Age – It’s just a number . . . or is it?

It was exciting to see my alma mater Wash U. appear on the Huffington Post’s  list of “The 10 Most Wired Colleges In The Country” but my very next thought was, “OMG, how old am?!”  I mean, I remember using microfiche slides to do research in the Wash U. library. I remember attempting probably the first internet search in my life by entering the entire question in the address field – now for the younger crowd, while that’s common practice now, in the beginning of Internet time that wouldn’t get you anywhere. It feels like I must be talking about 50 years ago – but this was just back in the 90s.

It’s hard for me to believe that I’m closer to 40 now than to 30. And I know how obnoxious it can be when younger friends fret over turning 30, so I know for my older (read “wiser”) family and friends it might seem ridiculous making a big deal out of confronting the big 4-0, especially when it’s still two and a half years away. But it’s been thrown in my face recently – the fact that I’m not as young as I would like to think.

For my winter vacation this year I went to Italy with two friends and we drove around the country. Living so carefree and fancy-free makes me feel young – feeling constantly nauseous from the stick shift car makes me feel like a grandma.  I was traveling with a friend of mine from Mexico.  We met 8 years ago when I did my teacher exchange in Mexico City.  8 years ago!  It really feels like a lifetime ago – and well, for my nephew who was born that year it really is.

And now back to Italy – I was so excited being in charge of the road-trip playlist. I collected the go-to road trip songs that would put a smile on anyone’s face and make even the most closeted shower singer belt out the chorus lines. The songs were the best of the 80s with some 70s and 90s thrown in and even a couple of current popular songs. Some of the highlights: Sweet Caroline, Material Girl, Life is a Highway, Don’t Stop Believin’ and my all-time favorite We Built this City. About 10 minutes in, my friends just said, “Um, let’s see what Karina has on her iPhone.” It was at that point that I understood the difference that our 10-year age difference made. The good news is that they’re giving me a second chance to redeem myself when we travel to Amsterdam in the spring. Wish me luck!

While I just published my post,  I just had to update when I was on Facebook and saw a friend’s update.  Her son took a photo with her plastic underwater camera.  He immediately asked how he could see the picture and when she explained that you can’t that you have to get the film developed, he asked, “what’s film?”


Posted on January 7, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hey Rachel, I just read the article you wrote for ITA’s website. Thanks for all of the great information! I am leaving for Barcelona on Sep 18th and can’t wait to get there! It seems like you have had some successful work experiences over there and I was wondering if you can share a good example of an ad that you would post on or to get some good results. I want to make sure that I am marketing myself well:) Thanks!


  2. Hi Rachel,
    I’m a fellow ITA graduate living and teaching English in Costa Rica. I came across your Q&A on facebook and would love to know a little more about how you got your job, visa, ect. My boyfriend and I are interested in moving to Spain next year but I know the living/working situation isn’t as simple as it is here in Central America. If you have the time to share any information with me I’d really appreciate it, feel free to contact me at
    Thanks in advance and happy travels!
    Kristin Palkowski

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