12 Things You Don't Know About Me
My eyes change color. As a kid, I was told my eyes were hazel but didn’t really know what that meant. These days, depending on what I wear they are combinations of green, blue or grey. They even have a ring of gold around the pupils.
I love the dentist even though I’ve had dozens of cavities, two crowns, a root canal and all my wisdom teeth pulled. Clean teeth make me happy and although I grew up with tons of sweets around the house, I never really indulged. As I struggled with cavities, a dentist once told me some people have saliva that doesn’t properly neutralize sugar so no matter how hard they try, it’s nearly impossible to keep their teeth clean.
My feet are two different sizes. It doesn’t make finding shoes very easy, that’s for sure. Shoes tend to be too tight or too loose.
I’m a bit of a daredevil. Perhaps it’s because I grew up rough-housing with four younger brothers but I do love a thrill. My adventures have taken me all over the world and I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy so many exciting opportunities.
In the Dominican Republic, I swam with caged sharks in the open ocean. In the deserts of Huacachina, I flew around mountains of sand in a 10-person dune buggy. On the island of Bali, I hiked up a volcano to witness a beautiful sunrise (falling on the way down wasn’t as pretty). In Medellín, Colombia, I ran off the edge of a cliff, paragliding over the valley below. I’ve gone bungee jumping off a bridge in South Korea, solo skydiving and zip-lining many times (the best in the jungles of Costa Rica). And last but not least, in Peru I had a Near-Death Experience on Rainbow Mountain while hiking it’s snowy peaks (truly, a nightmare).
I hate my birthday. As much as I don’t like to admit, I have high expectations for my birthday. However, in the past every birthday seems to fall flat. Even today, when I hesitantly plan a birthday event I can’t help but be disappointed. Friends don’t show up. People cancel. Family forgets to call. And I wish I didn’t care but I do. To avoid this entirely, I’ve decided to go on an adventure each birthday. That way, the day is mine and only mine.
All of my tattoos mean something special (mostly family or experience related). Funny story though, my first tattoo was with a complete stranger. I flew out to San Diego for work and met a random guy. We ate tacos and I got my very first tattoo. It was one of five stars representing my brothers and I. When we were tiny, we’d sleep up on my grammy’s rooftop deck watching stars shoot across the sky.
I’m strangely obsessed with Korean culture but didn’t even know where it was on a map until a few years ago. After struggling through my move to South Korea and the original adjustment of a strange country, I began to fall in love with the people, food, language, music and culture. I even took a class at Ewha Women’s University to study the language. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten much of my Korean but can still read and write fairly well.
I’ve struggled with depression and addiction. In my early twenties, I hit a rough patch and fell into a deep dark hole. At the time, I had no idea depression and addiction run in my family. I was just a kid making horrible decisions, drinking too much and getting into drugs. I hit a breaking point when I carelessly mixed a number of drugs together. It scared the living shit out of me and I promised myself I’d never mess with them again.
Many years ago, I slept with an actor from Desperate Housewives (sorry, mom). We met at a strip club on 8 Mile in Detroit. I was buzzed enough to end up with his number at the end of the night and completely shocked when he contacted me the next few times he was in town.
I grew up Mormon but I’m not entirely sure I believe in God. I was born in Salt Lake City and though my parents weren’t strict we did center our lives around the church. It wasn’t until they got divorced when I was 17 that we began to drift. Growing Up Mormon was a blessing but things change. After spending many years away, I’ve learned I may not have all the answers.
Wearing a seat belt saved my life (twice). If any of you know my dad, you’ll get this. He’s an explosives expert (and previous medical student) who transitioned into an airbag engineer at General Motors. So growing up, I heard a lot about the safety of seat belts. I knew that if you didn’t wear one, the airbag would likely kill you. An airbag is only meant to reduce injury when accompanied by a properly worn seat belt. And as luck would have it, I always wore my seat belt.
On two occasions I was involved in horrible car accidents. Just after I turned 16, I was t-boned by a truck going full speed (my fault). Years later, I t-boned an ex-officer who parked himself in the middle of my intersection. My light was green so I honked to get him moving but it was too late. We collided and the airbag shattered my wrist; my hand was detached and a metal plate was needed to repair it. But luckily, the airbag along with my seat belt kept me from flying through the windshield.
I’ve traveled to 32 countries (and I’m only getting started). Up until my mid-twenties I hadn’t traveled much at all. After I took the leap into teaching English in South Korea, my world unfolded. To date, I’ve traveled to Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Jamaica, Curacao, Grand Cayman, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Czech, Greece, Ireland, UK, South Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia. Next up is Sri Lanka in just a week.