Perspective from an American citizen

A photo of Jacinta Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, giving an address.
A photo of Jacinta Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, giving an address.
Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern speaks during a New Zealand COVID-19 update at Parliament on May 26, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Dom Thomas — Pool/Getty Images

As of May 14, the United States and New Zealand have both tentatively reopened restaurants and bars. On the surface, the restrictions and privileges are relatively similar between the two nations — but that is where the similarities end. In terms of government response to Covid-19 in the form of political rhetoric, solutions, and results, the United States and New Zealand are as ideologically distant as their geographic locations.

With my feet in New Zealand and my family in the United States, it is a sobering juxtaposition.

I live in Wanaka, Otago on New Zealand’s south island. It’s a small…


Stories from female solo travelers on how they deal with the fear of sexual assault

Photo by Adi Constantin on Unsplash

New Zealand

There’s a 40-year-old American woman staying in my hostel in Otago, New Zealand. She says that any time she gets a “bad vibe” from a man in a hostel, she sleeps with her switchblade open under her pillow. She says, “it’s the only way I can sleep at night. I have to know that if he tries to rape me in the middle of the night, I can put up a fight.” She motions jabbing a switchblade in the air.

There was a 19-year-old German girl at a hostel in Christchurch. She told me that she was in a hostel…


From its soul-sucking Dementors to its marginalized heroes, the world of ‘Harry Potter’ world helps kids learn tolerance and compassion

Illustration: Mallory Muse/Pixabay

More than 500 million copies of Harry Potter have sold worldwide, making it the best selling book series of all time.

I was six when my mother read Harry Potter to me for the first time. I still have all the books in hard copy and on cassette tape (the Jim Dale recordings, obviously).

I am 25 now, and I recently relistened to the series on audiobook. Throughout my 127 hours with the audiobooks (I was committed), I was struck by the intricate integration of mental health, empathy, and lessons of kindness throughout J.K. Rowling’s work.

Following my audio-binge, I…


Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash

A Poem

If I could travel back in time
I would go back to the first time
I read the first page

Oh, yes, of course, I would
travel back to before World War II
I’d kill Hitler, I swear!
but first I would read a first page

I’d travel back to 1968 and
save Martin Luther King Jr.
Or 1963 to save Kennedy
I pinky promise, I swear
but first, oh, just a

p e e k

just 5 minutes
just enough time to read
the first page
I mean, the first chapter
I mean —

you have to see
you have…


Photo by sarandy westfall on Unsplash

The memories that music brings back

I pressed play, drowsy in sleep and waiting for coffee to kick in. The music started, bass pounded, and everything else faded away as I was lost in forgotten memories.

Spotify’s “Your 2019 Wrapped” shows your top artists, songs, and albums from the year. With the 2010s coming to a close, Spotify also included our favorite music of the decade — A Decade Wrapped — with a bow on top.

As I listened to my playlist, I found myself reacting viscerally. …


Photo by Samuel Pereira on Unsplash

Work your way up to confident presentations

Public speaking is the most common fear in the United States — more than 25% of people cite it as their biggest fear.

But you don’t have to be afraid of something forever, just because you’re afraid of it now. Public speaking is a skill, just like running, design, or fiction writing. It can be learned.

Why does public speaking matter?

Public speaking is an integral part of your personal and professional life. How you present yourself matters. Personally, it matters for big moments — like when you want to give a toast at your sister’s wedding. …


Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Lessons on business and the promises we make

Last week, Elon Musk had a bit of an awkward moment when he unveiled Tesla’s new Cybertruck. Standing onstage with Tesla’s real-life batmobile, Musk was faced with a colossal product mistake — in front of a live audience.

While there’s only one Elon Musk in the world, his mistakes aren’t one-of-a-kind. Individuals, no matter their occupation or level of success, can learn from Tesla’s mistake and be better for it.

A Quick Recap

On Thursday, Elon Musk revealed Tesla’s long-awaited Cybertruck. The no-nonsense, utilitarian design was an immense difference from the iconic and all-American Ford F-series truck.

The all-electric Cybertruck features a stainless…


Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

A Poem

earlier than dawn
while nighttime dreamers linger
we begin a dance

rising to the sound
of hammers and tower cranes
the city still sleeps

black bitter coffee
scorches tired eyes awake
as music begins

enter the welders
affecting ultraviolet
fire falls like rain

steel marries roof beams
burned together in bright heat
built to last lifetimes

ironworkers swing
from steel trusses like creatures
born to fly, weightless

swing, look out, dodge left
twirl around at the edges
of fast-paced craftsmen

below earth, hear the bass
deep beats and thrums of machines
vibrations echo

in concrete, men weave
rebar and pipes, intricate
as…

Megan McClintock

Writer | Traveler | American traveling through New Zealand and petting every dog I find. ig: @meganfromdc

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