"Excuse me, do you have a lighter?" I'm asked for the third time today.
"Of course not! I'm American -- we don't smoke!" I reply, hoping that whoever ends up lending this European backpacker a lighter is standing far, far away from me.
Travel is... a lot of things. Amazing. Disgusting. Enlightening. Disheartening. But one thing I love about it is that it feels like kindergarten, college, and adulthood, all at once!
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I’ve said it before, I will say it again: money DOES buy happiness. This is just true. Moreover, kids who live on dirt floors and have nothing aren’t happier than kids in the States, and if you really think that, your privilege is showing.
Selingan, or Turtle Island, is one of the best experiences in Sabah, a Malaysian state in Borneo. But figuring out the logistics can be complicated.
She's done things no other high schooler has, and can answer questions you've never even thought to ask.
"She only got in because she's an athlete."
"He only got in because he's black. I had a much higher SAT score, and I didn't get in."
"Of course she got in! She's Mexican, gay, and disabled. A triple-threat minority!"
"Yeah, but he's a legacy student."
Jealousy is ugly... and if you're someone who's been admitted to a prestigious prep school or university, chances are you've heard someone say something ugly about why you got in.
They might be right. They might be wrong. They might just be spiteful. Regardless, who cares? You got in, and they didn't.
Let me start by saying, I am NOT a real musician, and there is no reason you should take advice from me. I have, however, been getting more involved in the music community, learning tons of new stuff, and just finished reading Ari Herstand's How To Make It in the New Music Business: Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician.
The following story is 100% true.
"You should have stayed over last night."
Almost everyone who participates in teen travel tours, service trips, and summer abroad programs... is a girl.
"Expats are expats for a reason," I recently wrote in one of my original songs, "And there's a reason I travel alone."
I won't get into the reason expats are expats (but I will say that it's not racist to call expats expats and immigrants immigrants -- it's not about skin color, but passports). But here's the main reason I travel alone: I basically designed my life around being able to travel several months a year, and most people have not.
People often say it's brave and rare for a woman to travel alone, but, empirically, it's really not.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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