The grass is not always greener, but the perspective is priceless

Greetings from Spain and la nueva normalidad of the second wave of the Coronavirus. It’s an upgrade that is less welcome than my next iPhone update, but I am thankful to be alive and well. Some people have fallen off the face of the map while in quarantine. My reaction to Coronavirus 2.0 was to cliff dive into oblivion.

I’ve been pondering how to comment on this experience. I count myself extremely fortunate I was able to continue my misadventures and leave the United States in the middle of the pandemic. I’m certainly not the only one who wanted to…


A few months ago I wrote about the experience of losing my grandfather and the struggle all of us have connecting to loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. For nearly a year now, we have been pulled out of our social comfort zones, videoconferencing, virtual holiday planning, and organizing drive-by birthday parties. The few of us blessed with eternal optimism rightly point out our efforts are the ultimate show of devotion to one another, a moment in time that will not be forgotten.

I count myself as one of those optimists but even I have to admit that in the…


My cousin Ivy took this picture of my grandparents on August 8, 2020. Dot and Carl, or Grandma and Grandpa, as Ivy and I knew them, were in their 74th year of marriage and 5 months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Grandma, always dressed impeccably, made the short trip across the retirement community grounds to visit Grandpa in the skilled care wing. This had been her daily routine for years, but the past few months had been particularly challenging.

She took her usual seat in front of the locked entrance door, fiddled with her mask, and chatted via iPad with Grandpa…


What I know I’ll say and what I really mean when I come home to visit

As some of you may have already found out, I am preparing for my first visit home since moving abroad. In just a few weeks, I will be taking a “vacation” to all the familiar places and people I have missed for so long. I have to admit, it’s a bit of a strange feeling to think of going home to a place that, at least for now, is not really.

Now, don’t get me wrong — there are PLENTY of things about home…


My Thanksgiving List from Abroad

I’ve never really been fond of sharing my Thanksgiving List. You know, those personal tidbits of gratitude that we all have and love to share around the dinner table with family and friends. When it comes to my list, I feel a bit like an American Idol contestant. I certainly think I have a lot to offer, but rarely have anything truly groundbreaking to contribute. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for fuzzy blankets, glitter, ESPN.com, flip flops, and all the other things we can collectively agree make life awesome.

Now…


Wait…what time is dinner?

For someone like myself, there is nothing more surprisingly complicated than acclimating to the food culture of another country. I realize my small, Olive Oil-esque frame may not fit the part, but I LOVE food. Anthony Bourdain I am not, but thanks to years of working in restaurants and binge watching too many cooking shows, my enthusiasm for weird, spicy, hard to pronounce, off-the-beaten path cuisine is never ending. As you might imagine, my confidence level about eating in Spain, on a scale from 1 to Samuel L Jackson, was at a solid “Lebron James coming back to Cleveland” level…


The good, the bad, and the downright terrifying stages of the ultimate mid-life crisis.

El Peix, fish sculpture by Frank Gehry, Port Olimpic, Barcelona, Spain

Over the summer of 2018, after making the decision to sell everything I own and move to Spain, I had several conversations that went something like this:

Friend — Hey! How’s it going? How’s work?

Me — I’m great. I’m turning 40 and I’m moving to Barcelona!

Friend — Seriously?! Why? Is it for a guy?

Me — Nope. I just want to go.

Friend — That’s amazing! I’m so jealous!

I prefer not to get into the fact that, male or female, “is it for…

Blythe Hooker

Professional services marketing consultant, world traveler, and advocate for lifestyle entrepreneurship and adventure. Hey, Dos Equis guy…hold my beer.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store