Author:

Lydian Shipp

AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Quarter Festivals in Bagan, Myanmar – By Lydian Shipp

This month I’m constantly reminded of county fair season and the yearly parades that I grew up with in western Nebraska. Of course, there’s the Thadingyut candle festival that takes place during the full moon in October, but in every village across New Bagan, Old Bagan, and Nyaung-U (and beyond), each neighborhood quarter holds its own private Quarter Festival to celebrate this month in its own unique way. ...
EuropeSpainUncategorized

Transit Without Visa in Spain as a Myanmar Citizen – By Lydian Shipp

Spain is a major hub for flying to and from Ecuador, Mexico, and other Latin American countries, so when we learned that it’s possible for Myanmar citizens to transit through Spain, we were excited. I was initially worried that Spain would be difficult to transit through, but our experience was very positive.

After we got off the plane from Qatar, our first mission was to find a ...
Trying to Enter El Salvador as a Myanmar Citizen – Lydian Shipp
Central AmericaEl SalvadorHonduras

Trying to Enter El Salvador as a Myanmar Citizen – Lydian Shipp

We arrived at the El Amatillo border crossing between Honduras and El Salvador after a 12-14 hour bus ride from Managua that had started at 2AM. Tired but hopeful as the bus pulled up to the immigration counter, we had a little bit more confidence after having successfully entered Honduras and Nicaragua in the day(s) before. Instead of getting off the bus like we'd done at the Nicaragua-Honduras border ...
Transit Without Visa in Barbados as a Myanmar Citizen – Lydian Shipp
CaribbeanUncategorized

Transit Without Visa in Barbados as a Myanmar Citizen – Lydian Shipp

Barbados allows Myanmar citizens (and citizens of other countries) to transit without visa for 12 hours as long as they stay on the international side of the airport. In the Caribbean, Barbados is a major hub. We transited through Barbados on our way from Ecuador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and also from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Nicaragua.

The TWOV process in Barbados was ...
How to Get a Guatemala Visa as a Myanmar Citizen – Lydian Shipp
Central AmericaGuatemalaHondurasNicaragua

How to Get a Guatemala Visa as a Myanmar Citizen – Lydian Shipp

Getting a Guatemala visa for Naing Naing, a Myanmar citizen, was straightforward and simple. We applied for the visa at the Guatemala embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. We were able to enter Honduras after flying into Nicaragua and receiving a visa-on-arrival from Nicaragua. Through the CA-4 agreement between Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, Naing Naing was allowed to also enter Honduras via ...
Happy Valentine’s Day from Singapore – By Lydian Shipp
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Happy Valentine’s Day from Singapore – By Lydian Shipp

Meeting and falling in love with a Burmese boy was not in my plans for this trip. Totally unexpected. I didn’t think in a million years that I’d be going home a married woman. But at the same time that I’m totally shocked, it makes sense. And I’m happy about it. Very happy.

When we started this trip, I was unsure of why the hell I was even going to Southeast Asia in the first place. On ...
The So-Called Curse of Being a “High-Maintenance” Woman — By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

The So-Called Curse of Being a “High-Maintenance” Woman — By Lydian Shipp

I like for my bedding to be clean and tidy. I like to cook my own food the way I want to cook it. And I’d rather not use cosmetics that use ingredients that are designed to kill me slowly. I prefer to be in charge, or at least have some degree of control when I’m not completely in charge. And I feel bad for these things sometimes. Like opinions and preferences are wrong or something.

It ...
Travel as a Self-Imposed “Time Out” — By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Travel as a Self-Imposed “Time Out” — By Lydian Shipp

What is travel?

I ask myself every time I go on a trip somewhere. What am I doing? What’s the point? And I don’t mean that in a deprecative, bad way. Just in an honest-to-goodness philosophical way. I don’t have an answer… but somehow I feel it’s the right thing to do. And for the other trips we’ve taken, I remember not knowing the exact answer to why I was going or why I wanted to go in ...
Half-Truths and Manipulation of Myself and Others – By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Half-Truths and Manipulation of Myself and Others – By Lydian Shipp

So… I’ve taken up clubbing.

And yes, I’m going to say that I’ve “taken it up” because it’s not something I plan on doing for the rest of my life. Someday, ideally sooner than later of course (but I don’t have control over that), I’d like to settle down and start a family. And if that hasn’t happened by the time I’m in my 30s, I’d like to have at least found something I’m truly passionate ...
Dear Janet… – By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Dear Janet… – By Lydian Shipp

When people ask me if I miss living in the United States, the answer is always a strong and resounding “NO.” I wouldn’t trade what I have now here in Mexico to go back and live in the United States.

Even with all the various stresses that have come with moving to a foreign country, I would not have decided to stay in the US. My options were so limited there. My big dream was to go to UNL ...
Friday Night in Guanajuato Capital
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Friday Night in Guanajuato Capital

https://youtu.be/GpBPUpQxrmsA group of musicians plays in the Plaza de la Paz in Guanajuato, Mexico on a Friday night. ...
What Does it Mean to Be “On Time” Anyways? — By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

What Does it Mean to Be “On Time” Anyways? — By Lydian Shipp

I do my best to have a sense of humor. I really do. But sometimes, my sense of humor steams out and all that’s left of it are a few sizzling drops of cynical, dark, and angry commentary on the bottom of the metaphorical dry pan. I tell myself that it’s sort of endearing that our construction workers hum or whistle to themselves, or even break out into song at various, random times during the day as they ...
I Have Bad Taste in Men – By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

I Have Bad Taste in Men – By Lydian Shipp

The ever-changing landscape of which boys I like and why is a constant source of excitement, terror, and doubt for me all at the same time. Up until relatively recently, I’d say that one of my primary criteria for boys was appearance; I particularly liked Nordic guys (or the ones who looked Nordic, anyway). And although I can’t say that I’m not attracted to the whole tall-blonde-blue-eyed thing anymore, I ...
Late Night Race in Guanajuato Capital
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Late Night Race in Guanajuato Capital

This video was captured downtown at the bus stop in front of Del Sol (a department store) in Guanajuato Capital. About 5 minutes before I started filming, runners started coming down the street in hordes like in this video. It took place shortly after 9pm (a strange time for a race, if I do say so myself). The winners came from the other direction on the same street about 10 minutes later. ...
My Personal Crisis — By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

My Personal Crisis — By Lydian Shipp

What am I doing?

I ask myself this question probably at least 10 times every day with a degree of desperation so high that I have to force myself to dismiss the question or risk insanity. Sometimes, the sum of my dismissals comes out in an emotional breakdown of circular thoughts that lead nowhere. I start in one place, and end up right back where I started. And that place that I circle ...
“Gimme Your Guitar” — By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoUncategorized

“Gimme Your Guitar” — By Lydian Shipp

I wouldn’t say I’m new to dating/courtship rituals but… well, I’m new to dating/courtship rituals in the “real world.” Since I’m 18 now and working with adults instead of kids, it’s almost like all the “experience” I have from when I was younger is invalid. It’s not, since I’ve thought seriously about every relationship I’ve had from a variety of angles to get as much as I could out of the experience, but ...
Video Update — Our House in Guanajuato Capital
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Video Update — Our House in Guanajuato Capital

In this video we give a tour of our house as it is right now, including the parts that are still being built. Most of our home is still under construction, but we were able to move in about a week ago so we could oversee the work being done and be closer to the centro in Guanajuato. ...
Hey, Blondie! — By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Hey, Blondie! — By Lydian Shipp

"Oye, guerita!" Says the middle-aged man standing next to his truck outside the Mercado, giggling to his boyfriends and working to make eye contact with me as I walk down the street. I shoot him a glare. My best glare. The group of men whistle and hoot in response before rattling off a series of other perversions in Spanish that I can't understand yet, for better or for worse. I've given them what they want ...
Teaching English: Lecturing vs. Conversing in an English Class — By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTips

Teaching English: Lecturing vs. Conversing in an English Class — By Lydian Shipp

On Wednesday, I had another English class with the 20-something college student. It was my last one with him, which I was very grateful for. I didn’t find out it was my last one until after the class was over, but that was okay. It was good news.I’d been trying to work with him from a more interactive way for the first three lessons. I prefer to take this approach since it’s more fun (usually) and as a ...
Teaching English: I Have My Own English Class! — By Lydian Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTips

Teaching English: I Have My Own English Class! — By Lydian Shipp

Tonight I taught an English class for a 10-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy. I was told at first they were two 11-year-olds, then that they were 8 and 9, but they both seem their age. I was nervous because I wasn't sure how I'd be able to handle two kids on my own. I've worked with kids a lot, but never really on my own in the way I would be working with kids in an English class.
<br ...
Bruised Banana