bring some food and we’ll eat it — genius party idea!!).
Also two years ago, I’d just gotten a space phone. I’d gotten into the habit of writing my great ideas in my new phone, which had the futuristic ability to turn human speech into text. BUTT, with this talk-to-text technology, you had to say “comma” if you wanted to insert a comma.
Anyway, so I was real excited about this cool food party idea and I wanted it to be written in all capital letters, so I said to my space phone: “ALL CAPS FOOD PARTY.” Unfortunately or fortunately (you be the judge), my space phone didn’t understand quite what I was trying to say, so it wrote, “Cat food party.” I thought, “Lol,” dropped the “food” idea, and just kept “cat party.”
I threw an OFF.THE.CHAIN cat party, complete with a kitty litter cake, decorated with random cat items I found at thrift stores (like stuffed animals and figurines), a raucous game of pin the cat on the cat lady, and an hour’s worth of cat videos. Everyone loved and enjoyed.
I swear it’s a cake.
Cat face paint, pin the cat on the cat lady.


After that, I guess people thought I really, really liked cats. I started getting at least 10 cat videos/pictures shared on my Facebook wall daily and people would make jokes about me turning into a cat lady. Since I thought it was funny and since I “lack a noticeable personality” (according to some jerk from Tinder), I took the cat lady persona and ran with it.
An old FB status. Obviously digging myself into a hole.

I mean, things got out of hand and I regret it now. I followed more cats than people on Instagram (like Grumpy Cat, Colonel Meow, Lil Bub, Hamilton the Hipster Cat, okay I’m gonna stop now). I shared a lot of cat pictures and videos. People started giving me cat T-shirts. One Christmas, literally everyone in my family gave me cat things for gifts (books, posters, aprons). Random people at work started showing me pictures of their cats.  But I guess that’s just life.

This was my Halloween costume last year, so I haven’t really been helping myself.

I’ve been working on distancing myself from cats. I haven’t shared a cat picture in four days. I haven’t worn a cat shirt in over a week. And I haven’t thrown a cat party in five months. So it’s getting better.

I’m not saying cats aren’t good people, butt I’ll admit they’re hard to get along with a lot of the time. They’re just really distant and only want to cuddle, like, 2% of the time. But they can be cute and I’ve made friends with some.
Cat the Cat. She’s lived with my family for 16 years. I know she’s indifferent, but I LOVE her.


Me and a kitten my lil bro found.
Me and a cat that lived outside my apartment for a week (named him Secret Stranger).
I know this might be SHOCKING to a lot of you, butt I had to clear up the misconception.

Um now wut ?

St. Basil’s in Moscow!

Guys, this year has been real spiffy so far: I was able to spend three weeks in Europe for, like, super cheap ($3,000-ish dollars) and the last month in Taiwan for literally ZERO DOLLARS (minus the $600 I spent on mango smoothies whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat ?? )

Stone carving at Sun Moon Lake Wen Wu Temple.

It’s real neat because I always thought I’d need to have tons of money to go to cool places and do cool things, but now I know you just need to be resourceful/smart/lucky/really attractive (check, check, check, double check!).

Empty cabin at Nesoddtangen, Norway.

But now what? More Europe? More Asia? Maybe some South America or Africa? Are there cool things stateside I should check out? Where do you guys think I should go next? And what are some cheap/free travel options you guys can think of?

Big Ben!

Hit me up, let me know!