Amelia Landenberger on – Uncontrollable bodily functions


It can happen. It will happen. It’s happened to me.

The other day I got hit with a classic Thai stomach bug. And I got hit hard.

I’ll spare everyone the details because I’m sure we’re all familiar enough to let our imaginations do the dirty work. Under different circumstances it would have only been unpleasant and awkward. But because I hadn’t been taking proper care of myself- not sleeping enough, not drinking enough water, and not having eaten much that day- it turned out to be a more serious problem then it should have been.

Long story short I ended up laying on the floor of a public restroom, almost unconcious, wearing nothing but my bra and underwear, and covered in sweat and whatever -I try to not think- was on that bathroom floor. I couldn’t move but I couldn’t stay there. If it hadn’t been so scary, it could have been comically pathetic.

We ended up calling an ambulance as the very sweet Thai women working there hovered nervously over us making sure I had everything I needed. Her also very sweet daughter apparently offered me her doll to make me feel better – how frieken sweet!

Everything ended up just fine. We made it to the hospital and a blur of Thai doctors and nurses poked and prodded me as I tried, without real success to get sleep on the uncomfortable hospital bed. By around 11 we found our way back to our comfortable new hotel -to treat ourselves- and I slept through the night.

Despite it being easily the worst night of my trip so far I can proudly say that I was able to find multiple silver linings in the mess. First of which being that, even covered in sweat and who knows what else and barely conscious on the floor, my lovely, amazing, hilarious, supporting friends and I were able to find the comedy in the situation. Between the fear and exhaustion that we all experienced that night we were able to laugh, to take photos, and to make poop jokes that most might have thought to be a little too soon to be appropriate.

The second is along the same vein. That however terrible I felt that night, I am sure I would not made it through without my lovely, amazing, hilarious, supporting friends Izze and Evin there doing essentially everything for me.

The next day was Mother’s Day and I got to talk for a good long while with my mama back home who, especially after that night, I miss terribly. I’m feeling very weary of traveling, of the heat in Thailand, and being away from home. But to make up for it, I have amazing travel companions and we help each other, we mom each other, and we make each other laugh no matter what shit circumstances we’re handed. (Pun intended?)


p.s. The responsible message to take away from this would probably be to drink enough water!


Amelia Landenberger on – the BLARF

Backpacking is tricky for the variety of human who enjoys stuff.

That may sound vague. By “stuff” I mean just stuff in general. All/any kind of stuff. Clothes, blankets, toiletries, sports equipment, mugs, that one book you probably won’t read because you’ve started about 5 times and don’t get past the third chapter. Stuff.

Hello. My name is Amelia and I too am a “stuff addict.” This addiction usually manifests for me in clothes. And so naturally I spent a guiltily large amount of time planning for this trip thinking about what I would pack. We were backpacking after all. There’s just so little space!! We also had to plan for various different climates. Some hot, some cold, some in posh metropolitan cities and some off in some mountain miles from a town. I had a lot of elements to think about.

In this article I will let you in on a little secret. A packing tip, one might say, although I would argue that it has nothing to do with packing, something to do with style, and all to do with the BLARF.

What is a BLARF you ask? Well a BLARF, or less commonly called a Skanket, is a magical, magical little item. It is versatile, it is cozy, it’s relatively easy to pack, and it’s classy fuck.
The BLARF is a blanket, any pattern or fabric of your choice, that, wrapped around your shoulders and or neck, become a type of scarf or poncho.
-But Amelia, you are describing a shawl.
Oh, simpleton, how wrong you are. A BLARF is far more majestic than a common shawl. A shawl is made and bred for wearing. A BLARF, like a wild horse, was forced into your control; it is a blanket you have broken to become a scarf. That is one of the many wonders of the BLARF.

Another of its many talents is versatility. For this reason, it becomes a packing essential. It is warm, can be added on top of almost anything, and -if done right- can make you look effortlessly cozy-casual.
Cold on a bus ride? Blanket!
Neck uncomfortable on a plane? Pillow!
Only have dirty wrinkled tank tops? Cover up!
Suddenly starts raining? Hooded shawl!
Need to burry your face is shame? No problem!

Added bonus- BLARF is incredibly fun to say. Just try it yourself. Do it. Try it!

I could go on but then I would be taking the fun out of discovering the magic of the BLARF for yourself.

Amelia Landenberger on – peeing yourself in public

When I was four my parents took me to dance classes. I remember very little from those classes- being that I was so young- however, I do distinctly remember two things. The first being the clear memory of me clinging desperately to my bedpost while my patient mother tried to coax me into the car. I would kick, scream, and cry all the way to those dance classes. The funny thing is I have no recollection whatsoever of actually disliking the class itself, so why did I hate going?

The answer can be found in my second memory from that class, which, unfortunately, is of me being too nervous to ask to go to the bathroom and peeing myself, in front of the entire class, in my tutu, all over the linoleum floors.
It was a real shame. That tutu looked fabulous on me. I think that’s when my mom gave up on dragging me to class.
I regret not being able to speak up and ask to go to the bathroom. But most of all I regret quitting.

So how does a story about me peeing myself in public relate to my life now? Probably in more ways than I’d like to admit. But I’ll speak to just one.

It relates because you never seem to grow out of the war between your rational and irrational brain. I had the privilege of taking dance classes. I know that not everyone got that same privilege. And yet I couldn’t get over the irrational fear of spending even one second out of my comfort zone. So does that make me ungrateful? Sure.
But again, I was four, and what four year old isn’t ungrateful and covered in their own urine?

And now, years later, while much more in control of my bladder, I struggle with the same issues. I know that being able to pick up and leave school to travel around Europe with some of my best friends, learning new things and being welcomed into to people’s homes as if I were family is the opportunity of a lifetime! And everyone has told me how lucky I am. So why, when I stepped out of the airport in Madrid did I have to fight back tears? Why did I wish I could quit being an au pair and go home just like I had quit dance lessons?

It’s because everyone has a rational and irrational voice in their heads, and both of mine are SCREAMING at each other. Now, I don’t have a solution to this issue. And I’m not here to complain about being homesick when others would kill to be in my position. I’m just here to share a small piece of advice that I’m currently trying to practice myself:

Asking to go to the bathroom is always less embarrassing than peeing yourself in public. Or in other words, comfort is an indulgence that will most likely lead to disaster.

About Us Page

Hola, Ciao, Halló

We’ve made an update to the About Us page with a little more information about our travel plans and a little bit more about us as students. Take a look!

Welcome to our travel blog! Here you’ll find three different writers reflecting on time in three different places. Our names are Amelia, Evin, and Izze, we’re college students from the United States of America, and by some stroke of luck, we met as roommates during our Freshman year of college. We all have different goals, different passions, different motivations, but we’ve come together to embark on a wild, educational, and adventurous journey to Spain, Italy, and Iceland.

A Little Bit (too much) About Us

Hello humans, and welcome to our blog. Here you’ll find everything you might want to know about our journeys – maybe even some things you don’t want to know.

Who is “us”? Well, there’s three of us, Evin, Amelia, and Isobel/Izze. We’re roommates and next semester we’re traveling to Europe for five months – check out our gofundme pages to see a little more about that (IzzeEvinAmelia). As the planning is still in motion, we wanted to start the blog off with a little (too much) about us. So, here it is! Enjoy it. Love it. Hate it. We respect your opinions.

    1. Full name and the story behind it.

Isobel Amber Ketra Thieme – Isobel comes from a song called Isobel by an Icelandic singer named Bjork, in which she puts a ton of emphasis on the ‘O’. My parents went to her concert the night before they found out that I was a bun in the oven, and they loved the song like they love me, so they went with it. Amber is a maternal protective stone that my mom wore throughout the pregnancy and Ketra means ‘pure’ in Latvian. Pure-fect. (Also: call me Izze. Like the soda.)

Amelia Rose Landenberger – Amelia was supposed to be a family name but it was actually pronounced Am(ah)lia. And so my nickname was supposed to be Molly. My christmas stocking (hand knit by my grandmother) still says Molly… I haven’t been called Molly a day in my life. Whoops. 

Evin Brynne Harris– Yes, I’m a girl. My parents wanted me to have the same initials as my grandfather, EB, they thought a boy name for a girl was cute….I’m cute…. Continue reading “A Little Bit (too much) About Us”