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Wayfaring Broad

Starkus – A “Polish” Tradition


Starkus may sound like the name of a starfish inspired Pokémon, but it’s actually the Lithuanian word for “stork.” What do a Lithuanian word and a Polish tradition have to do with one another, you might ask?  Well, for two centuries Poland and Lithuania were one country. Culturally, there’s a lot of crossover in both myths and traditions. Also, the Polish word for stork is “bocian,” and in my opinion, “starkus” seems to roll off the tongue better.

Starkus also happens to be the name of a rye vodka produced by Kozuba & Sons Distillery.  So, why would someone name their vodka “stork”?  Well, it starts with the myth related to this white avian.

The Myth of the Stork 

A couple wants a child. They leave sweets on the window sill for the stork to eat. The stork sees this as a signal that the couple wants a baby.  The stork then finds a baby, either in a cave or Marsh (I don’t know why there were all these random babies roaming around those areas) and delivers the child to the new parents. 

The story of the stork to this day is still associated with bringing children into the world.

Examples: The Disney movie “Dumbo.” The Pixar short movie “Partly Cloudy.” A plethora of baby shower cards. Or any instance where parents “smoothly” dodge the birds and the bees talk with their not-yet-old-enough child.

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My Bucket List | For the BIG 3-0!


A big mile stone is approaching for me. I'm turning 30 in T-minus six months.  To be honest, I'm a bit anxious about the whole milestone. In reality, it's just another day marking that I'm older and won't feel different than any day in my 29s. But I'm leaving my 20s and there's a lot of thoughts going around in my head about where I should be at in my life, things I should've accomplished, and money I should be earning.

I’m still figuring it out. That's what gets me anxious.  Somewhere in my mid-twenties The concept of setting and reaching goals finally clicked for me.  I've set goals throughout my whole life, but they've always seemed to be assigned or coaxed out of me as either a school assignment or some other cursory activity. Somewhere along the way, I found value in it because it wasn't something forced upon me to do. Rather it became a mechanism that actually produced changes in my life that I wanted. Moving to Wisconsin to continue my education, getting a job in Chicago, moving halfway around the world to become an English teacher, and touring through Thailand and Europe for three months.  It all happened because I decided to do those things and I set up ways to accomplish them.

So, as it has worked for me in the past, I'll apply goal setting once again before turning 30. I've been thinking often about the things I have never done in my life. Heck, the first time I ever went camping was when I lived in South Korea.  In the spirit of goal setting, here’s my “bucket” list of things I want to do before turning the big 3-0.

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Grounded Expat


Living in a foreign land, flying to other nearby countries, taking mini-adventures, eating all sorts of food; the expat life was for me! And now....I'm grounded. So to speak...

After ending my contract teaching English in South Korea and taking the long way back to the states through Thailand and Europe, I am now back in the good ole U.S. of A.

Preparing to come back home, I would read up on others' experiences re-adjusting. What was the hardest thing about going back home? What were their next steps? And what was the best course of action for me?

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Wynwood Walls

I saw a plethora of graffiti during my tour of Germany.  What I didn’t expect was the art graffiti community not that far from me.  I went to visit my sister in Miami and she told me about this place call Wynwood Walls.  Never heard of it before, but she told me that is was an artist community with graffiti everywhere.  For whatever reason, in my head, I was expecting some half-assed art installations or some pretentious displays with some convoluted artist statement. Something like, “this Barbie head nailed to this canvas represents the conflict and oppression…..blah blah blah.”  I’m no art aficionado, but I know crap when I see it.  Pulling up to the parking spot we finally found, the first thing I see is this:


And I realized, “Okay this is gonna be good!”  Got out my camera and let my eyes feast on these big beautiful walls.

Everywhere I looked, it seemed like there was something extraordinary to look at. Just standing there scanning the image for all the details and colors. Thinking about how long it took these artists to complete and how skillful I thought they were. Even walking around, looking at the cement blocks of the sidewalk, there were spray-painted on pieces. Not as detailed as the walls, but little sayings or cartoons scattered about.

Here are some of my favorites:


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