The bookish traveler who’s a little bit weird

Photo by author

Hello out there! My name is Keara Lou! If you’re not sure how to pronounce my name, remember this. The word ear is in the middle of my name. Lots of people get it wrong on the first try, so don’t worry! I won’t be offended if you get it wrong too.

I grew up in Northern Michigan, my hometown surrounding a massive lake that looks like a deformed lemon on a map. Another lake wasn’t too far off with some of the clearest water you’d ever see. Houghton and Higgins Lakes are popular vacation spots; small travel companies called…

But the problem has to do with them

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It’s a vicious cycle. You meet someone, get close, hurt them and say sorry, but your behavior doesn’t change. Over time, you hurt them again. They get fed up and leave. You feel sad until someone new comes along, and the cycle continues.

The only change anyone sees is that you start warning people before starting any relationship with them. You tell them you have issues, and they accept it until you hurt them.

Here’s the thing. I haven’t met anyone on this planet who doesn’t have an issue with something. It’s okay to have problems. …

Say goodbye to being relatable

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Not everyone stays living abroad forever. Sometimes life happens, forcing you to come home before you’re ready to return to your country. Other times, there’s a global pandemic raging through the world, and you’d rather be in quarantine with your family than alone. Whatever the reason, sometimes you have to go back.

When we think about going back, we imagine it’s going to be some fantasy return. People welcome you with open arms, which does happen. But the warm and fuzzy feeling doesn’t stay forever. You build your life, and you try to cope with it.

You think you’ll stay…

Whether you’re in love with them or related to them, watch out for these signs before you drown in pages

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We know them, and we love them. They always have a book in their hands. But in the twenty-first century, we don’t see as many books. Now we see iPads and Kindles everywhere. You can’t tell if someone’s a bookworm anymore.

Even with all of these advances in reading technology, there are a select few who prefer a copy of Harry Potter over reading it on Kindle.

It’s not always obvious someone lives with a bookworm. You’d think it’s because there’s a set of books in every room, but you’d be surprised to learn that’s not always the case. …

Or how to stay busy without looking busy

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I’ve been writing online for over two years now, and I have learned a lot since I first started writing. It takes balls to quit a stable job and jump into such a risky field. I had days where I thought about quitting and days where I’m glad I took the risk.

I picked up some more income streams besides Medium in those two years and am tweaking my routine through the week. It’s not a perfect routine, but it’s what works for me right now.

As things come up, I can adjust the routine. That’s the beauty of working…

They deserve it after this weird, weird year

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Driving down US-127, my partner and I see an SUV on the road with writing on it. At first, we shrugged it off, thinking it was a Bachelorette party. But on a Thursday? Unless they were trying to beat the traffic for the 4th of July weekend, I don’t know how that could’ve worked.

So we drove closer to them. It turns out the women weren’t bridesmaids but teachers! I don’t know if I can show you the picture, but I can tell you what the window said.

Beachin’ not teachin’! Buy us a drink!

The teachers wrote their Venmo…

It all starts with some kayaks on a lake

Fireworks show. Photo by author

My current town has a yearly tradition. Every Fourth of July, people gather around the beach and watch the fireworks across the lake. They blast patriotic music, and kids swim beneath the flashing lights. It’s the one time a year the city overlooks the no alcohol on the park grounds rule.

The neighbors warned us about finding a spot early in the summer. The town spends most of June fundraising for the best fireworks and music. This year, I can see why we got the warnings. Every parking space filled with cars hours before the fireworks show began.

Last year…

How did you do this month?

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So, you guys seem to like my writing about how I did each month. Money-wise, I was about a dollar short of what I made in May. However, my reads and views had a slight uptick last month.

As of this article, it’s still too early to say whether or not I got the bonus. I’m not sure I’d say if I did, honestly. If I do, cool. If I don’t, that’s cool too. It’s not going to kill my motivation to write. …

Now I know I can’t get rid of social media no matter how much I want to

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I’m going to say it. I don’t like social media much. It used to be a fun place to find out what family and friends are doing when you’re not around them. Now, it’s a cesspool of hate and people believing weird conspiracy theories. (Thanks, Trump! It took the fun out of conspiracy theories too.)

If I weren’t using it to promote my writing, I’d probably delete it already. It’s done nothing but bring me trouble as of late and do some gnarly damage to some relationships. …

The things nobody tells you about adjusting to a new country

Stepping off the plane to Beijing is a moment I’ll never forget. It was summer 2009, and I landed a study abroad opportunity in China to live and learn there for a year. My Chinese teacher had high political clout in Beijing Language and Culture University, so he made sure we settled in before setting off on our adventure.

My teacher, Dr. Wang, waited for everyone to get off the plane. I was one of the first people to land, so we had to wait for a few more people. …

Keara Lou

Forever Middle Child. If you can’t see me, I’m either lost in a book or wandering my world.

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