Lessons Learned in Bogotá, Colombia

“Colombia? Like, the country?”

This was a question I received countless times in the months leading up to my trip to Bogotá, Colombia. While there were friends who were incredibly supportive of my trip, many people seemed absolutely baffled by my admission that my first experience abroad would be to a country few people associated with tourism. These offerings were disheartening, but regardless, I packed my bags and began the trip to the country that was such a mystery to me.

Nearing the Finish Line

“Hey, Dan? Calm it with the sports references.” I know, this is my third sports-referenced blog post title in the past few months, so I guess you could say I’m one overtly-masculine grunt away from being a full-blown athlete. But let’s save the conversation about my transition into a sports icon for another day so we can get on to the actual matters at hand.

About a Brain on Fire

Having recently made my way back into the world of academia, I decided to take a stroll down memory lane by leafing through some of the papers I wrote during my time as an undergraduate student. One that stood out to me was a book summary I wrote about Susan Cahalan’s bestselling memoir Brain on Fire.

My Time as a Hard-Nosed Reporter

My second year of college found me doing everything I could to be involved on campus. I wanted to have the quintessential college experience of rushing from activity to activity as a student, but the only “activities” I rushed to and from were ice cream and pop tarts. It wasn’t my best year. So after some soul-searching, I decided to apply to write for the school paper.

Standing at a Crossroads (Yet Again)

Today I want to share something I wrote and then proceeded to keep to myself for over four years. I wrote it at a time when I was vulnerable and searching, and I have been scared to share it because I knew that doing so would highlight the flaws I wish weren’t still so visible in my life. I would have probably continued keeping it to myself if it weren’t for the events of recent weeks, but before I dive into that story, here is what I wrote in July 2014:

Creating a Book Club

My goal to “join a group” has hung over my head throughout the past year. This is primarily because I would go back and forth on which group to join. I initially considered joining a running club, but I decided against this after straining my knee and observing how unnecessarily energetic those in athletic clubs tend to be. So after the dream of joining a weekly running club ended, I began to set my sights on something much more sedentary. And that was when I decided to join a book club.