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Kalong Writes Posts

Ten Things I Learned in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

1. Sunscreen is expensive there, bring as much as you can from home. Even the locals tell me they have their relatives ship them sunscreen from Walmart! About $12 for an 8-ounce generic brand!? I swear this is how their drug stores stay in business..tourists will always be forced to buy overpriced, watery sunscreen or BURN! 2. Ordering at fancy restaurants costs just as much as in the States, and their portions are HUGE! Share an entree with a friend, or eat street food. Street taco trucks are everywhere and look filthy, but the locals do it and so can…

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On why I CAN’T EVEN.

I’ve been trying to wrap up my post about Puerto Vallarta for about a week now, and I just can’t do it yet. I suppose that is the discipline that writers must build-to write even when it doesn’t feel natural. I’d so much rather write about things on my mind so I can pour and process everything out into palatable words, because that’s how my thoughts start to make sense. Journals and diaries are probably better for this stuff, but typing is faster and I love the sound of my keyboard going ‘click click click’… I’m going to be 27…

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So I ran off to Canada last weekend.

If you live in Portland and want a PLAYcation, Vancouver BC (oh, Canada!) is where it’s at. My friend Andrew and I decided to drive up there on a whim last weekend to celebrate a three-day weekend and it was AWESOME. I learned a thing or two about Canadians while we were up there, which was refreshing since the last time I was on their soil was in middle school (?). By the way, it’s been agreed upon that Canada is the most boring vacation your family can do as a road trip during childhood. I almost didn’t want to…

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Life as I know It

SO I haven’t posted since the beginning of January, which was a very, very long time ago for someone who claims to be an aspiring writer. Last week my little brother posted a disturbing Facebook note about a period of depression he went through alone, and how he has been saved by Jesus again. My parents wrote to me immediately to make sure I was aware, which I was, because I always know everything going on with everyone around me as long as it’s on Social Media somewhere. EVERYTHING.  As for myself, I’ve spent the last few months being an…

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A Week in Taiwan

There is a place where you can sleep in until noon, work part time, eat out three meals a day, live in a sleek studio, party until 4am and save up enough to travel on the weekends. There, you can easily learn a very useful new language, discover and develop hobbies, enjoy the outdoors every day, and make life-long friends that will become your family. There are endless natural wonders to explore from enchanting mountain villages, hidden hot springs, to dreamy islands off the coast. There, strangers will help you with directions and the cost of living is low, yet…

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What it’s like to work at Airbnb, yo.

On Tuesday mornings my phone vibrates at 8:50am on my desk, and everyone at the office snags the last bagels from the toasters, fills up with coffee, and piles into our open area on the third floor for the weekly meeting. For any other workplace, this is probably a mundane, pain-in-the-ass gathering..but not at Airbnb. Lots of people have asked me about what it’s like to work at Airbnb. The way they ask, you’d think I worked at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. And I suppose, from what they’ve read online, magazine covers and the experiences they’ve had traveling with us,…

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Confessions of a Single Girl (oh shoot, that’s me.)

The best thing about traveling is that you get to experience the best of all worlds. I love making new friends, trying local food, picking up languages, seeing beautiful scenery..and then coming home and falling into my soft, ever-welcoming bed, enjoying craft beers, and having good times with my beloved, established friends. In fact, traveling makes me love my home even more…if I don’t make that obvious enough. But the holidays have got me feelin’ funky. I know you wanna hear it, so I’ll confess-lately I’ve been kinda wanting to fall in love. Like, the type where I end up…

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How I Survived Machu Picchu

First off, I barely made it. Whoever told me that anyone with average fitness levels would have no problems is a liar. Hiking the four day, three night Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, mentally and physically. Maybe it was harder because I had expected it to be easy, and I admit I’ve been in better shape before. It’s not my fault Portland is THE beer mecca and beer is my biggest weakness. Anyways! Hiking Machu Picchu now requires you to go with a guided tour group, and I went with Llamapath. I highly recommend them, because…

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A Moment to be Thankful

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, primarily centered on gathering with family for good food…and then going on shopping rampages afterwards. For me, I’ve witnessed others feel most homesick when spending this day abroad. We always made the best of it and each year, whether if I was in Taipei or Honduras, I was always thankful to be surrounded by people I loved and cared about. I guess those warm and grateful feelings of spending this significant holiday with fellow foreigners and expats stuck with me. This year even though I’m back in Portland, I chose to have dinner with…

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A Bit of Bolivia

I landed in La Paz on Tuesday, the capital city of Bolivia and highest in the world. All the emergency warnings about altitude sickness worried me a bit when I was on the plane, but my, the view of the Andes from Cochabamba was unforgettable. As soon as I landed I remembered to move slowly so that I wouldn’t faint, and I didn’t! Yay!  La Paz is chaotic and smoggy, but somehow I find pockets of it to be simply charming. It’s a tight city where everyone either takes taxis, hops on minibuses, or walks everywhere. There are cable lines…

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