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jennifershipp

Hoping for Honduras: Planning a Wedding from Outer Space — By Jennifer Shipp
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Hoping for Honduras: Planning a Wedding from Outer Space — By Jennifer Shipp

The people on remote islands tend to be a bit closed-minded, like people in small, isolated towns in the Great Plains.

But people in bigger cities bumble. They stare at the their phones as they walk down crowded sidewalks. Why are big city people so tuned out?  John has taken to running smack into them head-on just to prove a point.

The language of the country where ...
Spring Break — By Jennifer Shipp
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Spring Break — By Jennifer Shipp

Spring comes around againInto my hemisphereAnd I feel something missingSomething that was lost in the winterThat fell from my heart like teardropsFrozen



I imagine the green and I exhilarateOver the possibilityOf having fewer imperfections this timeThough the imperfections are the mostSun-drenched parts of me that poke through the ...
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Choose Your Own Adventure: The Big Bang vs. Blisters

When I was 5 years old, Grandpa had a heart attack. My dad found his body in the field on the other side of a truck where they’d been scooping wheat or corn (as I recall). Dad and Grandpa were alone in the field, miles from town and other human beings, so Dad rolled up a coat and put it under Grandpa’s head. Then, he ran to the truck and drove to my Grandma’s house to call 911 (this was before cell phones ...
Opening Act: Nuclear Pig / Main Stage: St. Vincent and the Grenadines — By Jennifer Shipp
EcuadorSouth America

Opening Act: Nuclear Pig / Main Stage: St. Vincent and the Grenadines — By Jennifer Shipp

Where do you want to go?How much do you wanna risk?These are the lyrics of a Coldplay song called “Something Just Like This”. This song is smack dab in the middle of a playlist that I listen to almost every day. It's like the song was written with our family's current life situation in mind. Sometimes, out of the blue, there seems to be a blip in the matrix of life and the lead singers of my ...
Near-Death Experiences and Thoughts from Terminal 4
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Near-Death Experiences and Thoughts from Terminal 4

Over the past two years, John, Lydian, and I left a place we called Home and we named a new place Home. We camped inside this cement structure like squatters and learned, through this physical and existential discomfort to regard this Home-Base in a new way. Two months after the building was completed, Lydian, John, and I left on our annual winter trip abroad. Southeast Asia was the chosen destination; a ...
Wishing for Death in Thailand: Malaria — By Jennifer Shipp
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Wishing for Death in Thailand: Malaria — By Jennifer Shipp

You know you’re really sick when you shit yourself.

I won’t say more about that, but I do want to point out that, malaria is quite a trip. A lot of people don’t realize that malaria is a long-distance journey. It can last for years if you’re not paying attention to yourself. Like all parasites, it brings people down in cycles and then loosens its grip insidiously to allow timely returns ...
Dear Lydian: The Politics of Love — A Short Tutorial on Visas and Immigration  — By Jennifer Shipp
MyanmarSoutheast Asia

Dear Lydian: The Politics of Love — A Short Tutorial on Visas and Immigration — By Jennifer Shipp

Burmese citizens can only travel to a small selection of countries visa-free. And getting a visa isn’t always easy. Often, in fact, for Burmese citizens it’s a process that involves an interview and the final determination can take months. As American citizens, Lydian, John, and I had never really considered how this fact could affect our lives. In fact, systemic political oppression like this affects a LOT ...
The Silver Pen and the Singapore Wedding — By Jennifer Shipp
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The Silver Pen and the Singapore Wedding — By Jennifer Shipp

I always knew, or rather, believed, that when Lydian finally met the right guy that things would happen quickly. I had a hard time picturing her dating for a prolonged period because Lydian makes tight relationships quickly. She gets attached and holds on to people for dear life. I figured the odds were good that she’d fall for someone who was wired with a similar attachment style. And they wouldn’t dither. ...
On Leaving Lydian Behind in Burma — By Jennifer Shipp
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On Leaving Lydian Behind in Burma — By Jennifer Shipp

John and I are on the final leg home after two months in Southeast Asia. For the first time ever on these long journeys abroad that we’ve taken since 2010, Lydian is not with us. She stayed behind with a man she met in Burma. In fact, partway through the trip, she abandoned us to rendezvous with him in Yangon.As John and I retrace the same steps back through the same airports we took when we left home ...
Untitled – Not Sure What We’re Doing Here — By Jennifer Shipp
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Untitled – Not Sure What We’re Doing Here — By Jennifer Shipp

About a month ago, we arrived in Singapore following about 44 hours of land and air travel over the course of three days.

Our mission: to figure out our mission.

We’ve seen the colisseum in Rome. We lived next to the pyramids in Egypt on our first trip there (we’ve been through Egypt 3 times). We’ve laid our eyes on all the requisite tourist destinations that have ...
MalaysiaSoutheast Asia

Malacca, Malaysia: Coworking Spaces — By Jennifer Shipp

For the past year, we’ve been feverishly working to build a coliving/coworking space in Guanajuato, Mexico. That’s right. Mexico (NOT Malaysia). And needless to say, the project did not follow a linear course. We finished our small apartment complex at the beginning of October and then Lydian spearheaded the marketing of the Guanajuato apartments as vacation rentals on AirBnB and Expedia. And so far, as of ...
The State of Bother-dom: Meteorological Parables from Malaysia — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaMalaysiaSoutheast Asia

The State of Bother-dom: Meteorological Parables from Malaysia — By Jennifer Shipp

We’ve been in Mexico for two years this January. With the exception of three trips back and forth to the U.S. for various reasons, we’ve been stationed in one place for what seems like a long time. Yes, we’ve traveled within Mexico quite a bit. We’ve been to every state in the country except two, I think. I’m not really keeping track and I’m not really trying to see every state in Mexico. No one cares how ...
Baggage and Bullshit: Thanksgiving in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Baggage and Bullshit: Thanksgiving in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

Moneen is downstairs knocking on the door. He’s persistent today, probably because he’s having withdrawal symptoms and he wants to go buy some alcohol. We don’t usually answer the door when we’re working because otherwise we don’t get much work done. Normally, Moneen is a fairly nice kid. He’s missing a few nuts and bolts, but I believe he means well. We pay him for odd jobs sometimes and when he’s sober, ...
As Many Impossible Things As Possible — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

As Many Impossible Things As Possible — By Jennifer Shipp

It’s been just a little over two years since we did a major excursion out into the world. I don’t count moving to Mexico as a travel excursion because this is now “Home”. We never intended for this much time to pass, but we didn’t have a choice. Our construction project demanded our constant attention. For a long time, we thought we’d travel the PanAmerican Highway as our first Big Trip out of Mexico, but ...
Deep Drifts and Warmly Lit Windows — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Deep Drifts and Warmly Lit Windows — By Jennifer Shipp

Last night, I dreamed that I was walking through a deserted city in the dark with my computer. Deep drifts of snow covered the streets and the moon was full it cast a blue glow over everything.  I could see the dim outline of houses lined up along a deserted block. I looked down at my footprints as I made my way to a house situated on the corner of an abandoned block and there, I opened my computer so that ...
Finally Finished: Our AirBnB Properties in Guanajuato, Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Finally Finished: Our AirBnB Properties in Guanajuato, Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

A long time ago, John and I talked about owning a six-plex. That was back in the days when we struggled to buy bread and eggs. We looked at six-plexes in those paper publications put out in the mountains of Colorado about a decade and a half ago, but we didn’t have the funds to make it happen. In fact, we had no funds at all. And when we moved to Mexico, it was initially our intention to build an apartment ...
Under the Sheen of Perfection — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Under the Sheen of Perfection — By Jennifer Shipp

It could be some time until all of the things arrive. The things that I need to make all of this look and seem like perfection.

It could be some time until notable progress is made. Notable. NOTABLE…what does this mean?

The trash. The half-eaten chicken carcasses in what will become my living room. The lack of respect. The lack of consideration. The lack of love. The ...
Update on John’s Spot: At-Home Cancer Cures and Cancer Prevention Everyone Should Know About – By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Update on John’s Spot: At-Home Cancer Cures and Cancer Prevention Everyone Should Know About – By Jennifer Shipp

John still has a lightly colored spot on his forehead where he developed melanoma last year. The spot doesn’t look or behave like melanoma now. No doctor on earth would diagnose him with melanoma because it isn’t melanoma anymore. It doesn’t look like melanoma and John isn’t sick. But last year, the spot was very dark and growing rapidly. We never saw an oncologist. We never tried to have it removed or ...
Life Without Facebook — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Life Without Facebook — By Jennifer Shipp

About a year ago, I started wondering what life would be like without Facebook. What would I do with the time that I normally spent on Facebook? I knew that I’d fill the time with other activities, but I wasn’t sure what I’d do. How would my face-to-face relationships change? Would I have more in-person friends? And what about my general sense of connection/disconnection from the world? I wanted to know…did ...
Flag Theory and the Financial Benefits of Crossing Borders — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Flag Theory and the Financial Benefits of Crossing Borders — By Jennifer Shipp

Today we went to INM to re-up on our temporary residency permit in Mexico. I try not to get nervous for these tramites, but it makes me tense. There are lots of reasons why. One reason is because it’s important. Another is because it has to do with the government and thus I’m powerless to fight against whatever happens to me, John, or Lydian. But I think more than anything, one of the things that makes me ...
Bruised Banana