How to be a Tourist: Winter in Portland, ME edition

Wear good shoes.  Wear good boots.  Bring sweaters.  And a great big, super warm coat.  And a hat that covers your ears.  Stay in a really old house that has been converted into apartments that alternates between freezing and too warm.  It’s better if you can’t dry your hair because simply plugging in a hair dryer makes the circuits flip.  Make sure that apartment has a bed that makes it impossible for you to get a full night of sleep.  Also make sure that apartment has wifi so slow you can’t stream Netflix.  That last one sounds like a dig, but honestly, it forces you to read so…  Bring a book or a Kindle.  Drink coffee at Bard, Tandem, Speckled Ax, and Higher Grounds.  Make sure you bring your book to those coffee shops to enjoy both books and coffee at the same time.  Eat the biscuits at Tandem.  Go to

How to Fall In Love: Oslo Edition (Norway)

I’ve been putting off this post on our Oslo trip because I’ve had Post-Vacation Funk. You know what I’m talking about. The funk you get in when you get back from an awesome vacation, bank account depleted, and have to go back to 1) work, and 2) real life where you have to clean and cook and do chores. Ugh. Real life stinks. Vacation forever! Moving on. My simple tip for falling in love with Oslo is just to visit. If you love chilly, grey weather, make sure you visit in early October. I also recommend taking someone you love with you, because it really does enhance the experience. I love traveling alone. You don’t have anyone to answer to, you can plan your trip however you want, visit everything you want to see without having to argue with anyone, and you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Traveling

How To Be A Tourist: Oslo Edition

Bring a sweater. Bring several sweaters. And a rain jacket. Wear good shoes. When your AirBnB host offers to let you use her hair dryer and straighteners, make an awkward joke about how your boyfriend will be sure to get a lot of use out of them. Keep trying to pronounce every word even though the Norwegians look at you like you have 12 heads. Forget everything you know about phonetics. Keep repeating “skoleboller” until the guy behind the counter shakes his head and just hands you the tasty pastry. Eat all the tasty pastries. Drink 100 lattes. Smile at everyone even though they don’t smile back. Photograph your lattes so the guy who made your coffee can laugh at you. Ask “does this have pork in it?” of everything you think you might possibly want to eat. Almost all of it has pork in it. Eat a yummy hamburger.

FAQ: The Steroids of It All

You were on steroids?  I was – from July 2014 until May 2016. I started on 50mg, stayed there for 6 months, and then started tapering off of them. You can’t just quit steroids. You have to slowly go off of them, which can be worse than being on them in the first place. I would hit places in the tapering process and I would have to stop there for a few weeks or months. I was on 35mg for about four months. It was a very long and traumatic process. Are you, like, super jacked?  A lot of people assume that being on steroids means you’ll automatically gain muscle mass. I was on a corticosteroid, which is different from the steroids we think of when we hear “steroids” and automatically start thinking about Major League Baseball players. Those are anabolic steroids. Here’s a fun WebMD resource on the difference, which

How to Fall in Love: Copenhagen Edition

When I went to Ireland and Amsterdam in 2014, I needed that trip. I talk about that trip a lot because it was so important to me. It was my first trip out of North America, my first extended trip as an adult, and the first time in 8 years that I felt, truly and completely, alone. I had no boyfriend, I hated my job, my health was failing, and I didn’t know if I would even make it to 2015. I was scared, exhausted by my daily life, and I needed to be anywhere else. I needed Ireland. I needed Amsterdam. When I booked my trip to Copenhagen, there was a part of me that thought I would need this trip too. I had just been dumped after a year of not-so-great-long-distance-dating. At the time it seemed fine, but even I knew, deep down, that we amounted to little more than