About Me

My name is Mary Ellen and welcome to my personal travel blog!

Here's a little bit of my back story. 

That's me on the right.  I am a very stylish person. 
As you can see, this sense of style began in my toddler years 
with my innovative pigtails and flashy crimson lipstick. 

I was born and raised in the American South, in the foothills of the Appalachians. 
To me, the South will always mean hospitality, big, loud, loving families, fried food, 
and down to earth people. I'm proud to call it my home. 

I graduated from a great university in Washington, DC. 

I love the fast-paced, political, competitive city of DC. 
It's serious, it's gorgeous, and it demands you step up and do something amazing. 

Things I think are important: 

3. Music

And of course,

8. Travel 

My very first trip abroad was to Oxford, England for a high school summer studies program.
I thought I was the bomb dot com. 

Then I went to Kiev, Ukraine to visit my best friend 
and feed a puppy dog by the Dnieper river.

I have studied in Peru, taught English in Georgia (the country) and worked in the Dominican Republic. (Each of these countries have their own cool little tabs!) 

On top of that, I've bopped into: 

Yerevan, Armenia 

Athens, Greece

Santorini, Greece 

If you're counting, that's eight countries. Now, I'd like to think I've had a truly immersive experience in three of the eight (Peru, Georgia and the DR - though I would in no way claim to be an expert!). 
But still - there is so much more world to cover! 

One late night, when I was living in the Dominican Republic and my roommates were gone, the internet was out, and all of the DVD's of Disney movies I had found were scratched beyond repair, I sat down with a Mapa del Mundo to write my top ten country list. I ended up with 42 countries. 

I eventually grouped them by most urgently desired and here is my current top ten along with specific places/objects of interest:

1.        Western USA (Grand Canyon/Yosemite/Rockies/San Fran) (ok, yes, this is a region not a country)
2.        Ecuador (Quito/Cuenca/Amazon) 
3.        Bolivia (Lago Titicaca/salt flats) 
4.        Spain (Andalucia especially/tapas/flamenco) 
5.        SE Asia Thailand/Cambodia (Angor Wat/meet an elephant) 
6.        Ireland (& England again) 
7.        New Zealand (mountains!) 
8.        China (villages especially/food) 
9.        Kurdistan (Iraq) 
10.     Mexico 

This sign post was on Santorini - we decided to hike back to the village instead of Vietnam 

That's a bit of my story! 
 If you have any general questions about teaching abroad, studying abroad, or the countries I've visited, feel free to comment! 

Follow the blog to find out where I'm off to next, if I actually make it to my top ten, 
and what sort of strange diseases I contract on the way! 

Being hardcore in Kiev at age 18,

and a Princess Getto  in Yerevan at 23. 

Some things only improve with age. 


  1. It's great not to have any responsibilities, and be able to travel at will. Enjoy it while you can. Live gets real, really fast.

    1. Yes, I was very privileged to be able to travel so much! The only way I could afford to do it was through working and scholarships, so I actually did have responsibilities in each country I lived in. Sometimes I worked 10 hour days in the DR! But I think working in those places made the experience even better.

  2. Hi Mary Ellen,

    This is Elle at i-to-i TEFL, I really like your style of writing - you've got a great blog, and I was wondering if you would be interesting in doing a short (15-20 second) guest video for us at i-to-i?

    If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, please email me at elle.pollicott@i-to-i.com for more information.