The Art of Public Transit: My Four, Unbreakable, Cardinal Rules

Bus in London, I don’t quite recall where I was going.

I love traveling solo… most of the time. To be honest, I feel safer in most places while traveling than I do back in the states. However, I have four cardinal rules that I follow while waiting for the buses here in Costa Rica. Why? Because the stations in San Jose are in the worst neighborhoods. Additionally, bus stations in other places also seem to attract characters of all sorts. These rules can be applied almost everywhere and won’t lead you astray.

Flixbus I paid about 8 Euro for in Austria. It left in the middle of the night. It doesn’t matter. Drink coffee.

Rule #1: Never Leave the Hostel without Coffee

Those of you who know me know that I am not myself without a strong cup of Joe in the morning. I need coffee. Whether it is 530 am or 230 pm, before I leave the hostel, I need this magical substance to make my brain work.

Preferably, drink something like this. You need to be alert.

Rule #2: Don’t Use Your Cell Phone in Public

When I’m in Boston, waiting for a bus in Dorchester, I don’t use my cell phone. Why? Because I don’t want to attract attention to the fact that I have a high-quality device at my fingertips. It is the same when I travel in San Jose, or anywhere, for that matter. I don’t want to advertise the amount of money I have, that I’m a tourist, or that I am simply yo basic betch distracted online, looking for my perfect insta-post.

This was the inside of a shuttle in Thailand. I still thank my lucky stars that Cam agreed to come with me, otherwise, I may have lost it on this long and crowded ride.

Rule #3: Bring Someone Whenever Possible, and When Impossible Befriend Another Solo Traveler

I like going to bus stations with friends. Why? Because if something happens, you can always just make eye contact with your buddy, and figure out what to do together. The whole process is just less scary with someone else. Additionally, you may have cultural biases and your friend will call  you out. Not every person who speaks another language, or acts strange is out to harm you! In fact, most are not.

The Mount Washington train ride

Rule #4: Pay Attention

This is my final Cardinal Rule of Bus Stations. Pay Attention. It sounds easy. But, it’s not. This rule is good in any situation. Especially in new places. You can save yourself a lot of grief and misery, simply by being aware of what is going on around you. I remember I went out with my Uncle to a pub in Brooklyn and a fight broke out. Were we ok? Yea. We were. Because we were paying attention. This is important everywhere.



Nicaragua: Your Next Adventure

I kid you not, the first text I got from my mother was a screenshot of a warning posted by the US Dept of State.

Actual Screenshot sent to me by my mother, about three days before I left for Nicaragua.
The screenshot was followed up with this gem, with practical warnings about sexual assault.

“Your Aunt wanted me to share that with you.”

Thanks mom.

I mean, was I going to refund my ticket? Was I going to back out of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve my Spanish by submerging myself in a Spanish-speaking Culture?

As if the Universe were disapproving, a Nor’Easter was forecast on the day my friend Liz and I were supposed to leave.

Praying to God that my flight would leave, Liz and I took a bus to the airport. At this point, I had been just a little worried. Sure, some of my friends in Costa Rica told me that Nicaragua was beautiful. That it was cheap. Even that I would love it.

I had, however, been forewarned about the fact that no one would speak English. Easy Peasy. I had Duo Lingo, and google translate. I would be fine.

At least, that’s what I told myself.

As it turned out, Nicaragua transformed from a ‘dangerous third world, non-English speaking country,’  to one of my favorite countries, ever. And, at 30 countries, I know a great place when I visit one. Here’s why:

An Actual In The Moment Video of me and my friends hitching a ride on a cement truck in Nicaragua

The People Are Wonderful

In Nicaragua, people were genuinely interested in where I came from. They asked me loads of questions about places I’ve been, corrected my (barely understandable) Spanish, and even taught me new words. Sure, I was super grateful that I became conversational during my month in Nicaragua, but I genuinely would have been fine, even if I only spoke English.

You can get A Day’s Worth of Veggies for Literally .50

I love vegetables. Spinach, Avocado, Kale, Cucumber, Tomato… The mere mention of these items makes my mouth water. At the local markets in Nicaragua, you can get all of these things for 3 Cordoba (the currency in Nicaragua). It takes about 7 cordoba to make 1 American dollar. You can get hostels for literally 40 cordoba a night if you look. Food in this country is delicious, and I had zero issues while cooking.

My friends and I sporting super amazing life jackets on a ferry in Ometepe

It’s Not Touristy

Apparently loads of people listen to the US Dept of State, because there were very few tourists there. I mean, yea, you got the typical Aussies, a couple of people from the UK, loads of Germans, but all in all, the tourism in Costa Rica far surpassed the level of tourism in Nicaragua. You could find places that catered to tourists, if you look, but so much of the local culture was intact that it was easy to find Nicaraguan Food and beverages.

Vibrant Sense of Community

In both Ometepe, El Transito and Granada, my friend Liz and I were both blown away by the amount of children and families outdoors. As soon as we arrived in Ometepe, we were shocked to see so many kids in school uniforms outside playing.  It’s really difficult to worry about being kidnapped when you see the kids outside with no supervision, just running around…. being kids. Their parents were often close by, but clearly felt safe enough to let them be out and about by themselves. Additionally, everyone seemed to hitchhike; both kids and adults were often on the back of pick-up trucks, getting to another place. It seemed like a super-effective way to get around. At one point, Liz, my travel buddy, and I hitchhiked and the driver would not even accept pay. In the USA, my home country, I would be more than a little reluctant to hop on the back of a random person’s truck, but it’s just a way of life in Nicaragua, and I had no bad experiences with this.

One of the Waterfalls we hiked to in Nicaragua

Natural Beauty

Nicaragua has volcanoes, beaches, and forests….. left relatively untouched by the burgeoning tourist industry.  In one week, Liz and I experienced a Metropolitian City, Hiked to the top of an active volcano, and  explored the sands of Nicaraguan coastline.

Did I Mention it’s Cheap?

All right, so I may have hinted about it before when I talked about the price of veggies, but I actually found a brand-name swimsuit with bottoms at a random Boutique Store in Granada for like, $3.00. I’m a backpacker. I love shopping. Plus, I ditched my old bathing suit after it got a hole in it so I needed another one. At $3.00, this deal was irresistible.

Church in Granada looking so beautiful at night.

You Will Be Challenged

Between the chicken buses, the developing infrastructure, and the lack of English Speakers, there are definitely some challenges involved with traveling Nicaragua. However, they are totally manageable, and you will even grow from the experience. Who knows, maybe your Spanish will even improve. 🙂

So there you have it. Seven reasons to hop on a plane and check out Nicaragua- now. Before the rest of the world discovers it. ❤



How To Spend Two Days in Stockholm

Stockholm is a beautiful city rich in cultural history. It is easy to fill your time in Stockholm with excellent food, events and cultural discoveries.

1: Check out The Vasa

The Vasa is an epic museum where you can discover much about Scandanavian Life. Essentially, the museum harbors an actual ship that was preserved for over three hundred years, and brought to land. Artifacts were also discovered and the descriptions are in both English and Swedish. This is so unique to Stockholm, and definitely worth a visit!

2: Get Lost in The Old Town:.

This is a completely free and budget-friendly activity. Stockholm’s old Town is rife with archaic fountains, sculptures and architecture. It has streets so small you can stick your arms out and almost touch the walls of buildings on either side. Plus, Stockholm is an archipelago, meaning that there are several connected islands, so you get beautiful views of different parts of the city every so often. If you buy the three day pass, I would get off at Gamla Stan and wander from there.

3: Watch a Free Concert

Literally music was everywhere in Stockholm. Jill and I were wandering around the Old Town and an organ player was performing a concert in the town hall. He was accompanied by a dragon.

Ok, so there were no dragons but there was totally one on the program.

4. Visit the Incredible Bonnde Palace

Did you know that Sweden had a royal family? Well they do, and the palace is both a museum and historic monument. It has ornate furnishings and is worth the 160 swedish Krona to tour. Pictures of the palace:

5. Eat like a local

There are beautiful places to dine all over Stockholm. The swedish word for chocolate is Choclad. It’s easy to find favorite foods everywhere, and almost all the people I encountered spoke perfect English. There were cafes everywhere, and it’s always fun to enjoy a meal out.

The First Day in San Jose: The Day Everything Went Wrong

¨Necissitas una taxi!¨As soon as I got off the plane, I was bombarded from all sides.

¨No, no gracias,¨I muttered. According to the workaway email, there is a bus somewhere. Tired, and overwhelmed, I walk to the closest bus terminal and hop on.

The bus driver speaks rapidly in Spanish. I realize I have no colones, the Costa Rican currency. All I have is American Dollars.

How could I be so stupid!?

Luckily, a kind stranger behind me gives me 550 colones.

¨Gracias,¨I say, embarrassed.

I hop on the bus. My phone is extremely low on battery. ¨Crudmonkeys.¨

Also, my phone is not actually connecting to the google towers, and seems to be convinced that I am still in Boston. About fifteen minutes into the ride, my phone connects.

I realize, at this moment, I am going in the wrong direction.

I summon up all the memories I have from Spanish class, and turn around.

¨Necisito va a la hostel Aldea. Esta acqui.¨I say to the nearest girl, pointing at my phone.

¨¨Si,¨she says, and rattles off exactly what to do in rapid Spanish.

Unfortunately, my high school Spanish classes hadn’t prepared me to actually understand instructions, merely to ask.

The look on my face must have communicated this clearly because the women beckoned me to follow her off of the bus, showed me to a line and said, espera. Wait.

At this point, I am silently fingering my prayer cube. Honestly, I have no idea how I´m going to pay for the bus. It´s only supposed to be about $1 USD.

The line winds in front of me. Now that my phone has managed to connect to the data tours, it´s battery reaches the 15% mark. Awesome. It is my first day here, and I have already managed to take the wrong bus, with no money.

And, my phone is dying.

Finally, a bus pulls up to the station. I get on and pull out my $20 note. The bus driver accepts it and states, Uno.

¨Si, pero es viente.¨I struggle to explain in Spanish.

Without giving me change, he waves me to a seat on the bus.

Not only have I managed to end up at the completely wrong end of town; I have also managed to lose $20.

Ah well. It couldn’t have been avoided. I sat down in the seat. I mean, at least I got a seat. The people boarding after me seemed to have standing room only.

I check my phone. Still twenty minutes.

Finally after a crowded and long bus ride we reach the terminal. The driver hands me 6000 colones.

Great. I´m not out $20 after all.

I get off the bus, and my phone dies. This, I remind myself, is precisely why I should be paying attention to directions. So, I just started walking toward the busiest looking street in search of a place to charge my phone.

Pizza Hut. Awesome. Didn’t the directions mention a Pizza Hut? My phone started to charge. I put down my backpack and looked around. I am absolutely famished. I have American dollars…. I could get a pizza.

No. I don´t want a pizza. I want a Chicken Caeser Salad, dammit!

Finally, my phone charges and I am able to locate my hostel. This is when I realize that the directions were absolutely perfect.

If only I had screenshotted them!

Upon arriving at the hostel, I was able to relax and recharge: an enormous blessing after navigating my way through a brand-new city, language and culture.





48 Hours in Monteverde

Me, in a borrowed sweatshirt on one of the hanging bridges.

So before leaving for the United States to work, I wanted to see the Cloud Forest. What is the cloud forest, exactly? It’s a beautiful forest located high above sea level in the mountains. Monteverde (literally meaning ‘Green Mountain,’ in Spanish) is different from the many lowlands of Costa Rica in that it’s elevation is high and that the park contains much virgin forest.

However, because I went to Manuel Antonio first (and I’m so glad that I did!) I needed to fit as much into 48 hours as I could. I have been under budget for the entire trip, so I allowed myself to book several tours. In 48 hours, I did a night walk to see the nocturnal animals of the forest, participated in a Canopy and Hanging bridges Tour, and learned how coffee, chocolate and sugar were made. I stayed at Sleepers Sleep Cheaper Hostel, which included an excellent continental breakfast, comfortable beds and hot showers (an underappreciated luxury!) This hostel is actually in the small town abutting Monteverde: Santa Elena , and I would highly recommend it.

This was literally the most expensive part of my entire trip, because I did not have time to figure out how to do most of these things on my own. Below, I’ve outlined the tours, and how much they cost. I arrived at about 430 pm, so I booked a Night Walk Tour my first night.

Nocturnal Frogs discovered on the night Tour

Day 1: Arrival and Night Walk Tour at 830 pm

Cost: $25.00

Length: 2 hours

I arrived and signed up for the night walk tour quickly. I had about three hours to settle in and change, because the temperature back in Puntarenas was about 40 degrees celsius; the temperature in Monteverde was about 20 degrees celsius.

One of the coolest plant specimens I have seen!

The van for the tour picked me up at 830 pm. I got into the van and was greeted by a tour guide with boundless energy. My tour would be in English, and there were about 9 other people joining. We rode the in the van up the twisted mountain roads of Monteverde, and arrived at the reception around 845.

From there, we walked into the forest. Our guide knew exactly where the animals would be, and we saw a green tree snake, a tarantula, small tree frogs, and so many more nocturnal animals. The guide even allowed us to take pictures! For me, this was a little spooky, because I’m very scared of snakes, spiders, and the dark. However, this tour was fun, and the guide on the tour was really helpful! It was worth the $25.00 I paid for it!

The iridescent Quetzal bird. Ahout out to my Guide Toni for taking this shot!

Selvatura Treetop Walkways with A Guide

Cost: $50 with a guide, $35.00 without a guide

Length: 2 Hours but we went over our length (I didn’t mind)

Monteverde has several parks, and I wanted to see one with astounding views, and less people. For this reason, I chose the Selvatura treetop tour. I went with a guide because I wanted to see the wildlife at this unique park. The tours start at 8 am, 1030 am, 1230 and 2pm. The van for this tour picked me up right outside my hostel at 8 am sharp, and our tour commenced at roughly 840 am.

A View of The Canopies

There were a large mix of ages on the tour, and it was a lot of fun. The youngest person was about ten years old, and the oldest in their sixties. The tour guide did an excellent job showing us where all of the animals were, and pointed out the fauna unique to the area of Monteverde. We even saw the rare Quetzal Bird!

The bridges were absolutely gorgeous, and I had a great experience as a whole. The tour is pricey, but I learned a lot more with the guide than I would have on my own. I got back to my hostel around 1130 am and had time to get ready for my final tour

Trapiche Tour: All About Coffee, Chocolate and Sugarcane

Cost: $33.00

Length: 2-2.5 hours

This was the tour of all tours. I didn’t expect to have as much fun as I did! The tour began with an old-fashioned ride on bulls. From there we saw the Coca fruit and learned about the drying and fermentation process of chocolate.  For a Chocolate Connoisseur, such as myself, I was in heaven. We tried chocolate at every part of the chocolate-making process.

Costa Rican Sugar Cane

From there, we journeyed to the coffee plantations. Coffee is something I drink everyday. I literally am worse than a zombie without a hot black cup of joe in the morning. Our guide showed us exactly which kind of plants produced the coffee bean, and the step-by-step process used to make coffee!

After that, we went into the sugar cane fields. We actually had the opportunity to make our own natural brown sugar! Not only was it delicious, we also learned so much about the process! When we were finished, we went back and had the coffee made from the very same beans that we saw in the plantation! We also tried lemonade made with brown sugar, and they made us a small tortilla with some kind of filling to eat with our coffee.

This tour far exceeded my expectations, and of the three, it was my very favorite! I highly recommend this tour, even over the canopy tour!

The View From The Coffee Plantation

My Final Day

My last day in San Jose was spent packing, writing and shopping for small souvenirs for my family. I made some great friends, and we spent time talking about our future plans, and where we were from. Monteverde was a beautiful place, but I’m glad I saved it for last. When you go, expect to spend money, but know that when you do, you will see some beautiful sites, and have memories that last a lifetime.




Exploring Costa Rica’s Carribean side: Cahuita

While staying in Cahuita, I went to the National Park. During this time, I was able to see so many animals! From the smallest tree frogs and spiders to the largest monkeys, anteaters and slow-moving sloths, there was so much to see.

Rather than describe the animals, I made this video for you to enjoy. Pura Vida!

Costa Rica ProTravel Tips: Surviving the Seven Hour Bus Rides

The cheapest, most efficient way to get around in Costa Rica is by Public Bus. From San Jose there are several options, and they are not so expensive. In fact, the most expensive ticket I bought for the bus included a ferry ride, and about five hours transit. It was thirty US dollars. That’s nothing when you compare the round trip bus tickets from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Here is my guide to surviving those long 7 hour Costa Rican bus rides.

Wear Layers

There are several bus companies in Costa Rica. However, usually, it is safe to assume that they don’t have air conditioning, wifi or bathrooms. For this reason, wear layers. If you are leaving from San Jose, it’s probably somewhat windy, and perhaps maybe even a cool 60 degrees. However, an hour into the ride the temperature will change and you’ll want to be in shorts and a T-shirt.
Go to The Bathroom Every Chance You Get…. Really.

I traveled from Puerto Viejo to San Jose via Public bus, and we stopped about halfway through. Most of the time, the buses will stop for about twenty minutes, and you can go to the bathroom, grab some food and stretch. My bus had one of these such stops. I promptly exited the crowded bus, and grabbed a refreshing pineapple-coconut smoothie. Delicious. During this stop, I did not use the facilities.

This was literally the biggest mistake of my trip. Traffic was exceptionally bad, and we did not arrive to San Jose for another four hours. I literally ran off of the bus and went to the closest restaurant, begging in broken Spanish to use the bathroom. They let me use it, (thank God!) but I could have avoided a lot of discomfort by using the bathroom at the rest stop.

Reserve a Window Seat

Try to book your ticket in advance and reserve a window seat. You can do this through some companies online, or you can do it at the bus station. The views from the window are usually stunning. Costa Rica has an astounding amount of biodiversity. My inner nerd secretly loved driving through jungles, mountains, and beaches- all in the same day. With a window seat, and a decent camera (I use a google pixel, and manage to get incredible footage), you can get some great shots and use them in up and coming travel videos. Plus, you may get ideas about where to go next!
If you don’t manage to Book Your Ticket Early, Arrive An Hour Early to The Station

Can you get on the bus if you arrive exactly on time? Yes. However, there could be standing room only, and let’s face it, a seven hour bus ride is a lot more comfortable in a seat. The tickets will be the same price as well, so you won’t even get compensated for your discomfort. Additionally, you’ll miss the lovely views outside.

If you do arrive early, expect to see a long line. You will wait in it, and then after the people with reserved spaces get on the bus, you will be allowed to board on a first-come, first serve basis.
When you see the Time, add Two More Hours

When you see the amount of time a bus will take to get you from point A in Costa Rica to Point B, add about two hours. This, in my experience has been more accurate than going with the amount of time on the bus websites. According to t bus station’s website, Tamarindo would take about 5 hours. In reality, it was more like 7 hours. This isn’t a problem, if you are traveling solo, but if you are meeting up with friends, it could make you incredibly late.

Charge all of Your Devices, and Bring Both Headphones and a Battery

Let’s face it. A seven hour bus ride is a lot more pleasant when you are able to listen to music, or put your headphones in and relax. For this reason, make sure all of your devices are fully charged, so you can have the maximum amount of entertainment on your very long bus ride possible.

Pack Lightly

The best way to enjoy your bus ride is in a full seat. For this reason, pack as lightly as possible. If you can, use the overhead storage. When you do need to use the storage beneath the bus, make sure that you do not lose your ticket number. You will be unable to get your stuff back. I caught a bus at six am sans coffee, and when I arrived, I thought I had lost my ticket. Eventually, it turned up at the bottom of my purse, but I had a moment of panic that was completely avoidable.
Pack Water

Some of these bus rides are incredibly long, and you will need to sip water occasionally to stay hydrated. Just don’t drink to much!

So, there you have it! Some strategies for surviving the seven hour bus rides! Safe travels.

Cool Things To Do Around Krabi, Thailand

Do you wish you could sprawl out on white sandy beaches, surrounded by glorious natural cliffs? Do you want a relaxing seaside experiences where you can adventure on a whim? Would you like to try to climb a mountain? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Krabi could be the perfect place for you. Offering scenic beaches, serene canyons, and countless bars, clubs and restaurants, you will not run out of fresh things to do in Krabi, Thailand.

1. Try to Scuba or Snorkel around Hong Island

With incredibly gorgeous and exotic fish, Krabi’s Reef is an easy boat ride away from the popular Krabi Town! As you ride an authentic Longtail boat to the reef, you will be treated to beautiful vistas of the natural rock formations surrounding Krabi. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at diving, this is one of the best things to do in Krabi, Thailand. I booked a tour out of Slumber Party Beach Hostel, and I was not disappointed!
2. Take a Sunset Cruise

Do you get excited watching the sun paint the sky countless beautiful colors? Yearning for a romantic getaway with that special someone? Then Krabi’s Sunset Cruises are up your ally!! Of the many cool things to do in Thailand, Krabi, this one is one leaves you feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to explore! Accessible both young and old people alike, these cruises are a great way to begin a fun-filled vacation. People of all ages will be enamored of the beautiful streaks of red, pink, and orange and gold decorating the horizon above the waterfront.

3. Schedule a Thalassa Tour

Looking for more interesting things to do in Krabi, Thailand? The Thalassa Tour Company specializes in custom tours for people of all backgrounds and interests. Whether you want to dive, island hop, meet people, or go with your own personal group, this tour company will cater to your needs. Rated with 5-stars on Tripadvisor, the tour guides are consistently rated as personable, and able to cater to multiple needs. The best part? These tours are available in multiple languages so anyone can access them!

4. Challenge yourself with Rock Climbing at Railay Beach
Offering a variety of courses, Krabi Rock Climbing at Railay beach provides private guides, rent equipment, and arrange Deep Water Solo trips. It doesn’t matter if participants are first time climbers or have been climbing for years, Krabi Rock climbing caters to each individual and group. As a unique and fun thing to do in Krabi, these climbs not only leave the participants feeling as though they have conquered the world, but also offers beautiful views of the seaside.

5. Go spelunking at Phranang Cave Beach
Of the top ten things to do in Thailand, Krabi, a visit to Phranang Cave Beach is a must! Situated in front of brilliant turquoise water, this beautiful beach emanates a relaxed, zen vibe. When you are ready for an adventure, get yourself over to the caves, where, you will be mesmerized by these incredible caverns. As you explore, make sure to get photos of the amazing surf, sun and sand!

6. Have a Spiritual Experience at Tiger Cave Temple

Do you like tigers? Are you interested in spiritual enlightenment? Do you love tigers? Then, the best thing you can do in Thailand, Krabi, is check out the Tiger Cave Temple, also known as Wat Thaem Suae. This temple, serving as a religious site for the monks who live and worship there, also features a maze of natural caves in an overgrown jungle valley. Here, you can find stone tools, pottery remains and the mold for making Buddha footprints! This excavation site is certainly a unique experience, and one that you will only have in Krabi, Thailand.

7. Walk the Tab Kak Hang Nak Hill Nature Trail
Looking for more cool things to do in Krabi, Thailand? This incredible trail offers stunning views of the charming and whimsical Thai countryside. This moderately difficult hike is consistently rated as one of the best trails in all of Thailand by hikers. As you climb stairs leading to the top of this hill, you may stop for a picnic with friends, or take numerous photos of the wildlife you will see.

8. Soak up the Sun at Poda Island

Do you want to sit on sand, soaking the suns rays and see authentic wildlife? Do you want a chance to snorkel? Poda Island is a small stretch of land, accessible by Longtail boat, and often one of many visited on tours. This island is home to incredible wildlife including monkeys! As you sit on the beautiful, white sands and absorb the rays of sunshine, you will be sure to see and hear monkey playing in the jungle behind you! Of the many things you can see and do in Krabi, this is sure to please you!
9. Spend a day on a Jungle Tour and Visit the Emerald Pool (Sa Moraket)

If you are looking for more cool things to do in Krabi, Thailand, book a jungle tour lasting for either a full or half day. Enjoy a ride to the Khlong Thom National Park where you will see the unique and interesting Thai Wildlife! These tours often include lunch, and a knowledgeable and trustworthy guide. Additionally, you will enjoy a swim in the Emerald Pool or finish by relaxing in the natural hot springs.
10. Drink, Dine and Dance near any of Krabi’s Incredible beaches

Looking for more popular things to do in Krabi? Each beach has a unique array of nightlife and it will be sure to tantalize your senses. If you are on Raylay Beach, check out Bamboo Bar! This family-owned pub has a sweet selection of beverages and service with a smile. Or, if you are at Ao Nang, check out Get Rad’s Bar and Restaurant. No matter where you go, a party will be happening close by in Krabi, Thailand!

A Quick Rant About The Gun Policy in the USA

I’m working in the USA this week and I’m so excited to see my friends and family.

However, this excitement quickly switched to shock and horror when I opened my browser to look at the news.

I do my best to attempt to ignore the gun debate on social media. No matter what I say, what logically crafted arguments I create, the second amendment will always be the second amendment, and, for whatever reason, a large percentage of Americans will continue to create and expound on their pro-gun ideology. I can’t really sway people’s opinions and it’s in our constitution. I’m not going to even try.

Guns are simply part of the fabric of the USA. They always have been, and they always will be.

But, are they really as necessary as we think they are? Is it really necessary to give people access to silencers? To automatic weapons? Everytime I ask a pro-gun advocate about this, they point out that if ‘law-abiding citizens won’t be able to get guns, criminals will still have access to these kinds of weapons and law abiding citizens will not be able to defend themselves.”

I mean that’s the argument, right? We can ignore the fact that our founding fathers lived over 200 years ago, had no conception of cars, automatic weaponry, or mass communication. That doesn’t matter. The second amendment will always be the second amendment.

With this logic, how can I win?

So this isn’t about guns.

This is about students. It’s about teachers. It’s about communities. It’s about safety.

When suggestions like this are thrown around, not only does my heart sink, but my blood begins to boil.

Teachers become teachers because they love their subject matter and they want to make a positive impact in the lives of their students. They already learn how to defend our students in case someone brings a gun to school. They already have a ton of extraneous responsibilities and make frequent phone calls to homes. They already differentiate instruction for 30 plus kids. They already do so much for students from all backgrounds.

And now, the suggestion is that teachers carry guns to school and receive a bonus!? What kind of crazy logic is that?

There becomes a point where new discoveries and new social norms challenge old conceptions of what’s necessary. When our constitution was written, women didn’t have the right to vote. We had that love affair with prohibition for a while.

My point is this: laws change. Even the amendments in our constitution change, when time changes and the needs of a larger society change.

I don’t know how to solve the recent uptake in school shootings, but I do know one thing:

Offering teachers bonuses to carry guns to school is not a viable solution.

I would like to conclude with this quote from Martin Luther King Jr:

Rather than get caught up in the black and white words in our constitution, let’s think about the ways our world has changed since it has been written. Then, we can come up with policies that make sense in the greater context of the world in which we live.

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